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Will they dump him? Don’t know. But it would make sense if they did.

Will they dump him? Don't know. But it would make sense if they did.

by digby


Nate Silver thinks the Republicans should pull Kavanaugh:

Brett Kavanaugh has never been a popular Supreme Court nominee — and he’s probably becoming more unpopular still following allegations earlier this month by Christine Blasey Ford that Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her when they both were in high school. No one this unpopular has ever been confirmed to the Supreme Court; the only previous nominees who polled as poorly as Kavanaugh either had their names withdrawn (Harriet Miers) or lost their confirmation vote (Robert Bork). And all of this polling was taken before at least two other accusations surfaced of potential sexual misconduct involving Kavanaugh1 — and before Ford and Kavanaugh’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is scheduled for Thursday.

President Trump and Congressional Republicans are not afraid to take unpopular actions in pursuit of their ideological goals. Last year, they spent many months trying and failing to pass a repeal of Obamacare, even though those efforts were extremely unpopular. And they passed a tax bill that was highly unpopular at the time of its passage, although its numbers have since improved some. The Supreme Court is at least as much of a priority for Republicans.

The difference on Kavanaugh is that there are several other conservative nominees who could potentially replace him — and who may have been better picks in the first place. In other words, you would think Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have better options than rolling the dice with Kavanaugh...

But there’s a midterm coming up in just six weeks. And there’s about a 3 in 10 chance that Republicans lose the Senate, according to the FiveThirtyEight forecast. Could Republicans really get Barrett or another nominee confirmed before then? And if not, could they confirm her in the so-called lame-duck session after the midterms but before the new Congress meets on Jan. 3.

The answers are “possibly” and “probably” — but the timing is getting dicier by the day. As of Tuesday morning, we’ll be 42 days away from the Nov. 6 midterms, and exactly 100 days away from when the new Congress convenes. The eight current members of the Supreme Court variously took between 50 and 99 days to be confirmed.


I really don't understand why they haven't insisted that he withdraw already (with a big self-righteous "this was a drive-by shooting" speech.) That's hat would galvanize their voters, not confirming him. They LOVE martyrs to the cause and are motivated by their feelings of victimization.

Losing Kavanaugh before the mid-terms would help them not hurt them and they could easily confirm his replacement after the mid-terms.

This seems like a no-brainer to me.

Gabe Sherman posted this yesterday:

Trump is growing increasingly frustrated by being mired in a deteriorating political situation beyond his control. On Monday morning, a Republican briefed on Trump’s thinking said the president has been considering pulling Kavanaugh’s nomination.

According to the source, Trump allies are imploring him to cut Kavanaugh loose for the sake of saving Republicans’ electoral chances in the midterms. The argument these advisers are making is that if Kavanaugh’s nomination fails, demoralized Republicans will stay home in November, and Democrats will take the House and the Senate and initiate impeachment proceedings. The end result: Trump will be removed from office. “The stakes are that high,” the source said. Another Republican adviser told me: “Trump is very worried now, and is finally waking up that it’s the end of his presidency if he loses the Senate.” Trump’s outside allies are advising him to nominate Amy Coney Barrett and fast-track her confirmation before the midterms. “Some in the White House think you can only appoint a woman now,” a former administration official told me. An outside adviser added: “Democrats won’t be able to pivot fast enough to attack her since she’s a woman.”

Even before Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer reported Deborah Ramirez’s account that Kavanaugh exposed his penis without her consent at Yale (which Kavanaugh emphatically denies), Trump has been unhappy with how Senate Republicans are handling the nomination process. According to sources, Trump blamed Mitch McConnell and Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley for agreeing to delay Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony until Thursday. “He thinks they look weak,” a Republican briefed on Trump’s thinking said. A White House official told me Trump was also angry that Senate Republicans waited hours to respond to Ford’s interview with The Washington Post, creating a vacuum in the news cycle that allowed the narrative to take hold. “You don’t let that happen,” the official said.

Last week, White House advisers, including Johnny DeStefano, implored Trump not to attack Dr. Ford. A source said Bill Shine and Corey Lewandowski were pushing a more aggressive approach. Trump listened to the moderates until Friday, until he reverted to form and tweeted: “I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents.”

As Kavanaugh’s poll numbers plummet, Trump is telling people in private that he was never a fan of Kavanaugh’s selection, sources said. According to two people who’ve spoken with Trump recently, Trump complained that establishment Republicans foisted Kavanaugh on him, because they reasoned Kavanaugh would unite the party in November. According to one former West Wing official, Trump’s first choice was Judge Thomas Hardiman, who served on the federal bench alongside Trump’s sister Maryanne Trump Barry.

Trump is keeping his distance from the nominee. A White House official said he hasn’t spoken with Kavanaugh in recent days. “This is Brett Kavanaugh’s fight,” the White House official said


There's so much back-stabbing and palace intrigue in this administration that it's always hard to discern any real strategy behind their actions. But it would be the smart move politically. On the other hand, it doesn't seem to me that these people are very smart so ...