Here’s where we stand on the Kavanaugh confirmation. The FBI report came in last around 2:30 a.m. (because the GOP always does things under the cover of night), and based on what’s in it, the White House is saying that they are “confident” that Kavanaugh will be confirmed. They believe there is nothing in the investigation that corroborates the accounts of Deborah Ramirez, Christine Blasey Ford, and Julia Swetnick, which is probably because they didn’t bother to interview Blasey Ford or Swetnick, nor did they apparently interview any of Ramirez or Ford’s corroborating witnesses.
In all, the FBI interviewed nine people, and they were not allowed to interview anyone who might have corroborated accounts of Brett Kavanaugh’s drunkenness in high school or college. There is apparently only one report, and 100 Senators and nine aides will have to take turns reading it over behind closed doors. Jeez.
Expect Chuck Schumer and the Democrats to hold a press conference later this morning probably to say that the FBI investigation was half-assed. The GOP will counter by saying, “We gave you what you want. You’re never going to be satisfied. Now let’s vote.” There is a procedural vote scheduled for tomorrow.
While the FBI apparently barely scratched the surface, the media has been doing a fairly good job of interviewing all of those people that the FBI wouldn’t interview. Specifically, Jane Meyer and Ronan Farrow spoke to Kavanaugh’s classmates (who were not interviewed by the FBI) and they at least confirm that Kavanaugh was a lousy drunk in college. Kenneth G. Appold, a suitemate of Kavanaugh in college, also specifically recalls hearing about the night in which Kavanaugh exposed his penis to Ramirez. The FBI wasn’t interested in interviewing him, nor anyone from Kavanaugh’s dorm.
I should note, too, that the GOP has begun attacking Swetnick’s sexual history, which is straight out of the rape defense playbook. They’ve gotten to an ex-boyfriend of Swetnick’s, who alleges that she … you know what? I’m not even going to go there, except to say that the GOP showed exactly who they are by doing this. They’re basically saying, “Kavanaugh was not involved in a gang rape of Swetnick, but if he was, she asked for it.”
Look: It’s all going to come down to a handful of people. I don’t know how it’s going to go, but my guess is this: Democrat Joe Manchin will flip and vote for Kavanaugh (it’s what his West Virginia constituents would want, and he’s got a sizable lead in the polls, so he’s not worried about being voted out either way). Manchin’s vote will give Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski cover to vote against Kavanaugh (as their Alaska and Maine constituents want), and it will come down to Jeff Flake, who ultimately will vote for Kavanaugh, providing the GOP with 50 votes. Pence will break the tie. Kavanaugh will be confirmed. There will be another Women’s March-like gathering before the midterms, and the GOP will pay for it at the ballot box, although it won’t stop Brett Kavanaugh from repealing Roe v. Wade.
Make them pay.
I’ll end with this, from Adam Serwer’s phenomenal piece over on The Atlantic, which suggests that Trump’s cruelty is not a bug or a byproduct. It’s the fucking point:
Trump’s only true skill is the con; his only fundamental belief is that the United States is the birthright of straight, white, Christian men, and his only real, authentic pleasure is in cruelty. It is that cruelty, and the delight it brings them, that binds his most ardent supporters to him, in shared scorn for those they hate and fear: immigrants, black voters, feminists, and treasonous white men who empathize with any of those who would steal their birthright. The president’s ability to execute that cruelty through word and deed makes them euphoric. It makes them feel good, it makes them feel proud, it makes them feel happy, it makes them feel united. And as long as he makes them feel that way, they will let him get away with anything, no matter what it costs them.