October 6, 2018

Kavanaugh boomerang #1: Fanatical Dems finally have unified the GOP behind Trump

By Thomas Lifson

See also: Kavanaugh boomerang #2: Fanatical Dems will drive away voters with over-the-top reaction from now to Nov. 6

The Democrats have not merely overplayed their hand in opposing the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh; they have provoked a reaction that has serious consequences for the power struggle ahead. Most of them do not understand yet the gravity of their error because they still operate out of a rage that has its origin in the belief that Donald Trump's presidential victory was somehow illegitimate, despite the lack of any evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia (and the growing evidence that the Clinton campaign colluded – via cutouts Perkins Coie and Fusion GPS – to recycle phony stories from Russian intelligence into FISA warrants).
That unfounded sense of illegitimacy is their security blanket, enabling them to contain their despair over losing their grasp on power to a foe unafraid to oppose them frontally, someone who fights back and wins, even when the weight of the media is fully on their side. In the past, very, very few Republicans had the guts to resist early polling that reflected 90% of media hewing to the Democrats' party line. The Dems naturally assumed that Professor Ford's emotional testimony, supported by MSM coverage that presented it as absolutely conclusive evidence of Kavanaugh's depravity, would cause him to withdraw to end the personal pain or a handful of squishy GOP senators to abandon him.
But Judge (soon to be Justice) Kavanaugh is made of sterner stuff. So is President Trump.
Had the charges not been quite so outrageous, quite so bizarrely "outlandish" (in Susan Collins's word), perhaps they would have reaped more Senate squishes than Lisa Murkowski). They apparently forgot that Kavanaugh was a former member in good standing of the GOP establishment, the person who was at President George W. Bush's side as much as or more than any other of his staff for years. W, who has been quietly critical of Trump, could not stand by and watch a man he liked and admired slandered so cruelly, and he began making calls to senators in support of Trump's nominee.
Senator Lindsey Graham's denunciation of his Democrat colleagues during the hearing Thursday last week marked his turning point, a break with the niceties of the "my distinguished colleague" approach to Senate comity, and an understanding that the struggle is so mortal that solidarity is more important than finding a safe space.
The bullying also began to drive NeverTrump pundits like Bret Stephens of the New York Times into an appreciation of the importance of standing up to the Dems' bullying.
For the first time since Donald Trump entered the political fray, I find myself grateful that he's in it. I'm reluctant to admit it and astonished to say it[.] ...
I'm grateful because Trump has not backed down in the face of the slipperiness, hypocrisy and dangerous standard-setting deployed by opponents of Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court. I'm grateful because ferocious and even crass obstinacy has its uses in life, and never more so than in the face of sly moral bullying. I'm grateful because he's a big fat hammer fending off a razor-sharp dagger.
Diehard Trump opponent Erick Erickson seems to have had an epiphany:
Congrats progressives. You so overplayed your hand that you
(A) fired up the Republican base;
(B) pissed off Susan Collins; and
(C) Radicalized the newest Justice on the United States Supreme Court.
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) October 5, 2018

Writing the Wall Street Journal late yesterday, Gerald Seib reviewed the consequences and concluded that the struggle:
... has bound together President Trump and the Republican Party as never before.
In the most contentious battle of his presidency, Mr. Trump and a party long uneasy with his leadership marched into the fray together. It is no coincidence that they did so in pursuit of the one goal on which they have always been able to agree: putting more conservatives on the Supreme Court.
Going forward, the salient consideration is that the whole approach to slandering Kavanaugh is being revealed as a setup. There is an actual potential crime to investigate:
A friend of Christine Blasey Ford told FBI investigators that she felt pressured by Dr. Ford's allies to revisit her initial statement that she knew nothing about an alleged sexual assault by a teenage Brett Kavanaugh, which she later updated to say that she believed but couldn't corroborate Dr. Ford's account, according to people familiar with the matter.
Leland Keyser, who Dr. Ford has said was present at the gathering where she was allegedly assaulted in the 1980s, told investigators that Monica McLean, a retired Federal Bureau of Investigation agent and a friend of Dr. Ford's, had urged her to clarify her statement, the people said.
The statement to the FBI offers a glimpse into how Dr. Ford's allies were working behind the scenes to lobby old classmates to bolster their versions of the alleged incident, as were Judge Kavanaugh's.
This would have shown up among the FBI Form 302s that senators would have seen when they reviewed the sole copy of the FBI's seventh investigation into Kavanaugh. They all know about it, and Chuck Grassley, the Judiciary chairman, is another senator who is so outraged that he will not let this drop. If the 302 reports merit it, a criminal referral may be made to the Justice Department for suborning perjury or some other charge. If and when a grand jury is convened, a thread can be pulled, possibly unraveling the myriad of ties between Monica McLean and her former colleagues at the FBI and DOJ, and their communications. Senator Grassley is already demanding text messages and emails. A grand jury subpoena may be much harder to ignore.
Regardless of where this threat goes or does not go, President Trump has won over the doubters in the GOP camp like never before. He can thank Michael Avenatti, Chuck Schumer, Mazie Hirono, Monica McLean, Kamala Harris, and the entire Trump-hating Democratic Party and their sidekick media for an assist in realizing this longed for goal.
Image credit: Max Pixel.