Dying on Kavanaugh H:ill


It’s late Thursday night, September 27. Despite today’s performance, Trump and the Republican senatorial leadership say they are determined to pick Kavanaugh Hill as the hill to die on.

Republicans are failing the Sara Jane test. Dr. Aardvark and I had a long talk with Sara Jane this evening. Normally guarded in her expression of political views, Sara Jane, one of our fellow residents here at Happy Acres, often chooses Fox News as her source of information. This evening she was incensed at the senators who failed to give credence to an obvious victim of sexual assault.

I think that Sara Jane will be voting in November. And I think she will remember today.

Republicans could easily deep six Kavanaugh and pick a right wing woman judge. Why don’t they? I don’t know—and I don’t necessarily accept the analysis of the following article, but I do commend it to your attention: GOP will still confirm Brett Kavanaugh — because of allegations, not in spite of them: Republican leaders know that to stop #MeToo they must scare women into silence. Confirming Kavanaugh may do it:

Why are Republicans so ready to stick with a guy credibly accused by three women — especially in the #MeToo era, when there’s significant political fallout awaiting anyone who is perceived as minimizing, covering for or excusing sexual misconduct? Viewed through the lens of horse-race politics, where everything is about media spin and electoral calculus, the GOP’s unwillingness to swap out Kavanaugh for someone else looks baffling.

But if one accepts the possibility that some considerations matter more than the immediate political fallout, then the choice makes more sense. I would argue that, in a way, Republican leaders are sticking with Kavanaugh not despite of the sexual assault allegations, but because of them. They are no doubt highly aware that the #MeToo movement has damaged the ability of powerful men to treat women however they like and get away with it. By rushing forward with the Kavanaugh confirmation, and refusing to treat the allegations against him with anything approaching seriousness or respect, Republicans can strike a major blow in the backlash to #MeToo.

Handing feminists a major defeat, at this historical moment, can go a long way towards rebuilding the world the way that powerful men like it, where they can harass and abuse women, sometimes even rape them, and get away with it. In the long run, that goal takes priority over more immediate concerns, such as who wins a majority in the midterm elections.

“We sometimes believe that people who work in politics are infinitely cynical, that there’s nothing they won’t do for political advantage and no goal that takes precedence over winning,” Paul Waldman writes in the American Prospect. But ultimately, having power is about imposing your values and vision of the world on society. For a lot of men, especially powerful, conservative men, it’s extremely important to keep women in a submissive, objectified role. That, in their view, is a goal worth sacrificing for.

The Republican political leadership is mad as hell, and they are not going to take it any more.

See you in November, assholes.

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