Poor Persecuted Brett

Kavanaugh weeps

Morning Joe went on a rant today about how the Democrats and “the media” are piling on to poor Bret, ergo Republicans are feeling aggrieved and angry, ergo Republicans are going to win the midterms.

Well, maybe they will and maybe they won’t.

Meanwhile, as he often does, Jonathan Chait nails it:

The FBI investigation into Brett Kavanaugh has turned out to be a fig leaf. Multiple reports tell the same story: The White House has controlled the probe, ignoring the attempts by multiple witnesses to reach investigators and wrapping up its work well before its already-tight deadline.

In the meantime, however, significant new evidence has appeared from the news media. It demonstrates beyond a doubt that Kavanaugh’s emotional testimony was a farrago of evasions and outright lies. …

During his testimony, Kavanaugh piously insisted his description as a “Renate Alumnius” was a term of affection for a friend they regarded as one of their own, devoid of any sexual connotation. Last night, The New Yorker reported one of Kavanaugh’s high-school friends’ detailed recollections that this was a complete lie. …

To the extent conservatives have acknowledged this at all, they have processed it as somehow confirming that Kavanaugh is being persecuted. Proof that he told repeated lies about his youthful drinking and treatment of girls does not suggest to them that his other claims about his youthful drinking and treatment of girls are probably wrong. Instead they have concluded he is being subjected to some new and irrelevant test of purity. “Will a full-bore investigation of adolescent behavior now become a standard part of the ‘job interview’ for all senior office holders?” asks Bret Stephens. What a bizarre description of reporters fact-checking Kavanaugh’s own testimony.

At the beginning of this process, I was willing to entertain the possibility Kavanaugh might be innocent. People can change. I believe he has grown into a better and more responsible adult than the drunken bully he was as a young man. He could have acknowledged and apologized for his misbehavior. Instead, he denied everything. Like Trump, he found a way to manipulate and exploit the emotional core of the American right, from the voters to the elites, almost all of whom now ignore or justify his lies in the greater cause of service to their party.

Looking Ahead Two Steps in the Game

If Republicans seat Kavanaugh on the Court, I predict, beyond peradventure of doubt, that Morning Joe will tell us that our own interest requires us to lick our wounds and talk about something else.

That counsel will be wrong.

If Kavanaugh is confirmed, we should make it a day that will live in infamy.