December 12, 2018

Kavanaugh’s Downfall Could Be a Disaster for Dems

“In a different political world — one in which both parties acted, despite their ideological disagreements, for the good of the country — the prospect of Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination being withdrawn in the shadow of an FBI investigation into allegations of sexual assault and evidence of lying to the Senate Judiciary Committee would have no discernable political impact at all.

Democrats would be pleased that a man of questionable character had been kept off the Supreme Court. Republicans would be disappointed but eager to move forward with a conservative nominee untainted by scandal. And the country as a whole would feel relieved that we’d all been spared the nightmare of a man credibly accused of sexual violence providing the crucial fifth vote needed to gut the reproductive rights of women.

But of course, we don’t live in such a political world.

In the toxically polarized world in which we’re all unhappy prisoners, all that counts is victory — and the political consequences of wins and losses are often the opposite of what common sense and ordinary decency would predict. To wit: Democrats are dying to derail Kavanaugh’s confirmation. But that victory could well be pyrrhic — and lead to a midterm disaster for Democrats. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine anything that would do more to dampen the party’s prospect of taking control of the House and Senate next month.”

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