The Thinker: Rich Galen


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Razor's Edge

Rich Galen

Thursday September 20, 2018

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  • Democrats on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee are outnumbered 11-10. Assuming all the Republicans stick together there's nothing they can do to stop the Committee from sending the nomination

  • Keep this in mind as you are bombarded with the increasing level of hysteria regarding the nominating process for Judge Brett Kavanaugh.

  • Assuming you are not just returning from an Around-the-Moon trip on an Elon Musk rocket ship, you know that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, a professor of psychology, has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were in high school.

  • Kavanaugh denies it ever happened. Ford says it did. I don't know and neither do you.

  • The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley (R-Ia) has invited both to appear at a hearing this coming Monday - terms to be determined. Further, he has set 10 AM tomorrow (Friday) as the deadline to hear from Ford or her attorney.

  • Kavanaugh has been closeted at the White House complex, assumedly being grilled on what he is likely to be asked and how best to answer. The Executive Branch has no end of experts and "Sherpas" available to help in this effort.

  • Ford, is a private citizen and has to depend on pro-bono experts and GoFundMe-type activities to go through a similar process on her side. She did not immediately respond to Grassley's initial invitation and when she did - through her lawyer - she said she would not appear prior to an FBI investigation into what did or didn't happen.

  • Grassley has said there will be no FBI investigation and Donald Trump indicated, on his way to visit the flood damaged areas of the Carolinas, that he was not disposed to ask the FBI to do it.

  • Grassley made it clear that either there will be a hearing that includes Ford on Monday or the committee will proceed to a vote by midweek - thus the importance of that 11-10 split.

  • The Rs know that they were on a path to having Kavanaugh confirmed on the Senate floor and any delays can only cause new problems. Delays = bad.

  • One of the many bad things that can happen during a delay is Trump losing patience and saying or Tweeting something that is even more attention-getting than usual.

  • In the current hyper-sensitive #MeToo era, even what someone thinks is a thoughtful statement can be fanned into a Cable News Wildfire. Trump can stumble into that kind of situation before he finishes his Sugar Pops in the morning.

  • That would be bad because of these pesky mid-terms that continue to loom ever larger on the political horizon.

  • The very last thing the GOP needs heading into November 6, is to give the Dems a reason to convince women who are not likely mid-term voters to not only vote themselves, but get their friends and family to the polls as well.


    I originally wrote that line as: " a means to whip non-Trump base women voters into a voting frenzy "

    But, I changed it.


  • You have already seen a growing focus that all the Republican members of the Judiciary Committee are WHITE MEN, which happens to be true.

  • As we move through the weekend, you will hear Democrats continue to raise the temperature of the debate hoping to get under Republicans' skin to the point that they say something that the Ds can use as a rallying cry through to the elections.

  • They would also like to make Senators Susan Collins (R-Me) and/or Lisa Murkowski (R-Ak) so uncomfortable with Kavanaugh that they vote against him.

  • As we've discussed before, with a 51-49 edge Republicans can only afford to lose one vote creating a 50-50 tie. Vice President Mike Pence would then cast the tie-breaking vote for a Supreme Court Justice for the first time in history.

  • Whether Dr. Ford shows up on Monday or not; whether Trump blinks and brings the FBI into the fray; whether Mitch McConnell can hold the Republican Senate Conference together, on every possible dimension this is going to be a close thing.

  • The nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh is balancing on a razor's edge.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring today: A link to CNN's summary of Sen. Grassley's thinking on a hearing Monday and the text of the U.S. Constitution on the VP breaking a tie.

    The Mullfoto is another in the very excellent license plate series.

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