GOP strategist Rick Wilson named his new book “Everything Trump touches, dies.” I’ve been calling Trump the “Anti-Midas” for quite a while now, everything he touches turns to shit. Just look at Ronny Jackson. “The Candyman” was as happy as a clam, being a one man pharmacy for the White House, until Trump tried to make him VA Secretary. And now, Brett Kavanaugh’s whole life has changed, and not for the better.
Mitch McConnell knew from day one that Brett Kavanaugh was going to be more trouble than he was worth, and tried to tell Glorious Bleater so. Now, McConnell and Trump are about to find out just how much more trouble he is, and he may take Trump’s entire first term down with him, either way.
Brett Kavanaugh is going to get his floor vote for Senate confirmation. McConnell has no choice, especially with the sands of the 2018 midterms shifting under his feet. Chuck Grassley will ram Kavanaugh through the committee on a straight party line vote. I’m not all that sure about his chances in the full Senate. If McConnell loses Kavanaugh, it makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible for him to push through another candidate before the election. And if the Democrats manage to retake the Senate, Trump is through approving judges for his first term. Susan Collins of Maine already had questions about Kavanaugh’s confirmation of Roe v Wade as settled case law. So did Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski, and now she’s getting grief from native Alaskans about Kavanaugh’s dismissive attitude about native Americans. How do the only two sitting GOP female Senators vote to confirm a man credibly accused of sexual assault against a woman in the age of #metoo and #timesup?
The real problem is that the Kavanaugh controversy extends far beyond his Senate confirmation. You have sitting female Democratic Senators in North Dakota and Missouri up for reelection, as well as a female running in Arizona. They can all immediately come out in full throated defense of Kavanaugh’s accuser, and call for his withdrawal or rejection. Hell, every Democratic candidate for Senate can do that. GOP opponents are going to have extreme difficulty in doing this, for fear of alienating Trump’s rabid base. Rick Scott in Florida has already contradicted Trump once over Hurricane Maria, can he afford to do it again in reference to Kavanaugh without having Trump’s Florida base rebel? If I’m a Democratic candidate for the Senate, I’m finding a way in my opening statement at every debate to slam Kavanaugh, avow that I believe his accuser until proven differently, and challenge my opponent to agree with me in his or her opening statement.
And it isn’t any better in the House. There are a shitload of tight House races, especially in suburban districts, where the GOP is already bleeding white, college educated soccer moms. Democratic House candidates can hammer their GOP opponents on Kavanaugh, and House incumbents have a much smaller constituency to alienate without having it cost them their seat than GOP Senators do. This could be especially critical in districts in California, New Jersey, and New York, as well as in Nevada and Arizona, where Trump’s popularity wasn’t as strong, and demographics are turning against the Republicans.
Brett Kavanaugh was already a divisive candidate before the sexual assault allegation came to light, and was going to be an issue for Senate candidates in 2018, over Roe c Wade if nothing else. But now it appears that the Kavanaugh contagion may infect most of the races in both chambers in November. And if that happens, depending on how it plays out, we may find ourselves wondering what bigger word than tsunami is for what happens in the House.