Missouri’s junior senator, Republican Roy Blunt, has finally deigned to give us, via the GOP House organ, Fox News, his version of their Kavanaugh talking points:
The key comments here are his claims that “unfair” and “unrealistic” Democrats sat on Dr. Blasey-Ford’s story until late in the process and then declared Kavanaugh “guilty until proven innocent.” Since Fox’s Maria Bartiromo didn’t seem to want to push back on these assertions, I would like to offer the following observations:
— Although evidence indicates that Senator Dianne Feinstein’s account of the reasons for the late timing is accurate, the entire question amounts to little more than a red herring. The real issue is whether credible claims of serious wrong-doing should be ignored and not be fully investigated because they didn’t emerge earlier during more general routine vetting; innocent until proven guilty presupposes that a fair and transparent effort to secure proof will take place.
— One might also note that whether or not Kavanaugh is, as Senator Blunt asserts, one of the “most vetted candidate in the history of confirmations” is not a real answer to credible claims by his Democratic colleagues that the very curtailed and limited investigation into this specific allegation was inadequate.
Sen. Blunt is to be commended for not picking up on the shameless GOP whine about how Blasey-Ford’s credible accusations endanger those poor, quivering, white males who might be falsely accused of sexual assault. Yes, false accusations of rape are made – in, it is estimated, only 2 – 10% of cases. It follows that that 90%+ rape allegations are verified. And, of course, the way to verify the truth of any allegation of sexual assault is a full and unbiased investigation of the sort that the GOP-controlled senate and the White House did not allow to take place in the Kavanaugh case. Wonder why, anyone?
Finally, Blunt, riding high on the results of a Marist poll from last week, that found GOP enthusiasm for voting heightened after the Kavanaugh hearings, predicts that if Democrats continue to raise issues about the legitimacy of Kavanaugh’s appointment, the “strategy” will backfire. In other words, the GOP wants to put down a potential on-going firestorm before it blows their narrative out of the water – and they’re counting on past Democratic spinelessness in the face of conservative attacks to do the job.
However, today a CNN poll which, unlike the Marist poll, was taken after the confirmation of Kavanaugh, should give Senator Blunt pause when it comes to trying to scare Democrats out of demonstrating their anger about a stolen Supreme Court appointment: in response to a question about voting enthusiasm, 62% of Democrats say they are “extremely or very enthusiastic to vote, up seven points since September.” In contrast, 52% of Republicans reported enthusiasm about voting in November, a result that is only 2% higher than in September.
Maybe Senator Blunt ought to help his senate leadership cronies retool some of that nasty, Trumpian Kavanaugh spin they’re spewing. It’s possible that even a few Republicans are embarrassed to belong to a party that elevates misogynistic, biased, lying, judicial hacks to positions of power and prominence.
*Edited slightly for clarity (6:20 pm, 10/9/2018)