There will be a vote at 10:30 a.m. in the Senate for cloture on the Kavanaugh nomination, which means that if there are enough Republicans to vote yes — assuming no Democrats do — the Senate will then move forward with the confirmation vote on Saturday.
According to Adam L. Silverman at Balloon Juice, as of last night it was still a near thing whether or not there were enough votes for cloture. At least one Republican will not be there on Saturday because of a family wedding, and wavering Democrats — the ones who are up for reelection in red states such as South Dakota and Indiana — are making their intentions known, however cautiously.
I’m thinking — and it’s based purely on history and age-old cynicism — that we will be will-o’-the-wisp hopeful that the Senate will not confirm him because of some kind of “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” bravery from a few Republicans who would rather stand for decency than poll numbers. But we know how this movie ends; if you’re over 30 you saw how it went with Clarence Thomas in 1991, and I’m yet to be convinced that we, and especially the old-boys club in the Senate, have evolved beyond that time. I’ve also yet to see anyone of substance call out the Republicans for their rank hypocrisy in demanding due process for Brett Kavanaugh — innocent until proven guilty! — but chanted “Lock her up!” at Hillary Clinton and now Prof. Blasey Ford.
Their motives, by the way, are not to put just this one man on the court. As far as his judicial rulings go and his history on the bench, he’s one of many conservative judges to pick from, and if for some reason Brett Kavanaugh doesn’t make it there will be plenty more for Trump to choose from, if he hasn’t already. But with the slim possibility of the Senate flipping and the attitude of the GOP leadership being what it is, it’s more about sticking it to the Democrats than it is about the future of the Supreme Court. They’re still pissed off that America elected a black man twice as president when everyone knows that the White House belongs to the rich white guys, not the descendants of the slaves who built it. This is their continuing middle finger to the rest of us, including old white guys like me who happen to believe that everyone is entitled to a place at the table, not just the dudes and bros who puke beer, grope women, and go to Yale because, hey, it’s what’s expected. It’s the continuing reinforcement of the idea that the Republicans don’t govern, they rule.
So I’m not holding out a lot of hope that there will be profiles in courage emerging from the Senate today or tomorrow. I hope I’m wrong, but then, hope is my greatest weakness.