As the Brett Kavanaugh nomination saga continues to play out as an increasingly surreal and disturbing spectacle, and Senate Republicans continue to push forward in sham fashion, one of the most remarkable aspects is that Senate Democrats keep finding ways to justifiably hit below the belt. Last night the Democrats revealed that they’ve had an ace in the hole against Kavanaugh all along. Now comes the question of when and how they plan to play it.
We’ve seen the Democrats use what they have against Brett Kavanaugh in a staggered rollout, in order give each new ugly revelation about him its own news cycle, for the most impact possible. It started when Cory Booker released Kavanaugh’s confidential emails, revealing he was a shady character in general. It continued when Dianne Feinstein revealed her letter from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford at a strategic time. Then the Democrats had Chris Coons convince Jeff Flake to force an FBI investigation.
All of those moves by the Democrats have resulted in a nomination that’s on its last legs, even as the Republicans now try to ram it through while the wheels are falling off. The question has been what the Democrats have left up their sleeve as this drags on. But last night, after Senate Republicans insisted on Twitter that Kavanaugh’s previous background checks didn’t reveal anything about “inappropriate sexual behavior or alcohol abuse,” Senator Dick Durbin revealed on Twitter that this was not the case.
Senator Durbin is still playing his cards close to the vest for the moment. He’s not revealing precisely what showed up in Brett Kavanaugh’s prior background checks; he’s simply revealing that there is something, and that it’s presumably rather ugly. Senate Democrats and Republicans have known about this all along. So why haven’t the Democrats already outed Kavanaugh for this? In short, they haven’t had to. Their other tactics have been succeeding in stalling the nomination. Part of winning a long battle is knowing what to keep in reserve, so it can be used at just the right time. Stay tuned.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report