Earlier this evening, Palmer Report brought you the story of how the GOP Senate seemed to be in disarray on the eve of the FBI report about Brett Kavanaugh. Republican Senators – even the ones who firmly support Kavanaugh – couldn’t seem to get their story straight about when to hold the vote, or even whether to make the FBI report public. Now one of pro-Kavanaugh GOP Senators is strangely trying to distance himself from Kavanaugh.
Republican Senator Ben Sasse, a hyper-partisan conservative extremist who nonetheless tries to paint himself as a respectable moderate, voted for Brett Kavanaugh during the Senate Judiciary Committee vote last week. But tonight Sasse has made a rather weird move. He’s taken to the Senate floor, and he’s claiming that he tried to convince Donald Trump to nominate someone other than Kavanaugh.
Based on his track record, there is no reason to believe that Ben Sasse will do anything other than vote “yes” for Brett Kavanaugh in the full Senate vote. But he does suddenly seem to be trying to publicly distance himself from Kavanaugh tonight, and there has to be a reason for it. Is he simply trying to distance himself from the “yes” vote he’s about to cast because he knows it’ll play poorly in the eyes of mainstream Americans, or is he hedging his bets because he fears the nomination will fail?
Even as the likes of GOP Senator John Cornyn have begun suggesting that the Brett Kavanaugh vote should be delayed, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is trying to ramp up the timetable as much as possible. He announced from the Senate floor this evening that he intends to begin distributing the FBI report on Kavanaugh tonight. McConnell seems to be trying to push even harder as his fellow GOP Senators seem to be increasingly trying to hedge their bets. What’s really going on here?
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report