Mitch McConnell clearly doesn’t think he has the votes. Now that multiple additional women have come forward to accuse Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of being a serial sexual assaulter and a serial gang rapist, Kavanaugh is resorting to the last-ditch move of insisting he won’t drop out, even as Donald Trump privately considers yanking the nomination. But it’s Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who’s truly hitting the panic button.
As we speak, McConnell is on the Senate floor, ranting and raving like a desperate fool. He’s trying to paint Brett Kavanaugh’s accusers as being disreputable, while also trying to paint the Democrats as having victimized Kavanaugh’s accusers. That doesn’t even make sense, but it’s not stopping McConnell. We tried keeping track of the misleading claims and outright lies he’s told since he took the floor, but we quickly lost count. So why does McConnell’s nationally televised stunt matter right now?
Days ago, back when only one accuser had come forward against Brett Kavanaugh, Mitch McConnell told a far-right group that he had the votes to confirm Kavanaugh. This was obviously a bluff at the time, as there was no way that he could have known whether the likes of Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski – who always drag out their decisions based on which way the wind is blowing – were going to vote with or against him. Now that there are multiple accusers, McConnell is rather obviously worried about whether he has the votes, or he wouldn’t be making the desperate move of jumping in front of the cameras and lighting his hair on fire.
So where does this leave us? Mitch McConnell’s Senate floor stunt right now is pretty clearly a last ditch effort at saving the Brett Kavanaugh nomination. He’s hoping that he can somehow shift the media narrative and the court of public opinion toward the notion that this is nothing more than a politically motivated smear campaign by the Democrats. If and when that doesn’t happen, we’ll see what McConnell does next. It’s really not up to him. It’s up to the GOP swing voters he claimed he had, but clearly worries he doesn’t have. If two or more of them say Kavanaugh is done, he’s done.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report