Donald Trump finally lashed out publicly at Dr. Christine Blasey Ford today. Instead of being the kind of insult-filled tirade he usually hurls at the people who stand in his way, it ended up being tepid and passive-aggressive in nature. It was nonetheless patently offensive – and it quickly blew up in his face in ways that could end up impacting the final vote on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
For reference, here’s what Donald Trump tweeted: “I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local Law Enforcement Authorities by either her or her loving parents. I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!” Trump was pushing the old and tired false premise that unless a woman immediately reports her rapist to the authorities, she must be lying. He also basically accused her of having bad parents. That’s particularly surreal coming from Donald Trump, the guy who raised Donald Trump Junior.
Even as backlash poured in from across the board, Republican Senator Susan Collins felt compelled to condemn Trump’s tweet as “appalling.” Collins can’t be taken at her word, and as Palmer Report has previously spelled out, she’s going to keep playing both sides until the very end. She would love to find herself in position to please her wealthy donors by voting for Kavanaugh – but she’ll vote against him if she ends up concluding that voting “yes” would substantially hurt her own chances of reelection to the Senate in 2020.
By pushing Susan Collins to the point that she had to speak out against him today, Donald Trump just made it incrementally harder for Collins to end up voting for Brett Kavanaugh. Again, this has absolutely nothing to do with whether you trust Collins. She voted to save Obamacare because she worried she wouldn’t get reelected if she let it die. She voted for the tax scam because she calculated that she could do it without losing her seat. Her vote in the end – and that of Lisa Murkowski – will be all about reelection. There will be no other factors.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report