Thoughts on Kavanaugh and the Senate

Having checked the box with a sham FBI investigation of Judge Kavanaugh, the Republican Senate has now disgraced itself by voting to proceed with his confirmation.

What Mitch McConnell engineered was a “see no evil, hear no evil” investigation. The clients were the Republican Senate and the White House. They didn’t want to get to the truth – they just wanted to get to a vote.

The Senate, an institution I have served and revered, has brought itself down to the level of Trump and his appalling nominee. It will take years – and a complete change in leadership – to repair the damage.

I do have to say good for Lisa Murkowski and especially Heidi Heitkamp. I remember being in their situation when I voted against the war in Iraq along with just 22 other senators out of 100. At the time, 80% of my constituents supported the invasion, but I knew I had to do what was right. 

Once in a while, elected officials have to throw caution to the wind to do what’s right and cast a “conscience” vote. Lisa and Heidi have done that today, and my hat is off to them. 

As for other “Republican moderates”: It seems like they’re always there when you don’t need them and never there when you do.

This whole shameful episode takes me back to 1991 and Anita Hill. When a woman came forward – very credible, very believable – and spoke the truth to power, she was treated horribly. When other witnesses came forward to corroborate her, they were told to cool their heels.

This time around, the Republicans played it a little differently. They didn’t dare harass Dr. Ford to her face. They even hired a “female assistant” to question her.

But then it all broke down. Kavanaugh went on his mad partisan rant, and Judiciary Committee Republicans responded with rage at Democrats and crocodile tears for their “mistreated” nominee. They tried to ram through a vote. When Senators Flake and Collins wisely demanded an FBI investigation, they responded with a “wink and a nod” inquiry, more like a drive-by.

Forty people told the FBI they would be corroborating witnesses for Dr. Ford. As in 1991, they were told to cool their heels. This was not an investigation. This is not justice.

Senators Flake and Collins cannot hide behind this whitewash. If they do, history will not treat them kindly. The truth has a way of coming out in the end. And it will not end well for those who support this disgraceful nominee and confirmation process.

Throughout most of its history, the Senate has been better than this. And once the voters have their say – in 2020 if not next month – the Senate will be better than this.