McConnell Calls Out Democrats, Announces Vote
McConnell Calls Out Democrats, Announces Vote
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been pretty rock-solid during this entire confirmation process. With the seventh FBI background check now complete, the Democrats have decided to pivot because none of the alleged claims against Judge Brett Kavanaugh can be substantiated.
In the face of the report being complete, Senator McConnell set the cloture vote for Friday.
I just filed cloture on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. There will be plenty of time for Members to review and be briefed on this supplemental material before a Friday cloture vote.
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) October 4, 2018
“Cloture” simply means that the Senate votes for the debate to end, and sets the table for the final confirmation vote, which will likely be held over the weekend.
McConnell lashed out at the frenzy that the allegations against Kavanaugh have sparked questioning if the Senate was going to set a “fundamentally un-American precedent” by blocking his nomination.
“Our society is not a place where uncorroborated allegations of misconduct from nearly 40 years ago, allegations which are vigorously disputed can nullify someone’s career or destroy their reputation. Is that what the Senate is going to be known for?” he asked.
Whether you like it or not, the American public are simply the peanut gallery at this moment. As has been pointed out before, the fate of the nomination lies in the hands of 100 senators. The need to cater to those few swing votes in the middle led to this week-long delay (engineered by Senators Jeff Flake and Chris Coons) in order to satisfy the demand for an FBI report. And just as predicted, the opinions of those on the right and left have not changed. And we’ve even entered the “FBI cover up conspiracy” phase as well, God help us all. So really, the fate of the nomination lies in the hands of those who are seen as being in the middle.
Well, Senator Susan Collins signaled that she is satisfied with the report, though she has not confirmed how she will vote.
Senator Susan Collins on the FBI probe into Kavanaugh: "It appears to be a very thorough investigation, but I am going back later today to personally read the interviews. That's really all I have to say right now."
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) October 4, 2018
Jeff Flake is also showing his hand.
NEW: Asked by ABC News' @caphilltrish if he is leaning on voting "yes" on Brett Kavanaugh, Sen. Jeff Flake says, "Can't say anything but you can say that I was a 'yes' before this … thus far, we’ve seen no new, credible corroboration" https://t.co/0BPmB2PaCq pic.twitter.com/d75eBPSqoW
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) October 4, 2018
The other senators supposedly in play – Murkowski, Heitkamp, Manchin, and Donnelly – have yet to say anything, but the Senate has a full day to go review the FBI report for themselves.
Scene at the Captiol as senators are making their way into SCIF to view the FBI report on Kavanaugh: Sens. Lee, Rubio, Ernst and Shelby have just gone in. Feinstein walked by reporters, but didn’t comment. pic.twitter.com/iAIUN8Lvdn
— Alex Pappas (@AlexPappas) October 4, 2018
However, if we are looking at straight numbers, all that is needed is for the Republicans to stick together as a unified voting bloc. The “red-state” Democrats that are still in play would be helpful, but not necessary if the GOP stuck together. Senators Heitkamp, Manchin, and Donnelly may decide to placate their constituents in hopes of eking out a win in their reelection campaigns (Heitkamp is in real danger at the moment, as the polls are running against her). I am sure that Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is doing his best to keep them in line. I am also sure that all of them want to win reelection.
In the meantime, we all wait (a cloture vote is not a signal of anything except that this circus will end, so I really don’t think there’s anything to read into that vote), and we enjoy Senator Lindsey Graham continuing to prove that he has a spine.
BASED LINDSEY GRAHAM:
Protester yells at him about Kavanaugh taking a polygraph.
Graham: "Why don't we dunk him in the water and see if he floats?"
Im crying. pic.twitter.com/0er3W8Gi2r
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) October 4, 2018
The only possible advantage to this week-long extension of this national nightmare has been to do away with the demand for another FBI investigation as a talking point. Right and left are still deeply polarized, and I don’t see that ending anytime soon. But now, we are all weary, sick, and so done with it. This final vote can’t happen soon enough.
Featured image: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Senate floor, October 4, 2018 (image via screenshot)