Article One: In the Eye of the Kavanaugh Storm – WSJ Sep 20, 2018
Article Two: Kavanaugh defeat would demoralize Republican base, not energize it. WSJ Sep 21, 2018
Article One: Republican Party about to go down the tube with wuss, Sen.Grassley, mis-managing phony witness fiasco.
Redacted from an article by Tunku Varadarajan
Wall Street Journal
Sept. 22, 2018
Chuck Grassley, chairman,Senate Judiciary Committee, talks about the prospects of confirmation, the effort to give the accuser a hearing, and the #MeToo movement.
The tale of Brett Kavanaugh turned, in a few venomous hours, from being about a hitherto unblemished man —pitch-perfect to Republicans, anathema to many Democrats—into a narrative of sexual assault when he was a teenage boy 36 years ago! (Huh?)
Another man in the scorching public glare alongside Judge Kavanaugh is Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Sen. Grassley is a politician of overwhelming experience and calm, and there are few in this company town of incurable politicians who’d argue that he isn’t notably equipped for this scrutiny. (Count me in as one of those – jsk). He was first elected to the U.S. Senate in 1980, where he has sat on the Judiciary Committee every year since.
The Kavanaugh hearings took place over a seemingly interminable week after Labor Day. The hearings had the appearance of a circus at times, with screaming spectators hostile to Judge Kavanaugh ejected periodically by police.
“The demonstrators,” Mr. Grassley tells me (Varadarajan), “were exercising the constitutional right to expression of free speech, in a very unconventional way.” (Huh?)
Democratic senators—notably New Jersey’s Cory Booker and California’s Kamala Harris—resorted to a range of tactics to prolong the hearings and delay a vote to send the nomination to the Senate floor. As is now customary, the matter was destined to be decided along party lines. There are 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats on the committee.
On Sept. 12, the day before the committee vote was to be scheduled, THE INTERCEPT —a self-styled “adversarial” publication, with exquisite political disruptive timing, ran allegations of a sexual assault that Judge Kavanaugh might have committed as a 17-year-old against a girl of 15! (Huh?)
Within hours, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, committee’s ranking Democrat, confirmed she’d passed on to the FBI a confidential letter from the alleged victim—a letter Mrs. Feinstein has had since July 30. Four days later, the Washington Post published interview with Judge Kavanaugh’s accuser and identified her as Christine Blasey Ford, now a professor in Northern California.
In response, Mr. Grassley—who has appeared unfazed—announced that a vote on Judge Kavanaugh would be postponed until his committee had a chance to talk to Ms. Ford. Through her lawyer, Ms. Ford issued a series of demands, including an FBI investigation and will not show up for the scheduled meeting.
Senator Grassley responded as culled from two interviews Sep. 13-19
“We’ve got to accommodate her,” His face is scrunched with emphasis, and he looks around at his virtually teen-age aides for affirmation! There are five in the room with combined ages barely exceeding Mr. Grassley’s 85 years. (Huh?)
“I’m thinking about contacting her lawyer,” he continues, “and letting her talk to me directly, if the lawyer will advise her to do that. Because I think I can conduct a fair and thorough—and respectful—meeting.”
As of Wednesday, Ms. Ford has stated publicly that she will not attend the hearings scheduled for five days later. But Mr. Grassley appears eager to cut her as much slack as he can.” At some point, he says, he’ll have to call off the meeting if she isn’t coming. And we’re going to give every opportunity we can for her to come.””
Ms. Ford is represented by Debra Katz, a prominent Washington lawyer whose specialties include sexual harassment, and who is close to the Democratic Party.
What would Sen. Grassley say to Ms. Ford if he did, perchance, get her on the telephone? “I’d say that “I have a reputation in an open session of running a committee that’s fair.”
None of the six female Republican senators sits on the Judiciary Committee, and Mr. Grassley acknowledges it may not look good for Judge Kavanaugh’s accuser to receive skeptical questions only from male senators. (Huh?)
Our conversation turns to the other woman in the Kavanaugh drama, Sen. Feinstein, with whom Mr. Grassley has enjoyed, by the standards of contemporary Washington, a remarkably smooth working relationship
Six days later, I asked Mr. Grassley if the manner in which Mrs. Feinstein handled the Ford letter—concealing it from him and other Judiciary Committee Republicans since June 30, 2018 and handing it to the FBI instead—made him lose trust in her.?
Mr. Grassley talks also about the senatorial math of the Kavanaugh nomination. A straight party-line vote, 51-49, would be sufficient to confirm Judge Kavanaugh but Mr. Grassley would like at least a few Democratic votes— for insurance, but also to add a dash of bipartisanship. But, there is a growing belief that the cloud now cleverly created by Democrats over Judge Kavanaugh minimizes this Party cross over.
Mr. Grassley doesn’t share that view. A judge, Mr. Grassley says, is “supposed to interpret law, interpret the Constitution, not try to change everything. (Yeah, Yeah. Tell that to the Dems and Chuck Schumer)
President Trump, at first receptive to Dr. Ford, changed his tune with her on-going limitless demands. On Friday Pres. Trump tweeted 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.” (Why that had not occurred to wuss, Grassley remains an obvious mystery and disappointment).
Mr. Grassley, by contrast, recognizes that times have changed. “How America has come around in the last few years has affected this case,” Mr. Grassley says. “There’s “more appreciation of the charges of sexual misconduct, and treatment of women, and not giving women enough attention to their—to what happened to them.” Is that good for the country?
Mr. Varadarajan (with tongue in cheek?) “Oh, absolutely.” (Huh?)
Mr. Varadarajan is executive editor at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.
Article Two: The GOP Can’t Win for Losing
Excerpted From article by Kimberley A. Strassel,
(confirming our worst fears) jsk
Kavanaugh defeat would demoralize the Republican base, not energize it.
Wall Street Journal Sept. 21, 2018
As the battle over Brett Kavanaugh rages on, pundits continue to speculate about what an unproven sexual-misconduct claim might mean for the future makeup of the Supreme Court, for subsequent nominations and for the credibility of the #MeToo movement.
In the halls of Capitol Hill, the question centers on a much more immediate and political question: the fate of the Republican Party. The overwhelming verdict—on right and left—is that if Judge Kavanaugh goes down, so too does the GOP in the upcoming midterms.
For now, the distinguished circuit-court judge is on track for confirmation. Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley has handled Christine Blasey Ford’s 36-year-old accusation with enormous accommodation, inviting her to give evidence in any manner of her choosing—a public or private hearing, in Washington or California, in person or over the phone. Her decision to join with partisan Democratic calls for an FBI investigation, and her refusal to provide testimony in any form for a Monday hearing, has troubled Republican senators who insisted she be heard.
Tennessee’s Bob Corker put the point clearly in a tweet on Monday: “Republicans extended a hand in good faith. If we don’t hear from both sides on Monday, let’s vote.” Even undecided Republican senators understand the Democratic playbook and appreciate how unjust it would be to allow a vague, uncorroborated claim to derail Judge Kavanaugh’s career and reputation—especially if his accuser won’t even put her claims in the Senate record.
But with Democrats and their media allies stopping at nothing to derail this nomination, even confident Republicans have been forced to consider the prospect of a defeat.
Wiser Republicans note there’s a reason Spartacus & Co. are working so hard to defeat this nomination. It’s partly because they despise Judge Kavanaugh’s philosophy and fear a fifth conservative on the high court. It’s partly because they want to spare their red-state colleagues a difficult choice before the midterms. But it is mostly because it is a fabulous issue with the Democratic base. Nothing would more energize that part of the electorate than a Kavanaugh scalp.
Republican voters? Oh yes, the base is furious over the Democratic treatment of Judge Kavanaugh. They are angry over the theatrical and uncivil hearings. They are riled up over this late and dirty Democratic hit, the releasing of an accuser’s letter months after it was first obtained.
But listen to those base voters on Twitter , on radio, in public forums. They are prepared to release most of their rage over any Kavanaugh defeat on the Republican Party. One of their abiding complaints is that GOP politicians too easily succumb to liberal tactics. unprovable claim, and a partisan smear designed to deny a duly elected president his Supreme Court pick.
A newly minted Justice Kavanaugh is a crucial part of any winning 2018 message. His confirmation would be proof Republicans are willing to fight for and fulfill promises. It won’t guarantee that they’ll win the midterms and retain their majorities. But it will guard against the drubbing they’d receive from their own voters if they bow now to Chuck Schumer’s underhanded tactics.
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Compiled by Jerome S. Kaufman
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