A strange item in Thursday’s Axios AM illustrates the Democrats’ gambit when it comes to gaming out both the allegations around Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination and the upcoming midterm elections.
Per the newsletter (emphasis theirs throughout):
If Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination sinks, Democrats would turn the midterms into a referendum not just on President Trump but also women’s rights, abortion and the future of the Supreme Court, sources tell Axios CEO Jim VandeHei and me.
So you’ve got Democratic “sources” telling both of the two big names at this website that—get this—the party should make a big push around “women’s rights, abortion, and the future of the Supreme Court.” This would make a lot of sense, perhaps even more so if that huge, increasingly unlikely conditional phrase was lopped off of the front!
But lest you accuse me of being a killjoy just yet, then comes the phrasing that really makes me yearn for a quick, painless demise:
In what Republicans believe is an increasingly unlikely scenario where Kavanaugh tanks ...
Dems believe they can juice turnout — already hitting record levels — by playing off the huge public attention to the court, and Roe v. Wade in particular.
They envision President Obama and Michelle Obama locking arms with the Clintons, the Bidens, and Democratic congressional leaders to crank up a presidential-election-sized campaign.
They feel confident every rich liberal in America would help fund this effort.
The Dems were so close to a great idea—make this about the Supreme Court again, and if the fates somehow give you the opening, make this about women—and then they veer back to their worst impulses, pumping the rich donor class for money and bringing out “the Clintons.” This has to also mean Bill, who’s been conspicuously absent from the campaign trail during this age of #MeToo. (Also, Joe Biden’s terrible history with Anita Hill does not exactly make him the best person to turn to either.)
Still, the smart money is on the Republicans pushing Kavanaugh’s confirmation through—if anything, the allegations against him and liberals’ ensuing outrage have only made them dig in further. As it stands, it’s looking unlikely that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, Kavanaugh’s accuser, will take the stand on Monday, which would effectively kill the uproar and pave the way for a vote. If they were wise, the Democrats would hold onto the fire in their bellies and the political lines of attack they’ve discovered here for the fall, rather than making them mere contingency plans.