Graham warns Dems on Kavanaugh fiasco: If I'm chairman of the Committee next year, I'll remember this

I was not prepared for a man I’ve known for ages as “Grahamnesty” going full MAGA in the span of 24 hours and threatening to lay waste to every liberal in his path. “I know I’m a single white male from South Carolina, and I’m told I should shut up,” he said to open his remarks this morning, alluding to Mazie Hirono’s jab last week, “but I will not shut up, if that’s okay.” How much Trumpier could he be?

The answer is none. None more Trumpy.

The key line in the clip below comes at around 12:50, when he imagines himself with the Committee’s gavel next year: “There’s the process before Kavanaugh and the process after Kavanaugh… If you try to destroy somebody, you will not get away with it.” The only thing both sides agree on in this fiasco is that Democrats handled the matter terribly — with Ford as much a victim of their sleaziness as Kavanaugh, if not more so. If it’s true that she came forward only very reluctantly, because her name was leaked to the media at the eleventh hour by some Democrat with access to her letter (although why’d she take a polygraph in early August, then?), then her right to privacy as a victim was shattered by her nominal allies on the left. They needed a way to stop the nominee from certain confirmation; their only play was to flush out someone who’d been sexually assaulted into the spotlight by leading reporters to her door.

Megan McArdle, who’s spent the last day begging both sides to compromise, nonetheless puts the blame where it belongs:

Graham himself raises a good point in his speech. Can it be that Ford was unaware of Grassley’s offer to have Committee investigators come to her, whether at home in Palo Alto or at a place of her choosing, rather than having her fly across country and testify on national television? That offer was clearly communicated in letters between Judiciary Committee staff and Ford’s lawyers. Ford implied yesterday during questioning, though, that she didn’t know she had the option of providing a statement remotely.

Did her lawyers withhold Grassley’s offer from her, which would be both highly unethical and cruel given her aversion to flying? If so, why did they do that? Is it because they … wanted to delay the proceedings as long as possible, and calculated that emotional testimony from Ford on camera would be more likely to sink Kavanaugh than some private interview would?

Because if so, their client wasn’t really Christine Ford. It was the Democratic Party.

For what it’s worth, the Intercept reporter who wrote the original story a few weeks ago about the mysterious letter in Feinstein’s possession claimed today that it wasn’t her staff that leaked it. That narrows down the pool of suspects to Dem Rep. Anna Eshoo and her staff (Eshoo was the first person whom Ford wrote to) and of course Ford’s own lawyers. My guess is that it was Team Eshoo, which was probably quietly seething that Feinstein had something in her pocket that could nuke Kavanaugh but refused to use it. Besides, unless Ford herself authorized the leak, the idea of her own lawyers violating her confidentiality about a sexual assault for political reasons by leaking to the press is so insanely unethical that they surely wouldn’t have run the risk of exposure by doing it. Would they?

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