So last night’s last-minute smear by Democrats on the Judiciary Committee smells like even more of a smear today. Coons doesn’t use that word, of course, but read between the lines of what he says in the clip below. Durbin, Feinstein, and most of the rest of his Democratic colleagues on the Committee signed a letter last night featuring this headline-grabbing passage:

So there was evidence of alcohol abuse or inappropriate sexual behavior by Kavanaugh even before Ford came forward? That’s big news. And it raises a big question: Why wasn’t this known before? Why didn’t Democrats hammer him on it during the confirmation hearing — or at his previous confirmation hearing in 2006 for the D.C. Circuit?

Watch the clip. The key word from the Democratic letter, apparently, was “whiff.”

There’s something somewhere in a prior background check but it’s so insignificant that Coons didn’t know what the letter was referring to last night. He spoke to Durbin today, Durbin told him, and now the only way to salvage the smear is to emphasize that the letter never said it was a big deal. Chuck Grassley claimed there wasn’t a “whiff” of alcohol abuse or inappropriate sexual behavior, but maybe there’s something in the files somewhere about Yale classmates remembering that he used to do keg stands in front of them or that he was stumbling drunk at a wedding one time.

Would that rise to the level of a “whiff” for Democratic purposes, when they’re eager to discredit him and perfectly willing to imply that he has a track record of misbehaving with women without backing up the claim? Sure. Coons himself seems sufficiently uncomfortable with the whole business that he makes a point of stating at the end of the clip that the mysterious red flag they’re talking about isn’t anything like a bombshell, which would explain why it’s never been raised before. It sounds like it was so thin that even Democrats didn’t think they could make hay out of it by raising it publicly until Ford introduced the subjects of rape and drinking, when they figured they might as well spray whatever gasoline they had left onto the fire.

I’m curious as to why other Democrats on the Committee didn’t wait for Coons or Amy Klobuchar to sign the letter before releasing it. Coons was unaware of the letter last night; it’s bizarre that Feinstein and Durbin would have sent the letter to Grassley before Coons (and Klobuchar?) had an opportunity to review it and sign, so that they could claim that Democrats on the Committee were presenting a united front. Maybe they worried that Coons and Klobuchar were a wee bit too ethical to sign off and didn’t want any last-minute headlines about a squabble on the blue side of the Committee over the letter. Might as well just get all the cutthroats to sign and put it out.

Time for Coons to make amends to lefties, then. Here he is this morning deriding the FBI investigation that he’s spent the past week congratulating his buddy Jeff Flake for demanding.