It’s beginning to look as if Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court is going to receive bipartisan support. Democratic Senator Joe Manchin from the red state of West Virginia left no uncertainty about what he thinks of Senate Minority Leader Schumer’s push to oppose Kavanaugh. And he wasn’t the only red state Democrat to say so. From Politico:
“I’ll be 71 years old in August, you’re going to whip me? Kiss my you know what,” said Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) when asked if Schumer can influence his vote…
To defeat Kavanaugh, Schumer has to keep all 49 of his members in tow and convince at least one moderate Republican to break ranks.
But it could prove impossible for Schumer to persuade senators like Manchin, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Donnelly of Indiana to vote against Kavanaugh. All three supported Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch last year, and all three say that their decision won’t be swayed by Schumer no matter what he does this year.
“My decision won’t have anything to do with Chuck Schumer,” Donnelly said.
“I’m going to vote the way I’m going to vote regardless of what the leader says,’ Heitkamp said.
But Schumer is getting a lot of pressure from the resistance, specifically, the Indivisible group that demands town hall events so they can yell at legislators. That group is now demanding a chance to shout their displeasure at Sen. Schumer over his failure to whip the Kavanaugh vote:
A cadre largely affiliated with the anti-Trump group Indivisible is cajoling the Democratic leader to reschedule an in-person town hall in Brooklyn after having to bow out at the eleventh hour last week. Protesters recently demonstrated outside his local office with chants of “Whip the vote, Chuck!”
The turnout at Schumer’s office doesn’t look terribly impressive, but it could grow if he shows signs of weakness:
— GetOrganizedBK (@Getorgbk) July 9, 2018
Things can always change but at the moment it seems Democrats have a choice between two bad options. First, they can go along with the resistance and pressure red state Dems into taking a vote that will almost certainly hurt them in November. Second, they can take a step back, which seems to be what’s happening now. That likely means Kavanaugh gets confirmed with several Democratic votes, something that will make the base furious with Schumer and the leadership. So Kavanaugh gets a clean win and Schumer angry protesters shouting at him. Sounds like a good result to me. And all of that is to preserve a shot at taking the Senate back, a fight Democrats could still lose anyway.