What Is Elizabeth Warren?

Conventional wisdom says the DNA report backfired on the senator. Maybe not.

During the Kavanaugh hearings, one wondered why Sens. Harris, Booker and Blumenthal, among others, went so over the top so often. Perhaps it is because over-the-top looks like it works now in politics, and much else.

None of these national politicians—Mr. Trump, Ms. Warren or the other Democrats—makes any attempt now to broaden their appeal. Left or right, they have a laserlike focus on their bases. This looks like the future of American politics: Play to a base jacked up by social media, hold it with scheduled feedings of red meat and simply force the rest of the bewildered electorate to sort it out and choose between two poles.

An analogy to data analytics in baseball comes to mind. Striking out a lot no longer matters if a player’s vertical launch angle off the bat produces enough home runs. In the 2016 GOP primaries, the Donald, despite routine verbal whiffs, had great launch angle. His competition did not.

Ms. Warren and others have seen the new reality. Critics can be made virtually irrelevant if they hit their base hard and often enough. Nothing so exciting or animating exists in the middle anymore, which is bad news for moderates such as Mike Bloomberg or John Kasich.

Personally, I don’t understand Elizabeth Warren’s appeal at all, with or without whatever is located on chromosome 10. But come 2020, that won’t matter.

Brett Kavanaugh’s History-Changing Speech

If what Kavanaugh had to say sealed his confirmation (and I think it did), and if Kavanaugh serves as a resolute constitutionalist on the Supreme Court (and I think he will), his speech did what so many political speeches try to do but don’t come close to accomplishing: It changed the course of American history. By 3:20 it was apparent that he was on his way to pulling off the political equivalent of what the New England Patriots did to the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI.

.. Kavanaugh pounded the Senate process: “You have replaced ‘advice and consent’ with ‘search and destroy.’” He called out the gratuitousness of Democratic rhetoric: “A Democratic senator on this committee publicly referred to me as evil. Another Democratic senator on this committee said, ‘Judge Kavanaugh is your worst nightmare.’”

.. He lambasted the “calculated and orchestrated political hit, fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump

.. revenge on behalf of the Clintons and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups.” When he presented his defiance it sounded like Margaret Thatcher telling us “the lady’s not for turning”:

I will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process. You have tried hard. You’ve given it your all. No one can question your efforts. Your coordinated and well-funded efforts to destroy my good name and destroy my family will not drag me out. The vile threats of violence against my family will not drive me out. You may defeat me in the final vote, but you’ll never get me to quit. Never.

Never mind Thatcher, this was Churchillian stuff. And there were even more affecting moments to come: a moving description of how Kavanaugh’s ten-year-old daughter suggested to her sister that both should pray for their father’s accuser, how he bonded with his father by adopting the old man’s habit of keeping detailed calendar-diaries and retaining them forever: “Christmastime, we sat around and he would tell old stories. Old milestones, old weddings, old events from his calendars.”

.. he tapped into the anger that was simmering just beneath the surface among tens of millions of American men and women. He channeled both the widespread fear that the Me Too movement was becoming so careless that it could take down innocent men and the well-justified loathing of the shameless collusion in the elected Democrat-activist-media triangle.

.. even the legendarily fastidious New Yorker — had abandoned all normal journalistic practice to run highly suspect stories

..  Patently scurrilous accusations were diluting the power of Christine Blasey Ford’s story. To the average American, it might well have started to seem that every accusation against Kavanaugh was being dredged up from the same big pot of bogus stew.

.. Ford’s story was more credible than the Deborah Ramirez New Yorker story, and Ramirez’s story was more credible than the Michael Avenatti–promoted Julie Swetnick gang-rape story, and even Swetnick’s bizarre and completely unsubstantiated claim was more credible than the anonymous accusation sent to Gardner and the already-recanted story about the yacht.

.. But it turned out that two sides could play the guilt-by-association game. If Kavanaugh was to be considered under a cloud of suspicion for being part of the fratty, preppy culture of privileged party boys who make dumb jokes in yearbooks, then Ford could equally be tarnished by association with left-wing activist lawyers, their eager and hysteria-promoting allies in the media

.. With her girlish voice and her slightly unkempt hair, she seemed like the opposite of a hardened, professional political operative or even a dour, pedantic academic.

.. And of course all four people she had placed at the party, including a lifelong friend of hers, said they didn’t remember it. The friend said she had never been present at any party with Kavanaugh.

.. With an account that, however gripping, was nevertheless completely uncorroborated, indeed denied by all known witnesses. That, Kavanaugh made ringingly clear in his opening statement, would not be enough to achieve the goal of annihilating him. That speech was momentous. It was magnificent.

Senate Judiciary Committee to Take Up Bill Protecting Mueller

Bill would mark the first major congressional action aimed at protecting the special counsel and the probe into Russian election meddling

A spokesman for Sen. Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, said that he would put a bipartisan bill that would prevent Mr. Mueller from being dismissed without cause on the committee’s agenda. It is expected to be considered, debated and amended next week, which would set up a vote on the measure on April 26.

.. . Grassley tried to bring the bill up under an expedited process at a meeting scheduled for this week, but Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee, objected under committee rules. Ms. Feinstein said she wanted more time to study proposed amendments to the measure but supports efforts to protect Mr. Mueller.

.. The bill would propose to enshrine into law a Justice Department regulation that a special counsel can’t be fired without cause. In addition, iIt would give a special counsel a 10-day window to challenge his or her firing in federal court. It would also ensure that any work product from a special counsel investigation couldn’t be destroyed until the courts ruled on the matter.

.. “I haven’t seen a clear indication yet that we needed to pass something to keep him from being removed because I don’t think that’s going to happen,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters Tuesday. Mr. McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said Mr. Mueller “should be allowed to finish his job.”

The proposal was authored by two Democrats and two Republicans— Cory Booker (D., N.J.), Lindsey Graham (R, S.C.), Chris Coons (D., Del.) and Thom Tillis (R., N.C.).