Judge Kavanaugh has told associates that he did not know who his accuser was until she identified herself in The Post and that once he saw her name he vaguely recalled her being part of the social circle associated with his all-boys high school in suburban Maryland at the time.
A person close to Dr. Blasey, who asked not to be identified to discuss her situation in detail, said Dr. Blasey knew the future Judge Kavanaugh in passing before the gathering where she says the attack took place, which could make it harder for his defenders to make a case that she had confused him for someone else.
.. Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, posted on Twitter a video clip of Judge Kavanaugh speaking at his alma mater, Georgetown Preparatory School, in 2015. “What happens at Georgetown Prep stays at Georgetown Prep,” he said to laughter. “That’s been a good thing for all of us, I think.”
.. The sight of Professor Hill being grilled on national television by an all-white, all-male Judiciary Committee enraged women, contributing to the so-called Year of the Woman in 1992 when scores of women ran for public office.
Republicans, clearly mindful of the optics, were considering employing a special counsel or staff to question Dr. Blasey and Judge Kavanaugh, to avoid a repeat of the Hill-Thomas scenario. Democrats accused Republicans of trying to rush through a hearing without a proper investigation of serious charges.
“She is under no obligation to participate in the Republican efforts to sweep the whole thing under the rug, to continue this nomination on a fast track,” said Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington, who won her Senate seat in 1992. “It’s basically a railroad job. This is what they did to Anita Hill.”
.. Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Republican, called Dr. Blasey’s accusations “a drive-by attack on the character of this judge,” and referred to them as “false allegations,” in remarks on the Senate floor.
.. Uncharacteristically, the combative Mr. Trump stuck to the strategy of not attacking the accuser directly on Tuesday as well, instead expressing sympathy and faith in Judge Kavanaugh while assailing Democrats for trying to torpedo his nominee.
“I feel so badly for him that he’s going through this, to be honest with you,” Mr. Trump said of the judge. “I feel so badly for him. This is not a man that deserves this.”
Professor Hill, in an opinion article published Tuesday in The New York Times, warned senators against repeating her experience in 1991.
“That the Senate Judiciary Committee still lacks a protocol for vetting sexual harassment and assault claims that surface during a confirmation hearing suggests that the committee has learned little from the Thomas hearing, much less the more recent #MeToo movement,” she wrote, adding that the committee should “serve as fact-finders” not “destroy the lives of witnesses who are called to testify.”
the absence of any meaningful pushback from Congressional Republicans. Indeed, not only are they acquiescing in Trump’s corruption, his incitements to violence, and his abuse of power, up to and including using the power of office to punish critics, they’re increasingly vocal in cheering him on.
.. if Republicans hold both houses of Congress this November, Trump will go full authoritarian, abusing institutions like the I.R.S., trying to jail opponents and journalists on, er, trumped-up charges, and more — and he’ll do it with full support from his party.
But why? Is Trumpocracy what Republicans always wanted?
Well, it’s probably what some of them always wanted. And some of them are making a coldblooded calculation that the demise of democracy is worth it if it means lower taxes on the rich and freedom to pollute.
.. They’re not really ideologues so much as careerists, whose instinct is always to go along with the party line. And this instinct has drawn them ever deeper into complicity.
.. once you’ve made excuses for and come to the aid of a bad leader, it gets ever harder to say no to the next outrage.
.. Republicans who defended Trump over the Muslim ban, his early attacks on the press, the initial evidence of collusion with Russia, have in effect burned their bridges. It would be deeply embarrassing to admit that the elitist liberals they mocked were right when they were wrong
.. the path of least resistance is always to sign on for the next stage of degradation.
“No evidence of collusion” becomes “collusion is no big deal” becomes “collusion is awesome — and let’s send John Brennan to jail.”
.. The party has long been in the habit of rejecting awkward facts and attributing them to conspiracies: it’s not a big jump from claiming that climate change is a giant hoax perpetrated by the entire scientific community to asserting that Trump is the blameless target of a vast deep state conspiracy... as long as they toed the line they can count on “wing nut welfare” — commentator slots on Fox News, appointments at think tanks, and so on... Even now, I don’t think most political commentators have grasped how deep the rot goes... We’re seeing, in real time, what the GOP is really made of.