Why Haven’t Republicans Abandoned Brett Kavanaugh?

“Judge Kavanaugh slightly rehearsed but very believable,” Bill O’Reilly said on Twitter—and this is from a man who knows something about both sexual-assault allegations and the way cable news can be used to smother them.

.. That Kavanaugh was reportedly compelled to grant the interview suggested how weak his position had become. The truly powerful broadcast their sentiments directly on social media; the televised interview tends to be for those who enjoy celebrity but not control.

.. Estes Kavanaugh’s presence suggested that an older form was being attempted, in which the wife humanizes the husband. “He’s decent, he’s kind, he’s good—I know his heart,” she said.

But these affirmations seemed peripheral, since she met her husband in 2001, nearly two decades after the two alleged incidents, in high school and in college.

.. Had he ever drunk so much that he could not remember the events of an evening? “Never happened,” Kavanaugh said.

.. In a high-school yearbook, the Times discovered, Kavanaugh and seventeen other students listed themselves as Renate alumni, a reference to a young woman named Renate Schroeder.

.. His freshman-year roommate at Yale, James Roche, who became a friend of Deborah Ramirez, told The New Yorkerthat Kavanaugh was “frequently, incoherently drunk” and went on to say, “Is it believable that she was alone with a wolfy group of guys who thought it was funny to sexually torment a girl like Debbie? Yeah, definitely. Is it believable that Kavanaugh was one of them? Yes.”

.. asking the senators on the Judiciary Committee to accept that Ford mistook his face but also to believe that many of his contemporaries and his friends mistook his character.

.. a Supreme Court confirmation will hinge on whether a young man in the nineteen-eighties drunkenly degraded women or comported himself as a figure of Catholic chastity—represents a breakdown of the most successful effort of the Trump Administration, the confirmation of conservative judges.

.. Trump chose judges

  1. screened by the conservative Federalist Society,
  2. the Republican Senate confirmed them, and
  3. Fox News supported them.

The entire process could take place—as Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation did—within the conservative ecosystem.

.. “Fake news” is, among other things, a declaration of a boundary that defines which information will and will not matter to Republicans.

.. Then the second set of accusations, from Ramirez, helped insure that MacCallum’s interview of the Kavanaughs was a real journalistic endeavor, not soft-focus rehabilitation, and forced Kavanaugh, on the record, to commit to a defense that requires a suspension of disbelief.

.. The credibility of the accusations has compelled the Republicans on the Judiciary Committee, all men, to take the extraordinary step of handing over their authority to interrogate Ford to a female prosecutor

.. This time, Republicans couldn’t seal off the process from pressure.

.. With the midterm elections drawing close, the President under investigation, and the Senate majority dependent on the narrowest of margins, “plow right through” is not a declaration of strength. It is an effort to manage political weakness.

.. Two of Judge Kavanaugh’s classmates say the mentions of Renate were part of the football players’ unsubstantiated boasting about their conquests.

.. When Ms. Dolphin signed the Sept. 14 letter, she wasn’t aware of the “Renate” yearbook references on the pages of Judge Kavanaugh and his football teammates.