After sitting on it since July and through Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation hearings, Sen. Dianne Feinstein finally dropped that letter accusing Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct while he was in high school.
It would seem obvious that Kavanaugh’s accuser would appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify under oath — something her lawyer said she was eager to do until Christine Blasey Ford made it clear she would only testify after the FBI had completed a thorough investigation of her claims.
Does that sound like a stalling tactic? Yes, it does. But Nate Silver has come up with three goals he thinks the Democrats might have in leveraging Ford and her accusations.
Democrats can't really have expected Republicans to agree to an FBI investigation before continuing the Kavanaugh process. So everything that's happened *since* last night is fairly predictable. The complication is that Democrats could have had several different goals:
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) September 19, 2018
1) Ford isn't willing to testify and this is the exit strategy.
2) It's a trap to lure Republicans into overcommitting to Kavanaugh and Ford will later agree to testify.
3) It's a bargaining position; and Dems will seek a compromise wherein, e.g., additional witnesses are called.
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) September 19, 2018
We’re kind of leaning toward that first option, seeing how quickly Ford’s lawyer changed the conditions of her testifying. But might it be a trap?
This is an insightful speculation as to what's going on w/r/t Ford & Dems & Kavanaugh. One of these three options is right…and yet another one of them could be end up being right later. https://t.co/bMaEL9ZXiR
— Jeff B. (@EsotericCD) September 19, 2018
It was an opening gambit to chum the waters in the hope that others would come forward – then there would be a pattern of behavior that would disqualify him. If that doesn't happen, it's pretty much over.
— Lewk, I am your father. (@VWHORUSHD) September 19, 2018
There's also (4) the Democrats are hoping someone else comes forward with similar allegations that are more recent and easier to corroborate.
— Tom Ault (@tomgault) September 19, 2018
4. Nobody has any idea at all what they are doing and everyone is playing it by ear and trying to respond to a news cycle no one can keep up with anymore.
(Clue – 4 is almost always the right answer)
— Evan (@evstok) September 19, 2018
Betting on 1
— Chris (@4cchild) September 19, 2018
I think it is 1, but with this farce who knows.
— William Richards (@Wrichards2) September 19, 2018
This all sounds very sensible to me. My biggest concern is that number 1 is what happened.
— Barbara Edelman (@edelman_barbara) September 19, 2018
It’s 3. Note that Collins said they could call in the FBI after the testimony if needed. That’s different than saying they will immediately vote.
— Aaron Astor (@AstorAaron) September 19, 2018
4) It was a Hail Mary dirty trick and they don’t know what to do next.
— Steve Berman (@stevengberman) September 19, 2018
4) Its all a smear and it never happened.
— Chaffed Grundle (@realheine) September 19, 2018
4) she made it up and thought a few Republican squishes would bail on the allegations
— exegesis (@exegesis) September 19, 2018
4) Democrats are still scrambling for a strategy and coordination with Dr. Ford has been abysmal?
— Llhs (@hugheslrr) September 19, 2018
4) Making it look good for their progressive base.
— Bart DePalma (@BartDePalma) September 19, 2018
And the most likely 4) It’s complete bullsh1t and everyone moves on to a vote early next week.
— Jim Xia (@jimxiatsui) September 19, 2018
I figured it was 4) Democrats want something to point to as unfair with the process to later claim that it wasn't fully investigated and Kavanaugh is illegitimate
— Alex Griswold (@HashtagGriswold) September 19, 2018
Damn, that’s probably it. Their overreaching goal since November 2016 has been to paint the entire Trump administration as illegitimate, and they haven’t given up trying.
The Democratic party is not savvy enough to pull off 2)
— Steven Sundbeck (@stevis23) September 19, 2018
I think (2). Because if the GOP thinks the optics of her testifying are good for them, they are insane. Literally the last thing in the world they want is Kamala Harris asking Kavanaugh questions after Ford gives testimony of being assaulted.
— David Forgue (@DavidAnvil) September 19, 2018
4) They aren't planning this out beyond "this will help with fundraising and keep them chasing squirrels in our base"
— Christopher R Taylor (@KestrelArts) September 19, 2018
How are you so clear that this is a Dem strategy. It seems to be Ford's lawyer driving the whole thing in which case 4) Ford's lawyer trying to buy time while Ford makes up her mind whether to testify.
— schrifty (@schrifty) September 19, 2018
Can you please stop talking about sexual assault in purely political win/loss terms for like five seconds?
— John Ford (@kingofchapter1) September 19, 2018
Honestly? No. When we first read the allegations laid out in The Washington Post Sunday, yes. But after the circus that’s followed? No way. It’s all politics all the way down.
'It's completely unrealistic': Gabriel Malor weighs in on Kavanaugh accuser's demand for an FBI investigation https://t.co/CllwCEcY5y
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) September 19, 2018