Trump's power is fear, and his insight is in how to apply fear to an entire identity. Just like his election, he's still playing to the minority: men. In mocking Dr. Ford, Trump is diving right to the heart of many people’s questions and concerns about the #MeToo movement: if we’re supposed to #BelieveAllWomen, how do you prove your innocence when the accusations are pointed at you?Read More
Flake, Collins, and Murkowski, with maybe a side of Corker. None of them are particularly afraid of the President, and none of them are up for reelection this year. Flake and Corker in particular can make this decision without regard to their political futures, on principle alone. Then again, I can't trust their principles, since both of them also voted for tax reform, and to terminate the ACA. But both of them have grown so disillusioned with their party and their President that they aren't running for office again: I can see a world where they look for a world with a conservative majority on the court, but still say no to this one. Kavanaugh is too tainted not to represent everything they have come to resent about their own party.
Then there's Collins and Murkowski. They voted against the ACA repeal but for tax reform. Like Flake and Corker, they presumably are in favor of a conservative court. I have a hard time imagining that they were not at all moved by Dr. Ford, and likewise suspect they weren't fully sympathetic to Kavanaugh's antics. When they've genuinely felt like something their party was doing would be dangerous to the country, they've opposed it. Neither has come out in favor of #MeToo, exactly, but neither has scorned it, and Murkowski has spoken sympathetically towards women who've experienced harassment.Read More