Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Cutting him loose?

Posted at CNN 2:21 PM:
Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump said Tuesday his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is "doing very well" but said his fate will depend on an ongoing FBI investigation.
Speaking to reporters on the South Lawn, Trump also drew a line on lying to Congress.
"I don't think you should lie to Congress and there are a lot of people over the past year who have lied to Congress," he said. "For me, that would not be acceptable."
I think this is the end of the beginning-of-the-end that started Friday, after the crazed doings in the Senate Judiciary Committee that led to the ongoing investigation or pseudo-investigation of the ever-multiplying allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh, with Trump's unbalanced encomium , where he praised both Christine Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh but then returned to her:

“I thought her testimony was very compelling and she looks like a very fine woman to me, very fine woman,” Trump said of Ford while speaking to reporters on Friday. “It was an incredible moment I think in the history of our country,” he continued. “But certainly [Ford] was a very credible witness. She was very good in many respects.”
Note, if you need reminding, that he has no interest in deciding who's telling the truth and who isn't. His concern is purely dramaturgical, concerned with what works to leave an impression of profundity on the audience, and I think he was genuinely undecided as to how he wants the show to end, in aesthetic terms. Both of them look so good! She's credible, he's incredible, but she looks like a very fine woman.

Then there's another thing: what is it about Kavanaugh? All sorts of speculation (see emptywheel's Rayne, for instance) arises as to why Trump's been so insistent on Kavanaugh when there are a dozen equally fascist and more confirmable candidates. I myself had sort of assumed that Trump asked them all during interviews if they'd "have his back", if they'd vote to protect him when some misdeed of his has to be adjudicated in the Court, and only Kavanaugh was crude enough to say he would, but there's all this other intrigue to think about, the increasing evidence that the White House and/or the Federalist Society's justice-shepherd Leonard Leo have been pushing him in particular the whole time, to the extent of knowing about the accusations and preparing in advance to meet them, with the 65-woman list of supporters and the knowledge of Varney Ford's name before Feinstein had even sent the letter to the FBI (which is what enabled hack Ed Whelan to craft his "Doppelgänger" theory) and this new one—
—this is a plot involving Leo, no doubt, and McGahn, but I'm not sure Trump himself is even in on it.

And then Trump's truly unexpected remarks yesterday about his own innocence of alcohol and Kavanaugh's possible guilt
I was surprised at how vocal he was about the fact that he likes beer, and he's had a little bit of difficulty, I mean he talked about things that happened when he drinks -- this is not a man that said ... that he was perfect with respect to alcohol.
Where he seemed to have thought he heard Kavanaugh confessing exactly the thing he was denying, and something that he, teetotaler as he is, that he might not have a lot of respect for: a "sign of weakness," as Chris Findlay was saying in comments.

But also, maybe, knowing it is a problem for the confirmation. I don't know, I think he may be cutting him loose. This afternoon's South Lawn musings make it seem more likely still.

Leonardo Leo (1694-1744) was a composer in Baroque Naples whose name being so similar to that of the Federalist asshole is interfering with my concentration. Aria from his opera Andromaca, 1742 ("Take this sword, you barbarian!"), with the wondrous Joyce di Donato singing.

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