(Editor's Note: While the expression in the title is common, we remind you not to take it literally. If your car was made after, say, 1995 it has anti-lock brakes and they should not be "pumped" as older brake systems required to avoid seizing in emergencies. Just press your brake pedal. Also don't read this while driving.)

The president is too stupid to get out of his own way once again. Reports indicate that Mitch McConnell advised him against Kavanaugh for reasons of "baggage," so certainly people inside the GOP knew this was coming. And now he appears ready to stubbornly insist on sticking with him even though every day nearer to the election reduces the likelihood of this vote happening.

It would be easier to withdraw Kavanaugh and replace him with an equally awful human being and end up with the same outcomes ten years from now. If he sticks with him it only helps the Democrats – though it's worth pointing out that Schumer has not even put up a pretense of trying to delay this vote yet, so it's no sure thing he will ever start. It seems like there are some Republicans who are looking for a way out of voting for this guy. Starting over with another new nominee allows another week or two to run off the clock. If this goes into October, the odds that anyone 1) wants to be in DC and 2) wants to cast this vote 4 weeks before the election are both very slim.

A lot of this involves straw-grasping and speculation, but it's the first scenario I can see that plausibly (although not probably) ends with Kavanaugh not being confirmed. In the end, cynicism born of experience leads me to believe everyone calling for hearings is going to end up voting for him anyway. If there is any positive outcome to be found here, it will depend on Trump being too dumb to back down until it's too late.

19 thoughts on “PUMP THE BRAKES”

  • Lois Breedlove says:

    My twitter feed has blown up over this. Ok I helped by responding to RadioFreeTom who responded..
    Most women are furious. Most POC men are baffled then furious: Kavanaugh gets a pass on this and Tamar Rice died bc he looked like an adult?
    And middle aged white men are really uncomfortable. They say stupid stuff like none of us can withstand this kind of scrutiny.
    And then a thousand women respond, we can. You mean you can’t?
    Did I mention women are pissed?
    I actually think women are more triggered by this than by most of me too. Stakes are higher – no one wants a creep on the SC, and the victim is more relatable.
    As far as Schumer goes: he’s old school. Probably believes in the old adage, if your opponent is about to shoot himself in the gut, don’t get in his way….

  • I'd like to think on Monday we'll see some actual justice, just a slight glimmer of how things sort-of-kind-of were before Cheeto Von-pee-on-me took over.

    Maybe. Just maybe.

    But Collins and Murkowski and Flake and Corker have shown us their true colors before.

    Odds are, Kavanugh is confirmed after the ultimate misogynistic, slut-shaming shit-show ever.

    But as Ed points out, this isn't going to win new votes for Republicans in November, and will hopefully motivate no small number of first-time women voters.

  • Trump is deep in his own survival mode, and the one thing that made Kavanaugh look great was his belief that a president should have no legal action against him while in office. He was s willing to take down the whole GOP control of the government just for that. Because isn’t that what other people are for?

  • @Lois, "no one wants a creep on the SC…" What, I'm sure Brett and Justice Thomas will be best buddies!!

    Also, Judge K perjured himself during confirmation hearings for his present job:


    Jeez, I never thought I'd miss Harry Reid, but maybe he'd actually TRY to delay a vote.

    Fuck Chuck and Ditch Mitch.

  • Imagining Kavanaugh signing up for the destruction of Rock Ridge, "You put down rape twice". And if they're reenacting "Blazing Saddles", who most closely approximates Hedley Lamar?

  • @ninja and @lois – You have waaayyy too much faith in Schumer; the man's track record is abysmal. He's looking forward to a Dem majority so they can have some "good, bipartisan legislation." He was excited by the Clinton campaign strategy of losing one blue collar to gain two "suburban Romney voters." He just cleared 15 judicial appointments to make room for Kavanaugh. This guy is either a quisling, a weakling, an idiot, or all three.

  • Emerson Dameron says:

    @Major Kong:

    Trump needs a cat's paw to protect him from Mueller, and it would take some time to find someone who can definitely do that.

    Yertle knows this is his last chance to ram through a Trump-friendly Heritage Foundation goon before the midterms.

  • Schumer’s job is to see if he has the votes to get things through.

    He doesn’t have them. That’s the reality. Flip the Senate. Then yes, a stronger Senate Majority leader is in order.

    But nobody can create Ds out of Rs.

  • @ wetcasements Your penultimate graf nails it, I think. I believe it is now the GOP strategy to turn the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings into a de facto rape trial, with criminal-court standards of proof "beyond a reasonable doubt." You are already hearing all the phrases like "innocent until proven guilty, "trial in the press," "due process," blah blah blah. Unless some other evidence or witnesses show up, it will be her word against his, which in most criminal trials, and definitely in rape cases, results in acquittal (if Christine Blasey Ford testifies, she will be brutally savaged in a way that will make Anita Hill's ordeal look like a Toastmasters testimonial dinner). After Kavanaugh is "acquited," this will provide cover for the "moderate" Republicans to vote "yes" (hi Sen. Collins!). All the other many issues and the information brought up before this broke, all the secrecy over the 200,000-odd documents, everything else will be ancient history in the public's amoeba-like attention span. Individual GOP senators will give anguished speeches where they will be all like, "While I feel Dr. Ford's pain, I cannot allow one unproven accusation to ruing a man's life!" Before it's all over, I wouldn't be surprised to see half a dozen or more Dem "yes" votes.

    I hope fervently that I am wrong about this.

    @ democommie You would use such impolite, naughty, partisan language on TWITTER??!! And soil its standards of bipartisan civil discourse? Gracious sakes!!!! You will be banned, immediately, and deserve it!

    @ Lois @ ninja3000 You mean the votes to grease the skids for GOP judicial appointments?

  • If you don’t have the votes – &Ds don’t – the outcome will be the same if you vote on each candidate individually or bunch them up.


    I also understand that some of the judicial nominees were holdovers from Obama. So we got some good judges along with the assholes.

  • @ Prairie Bear:

    " impolite, naughty, partisan language…"


    No. I don't tweet, but somebody should use it.

    As for that sort of language, elsewhere; Fuck YEAH!

  • Yeh, NO. This isn't a trial, "Judge" Kavanaugh isn't under prosecution and liable to go to jail. He's a job applicant, who needs approval from a majority of the Senate to get the job, which is a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. Not as fancy a job as it used to be right now, but it may get better.

    If he has lied to the Senate, whether in his previous confirmation hearings or in this set of hearings, he isn't qualified for the job — in fact, he isn't qualified for his current job. And we KNOW he has lied, we have the paperwork and contradictory testimony to prove it.

    Plus he has a history of financial instability, a history of heavy drug use, and a history of sexual offenses, like belonging to a fraternity with a chant of "No is Yes, Yes means Anal!" Enough said. He isn't qualified to be a lawyer, let alone a "judge"; the Senate should decline to confirm him and ask the House to begin impeachment proceedings against his position on the DC Court of Appeals.

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