No Surprise: Claire McCaskill Waits Until Coast Is Clear To Announce She's Opposing Kavanaugh

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Posted: Sep 20, 2018 7:45 AM
No Surprise: Claire McCaskill Waits Until Coast Is Clear To Announce She's Opposing Kavanaugh

The coast is clear, Claire. You can finally say what you’ve been dying to say for months. Frankly, ever since Judge Brett Kavanaugh was nominated by President Trump to fill the vacancy of the retiring Anthony Kennedy, McCaskill and other red state Democrats have felt the pressure build throughout the summer. Until recently, it was a no-win situation. They could vote for Kavanaugh, increase their chances of re-election, but then be frozen out of their party and become pariahs. They certainly wouldn’t have access to the Democratic war chest. To add more agita, progressive groups could make their lives a living hell. Vote against Kavanaugh, they will get all the backing they need, but be forced to take positions that are not in keeping with their constituents. A hard-core left wing lurch won’t sell in West Virginia or Missouri. The point is they would probably lose. Welcome to the suck if you ask me. For the longest time, red state Democrats looked like they were totally screwed on Kavanaugh, as the majority of their constituents wanted him confirmed. For some, the vote could very well have been their make or break moment. Now, they have a reason to vote no—and ‘coast is clear’ Claire seized the gap—big league (via St. Louis Post-Dispatch):

Sen. Claire McCaskill will vote "no" on the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court.

She said her decision was not based on the 36-year-old sexual assault allegations leveled against Kavanaugh by California college professor Christine Blasey Ford. McCaskill, a Democrat in a tough re-election fight, said it was based primarily on what she said was Kavanaugh's position that seemed to favor the survival of "dark money" — large and often secret donations — in politics. 

"It is his allegiance to the position that unlimited donations and dark anonymous money, from even foreign interests, should be allowed to swamp the voices of individuals that has been the determining factor in my decision to vote no on his nomination," McCaskill said in a statement issued by her office.

Her opponent, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Josh Hawley, has said he would vote for Kavanaugh. Hawley has charged that a McCaskill “no” would belie her claims she was a moderate willing to cross political aisles.

"No surprise here," Hawley tweeted.

Still, McCaskill is one of the most vulnerable Democrats running for re-election this cycle, and this vote could have been the death knell. Now, there’s an escape hatch, albeit one from a shoddy and unprovable allegation that’s been lobbed at Kavanaugh. In short, Christine Blasey Ford alleges that a drunken 17-year-old Kavanaugh tried to sexually assault her at a party that might or might not have happened. She doesn’t remember who owned the house, how she got to the party, or how this gathering came about. Three witnesses she cited as being part of the incident don’t recollect this alleged attempted assault ever happening, with one unsure if there ever was a party. The allegation is also nearly 40 years old. There’s no evidence. No corroborative witnesses. Just a thin, unverifiable allegation that was thrust upon us thanks to Dianne Feinstein leaking that she had a letter from Ford, which she sat on since July. She kept it from the Senate Judiciary Committee. Maybe that speaks to its veracity; she never brought it up during the hearings. It’s a mess. Ford retained a lawyer and took a polygraph from an unnamed former FBI agent—all of this reeks of a politically motivated hit job, with a woman who was ready to go public, despite her statements to the contrary. The Democrats’ goal is to delay. Everyone sees that, which is why the GOP has given her until Friday to decide if she’ll be attending the Monday hearing the Senate Judiciary Committee set aside to hear the allegations, postponing their vote on the nomination that was slated for today. We’re moving forward if she’s a no-show. No more games. But it has allowed red state Democrats to be more comfortable with their no vote if that’s what they decide. Supreme Court nominations fired up the GOP base in 2016. It could do so again, especially with this clown show upon us.   

Now, before we close, McCaskill lists dark money as one of her main reasons. Please—let’s not forget how she was caught trashing dark money campaign cash, but benefitting from it at the same time. Remember this from the Kansas City Star back in February:  

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The Electoral College Debate
Walter E. Williams

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill has repeatedly warned about the role outside money will play in this year’s Senate race, but the Missouri Democrat’s campaign also has benefited from it.

Senate Majority PAC, a political action committee dedicated to electing Democrats to the Senate, launched an ad campaign Thursday on McCaskill’s behalf.

McCaskill told a crowd in Parkville last year to ignore all ads by outside groups even if they’re meant to help her.

I don’t care if it’s an ad paid for by ‘We Love America’ or ‘We Hate Taxes’ or ‘Motherhood and Apple Pie.’ I don’t care if the ad is telling you I’m the best thing since sliced bread. I don’t care if the ad is for me or against me. If it doesn’t say paid for by either Claire McCaskill or the name of the Republican nominee and ‘I approved this message,’ ignore it all,” she said.

[…]

The ads from the Senate Majority PAC, which is affiliated with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, is meant to rebut a $1.8 million ad campaign by Americans For Prosperity, the main political arm of Wichita’s wealthy Koch family.

“Out-of-state billionaires coming to Missouri to attack our senator,” the ad from Senate Majority PAC says in reference from AFP’s ad campaign.

But the Democratic-aligned Senate Majority PAC also receives most of its money from multimillionaires and billionaires who don’t live in Missouri, according to the Center for Responsive Politics’ Open Secrets website.

Just be honest, Claire. You’re falling in line with the rest of your party because you don’t like Kavanaugh. Enough with the dark money nonsense; everyone can see it’s a BS reason.