I think the Republicans believe that if they can just ram Kavanaugh through the confirmation process and have him take up his seat on the Supreme Court then the aftermath will follow the same trajectory as followed the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill controversy, namely that all of the controversy will fade into the background and that the American people will fairly quickly accept Kavanaugh as being legitimately on the Supreme Court.
I think the Republicans are not only wrong in their belief, but very wrong. I think that for the following reasons:
- Clarence Thomas came across as somewhat mild-mannered He also did not have any history of drinking problems even as a teenager. That made it easy for people to discount the accusations against him. Brett Kavanaugh, on the other hand, came across as a mean-spirited liar and could quite properly be described as being hysterical in his presentation following Dr. Ford’s presentation.
- Clarence Thomas was accused of sexual harassment primarily in the form of inappropriate comments and inappropriate suggestions although there was one accusation that he deliberately left a pubic hair where Anita Hill would find it. Brett Kavanaugh is accused of attempted rape, a much more serious offense. The American people were willing to overlook accusations of sexual harassment against Clarence Thomas. I don’t believe they will be willing to overlook accusations of attempted rape against Kavanaugh.
- The culture has changed. American women are sick and tired of being sexually harassed and sexually assaulted, and rightly so. The #MeToo movement is not going away. The far right is trying to discredit them, but they will not succeed. If anything Kavanaugh is making the #MeToo movement a little bit stronger every single day. Evidence for this is that I recently read that Democratic state and local organizations are being swamped by phone calls from women and walk ins by women asking how they can help in the upcoming election.
In summary, I think that the very attempt to get Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court is going to hurt the Republicans. If he actually gets on the Supreme Court he will be a millstone around the Republican’s necks for as long as he is on the court. Which would be a good thing since there cannot be enough millstones around Republican necks as far as I am concerned.