Ben Wikler Profile picture
Aug 18, 2018 14 tweets 5 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
At first, when Kavanagh was nominated, top GOP senators said that “it just seems to be common sense” that all his White House papers should be released.

Then, on July 24, they met with Trump’s counsel. Turned on a dime. Now, releasing the papers would be “a bridge too far.” 1/
What the hell happened at that meeting? What did the senators hear? We don’t know, because only Republicans were invited. Their lips are sealed.

@SenatorLeahy, ex-chairman of Judiciary Committee, wants to find out. Here’s the letter he sent today to Don McGahn, Trump’s counsel.
As @SenatorLeahy notes, he’s been in the Senate for 44 years. 19 SCOTUS nominations. Voted on every current member of the Court.

In that time, he’s NEVER seen the White House interfere with the Judiciary Committee’s doc requests for a nominee.

Seriously: What are they hiding?
It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the GOP has a serious problem. That they know something explosive, something so politically toxic that it could poison Kavanaugh’s nomination, is buried in the hidden papers. And that their solution is to plow forward & white-knuckle it.
There’s a lot of talk about norm erosion in the Trump era. The talk normally focuses on Trump. But what the Republican Senate is doing might well create the most lasting damage. First they blocked Merrick Garland. And now they’re preventing a real review of Brett Kavanaugh.
If Kavanaugh is confirmed, he’ll most likely be with us for a *long* time. Here’s one way to think of it: by the time he’s the same age Ruth Bader Ginsburg is now, it’ll be 2050.
What happens over the next few weeks will determine whether Kavanaugh can shape your life and the life of your country for the next 30-40 years. Whether you’ll have the freedoms that your parents had—or if your kids will have the rights you had but your parents didn’t.
It’s a national scandal beyond words that Trump’s White House appears to have ordered @ChuckGrassley not to ask for Kavanaugh’s crucial records, & that Grassley obediently complied. & then scheduled hearings to being on September 4. We should be in the streets. And we *will* be.
The national protest against Kavanaugh is scheduled for August 26. Mark your calendar. No, literally, open up our calendar app right now and add “Protest Kavanaugh” at noon that day. Done? Okay, great. Now look up the location at
There’s a lot more to do. Check out this thread for some suggestions. Leave your own ideas in the comments. But please don’t do nothing. Don’t let them think they can cover up whatever they want and confirm whoever they want, without consequence.

Remember that meeting where McConnell refused to sign the bipartisan statement calling out Russian interference in the 2016 elections?

Well, the July 24 meeting where GOP senators agreed not to ask for three years of Brett Kavanaugh's papers might be that kind of hinge moment.
Conventional wisdom in politics is that process arguments are always secondary to substantive arguments. That's essentially correct. The core reason to oppose Kavanaugh is that he'll shred Roe, end protections for pre-existing conditions, for workers, for the environment.

Beneath substantive outcomes is the set of processes—some statutes, many simply customs—that take inputs like political power, ideology, and specific facts, and alchemically transform them into outcomes. Dems tend to take those for granted. Today's GOP sees them as the ballgame.
Let's not roll over on this. Let's demand that they #ReleaseTheRecords. Let's ask: #WhatAreTheyHiding?—and let's fight until we find out.…

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More from @benwikler

Oct 9, 2018
Tomorrow, Chuck Grassley is holding hearings for two Ohioan extremist Circuit Court nominees, Chad Readler and Eric Murphy. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) objects. For years, home-state senators had a courtesy veto over nominees from their states. But McConnell/Grassley eliminated that. 1/
Chad Readler leads the Civil Division in Trump's Department of Justice. He led DoJ's work to kill the Affordable Care Act, personally signing a brief so dishonest that the career attorneys wouldn't touch it. Now he's up for a lifetime appointment.…
Chad Readler defended family separation. He helped block millions of workers from overtime pay. He fought for 3d-printed guns, against DACA, for the military trans ban, for the Muslim Ban, and—in private practice—for Big Tobacco. He shouldn't be a judge.…
Read 6 tweets
Oct 5, 2018
In the Kavanaugh fight, nobody knows for sure what's going to happen. The conventional wisdom in DC is that the GOP will have Kavanaugh confirmed by Saturday afternoon, and he'll be on the bench by Monday. But you know what? That was the conventional wisdom a week ago, too. 1/
Politics is unpredictable. The one thing you can control is whether you try to do something about it. And people *are* doing something—they're doing everything they can think of. Right now, for example: there's a #PeoplesFilibuster protest @ the Capitol that will go *all night.*
If you're in the DC area, can't sleep, and wondering what to do, head out to the Capitol right now and look near the Senate steps on the NE corner. Or if you can't make it over there, here's the live video feed:…
Read 7 tweets
Oct 3, 2018
Furious about Kavanaugh? Don’t just sit there. We need your power. The truth is, there’s a LOT you can do. We may only have four days until the final vote, and your voice is needed now. This is a thread about what’s coming, and how you can help. Please follow along and share. 1/
What's next with Kavanaugh? On Wednesday, McConnell sets wheels in motion by filing for cloture. Senate rules require an intervening day before cloture vote—so that vote will be Friday. Then 30 hours of debate & final confirmation vote as soon as Saturday night. Time is SHORT.
What about the FBI report? WSJ says it could end by Wed. Many potential corroborating witnesses won't be interviewed—nor Dr. Blasey Ford, nor Kavanaugh. Once background report is updated, only Senators will get to see it. Don't bet on it to end this fight.…
Read 31 tweets
Sep 28, 2018
Fri AM: committee vote. Sat: procedural vote. Mon: cloture. Tue: final vote. CALL: 202-224-3121. Gather @ Senate offices 12p Fri to tell say VOTE NO. Bring signs. Wear black. Tweet photos. Spread word. All hands on deck.
Near Phoenix, AZ? Tell Jeff Flake to vote NO on Kavanaugh: meet at noon Friday 9/28 at his office at 2200 E Camelback Rd, Suite 120. Bring signs and friends, wear black, share photos.…
Near Anchorage, Alaska? Tell Lisa Murkowski to announce her opposition to Kavanaugh! Meet at noon (Alaska time) at her office at 510 L St, Suite 600. Bring signs, friends, wear black, tweet your photos, tag your senator—spread the word on Facebook here:…
Read 10 tweets
Sep 21, 2018
"The Trump administration says global slavery and child labor are bad — for American businesses
They give an “unfair advantage” to US competitors, according to the US Labor Department."
>> I see this as an instance of something good-ish. Lemme explain. 1/…
What's happening with this report on global slavery & child labor is something that's happening throughout our government: mission-driven civil servants are figuring out how to keep pursuing their long-time goals by reframing them into language that resonates with Trump.
You'd think that Trump's government would simply stop working on stuff like forced labor. But the people actually doing the work? They care. So, like good bureaucrats everywhere, they figure out how to manage up.
Read 4 tweets
Sep 20, 2018
GOP seems to think that if Dr. Blasey Ford doesn't speak at their 2-witness hearing on Mon, she'll disappear. But per @JRubinBlogger, "Ford has another option: Hold a news conference with her own experts and make the case directly to the American people."…
It is Dr. Blasey-Ford's right to decide how, whether, when, and where to share her story. It's unclear to me why Senate Republicans keep saying, and apparently believing, that they have the power to dictate terms to her. She doesn't have to play their game.
Media seem confused about this too. Axios quoted @JeffreyToobin on CNN saying "If she refuses to testify on Monday, Kavanaugh is getting confirmed." Why? If she chooses to make her case publicly on her own terms, it could be *more* powerful than in a GOP-controlled hearing.
Read 4 tweets

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