The #KavanaughConfirmation was won not by #MAGA "f**k you WAR" visceral emoting, but by insider politics and the cool Kabuki theater of Cocaine Mitch. 1/25
This is evident if one puts aside the silly manichean idea that it is a binary choice between an unalloyed stance in absolutist terms or being "cu~uck" establishment lapdog for Democrats. 2/25
Upon Ford's allegations being made public, one could have pushed through a vote and attempted to bully any Senators on the fence. Cathartic, but dumb. 3/25
Accusations of rape or attempted rape can destroy, even if proven wrong. Delicate handling in the public's eye was necessary. Giving due consideration was the best move. 4/25
The timing of Ford's accusations becoming public was suspicious, something that Collins noted early and often (this was a tell that her vote was in the bag for Kavanaugh). 5/25
The Republicans gave the Democrats enough of the proverbial rope and let Ford contradict herself at the Committee hearing. 6/25
This also showed that the Democrats had already passed judgment, meaning their call for investigation rang quite hollow. 7/25

politicalhat.com/2018/09/28/kav…
Wisely, the Committee Republicans declined to offer any soundbites to the Democrats or put them in the position of questioning someone who claimed to be raped. 8/25
Allowing Rachel Mitchell to question Ford, in a calm female to female setting, might not have been "in your face enough" for some, but ultimately did more to suss out the truth. 9/25

axios.com/brett-kavanaug…
Brett Kavanaughs speech, while belittled as "too emotional" came off as far more sincere than Ford's testimony, and his indignation at the Committee Democrats insane line of questioning impeached the Democrats veneer of thoughtful consideration. 10/25
When the Republicans interjected during Kavanaugh's questioning, they wisely attacked not Ford, but the much more target rich shenanigans of the Senate Democrats by pointing out how the Democrats had outed their hyper-partisanship. 11/25
At this point, the two lingering problems or the GOP was the accusation itself and the call for a "neutral" FBI investigation, the later of which could have an impact on many voters. 12/25
The accusation itself could be blunted by Mitchell's report and raising the increasingly crazy accusations of the accusers who came after Ford. 13/25
The call for an FBI investigation that was dogging them could be allayed by having a FBI investigation limited in tame and scope. The problem is that most GOP Senators couldn't be seen as "cucking out". 14/25
How to solve this problem of neutralizing the "but teh FBI!" charge by the Democrats without looking like they are "cucking out"? Let Flake, who #MAGA already hated and who isn't running for re-election insist upon it as a condition of getting it out of Committee. 15/25
Unsurprisingly, the FBI report did not report anything new of note. Sure, the Senate Democrats weren't going to be satisfied and #MAGA thought it was "cucking out" by giving in and avoiding "owning the libs", but neither was the target audience for this gambit. 16/25
The vast majority of actual politics isn't played by one partisan side "owning" the other, but played on the margins to gain the votes of the large convincible middle. Sure, it might not move many votes, but it'll help swing many in swing areas. 17/25
And who it is in these swing areas that were turning away from the GOP in all the special elections, primaries, & general elections in 2017 and 2088 so far? Suburban mothers; the same who could be swayed by a "nonpartisan" FBI report and Rachel Mitchell's notes. 18/25
The final vote breakdown was also well played out. Collins and Murkowski are pro-choice and have their own political brands based in part on it. Collins' speech gave her a defense against many attacks on that brand. 19/25
Once Flake and Collins came out in support of Kavanaugh, the confirmation was certain. This allowed Manchin to protect his own political hide without being the deciding vote, thus giving bipartisan support. 20/25
Manchin, who also has his own brand, could easily weather anything the Progressive forces in the Democratic party could throw at him over the vote itself, since it was not decisive. 21/25
This allowed Murkowski to not risk her political brand and base. However, by voting as a pair with absent Daines, she avoided actually having a recorded vote against Kavanaugh, insuring that opposition to him was partisan. 22/25
Thus, Cocaine Mitch, by playing inside ball and carefully controlling optics, achieved a critical win by confirming Kavanaugh in a way that pushing forward recklessly in order to "own the libs" couldn't. 23/25
While the Democrats are likely even more energized vis-à-vis the GOP now, getting Kavanaugh on the bench was worth the likely sacrifice being made in November. 24/25
tl;dr The #KavanaughConfirmation happened because Cocaine Mitch played the Senate like a fiddle, coolly and calmly. 25/25
Addendum: Did Cocaine Mitch purposefully schedule a vote on a day he knew Daines wouldn't be there in order to give Murkowski an "out" by pairing with Daines to avoid a formal "No" vote while not forcing a "Yes" vote?

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