RINOs Murkowski and Collins appear to be supportive of Kavanaugh
The Democrats are girding for all-out war to block the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh for Supreme Court justice, but they may as well save their energy.
The two most problematic votes in the senate – Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins – have been making positive statements about the nominee, leading to the conclusion that his confirmation is almost a lock.
The centrist GOP senators offered few hints on Tuesday about how they will vote on Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court. But it's clear that Trump could have made confirmation in the narrowly divided Senate much more difficult if he had picked someone like 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett or another equally conservative nominee.
"Let's put it this way: There were some who have been on the list that I would have had a very, very difficult time supporting, just based on what was already publicly known about them," Murkowski (R-Alaska) said in an interview on Monday. "We're not dealing with that."
Collins (R-Maine) told reporters that while she wouldn't directly compare Kavanaugh with Barrett, she touted Kavanaugh's experience and sounded warm notes about him while insisting she has yet to decide.
"It will be very difficult for anyone to argue that he's not qualified for the job. He clearly is qualified for the job," Collins said. "But there are other issues involving judicial temperament and his political, or rather, his judicial philosophy that also will play into my decision."
Both senators also voted for Kavanaugh's nomination to the D.C. Circuit Court in 2006.
Barring some unforeseen and previously unknown statement made by Kavanaugh or some skeleton in his closet, both Murkowski and Collins appear to be likely "yes" votes. This makes any Democratic efforts to derail his nomination futile. The only other possible Senate objector, John McCain, has come out strongly in Kavanaugh's favor, meaning a united Republican caucus will be able to confirm the nominee no matter what Democrats do.
Of course, we don't know what oppo research the Democrats have come up with or what kind of exaggerated, hysterical spin they will put on his statements and writings. Whatever they have is not likely to matter.
When even the New York Times nods approvingly about Trump's choice, Democrats can bleat about Kavanaugh all they want. They are going to have to live with the fact that there is going to be a solid conservative majority on the Supreme Court for years to come.