Let’s begin with a simple point. Senate Republicans left a Supreme Court seat vacant for more than a year for simple politics. Any argument that there’s a rush to fill Anthony Kennedy’s seat, on this view, is plainly ridiculous. But I confess I’m still taken aback by the mammoth bad faith and dishonesty of Republican Chairman Chuck Grassley’s argument in this new letter defending the majority’s conduct.
From the start, whether you or agree with her decision or not, it has been crystal clear that Sen. Feinstein kept Blasey Ford’s letter confidential because that was Blasey Ford’s request. The entirety of Grassley’s argument is based on pretending this undisputed fact simply doesn’t exist, as though Feinstein had never even made this clear when she has repeatedly.
Grassley’s argument is that there could have been an investigation if Feinstein had shared Blasey Ford’s letter in July. But now there’s simply no time. Too bad. But look at these two paragraphs specifically.
As you can see, Grassley is arguing that the committee is now essentially out of time because Feinstein respected the accuser’s desire not to have her accusation become public. He is also purportedly concerned that not respecting whistleblowers’ and victims’ desire to have their claims remain confidential will deter future whistleblowers and victims from coming forward. In other words, Grassley is arguing two contradictory sides of the same argument with the aim of saying that time for this particular alleged victim has simply run out and it’s too bad.
Again, this is as brazen and transparent as Senate Republicans’ corrupt decision to steal a Supreme Court seat two and a half years ago. The simple truth is this. Even by the most cynical standard, there’s plenty of time for a simple review of the facts. The problem with time is this: Grassley and his colleagues are worried that any investigation won’t go well for them or for Kavanaugh. If it doesn’t, they may not have time to push through a second nominee before the election. That’s the rush.