A Crack In The Wall

I have literally vegged all day. I stopped feeling guilty about it around 2 pm. Feel much better for having done it.

I came up for air and MSNBC was queued when I turned the TV on. This is the first thing I heard:

Flake says he is ‘not comfortable voting yes’ yet on

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) on Sunday said he is “not comfortable voting yes” on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh until the Senate Judiciary Committee learns more about the sexual assault allegation against him.

“We need to hear from her,” Flake told Politico hours after Kavanaugh’s accuser identified herself publicly. “And I don’t think I’m alone in this.”

Flake told The Washington Post that he does not believe the Judiciary Committee should move ahead with its Thursday vote on Kavanaugh until the senators hear more from Christine Blasey Ford, the California psychology professor who went public with her accusation against Kavanaugh in a Post investigation on Sunday.

Read more here

Who knows if Flake is doing more than lip service. He’s run his mouth off before and then dropped right in line.

What do you think? Maybe we burn up his phone lines?

75 replies
  1. 1
    dmsilev says:

    In theory, it only takes one GOP Senator on Judiciary voting No to derail the nomination, so if Flake is serious, we’ll likely see a delay in the committee vote.


  2. 2

    @dmsilev: yep. We’ll find out pretty soon. I definitely think the nomination flaming out is a possibility at this point though.

  3. 3
    Doug R says:

    He’s even better at the Collins shuffle than Collins. Although he did take a vacation in the middle of McConnell’s judge confirmation marathon, at least there’s that.

  4. 4
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    The proof is in the pudding but, he is retiring. I guess hope really does spring eternal.

  5. 5
    rikyrah says:

    The only thing that I have done today is laundry. Period.
    I will enter a week from Hell at work, so I am enjoying today.

  6. 6
    NotMax says:

    What do you think?

    With history as a guide, his name says it all.

  7. 7

    @OzarkHillbilly: maybe the other retiring AZ senator wants his own McCain moment.

  8. 8
    smintheus says:

    A lot of senators will be getting calls asking “Why are you rushing through a vote before you figure out whether Kavanaugh is a violent criminal?” It’s going to be a hard question for any of them to answer.

    McConnell has spent the afternoon counting votes, and he’s probably going to come to a tally that says he’s either got to have the vote postponed or (the same result, less painfully) tell the WH Kavanaugh needs to withdraw.

    Why would any vulnerable Republican want to stick their neck out to shield an apparently rapey nominee Trump foisted on them? They don’t even need to take a public stand, given that they can just answer McConnell’s call and tell him to pull the plug.

  9. 9
    Jeffro says:

    I think it just might happen this time (said Charlie Brown, picking up speed)

    Seriously. This is pretty over-the-top stuff, and coupled with the gambling weirdness, the debts-paid-by-who-knows-who weirdness, and the multiple allegations of perjury…c’mon Flake, you mean you can’t tell a wounded and highly disliked president* to “send us a better nominee”?

  10. 10
    Edmund dantes says:

    Note he didn’t say he’d vote against until it’s cleared up. He said he’d be uncomfortable having a vote before than.

    I’d be shocked if he’s an actual no vote.

  11. 11
    Kay says:

    Matthew Yglesias
    ‏Verified account
    45m45 minutes ago
    More Matthew Yglesias Retweeted Neal Katyal
    Congratulations to all the fancy lawyer democrats who embarrassed themselves for the sake of Brett Kavanaugh and higher loyalty to Yale

    Must be noted.

  12. 12
    Yutsano says:

    I wonder if this will have any influence on Kyl once he gets to the Senate. I don’t know if there’s a protocol against talking to him before he gets seated but if they’re talking about this then that might be another block.

    I don’t think Flake is on the Judiciary committee. If he was this could be much more problematic.

  13. 13
    dmsilev says:

    @Yutsano: Flake does serve on Judiciary. So this could be quite significant.

  14. 14
    smintheus says:

    @Yutsano: Republicans who are not on the committee are going to insist on being consulted about whether the committee votes this week. They won’t be happy if the committee GOP look at this unfolding train wreck and decided to redirect it to the floor of the Senate. That just puts the entire caucus on the spot with who knows how many further developments in the accusations or where public opinion goes in the meantime.

  15. 15

    What. The. Actual. FUCK?

  16. 16
    The Dangerman says:

    Outside of John McCain’s thumbs down on the ACA, name me a high profile break their ranks. I can’t think of one.

  17. 17
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Kay: not just that. Neal’s a repeat player in SCOTUS arguments and can’t afford to state honest opinions about justices (or potential justices) publicly.

    That said, I agree that this wasn’t exactly Profiles in Courage and he didn’t cover himself in glory.

  18. 18
    Ken says:


    the debts-paid-by-who-knows-who weirdness

    Ooh, do you suppose it might be a bit awkward for Kavanaugh if he doesn’t get the seat? In the “accidentally fell out a window while visiting Moscow” sense of awkward?

    (Not of course that there could be any question of a quid pro quo arrangement, but then there never is, is there?)

  19. 19
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @TaMara (HFG): in principle, someone who paid their debt to society could change in remarkable ways -but that assumes a level of atonement we will never see from one of these oleaginous cretins.

    And this will be something McMegan forgets all about when the topic du jour is a black guy murdered by the police after killing someone in high school decades ago.

  20. 20
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yutsano: Flake is on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

  21. 21

    @Kay: Yale should fucking hang its head in shame, too.

  22. 22
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TaMara (HFG): On principle, she’s only a couple of degrees off kilter. In reality, she’s bugfuck nuts!

  23. 23

    @TaMara (HFG): Rosa Brooks, who I have otherwise liked, is saying something similar. I’m not gonna embed her tweets. We still have a long way to go.

    Flake is as bad as Collins. I’ll congratulate him if he finally finds his spine but have low expectations.

  24. 24
    Haroldo says:

    @Doug R:

    He’s even better at the Collins shuffle than Collins.

    That’s the Big Leagues, right there.

  25. 25
    Yutsano says:

    @dmsilev: @Adam L Silverman: Oh. Think he’s dropping hints to Grassley that Kavanaugh might not make it out of committee? That would be delicious.

  26. 26
    randy khan says:

    Cross-posted from LGM:

    So to honor Ford’s courage – yes, I mean this – call Flake, Collins and Murkowski right now. Tell them there mustn’t be a vote until there’s been a full investigation – no phone call, no cursory once-over where you decide to believe Kavanaugh because why would he lie since he’s so honorable, no “he hasn’t done anything since high school so it’s okay.” Make sure you use the phrase “attempted rape.” And talk about how brave she is to do this.

    Do it now because it would be really great for them to come to the office in the morning with voice mails filled with messages telling them not to let this happen. It might even work.

    Oh, and here are the phone numbers:

    Flake – 202-224-4521

    Collins – 202-224-2523

    Murkowski – 202-224-6665 (To leave a message for her, you need to press 2 for messages from people who want responses; she doesn’t give you an option for someone who doesn’t want a response.)

    Now you have no excuse.

  27. 27
    BroD says:

    As a rule, I’m inclined to cut some slack with respect to teenage misbehavior BUT in this case, it’s implicit that K would be comfortable requiring the victim of a similar incident to carry to term the possible result of her violation.

  28. 28
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yutsano: McConnell has already stated, before the hearings ever began, that the committee vote is for appearances only. That no matter how the committee vote goes, Kavanaugh will get a vote in front of the whole Senate because McConnell sets the calendar.

  29. 29
    zhena gogolia says:

    @TaMara (HFG):

    Nah gonna happen (in Dana Carvey’s GHWB voice)

  30. 30
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Well this should help! I’m sure it’ll be classy.

  31. 31
    Jeffro says:


    Ooh, do you suppose it might be a bit awkward for Kavanaugh if he doesn’t get the seat? In the “accidentally fell out a window while visiting Moscow” sense of awkward?

    He’ll jump out of a window himself if he doesn’t pull this off…a lifetime of prepping, saying all the right things (mostly, nothing at all)…keeping his smilin’ lyin’ face on 24/7…pretending like he’s going to “call balls and strikes”.

    If he blows it at this point, it’s not like he can point fingers…it’s his own rapey self that got him in this mess. Hell, Grassley lined up 65(!) women who actually don’t know this assclown to try and get him clear. I guess it’s a new day and age, eh, Brett m’man? SUN. LIGHT.

  32. 32
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman: “Please proceed, Orangmandias…we weren’t sure you could drive Election Day turnout any higher, but it looks like you’re taking that bet…”

  33. 33
    randy khan says:


    Yeah, going after Dr. Ford probably won’t be a good look for the Republican Party going into November.

  34. 34

    @Jeffro: This. Remember all those women marching around the country. They’re going to be marching straight to the polls.

  35. 35
    Yutsano says:

    @Adam L Silverman: So…time to stock up on popcorn?

    Seriously, any other nominee would have been pulled by now. But I really do wonder if Yertle really knows he doesn’t have the votes yet and will get him on the court no matter what! Even if Kavanaugh loses the vote, he’ll just wave him onto the seat.

  36. 36
    smintheus says:

    @Yutsano: I saw one sketchy report (Raw Story) that Grassley was trying to set up a phone call among committee members, Kavanaugh, and his accuser. If true, then Grassley is shitting bricks. That is just about the most pathetically transparent attempt to defuse the allegations without inconveniencing Kavanaugh that one could every imagine even a worm like Grassley proposing.

  37. 37
    smintheus says:

    @randy khan: And as I commented at LGM, people should also use the terms “conspiracy to rape” and “kidnapping”, both of which speak to mens rea.

  38. 38
    randy khan says:

    @smintheus: That works for me.

  39. 39
    Doug R says:


    As a rule, I’m inclined to cut some slack with respect to teenage misbehavior BUT in this case, it’s implicit that K would be comfortable requiring the victim of a similar incident to carry to term the possible result of her violation.

    1) It’s Assault
    2) It’s Attempted Sexual Assault
    3) NO Remorse

  40. 40
    pattonbt says:

    Any faith in Flake, Corker, Collins, et al is misplaced. I can probably count on JPP’s hand the instances where they “have bucked the party” where actual consequences were on the line (i.e. not an allowed a “throw away” vote when the deal is already sealed). Why anyone would believe anything they say is a mystery to me. They have no morals to swallow – they want the SCOTUS seat at all costs. Its part of their party. They will figure out a way to vote yes but appease the village that they did so with the utmost respect and diligence such a lifetime appointemt vote requires – which of course will be BS.

  41. 41
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Ooh, snap!

    That being said, your mouth to God’s ear!

  42. 42

    @Adam L Silverman: Trump’s tweets have been surprisingly moderate this weekend. (Yes, I know: moderate is a relative word.) I suspect that someone else has possession of his iPhone, or he’s been taking a lot of Xanax.

  43. 43
    randy khan says:

    @TaMara (HFG):

    McArdle is remarkably stupid on this. First, in the real world, a teenage murder or rapist who’s convicted is not getting into the swell college and law school that Kavanaugh attended, so it never going to be up for the seat in the first place. Second, she knows as well as anyone that very few 17 year olds get tried as juvenile for this kind of crime. Third, whatever sympathy I might have for her position is entirely washed out because he’s never paid for it in any way. Fourth, she’s lying. She absolutely would find it disqualifying if it came out about a Dem nominee.

  44. 44
    Adam L Silverman says:


  45. 45
    smintheus says:

    @randy khan: It also helps that MD law sets aside the statute of limitations in cases where rapists or attempted rapists kidnap an underage victim. Using the term “kidnapping” blocks the Republican defense that we shouldn’t worry about the incident because the clock on prosecution has run out.

  46. 46
    Jeffro says:

    @randy khan: @TaMara (HFG): Like pouring gas and also some kerosene plus alcohol onto a roaring fire. Go for it, dimwits. Betray every last bit of human decency your parents might have gifted you with, all in the service of…what? Ar-tic-yoo-late that for me, Senator Grassley. What exactly is worth this kind of moral bankruptcy?

  47. 47
    randy khan says:


    I have no faith in them, but I also think the only way you find out is to put as much pressure on them as possible. Make them – particularly Murkowski and Collins – own what they’re doing.

  48. 48
    Jeffro says:

    @randy khan: let’s just move #4 up to #1 there

  49. 49
    MoxieM says:

    @smintheus: But why on earth would Ford do this? She’s gone out of her way to not get abused, courageous as she is.

  50. 50
    smintheus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Yeah, that’s pathetic. Hard to believe Dems on the Committee would go along with that sham investigation.

  51. 51
    pattonbt says:

    @randy khan: couldn’t agree more. I should have made clear I didn’t mean my original post as a sign of resignation without resistsance. If you don’t fight the fight, you can’t win.

  52. 52
    smintheus says:

    @MoxieM: She realized that she’s going to get smeared by Republicans no matter what she says and how publicly she says it. Why would she not want to force the Goopers on the committee to summon the courage to tell her to her face on national TV that she’s lying about Kavanaugh trying to rape her? They won’t dare do it. People forget that Anita Hill is black. Ford is white.

  53. 53

    A lawyer close to the White House said the nomination will not be withdrawn. “No way, not even a hint of it. If anything, it’s the opposite. If somebody can be brought down by accusations like this, then you, me, every man certainly should be worried.”

  54. 54
    B.B.A. says:

    I’ll believe Flake won’t flake on us when he leaves the caucus.

  55. 55
    Procopius says:

    @dmsilev: Yeah, I don’t believe Flake is serious, either, but I can’t see what his play is here. McConnell’s best hope was to keep things moving fast. Any slow-down is a chance the Democrats might find more of what’s hidden in those sequestered documents.

  56. 56
    randy khan says:

    @TaMara (HFG):

    Oh, more of this. Please.

  57. 57
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @smintheus: There’s a certain amount of process they have to work within before they can start making waves.

  58. 58
    catclub says:


    The proof is in the pudding but, he is retiring. I guess hope really does spring eternal.

    I presume that I am not the only one to note that retiring means wants a wingnut welfare job, and the money men will tell him to get in line and vote the way they tell him on this, too.

  59. 59
    catclub says:

    @TaMara (HFG):

    then you, me, every man certainly should be worried.”

    So Rudy Giuliani has tried the same thing Kavanaugh did or similar.

  60. 60
    Origuy says:

    Remember when the hearings started and all of the purity ponies said that the Democrats should just walk out? None of this would have come to light in that case.

  61. 61
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Origuy: The purity ponies think they know a lot about purity, which they don’t. They know even less about how politics works.

  62. 62
    SFAW says:


    I guess hope really does spring eternal.

    Jeffy van Pelt on Line 2 for you; he has a football he wants you to kick. When he gets tired, Susan Collins will sub for him.

  63. 63
    JGabriel says:

    Megan McArdleTaMara (HFG):

    I would be cool with a teen murderer getting a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. I think there’s good reason we expunge juvenile records, and would raise the expungement age to 21.

    That’s … interesting.

    Kind of makes you wonder what’s in Jane Galt‘s (or maybe Suderman‘s) past that she wants to keep expunged.

  64. 64
    JGabriel says:

    That supposed to be “Megan McArdle viaTaMara (HFG)” above. Apologies for the typo.

  65. 65
    Ruckus says:


    What exactly is worth this kind of moral bankruptcy?

    Wouldn’t one have to have morals in the first place to have a bankruptcy of them?

  66. 66
    danielx says:


    My very thought. If there is one thing in this uncertain world of which I am tolerably certain, it is that – for one reason or another – Flake will flake out. As will Collins. Flake will make his point, then shut up and go along; after being reminded of the consequences for him personally if Kavanaugh goes down in flames, probably the least of which would be a lack of lucrative employment opportunities….

  67. 67
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @JGabriel: You never see them together. Coincidence…//

  68. 68
    Ruckus says:

    Pretty good odds are that you are 100% correct.
    But, I wonder if he is actually retiring or if he does have a place in the wingnut welfare circuit? Of course I’m not willing to play Charlie Brown and the football here, the odds are too bad.

  69. 69
    Ohio Mom says:

    @randy khan: IANAL but I believe that there are crimes that are not expungable, no matter how young you are when you commit them.

    I do know (after researching this for a friend’s son so he could expunge his teen-aged Drunk and Disorderly) that it is somewhat of a hassle — at least here in Ohio — to get a record expunged: it requires paperwork, payment of a fee, and a court appearance.

    McArdle seems to think all juvenile records get expunged automatically. But who is surprised she doesn’t know what she is talking about?

  70. 70
    J R in WV says:

    Megan McArdle

    I would be cool with a teen murderer getting a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. I think there’s good reason we expunge juvenile records, and would raise the expungement age to 21.

    McArdle reveals her true core values, a tiny black shard of obsidian where most of us have a soul. I wonder what she’s had expunged?

  71. 71
    J R in WV says:

    A friend of mine thought his minor pot bust was expunged, but it came up just fine for the Border Patrol just east of El Paso TX late one night. That was a long night, locked up with Joe for the other guy’s mistake. I hate Texas AND the Border Patrol.

    How did he not know there would be a happy Federal dog there?

  72. 72
    Aleta says:

    What do I think? A Republican saying the word postpone is good.

    But when Flake says, “We need to hear from her,” and says “that he does not believe the Judiciary Committee should move ahead with its Thursday vote on Kavanaugh until the senators hear more;”
    and when Graham says  “If [Christine Blasey] Ford wishes to provide information to the committee, I would gladly listen to what she has to say and compare that against all other information we have received about Judge Kavanaugh;”
    I mostly remember that any woman who does this gets destroyed.

    It’s not really about a fair hearing. On the R side it will be about trying to kill doubts by offing her reputation.

    When Graham says he will gladly listen and compare her story to all the good stories about Kav, I hear it more like a threat. It won’t be a positive thing. “Hearing more” will include the woodwork leaking stories about her, reporters harassing her at home and work, lies on TV and print, and vigilantes harassing her on the street, phone and by mail.

    When Schumer says “For too long, when woman have made serious allegations of abuse, they have been ignored,” what I think is, he needs to say “for too long women who allege abuse have been smeared and mentally punished, their careers ruined, and all of that rationalized to protect powerful men and the work they say is more important.”

    What will happen to her isn’t good. I absolutely hope he withdraws, but either way she’ll pay with big pieces of her life and peace of mind. It really sucks.

  73. 73
    Vhh says:

    @Jeffro: it’s a Hold My Beer moment for Trump.

  74. 74
    Matt says:

    Flake may “be uncomfortable saying yes”, but my guess is Grassley just locks the hearing room door and turns up the music.

  75. 75
    WaterGirl says:


    Flake may “be uncomfortable saying yes”, but my guess is Grassley just locks the hearing room door and turns up the music.

    Well done.

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