Profiles in courage and cowardice

Profiles in courage and cowardice

This morning, two senators made their intentions on Brett Kavanaugh clear.

Jeff Flake, who is retiring at the end of this term, is going to vote to confirm Kavanaugh.

Joe Donnelly, Democratic senator from Indiana, who is in a tight reelection fight, will vote against Kavanaugh.

Donnelly, of course, has the most to lose. And yet he’s taking a principled stand against putting a perjurer and sexual abuser on the Supreme Court. This may affect his reelection chances.

Flake, living up to his name, caved on Kavanaugh, even though, politically, he has nothing to lose. Of course, voting against Kavanaugh might cost him some cushy sinecure come January 2019. He knows what side his bread is buttered on.

As I said in last night’s post, bravery isn’t the lack of fear, but facing the fear and doing the right thing. By that metric, Donnelly displayed bravery, while Flake displayed his usual cravenness.

The chances of Kavanaugh getting confirmed went up with Flake’s decision. It’s a decision he didn’t have to take. But cowards will be cowards. People like Flake are the reason Donald Trump has a death grip on the Republican Party. And people like Flake will be the reason why that death grip will become terminal.


Well, Jeff Flake seems to have found some cojones. Or maybe he actually felt that rarest of things for a Republican—shame, when he was confronted on the elevator by two rape survivors and called on his commitment to vote for Kavanaugh.

He voted to move the nomination out of committee, but called for an FBI investigation before the full Senate vote. Barring this, he was going to be a “no” vote. Lisa Murkowski and Joe Manchin then joined him in calling for the FBI to investigate.

As this is a continuation of the background check, either the Senate has to call for the FBI to get involved, or Trump has to do so. This puts both McConnell and Moron Hitler in an impossible bind. Once the FBI gets involved, you just don’t know where it will lead. Trump was over the moon yesterday at Kavanaugh’s spittle-flecked defiance. Now, once again, he has been stymied.

I am going to make no predictions. But, if in fact Flake’s conscience was pricked by Ana Maria Archila and Maria Gallagher, this goes to show that heroes come in all forms, and that resistance is never futile, no matter what the doomsayers say. Remember this as we go forward.

Like what you read? Chip in, keep us going.

Weekend self-care open thread—One-hit wonders from the 80s

Weekend self-care open thread—One-hit wonders from the 80s

Open thread—The denouement

Open thread—The denouement