In Brett Kavanaugh, Donald Trump sees his chance to whip up the Republican base and strengthen Republican chances in November’s elections. Kavanaugh might be broadly unpopular and more people might believe Dr. Christine Blasey Ford that she was sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh than believe Kavanaugh’s ragey denials, but the people who do believe him? They’re Republicans.
That’s why Trump brought Kavanaugh to the White House for a public swearing-in ceremony even though he’d already been privately sworn in, and why Trump used the occasion to promote outrage that women dared speak out against a powerful man. It’s why he ranted to reporters earlier Monday about how Kavanaugh had been victimized by a “hoax.” It’s why he’s still attacking protesters:
This strategy is … questionable.
Anita Dunn, a Democratic strategist and former White House official, said Mr. Trump had already made himself anathema to many female voters. “Injecting himself into the aftermath and making it his victory to crow about may work with his absolute base but is probably not helpful with voters who didn’t like the spectacle and therefore don’t like the president continuing the spectacle,” she said. “And there is no doubt that making it about himself will keep his opponents equally, if not more, energized than his base.”
Trump is certainly succeeding in making some misogynist Republicans extra excited right now—but will it last until November 6 and will any of them turn out to vote who wouldn’t have otherwise? On the other side, Democrats need to carry the rage from the past weeks forward with us into organizing and getting out the vote and winning.
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