News and Commentary

Outgoing Democrat Senator: Democrats Mishandled Brett Kavanaugh Accusations

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) lost her re-election bid in November, and now blames her loss in part on how Democrats tried to destroy now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s life over thin and uncorroborated allegations of sexual assault.

“I don’t think my vote [against Kavanaugh] hurt me as much as the spectacle that occurred,” McCaskill told NPR host Rachel Martin last week. “There were mistakes made by my party in terms of how that was handled. I don’t think that communication [from Christine Blasey Ford] to the judiciary committee should have been kept private as long as it was. The FBI deals with a lot of confidential information, and that would have absolved [judiciary committee ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein] of the very real perception that this was an 11th-hour attempt to gut a guy.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) received the allegations from Ford on July 30, 2018 – nearly a month after Kavanaugh had been nominated and before his confirmation hearings. Feinstein did not share the letter with fellow Democrats and did not bring it or its contents up during the confirmation hearings. It wasn’t until the letter was leaked to certain members of the press that Feinstein acknowledged its existence.

You know the rest of the story: The confirmation process was reopened at the 11th hour to allow Ford and Kavanaugh a chance to testify, then Sen. Jeff Flake demanded a one-week long FBI investigation (which Democrats had previously agreed to). Once the FBI started investigating, Democrats claimed one week wasn’t long enough.

Kavanaugh had his name dragged through the mud over allegations that have no evidence to back them up, and actually have more evidence that points to the allegations being mistaken or flat out untrue.

McCaskill paved the way for these kinds of accusations with her support of the Obama administration’s war on due process. McCaskill was one of the leading voices for the Campus Accountability and Safety Act (CASA), which enshrined the principles of the Obama administration into law and whipped up further moral panic of campus sexual assault. She repeatedly furthered the debunked claim that 1-in-5 women have been sexually assaulted while in college. The policies she advocated for in the military and on college campuses helped lead to the “Believe Women” movement that insists due process is anathema to justice, and that simply making an accusation made someone a “victim” or “survivor.”

These beliefs were seen in action during the Kavanaugh sham, where numerous left-leaning groups insisted they “believed” Ford and demanded Kavanaugh withdraw from the nomination. They insisted that Ford’s allegation was all the evidence needed to condemn Kavanaugh for something that may or may not have happened 36 years ago, even though witnesses couldn’t corroborate any of the accuser’s stories.

McCaskill did not fully blame her loss on the Kavanaugh situation, however. She said the main reason she lost was that Democrats did not work “to gain enough trust with rural Americans,” and abandoned moderates.

That may be part of the problem — and it’s certainly a problem for Democrats going forward — but Missouri wanted Kavanaugh confirmed and McCaskill voted not just weeks before the election. She lost to senator-elect Josh Hawley.