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Let’s be clear about something. The question as to whether Sen. Schumer or Sen. McConnell will be the majority leader is over. Sen. McConnell will be the Senate Majority Leader this January. The only question is how big his majority will be. At this point, I’m betting that he’ll have at least 54 Republicans in his majority.

Each day, I check the RealClearPolitics scorecard in the upper right hand corner of the page. A month ago, Josh Hawley, (R-MO), was the only Republican leading Claire McCaskill, his Democrat opponent. Last week, Republicans leading their Democrat opponents numbered 6: Ted Cruz leading Comrade O’Rourke in Texas, Martha McSally leading Kirsten Sinema in Arizona, Dean Heller leading Jackie Rosen in Nevada, Marsha Blackburn leading Phil Bredesen in Tennessee and Kevin Cramer leading Heidi Heitkamp in North Dakota. Yesterday, Bill Nelson, (D-FL), led Rick Scott. Then he made the asinine mistake of accusing Gov. Scott of using Hurricane Michael for his political advantage. Today, that race is tied. I expect Gov. Scott to win that race. People don’t vote for whiners.

The Beto O’Rourke myth is essentially over, thanks in large part to their last debate:

Sen. Cruz stung O’Rourke when he said that O’Rourke wouldn’t have voted for either Neil Gorsuch or Brett Kavanaugh, then saying that he “led the fight” to confirm those judges to the Supreme Court.

Don’t be surprised if the Senate map gets better for Republicans in the final days. (Think Montana and Minnesota.)

At the risk of dating myself, I’ll use a joke from Chevy Chase’s movie titled “Fletch Lives” to convey this message. It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to figure it out that Heidi Heitkamp is heading for defeat. Larry Holmes could figure this one out. About an hour ago, Heitkamp announced that she won’t confirm Judge Kavanaugh as the next Supreme Court Justice.

Couple that announcement with this weeks polls showing Heitkamp trailing Kevin Kramer by 10 points and 12 points and it’s pretty obvious that she’s history. Of course, that hasn’t stopped her from deploying one of the Democrats’ favorite chanting points:

Heitkamp, who is running for reelection in a state won by Trump, said a public hearing where Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, his first accuser, testified raised questions about Kavanaugh’s “current temperament, honesty, and impartiality” and has “furthered a national discussion about stopping sexual assault. Our actions right now are a poignant signal to young girls and women across our country. I will continue to stand up for them,” Heitkamp said.

This video is worth watching because Chairman Grassley takes the press and Sen. Feinstein to task:

Back to Heitkamp. She’s likely playing for a spot in the next Democrat White House. I predict that she’ll have a long wait for that position.

Had the Democrats simply vigorously opposed Brett Kavanaugh during the Senate Judiciary Committee’s confirmation hearing, they wouldn’t have nationalized these midterm elections. Instead, they turned the hearings into a spectacle, thereby turning the midterms into a referendum on the Democrats’ inability to govern.

Ever since his justified diatribe during last Thursday’s hearing, Lindsey Graham has nailed the Democrats in one interview after another. Last night, he appeared on Sean Hannity’s show to talk about the status of the FBI’s investigation into Judge Kavanaugh. At one point in the interview, Hannity asked him what would happen if Kavanaugh’s confirmation fell a vote short. His answer was nothing short of brilliant, in my estimation:

Here’s the partial transcript of Sen. Graham’s reply:

First of all, I don’t think we will because I don’t think we’ll find out anything new in this investigation. I think Sen. Collins and Sen. Murkowski just wanted to make sure that the FBI did their homework to check the Committee’s work. Now, what would happen if something really weird did occur and we’re 1 vote short on the Committee? Here’s what I’d tell the President. I would appeal the verdict of the Senate to the ballot box. This good man should not be destroyed. If you legitimize this process by falling 1 vote short, woe be unto the next person. I’d hate to be the next person nominated. I would renominate him. I would take this case to the American people and I’d ask voters in Indiana, Missouri and North Dakota and other places where Trump won and see if the voters want to appeal the verdict of their senators.

That’s exactly the right strategy. The Democrats have been totally unfair throughout this process. Let’s see if those states’ voters are as unfair as their senators. I’m betting they aren’t. I’m betting that those voters will boot out those red-state Democrats.

In fact, I’m betting that Democrats have already gone too far with these hearings. When Sen. ‘Spartacus’ said that anyone supporting Judge Kavanaugh was “complicit in evil”, he fired up voters. When Mazie Hirono told men to shut up and do the right thing for once, she fired up voters even more.

The thing, though, that really fired people up was the Democrats constant insistence that Judge Kavanaugh wasn’t entitled to the presumption of innocence because this wasn’t a court trial. The presumption of innocence isn’t just for court trials. It’s the basis for simple fairness. Democrats emphatically implied that Judge Kavanaugh wasn’t entitled to fairness.

This article lays out nicely what’s at stake for red-state Democrats:

Senate Democrats up for reelection this year in deep-red states face a nightmare decision on how to handle Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Vulnerable Democrats are hoping Republicans will force him to withdraw his nomination, allowing them to avoid politically divisive votes.

Their worst nightmare came one step closer when Judge Kavanaugh defiantly said “you might defeat me but I’m not going anywhere.”

The Democrats’ behavior is way over the line. They’ve been despicable, especially Amy Klobuchar, Dianne Feinstein and Mazie Hirono. Those women (I’m using that term exceptionally loosely in that instance) don’t have a bit of integrity combined.

Why has Sen. Klobuchar endorsed accused woman assaulter Keith Ellison but crucified Judge Kavanaugh? The woman who was allegedly assaulted by Keith Ellison has published a doctor’s report. The woman who’s accused Judge Kavanaugh doesn’t have anything in terms of forensic evidence.

Nostradamus isn’t required to find out what will happen in 2019 if the Democrats get control of the House and/or the Senate. The policies that Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and other Democrat Socialists will destroy the positives that President Trump and the GOP have put in place.

I’ll stipulate that Republicans like John McCain, Jeff Flake and Susan Collins haven’t been a great help to President Trump’s agenda. With that said, there’s no disputing that replacing McCain with Jon Kyl, Flake with Martha McSally, Bob Corker with Marsha Blackburn, then replacing Joe Manchin, Joe Donnelly, Jon Tester, Heidi Heitkamp and Claire McCaskill with solid conservatives would be a major step in the right direction.

We’ve seen what happens when environmental activists and socialists get their way. You get a lost decade like we had under Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, then Barack Obama. Companies left the US. Income inequality increased. Economic growth stagnated. Is that the future you want?

Fast forward to January, 2017. President Trump took over. With the help of the Republican Congress, President Trump rolled back billions of dollars of anti-coal and anti-mining regulations that the Democrats had installed. Though Sen. McCain sunk our attempt to repeal and replace the ACA, President Trump and the Republicans revamped the tax code, unleashing the animal spirits of an economy stalled for too long.

The result? Small business and consumer confidence soaring. Capital investment increasing for the first time in years. In other non-economic areas, we’re confirming solid judges that think it’s a sin to act like legislators but who see interpreting the Constitution as their primary function.

This past week, Democrats showed that they’re only interested in obstructing everything that President Trump stands for. Will Republicans fight with President Trump? Or will we let evil triumph? As for myself, I plan on fighting until I drop.

Republicans, it’s time to get fired up and kick some electoral ass.

This article highlights the pickle that Democrats find themselves in over the Kavanaugh nomination. At one point, the article states “White House officials contend the Supreme Court was a powerful motivator for Republican base voters in 2016, when Trump won the White House, and they’re seeking to capitalize on Kavanaugh’s confirmation to help overcome an enthusiasm gap with Democrats. Likewise, a vote for Kavanaugh by either Tester or Heitkamp could frustrate their Democratic base eager for a more confrontational approach to the Trump administration.”

With the Democrats’ base getting crazier with each primary, the Democrats are in a difficult spot. Do they do the right thing and listen to their constituents? Or do they pander to the progressive extremists that fund their campaigns? If I was advising them, I’d advise them to take a centrist approach and tell the extremists to take a hike. I’d rather have the votes than the campaign cash. It isn’t that complicated.

“It’s a real pickle,” said GOP strategist Josh Holmes. “There is no question that all of these red-state Democrats would prefer to have an extremely quiet experience when it comes to the consideration of Kavanaugh,” he said. “They don’t want to upset leadership and the liberal base that’s funding their campaigns, but the voters who control their fate are overwhelmingly in favor of Kavanaugh.”

The problem for these Democrats is that President Trump intends on making this a loud rambunctious election issue. If they vote against Kavanaugh, they’ll lose. In fact, I’d argue that they’re already likely to lose since they both voted against the Trump/GOP tax cuts. That issue hasn’t been exploited — yet — but it soon will.

Democrats question whether the Kavanaugh vote will resonate in the race to unseat Tester, the Big Sandy farmer who has emphasized his independence and willingness to cross the partisan aisle to work with the president, who carried Montana by 20 percentage points two years ago.

“It’s not like you’re standing in the grocery store line and people are talking about the Kavanaugh confirmation. It’s pretty inside baseball for folks,” said Barrett Kaiser, a Montana-based Democratic strategist who advised former Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont. Kaiser said Tester had demonstrated a “proven bipartisan record of working with this administration when it helps Montana and oppose them when it doesn’t.”

That’s BS. In Tester’s case, he’s already voted against Justice Gorsuch and the Trump/GOP tax cuts. If he votes against confirming Judge Kavanaugh, what type of chance will he have of convincing Montanans that he’s a bipartisan on the issues that matter most? I’m betting that chance drops precipitously. Just watch this rally, then tell me that Trump isn’t inspiring new voters:

Heitkamp and Tester might as well vote against Kavanaugh. It isn’t like they’ve got a great chance of winning this November.

This incoherent scribbling in the Huffington Post highlights what desperate straits the Democrats are in. The chief scribbler says Brett Kavanaugh’s “confirmation is far from inevitable”, noting that, thanks to “Sen. John McCain’s illness, Republicans have a tiny effective majority of 50 to 49 in the Senate. If Democrats all vote against confirmation — which is not impossible — Republicans must unanimously hold the line.”

Clearly, this is a case of extreme wishful thinking. First, Chuck Schumer isn’t whipping this vote. Next, red state Democrats won’t sacrifice their seats just to keep some Indivisible/Resistance crazies happy.

Then there’s this:

Two of the Republicans who voted against ending the Affordable Care Act, Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, are still very much in play, despite early signals that some think may mean they are leaning toward confirmation. Three other Republican senators may also be unreliable votes for confirmation, depending on how the confirmation process plays out: Jeff Flake of Arizona, Dean Heller of Nevada and Cory Gardner of Colorado.

This writer doesn’t offer any evidence that Collins, Murkowski, Flake, Heller or Gardner are considering voting against confirming Kavanaugh. It’s entirely speculation.

Kavanaugh’s record indicates he would likely vote to reverse the narrowly decided Supreme Court ruling finding the Affordable Care Act constitutional. That allows opponents to argue that if a senator votes for confirmation of Kavanaugh, he or she is voting to take away your health care. This is the issue that caused Murkowski and Collins to dramatically break with their party last summer, and you can expect it to take a major role in efforts aimed at swaying their votes again.

There is also very little question that Kavanaugh would vote to gut Roe v. Wade, which gave women the right to choose to terminate a pregnancy. Yet a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC poll found that 71 percent of Americans oppose repealing Roe, including 52 percent of self-identified Republicans. Even in red states like Manchin’s West Virginia, Heitkamp’s North Dakota or Donnelly’s Indiana, voters don’t want a woman’s right to make her own choices about pregnancy taken away.

Is there anything in this scribbling that suggests a connection with reality? I’ll stipulate that it has a connection with the Democrats’ talking points. That isn’t the same as a connection with reality, though.

The truth is that I hope that Democrats vote unanimously against confirming Judge Kavanaugh. It’ll make defeating them this November that much easier. ‘Uncle Orrin’ Hatch has had enough of the Democrats’ stupidity:

Good for him. It’s long past time.

After President Trump tweeted that he’s willing to shut down the government over funding for his border wall, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that he’s optimistic they “can avoid a government shutdown.” A senior Republican aide said “We’ve got the whole month of August dedicated to appropriations. This notion that we’re going to shut down the government — everyone needs to dial down the panic button a couple notches.”

That leads me to this question: will Republicans finish the major funding bills on time, then force Democrats to either vote for funding the wall or shutting the government down? The truth is that Republicans might paint the Democrats into a corner by passing the vast majority of appropriations bills on time. The NDAA is heading to President Trump’s desk, which funds the military. Since Congress is passing individual appropriations bills rather than a CR that funds the entire government, the MSM and the Democrats (pardon the repetition) will find it virtually impossible to succeed in accusing Republicans of shutting down government.

Further, the part of the government that is actually shut down is the Department of Homeland Security. Do Democrats really want to tell swing-district voters that they don’t want to build the wall? That might work in some of the most liberal districts but it can’t help them in the Rust Belt, the Midwest or Great Lakes states where they’re fighting to recapture governorships and/or hold onto precarious Senate seats. Further, if Democrats vote against funding the wall, won’t that essentially kill their opportunity to flip the Arizona and Nevada Senate seats?

“We’ll finish up the set of appropriations measures we’ve been considering for several days and take four more big steps toward our goal of completing a regular appropriations process and funding the government in a timely and orderly manner,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.

President Obama loved getting Republicans into an all-or-nothing position because he had the biggest megaphone. Republicans now have that super-sized megaphone. It’s worth noting that President Trump is on the right side of the border wall issue. Whether Republicans realize it or not, most Rust Belt/Corn Belt states prefer keeping the gangs, drug cartels and human traffickers out of their states.

If Democrats want to bet that they’re on the right side of that issue, let ’em try. Ultimately, I’m betting that there’s more people who want to stop MS-13 and keep the economy running strong than there are people who prefer open borders, rampant crime and a return to the Obama economy.

If Republicans can campaign on getting their appropriations done on time, that will tell voters that, despite a bumpy start, Republicans are getting the nation’s work done on time. That’s a net positive for both the House and Senate. Couple that with the Senate confirming another Supreme Court justice and the House getting started on Tax Cuts 2.0 and you’ve got a pretty nice list of accomplishments to run on.

If funding the wall is the only thing left on the agenda, that’d put Democrats in a sticky position. That’s a position red state Democrat senators don’t want to find themselves in.

This Politico article contains some of the best news I’ve seen all day. When I read “the party’s base is demanding Schumer and his colleagues wage a knock-down, drag-out fight”, I couldn’t help but smile from ear-to-ear.

Let’s be upfront about this. I don’t expect this to happen. Still, if the Democrats want to imperil their most vulnerable senators, I’ll be happy to see that happen. I’d love to see Republicans pick up 6-7 seats instead of 2-3 seats in the Senate.

Still, if the Democrats’ base insists on a knock-down-drag-out fight, Republicans should smile, then hit these red-state Democrats hard until they’re too toxic to win. In some cases, that shouldn’t be that difficult. It’s important that we remember that this vote isn’t the only thing that senators like Manchin, Donnelly, Tester, Heitkamp and Nelson will be judged on. Tester and Nelson voted against Gorsuch. All of them voted against the Trump/GOP tax cuts. Don’t think that those votes won’t be included in the GOP’s closing arguments in late October and early November.

Still, how long at-risk Democrats can or should hold out is a complicated political equation that could affect their survival in November. As long as they remain undecided, deep-pocketed conservative groups like the Judicial Crisis Network and Americans for Prosperity will continue pounding them with pro-Kavanaugh ads and activism in their states.

A spokeswoman for JCN said it would pull ads when and if Democratic senators come out in support of Kavanaugh and shift to thanking the nominee’s supporters. Meanwhile, GOP opponents, who expect some of these Democrats to ultimately support Kavanaugh, are hitting them for their supposed indecision.

Organizations like the Judicial Crisis Network are already running ads like this against Democrats:

This is another hard-hitting ad from JCN:

Good luck dealing with that pressure.
UPDATE: Rand Paul has announced that he’s supporting Kavanaugh’s confirmation. The pressure just got a lot more intense for Manchin, Donnelly, Heitkamp, Tester, etc.

Earlier this week, I criticized Democrat strategists for not being too bright. As if to provide proof that I was right, Paul ‘The Forehead’ Begala wrote this op-ed to prove my point. His point is that vulnerable red state Democrats can vote against confirming Brett Kavanaugh and not get punished for that vote.

The first point Begala makes is that “Kavanaugh is a total swamp creature.” Coming from a Democrat, that’s rich. Coming from a 25-year occupant of the Swamp, that’s even richer. Then Begala followed by saying “Rather than choosing a judge from Indiana or Pennsylvania or other heartland states, President Trump went with a Beltway Boy, born and bred. Kavanaugh got to where he is the Washington way: by loyally serving powerful figures in the party — first special prosecutor Ken Starr in his pursuit of Bill Clinton, then as a legal hit man in the Constitutional drive-by shooting of Bush v. Gore. And then, finally, as an aide to Pres. George W. Bush in the White House. Bush rewarded Kavanaugh’s service by placing him on the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, where he has consistently backed presidential power against the little guy or gal. Kavanaugh is the kind of guy who sucks up and spits down — the epitome of a Beltway swamp creature. Nobody who rides a John Deere tractor all day will be able to relate to Beltway Brett.”

Notice that Begala never once said that Kavanaugh was a bad judge. The only reference to jurisprudence he made was to “the Constitutional drive-by shooting of Bush v. Gore.” I know Democrats hate that ruling but that case was decided correctly. The Florida Supreme Court didn’t follow the law. The Bush team took the case to the US Supreme Court. SCOTUS instructed the Florida Supreme Court to follow the law as written. When the Florida Supreme Court ignored SCOTUS’ instructions, SCOTUS ended the recount. At that point, Bush was ahead. There was no other outcome warranted.

That being said, I hope these red state Democrats listen to Begala. I hope that they ignore their constituents. I hope that they play into the hands of Republicans. They won’t stop Kavanaugh’s confirmation but they’ll give voters another reason to fire them. Let’s remember that 7 of the 10 Democrats voted against confirming Justice Gorsuch and that all of them voted against the Trump/GOP tax cuts. That isn’t a re-election resume. That’s a defeat resume.

Then Begala wrote this:

Finally, Begala wrote this:

If you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything. If President Trump is able to replace Justice Kennedy with a Trumpian Republican, women’s rights, gay rights, voting rights, the right to use contraceptives, so much of modern life, could be upended. Standing for principle, not caving to a bully, earns the respect of voters. Far better to be what Mark Shields calls “a conviction politician” rather than just another Washington windsock.

What a blowhard. Saying that confirming Kavanaugh will lead to making contraceptives illegal is the height of dishonesty. There’s no chance that will happen. This is the Democrats’ fearmongering playbook. It doesn’t have anything to do with reality. Nothing.

Still, I hope these red state Democrats obey Begala and Dick Durbin:

Suffice it to say that strategists like Begala are strategists that Republicans should promote. LOL

When then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid decided to abolish the filibuster on judicial nominees and presidential appointments in 2013, people told him that his tactic would have adverse affects in years to come. Chief among those critics was Mitch McConnell, the current Senate Majority Leader.

Last year, Democrat special interest organizations ordered Democrats to filibuster the nomination of Neil Gorsuch, President Trump’s pick to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. When Democrats complied, Sen. McConnell predictably replied by dropping the nuclear option on the Democrats. This summer, when Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, those same Democrat special interest organizations have ordered Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to keep all Democrats together in voting against President Trump’s nominee to replace Justice Kennedy. (Apparently, the idiots who ordered the first mistake haven’t learned that it’s foolish to double down on that mistake.)

This article highlights just how foolish Democrats are. Because these special interest organizations insisted on resisting President Trump the last time, they don’t have a chance this time. It must’ve killed Carl Hulse to write this:

The actions of a handful of Senate Democrats struggling to hold their seats in red states where Mr. Trump remains popular — notably Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Donnelly of Indiana and Joe Manchin III of West Virginia — will have broad implications for the party at a critical political juncture.

That’s just the start of the list. After this week, you’d better add Jon Tester, Claire McCaskill and Bill Nelson to the list, too. If Tim Kaine votes against President Trump’s latest nominee, it’ll be difficult for him to defend himself because he will have voted against both of President Trump’s Supreme Court nominees.

That’s what happens when politicians listen to lunatics like this activist:

Republicans should thank Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell and President Trump for the difficult position Democrats are in right now.