McConnell’s gambit to save Kavanaugh’s confirmation: Convince accuser to not show up at hearing
Now McConnell is sending a message not just to his base, but trying to tell Ford that she might as well not bother to show up because Kavanaugh’s confirmation is a foregone conclusion. Because he knows that if this hearing goes forward, it’s going to be a mess. Democrats are going to make an issue of whether Kavanaugh knew about or was involved in Ed Whelan’s insane strategy of trying to pin the assault on Ford on one of Kavanaugh’s old friends.
At this point, Republicans have essentially ceded the point that the assault did happen. They know how disastrous the optics of a hearing where her character and mental stability are questioned would be. So their only out was this mistaken identity gambit, allowing that the attack really happened. Their only real option now that that effort has collapsed is following Trump down in to the morass of victim-blaming.