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Heitkamp Opposes Kavanaugh Despite Pressure From Trump

Heidi Heitkamp is in a vulnerable spot. The safe move would have been to vote for Brett Kavanaugh, but she's standing firm.

Donald Trump has had political crosshairs on Heidi Heitkamp since 2016 because he is a raging misogynist who has no compunction taking aim at a vulnerable Red State Democratic woman.

Which is why it makes her announcement that she will oppose Brett Kavanaugh's nomination that much more bold. Trump will surely use her opposition as a weapon with the angry men of her state, but I suspect most of the women will stand up for her.

In a statement released earlier today, Heitkamp wrote, "In addition to the concerns about his past conduct, last Thursday’s hearing called into question Judge Kavanaugh’s current temperament, honesty, and impartiality. These are critical traits for any nominee to serve on the highest court in our country.”

She went on to remind her constituents that she voted for Neil Gorsuch, but could not vote for Kavanaugh. “When I listened to Dr. Ford testify, I heard the voices of women I have known throughout my life who have similar stories of sexual assault and abuse.”

“There are many extremely qualified candidates to serve on the Court. I’m ready to work with the president to confirm a nominee who is suited for the honor and distinction of serving this lifetime appointment," she concluded.

This is an extraordinary stand for her to take with just over 30 days left until the election. But as Jennifer Rubin (!!!) noted in a column about this:

For some in public office, the reward and the thrill is not getting to keep a cushy job that comes with staff, sycophants and travel. It is rather the thrill of leaving one’s mark, of being a mention in history for having done something brave and good and right.

Sorry, but you don’t go down in the history books because of clever tweets when you’ve simply voted down the line on every measure — good, bad or indifferent — the base wants. No one will be remembered (except in a campaign ad) for making the politically expedient vote to confirm Kavanaugh. Some of them may think they are doing the right thing, although the “tell” was their willingness to plunge ahead without ever hearing from Christine Blasey Ford. But when you follow the herd, you don’t get to leave your own distinct hoof print.


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Today, Heitkamp did that brave thing.

Will it matter? I don't know. I hear rumors that Flake and Sasse are wavery right now, but those are just rumors. It's possible Manchin will either stand as a Democrat or wiggle into the Yes camp with his Republican friends. It's possible Kavanaugh will be confirmed on a party line vote or that Pence will break a tie.

All of these things are possible I am assuming we will have Justice Kavanaugh as early as Sunday morning, just in time for Monday's workday. But in the end, I will still celebrate the Senators who did the right thing as Heidi Heitkamp did.

For that decision, and the motives behind it, she has earned the right to be re-elected to the Senate. Don't write her off for November, because integrity should be rewarded.

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