Swing Vote on Kavanaugh Says He’ll Be Great on Abortion Rights

Ron Sachs/CNP via ZUMA

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This is from an interview with Sen. Susan Collins recorded a few days ago:

Well, of course he’s going to repeal Roe. That doesn’t mean he’s literally going to be the author of an opinion that explicitly makes abortion illegal, but it does mean that everyone with a pulse knows perfectly well that he’ll be part of a reliable five-justice majority that will steadily dismantle abortion rights until Roe is repealed in all but name. That much is obvious. The part that puzzles me is what Collins really thinks. Is she really so credulous that she believes Kavanaugh will be a vote for reproductive rights? Does she know he isn’t, but doesn’t want to admit it in public? Or what?

Beats me. But there’s a second implication of this tweet too—one that’s so subtle it might not even be there. And yet, the “very close” phrasing somehow gives me the feeling that Collins—along with plenty of other Republicans—is actually more likely to vote for Kavanaugh because of the attempted rape allegations against him. In Collins’ mind, it’s turned the whole thing into a deeply unfair and partisan attack on Kavanaugh, and that raises her hackles. It would certainly raise mine if the tables were turned. That in turn makes her determined not to get conned by a liberal lynch mob, and thus more likely to vote for Kavanaugh.

This is just a guess on my part. Of course, I always figured she was a Yes vote on Kavanaugh from the moment he was announced, so maybe none of this has made any difference at all.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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