Joe Manchin’s Argument for Voting for Brett Kavanaugh Makes No Sense

If you don’t believe it was Brett Kavanaugh who sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford, then you don’t actually believe Christine Blasey Ford.

Joe Manchin

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call/Newscom via ZUMA

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

Just seconds after Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins announced she would, in the end, support Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court—effectively assuring he will prevail in the final vote on Saturday—the last Democrat still on the fence, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, finally hopped off it:

He’s a yes. Unless something changes, on Saturday, he’ll be the only Democrat—joining all but one Republican—voting for Kavanaugh.

In explaining his decision to reporters not long after, Manchin offered a familiar refrain, echoing colleagues such as Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.)—he believes Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations of sexual assault, but he doesn’t believe she was sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh:

Perhaps Manchin really does believe this, but the second part of the comment renders the first part irrelevant. In Ford’s letter to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), her interview with Senate Judiciary Committee staffers, and her emotional public testimony, she was unwavering on this one point: She is “100 percent” confident it was Kavanaugh who assaulted her. She remembers his face, and she remembers, most of all, his laughter. If you don’t believe it was Brett Kavanaugh who sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford, then you don’t actually believe Christine Blasey Ford.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate