This morning, Brett Kavanaugh's nomination was passed through the Senate to advance to a final vote that will be held presumably sometime tomorrow. The margin for Kavanaugh was 51-49, one vote short of a tie.
The four Senators everyone had been watching - Susan Collins of Maine, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska - did not vote as a bloc, as had been expected. Of the four, only Murkowski voted no, allowing the debate to end so that Kavanaugh's nomination could pass to a final vote.
This is not an indication of how the final vote will shape out. In last year's dramatic battle over the ACA, Murkowski, Collins, and the late John McCain voted yes to advance the bill through, but came out with no votes at the end. Collins has also said that while she voted to advance the nomination, she will not reveal her plans for the final vote until 3:00 this afternoon.
But this is cold comfort for those who oppose Kavanaugh's nomination. Yesterday, thousands of demonstrators showed up on the floor of the Hart Senate Office Building to protest Kavanaugh, including comedian Amy Schumer (who is also a distant cousin of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.) While some Senators, such as North Dakota blue dog Heidi Heitkamp, listened to the women who came to share their stories of surviving assault, others were not so courteous.
In a moment that went viral, some women confronted retiring Senator Orrin Hatch as he walked into an elevator. Hatch waved them off and told them to "grow up."
Lindsey Graham, whose Yosemite Sam tirade during last week's hearings revealed a frightening side to the usually collected Senator, has been condescending and irritated with the protestors who have challenged him. When a woman told him her story of surviving a sexual assault last week, he told her to "go to the cops." Yesterday, he snapped again, telling protestors that they'd "humiliated this guy long enough." When asked if he supported Kavanaugh taking a polygraph test, he retorted, "Why don't we dunk him in water and see if he floats."
Barring a last-minute turnaround from two of the three remaining Senators, the fight against Kavanaugh is over and he will be seated on the Supreme Court, despite a history of drunkenness, partisanship, and sexual abuse. If Republicans seat him, they should be warned - people are galvanized now as they have never been, and they will not forget the shameful treachery that has been foisted upon us without our consent.