Not much mercy, but a lot of questions for Murkowski after she explains her ‘no’ on Kavanaugh

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh passed a key step to becoming the ninth justice on the high court with the Senate voting 51-49 on Friday to end debate on his nomination.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, talks with the media in the Capitol after voting “no” on a cloture that advanced the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to a final vote on October 5, 2018. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

And while the voting broke mostly along party lines, there were defections from both parties. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., was the lone Democrat to vote “yes” to cut off debate, while one of the usual suspects on the right, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, sided with Democrats.

A development that sheds new light on an earlier photo of Murkowski huddling with Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., the architect of the Kavanaugh hitjob, in the basement of the Capitol.

In speaking with reporters after the vote, Murkowski said that she “did not come to a decision on this until walking into the floor this morning.”

The liberal Republican said it was a difficult decision, according to Washington Post reporter Elise Viebeck, which is surprising given how often she betrays her party. When it was time for her to voice her vote, it was widely reported as noticeably ‘soft’:

“I have been wrestling with whether or not this was about the qualifications of a good man or is this bigger than the nominee,” she told reporters. “And I believe we’re dealing with issues right now that are bigger than a nominee.”

Even more troubling than Friday’s vote, Murkowski gave every indication that she may not vote for Kavanuagh when the nomination goes to the floor of the Senate for an up or down vote, which is expected to happen Saturday.

“I took the very very difficult vote that I did. I believe that Brett Kavanaugh is a good man, I believe that he is a good man, it just may be that in my view he’s not the right man for the court at this time,” she said.

With a 51-49 majority, the GOP can weather one defection, which would put the resulting tiebreaker in the hands of Vice President Mike Pence, who would vote to confirm Kavanaugh.

As for the bigger issue, we can only assume that Murkowski is speaking about the #MeToo movement, which has been weaponized by Democrats. While the 11th hour ambush of Kavanaugh was seen for what it was, an attempt at character assassination, by rational Americans, it appears Murkowski may have been duped into going along with the opposition party.

Perhaps, the most interesting effect of Murkowski’s sell out was a tweet from Fox News’ Laura Ingraham.

“I like Alaska…a lot. Maybe it’s time to run for Senate after all. @lisamurkowski has abandoned all principles of due process and fairness. Disgraceful,” she tweeted.

The only problem is, Murkowski isn’t up for reelection for another four years, in 2022.

Here’s a sampling of other notable responses to the Alaska senator’s vote today:


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Tom Tillison


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