Late Saturday afternoon, President Donald Trump’s pick for the U.S. Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh is being confirmed to the bench. Those opposed to the credibly accused sexual predator’s confirmation, though, have no apparent plans to just go away because the GOP dislikes them. Saturday afternoon, with just hours to go until the controversial judge’s confirmation, large numbers of protesters made their way right through police barricades and onto the steps of the U.S. Capitol building. Chants of “We do not consent,” “We are strong,” and “We are not afraid” could be heard.
NEW: Anti-Kavanaugh protesters have broken through barriers at the US Capitol and are now on the east steps –> pic.twitter.com/Nht8237DLz
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) October 6, 2018
Kavanaugh protests are heating up outside the Capitol building. pic.twitter.com/yjz0uxbcvd
— Juliegrace Brufke (@juliegraceb) October 6, 2018
The development comes as GOP criticism of the demonstrators continues to pile up. The idea that they’re mostly or all paid demonstrators has caught on like wildfire among top rungs of the Republican Party, with Trump himself leading the idea’s charge.
Friday, he complained:
‘The very rude elevator screamers are paid professionals only looking to make Senators look bad. Don’t fall for it! Also, look at all of the professionally made identical signs. Paid for by Soros and others. These are not signs made in the basement from love!’
To be clear, though, there remains no evidence of some kind of widespread secret plan to pay protesters, although Iowa Republican and U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chuck Grassley has floated the idea as well. The “elevator screamers” Trump has referred to include two women who confronted Arizona Republican and Judiciary Committee member Jeff Flake after he announced his support for Kavanaugh, sharing their stories of assault.
Flake soon after that encounter spearheaded GOP support for a renewed FBI look into the judge’s background, but that investigation has now concluded. Democrats have derided the effort as a sham thanks to its limited scope, unfolding in less than a week with less than a dozen interviews, but Republicans have charged forward anyway.
For some time, all eyes were on a number of key swing votes in the U.S. Senate, including Maine’s Republican Susan Collins and West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin — both of whom ended up announcing support for Kavanaugh. Manchin faces a re-election battle this year, and Collins will be up for re-election in two years — and is already facing over $3 million raised for a future opponent specifically over her Kavanaugh support.
As photos and video show, many have taken that opposition to the streets of D.C. this week, asserting that just because Senate Republicans refuse to acknowledge the fact they’re putting someone credibly accused of sexual assault on the nation’s highest court, they will not be silenced. Large numbers of them have been arrested, carrying on with a precedent set during earlier stages of the Kavanaugh confirmation process, when hundreds of protesters were also arrested.
The tension is perceived as driving however exactly the midterms play out in the less than two months they will be complete. Democrats, at present, maintain a lead over the GOP in generic Congressional ballot polling and are widely expected to take back the U.S. House. It’s possible but far from certain that they take the U.S. Senate as well.
Featured Image via YouTube screenshot