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Ugly war of words in Senate as nation splits over Kavanaugh

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By Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner

Republicans and Democrats are ramping up accusatory tweets, floor speech insults, and hallway criticisms of each other as the Senate hurdles toward what the GOP hopes is a final vote this week on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Aside from just the usual sniping on the Senate floor, activists who believe Kavanaugh is a serial sexual assaulter are harassing Republicans at every turn, both in the hallways and even at the airport as they show up for work.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sens. David Perdue, R-Ga., and Bob Corker, R-Tenn., were all accosted by anti-Kavanaugh activists when they arrived at Reagan National Airport on Monday. That tactic is one many senators haven't seen in a fight over a Supreme Court nominee, and Corker says he's not sure the Senate, or the country, will ever be the same again.

“This is really not even about the Senate,” Corker said. “It’s about where the country right now and we as a nation have to figure out a way to unite. Right now there are just so many issues that separate us.”

“This is much deeper than just the Senate, this is the whole country,” he said when asked how the Senate can recover.

Republicans are also angry that Democrats are throwing up what they say are baseless accusations against Kavanaugh in a bid to undermine his support. Late Tuesday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, got fed up with it after Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., sent along a letter that included a vague allegation from someone who wasn't sure Kavanaugh was in any way involved in questionable activities at a frat house.

The accuser, Tad Low, wants the Judiciary Committee to probe Kavanaugh’s calendars to see if he was there. But Grassley rejected that.

"My investigators have serious work to do," he wrote to Coons. "I therefore hope that, before forwarding an allegation in the future, you will first consider whether you'd want you or your staff to spend valuable time investigating it."

McConnell and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., traded barbs on the Senate floor Tuesday, after McConnell said he's never seen anything like the Democrats' "despicable" mission to destroy Kavanaugh's reputation.

“What is doubly exasperating about this is this is clearly an effort to destroy the reputation of a good man,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. “This has been the most outrageous search and destroy mission, to just literally take out a man’s reputation. The whole effort is just despicable by any objective standard.”

But Democrats are also getting angry, and say Republicans are trying to ignore the allegations against Kavanaugh in a rush to confirm him before they risk losing control of the Senate.

Schumer said McConnell's comments were “so absurd, so filled with double standards, with innuendo, with hypocrisy, that you don’t know whether to laugh or cry.”

He reminded Republicans that they held up President Barack Obama's Supreme Court nominee for months in the hopes that Trump would win and make his own pick.

“What a double standard,” Schumer said Tuesday. “How galling.”

But Republicans say Democrats are taking it too far, by taking too seriously claims against Kavanaugh involving gang rape, drug use, and even what turned out to be a fabricated fight on a boat Kavanaugh had in Rhode Island.

“If you think this is about a search for the truth, you need to put down the bong,” Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., told reporters. “This is about gamesmanship. This is about political advantage, this is about 'win baby win' at any cost.”

Republicans are also fuming at what they say is an evolving standard used to evaluate Kavanaugh’s fitness for the Supreme Court. While Democrats were once fixated on Christine Blasey Ford’s claim that Kavanaugh attempted to sexually assault her while the two were in high school, now they are questioning his temperament following his fiery defense at a hearing last week.

“Democrats have called Judge Kavanaugh a rich, drunk, lying sexual predator,” Kennedy said. “He’s on trial for his life, so is his spouse so are his parents and so are his kids and he got mad, and now they are criticizing him for getting mad. That is the height of hypocrisy.”

Democrats kept piling on Tuesday, by highlighting a new report that said Kavanaugh's name showed up in a police report that said he threw ice at a bar patron during college. Democrats said it's more evidence that Kavanaugh doesn't have the temperament to be a Supreme Court judge.

But McConnell openly mocked them on the Senate floor.

"Get this, Judge Kavanaugh may have been accused of throwing some ice — ice — across a college bar back in the mid-1980s," he said. "Talk about a bombshell."

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Politics - U.S. Daily News: Ugly war of words in Senate as nation splits over Kavanaugh
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