The Democratic party seems to be putting a lot (all?) of its hopes on the Ford sexual assault allegations for blocking the Kavanaugh nomination. Media coverage has been extensive and highly polarized.

Based on various discussions online, it appears that the allegations have given conservatives, who might otherwise have not cared much about Kavanaugh, a lot to oppose. I've seen at least one case where someone decided to stop voting for Democrats because they didn't like the tone of party messaging on the issue. I have at least one personal friend who will be "turned off" by these events, and likely poses a risk of "going conservative" on other issues as a result.

  1. Was this intensive media focus on the sexual assault accusation(s) deliberate Democratic Party strategy, or is it more the news media's own doing?
  2. If the answer to #1 is "yes, it was deliberate", then why? Why is this their big strategy for blocking Kavanaugh's nomination?
  • 4
    This is actually two questions: why focus on x and are they actually focusing on x. Ask the second first or try to give evidence that they seem to do that.
    – Communisty
    Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 13:21
  • @Communisty good observation. I've restated the question to make that explicit. Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 13:26
  • 2
    Any attempt to answer this question will be highly speculative. While it is an interesting question, "You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems"
    – BobE
    Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 13:43
  • 1
    Unless they have made some sort of planned strategy publicly available(which I doubt they have), then you're asking us to speculate on their internal/private motivations, which nobody except them could truly answer.
    – Giter
    Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 13:55
  • 4
    Dr. Ford, if she is being honest, came forward to talk about something she experienced in her life. It was, supposedly, an event she did not wish for. Not sure how that qualifies as the Democratic party "choosing a strategy." I mean, if someone claims they were sexually assaulted, what else could they choose to talk about when making an allegation of that nature? Commented Sep 28, 2018 at 15:05

1 Answer 1


There are three reasons why you might oppose Kavanaugh's nomination:

  1. He was put forward by President Trump, and you don't like Trump. Blocking his nomination would hurt Trump.

  2. You disagree with his published opinions on specific issues, and are concerned about how he would rule if he were confirmed.

  3. You think that he is a bad person who should not be on the Supreme Court.

Until Dr. Ford made her allegation of attempted rape there was no one who considered that number 3 was an issue, so that left numbers 1 and 2. All Democratic senators opposed him because of these reasons, but it seemed very unlikely that any Republican senators would do so, and so the Democrats had no realistic hope of preventing the confirmation.

Now Dr. Ford has thrown number 3 into play. Its the only hope the Democrats have of preventing this nomination, so of course they are going to pick it up and run with it.

From the media point of view, this is a dramatic human-interest story that turns a fundamentally boring bit of politics into a Perry Mason movie, so of course they are going to pick it up and run with it.

  • You are wrong about 2 and 3. I do not believe that Kavanaugh is necessarily highly ideological (2), but he is highly partisan to an unprecedented degree (3). The perjury he committed during the earlier hearings in regards to leaking documents to help Bush era appointees, his reversal of his stance on executive power after going from Ken Starr to Bush admin, and his response during the latest hearing saying that everything a Clinton conspiracy and the Democrats will "reap the whirlwind" show that he is first and foremost a bad faith partisan actor.
    – Teleka
    Commented Sep 29, 2018 at 1:28
  • @Teleka I don't see the distinction you are making about (2), although by "opinions" I didn't just mean judicial findings. I wasn't aware of your points about (3): maybe you should post them in a separate answer. Commented Sep 29, 2018 at 7:03

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .