At the core of this very revealing, and for many upsetting, hearing was the radically different approaches the two parties take to knowledge. The Democratic Senators seemed comfortable is the realm of science and the reality that human memory is complex and that some moments remain deeply imprinted while others may fade away. The Republicans pursued a different course, one that was more grounded in a subjective sense of Kavanaugh’s character and honesty.
In this context, occasional statements by the people like Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) that if the President fired Robert Mueller, it would be the beginning of the end of his presidency or by the office of the Speaker Ryan urging Trump to let Mueller finish his job, should not be taken at face value. These are not principled statements by patriotic Americans. Rather they are last ditch efforts by ethically broken politicians to salvage their reputations by words that, if the last two years teach us anything, are extremely unlikely to be backed up by meaningful action.
The scope and unprecedented nature of this development has raised challenges for both parties. It is clear now that President Obama should have risked accusations of playing politics and more aggressively drawn attention to Russia’s hacking in October when the intelligence agencies became more certain that Russia was, indeed, doing the hacking. The Republicans, with a few exceptions, have made the mistake of simply denying the findings of the intelligence agencies and of supporting Donald Trump, the beneficiary of this hacking, as he tries to distract and bully his way out of this scandal. For both parties, and all Americans, the question of what to do now is not an easy one to answer.
While people in Eastern Europe can’t vote in this election, Polish Americans, Latvian Americans, Ukrainian Americans and other Americans with roots in countries that feel threatened by an aggressive Russia do. Many of these voters are part of the very demographic groups upon whom Mr. Trump will rely on for his path to victory against Hillary Clinton. Mr. Trump needs a record proportion of white votes to win this election; and he particularly needs them in states of the upper Midwest, including Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin that have long had large numbers of voters with roots in Eastern Europe.
In the aftermath of the election, the notion that the Republican Party was facing what might delicately be called an uphill demographic battle was frequently raised. This was made evident by the age and ethnicity demographics in the U.S., and by President Obama's decisive victory in his bid for reelection. Since the election, the Republican Party's demographic problem has manifested itself in another significant way. Because of their narrow demographic and ideological base, the Republican Party and its leadership, inside and outside of congress, has proven itself to be increasingly out of touch with the citizenry it seeks to govern.
President Obama's tenure in the White House has not been an easy one, but he has been buoyed by a few lucky breaks. It seems like every time things look particularly bad, Dick Cheney re-emerges and does an interview to remind people just how bad things could be. When the electoral outlook has looked particularly bleak, the Republicans have helped the President by nominating unelectable candidates like Sharron Angle who make it easy for the President and his allies to portray the Republican Party as extremists.