Kavanaugh Roulette Part II: Long Knives, Hungry Hounds, and Bulls & Bears
We’re in the knock-out round, folks. The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved Brett Kavanaugh, which means he’s headed to the Floor for full consideration. However, this story remains far from resolved: the long knife of the U.S. Senate has slaughtered many a lamb before. Ask the fans of one-time Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork, the World War One-ending Treaty of Versailles, and the all-but-certain repeal of Obamacare. Indeed, Judge Kavanaugh now finds himself in a dark and perilous wood, fraught with long knives, black cloaks, and starved hounds lusting for a plump kill of red meat.
As a recap, yesterday we bet that the Judiciary Committee would approve Kavanaugh by the end of the week. We bought YES at 47 cents and sold at 83. We also bet that that Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) would vote for him during full consideration. We took that at 58 cents and sold it at 89. We took a 68% profit on the day.Â You might not be playing the markets, but you if you want to know what’s going to happen, keep reading.
Also, for extended commentary, check out our podcast.
Here’s our breakdown for the money round. I’m going to do it by “Undecided” Senators.
Will Jeff Flake Vote Yeah on Kavanaugh before 10/31?
I have a big chubby for Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) because he’s a total loose cannon who likes to go onÂ Survivor Man holidays with his sons. He’s also infuriatingly unpredictable because he cares about doing the right thing, which makes him an unpardonable asshole towards my wallet. Alas, we don’t choose who we fall in love with.
Flake has publicly stated that he’s not going to flake-out on Kavanaugh. So we’ve got him in the YES column. But I’m not buying shares at these odds (95/5). Too much weird stuff can happen between now and a final vote. If you’ve lived in Washington during a stand-off like this, you know what it’s like: hours can be days. Weeks can be years. There are moments of cloudy silence as eerie as the last few ticks before a tornado touches down.
I guarantee you, there will be another twist in this tale. So trying to squeeze a 5 percent profit is no bueno.
Will Susan Collins Vote Yea on Kavanaugh by Oct 31?
Collins hasn’t publicly stated her support for Kavanaugh and I don’t expect that she will. She’s up for re-election in 2020, which makes her the least likely Republican to support Kav, especially given that she has to get re-elected in Maine. The eggheads at Axios are reporting that she’s worried about a Trump-fueled primary if she doesn’t take the party line, but when Washington goes to war like this, there’s some dumb take like that out every hour. Don’t chase it. Stay out of this one.
Will Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) Vote Yea on Kavanaugh by Oct 31?
I don’t know. God damnit, I don’t know. Murkowski isn’t up until 2022 but we’re still at least one act away from climax of the SCOTUS Circus. Something weird is going to happen. Stay out!
Will Joe Manchin (D-WV) Vote Yea on Kavanaugh by Oct 31?
This is by far the most interesting question. A poll released this week shows Manchin in a tie with his Republican challenger, Patrick Morrissey. On our podcast, we’ve postulated that Manchin is a “No” vote as long as he’s got a comfortable lead. Welp, say goodbye to that.
This has led to a few interesting things. First of all, some really awesome Twitter game. And let’s be honest,Â this shot of Patrick Morrissey does make him look like his only “hunting” experience is in a cargo van outside of local candy stores.
Anyway, now that Manchin is in a tight race again, the dummies on Twitter are running their mouths about how he’s going to be yes on Kavanaugh. After all, if you’re running as a Democrat in West Virginia, you probably have a lot more under-employed wage workers to please than suburban moms who work in software development. So it makes sense.
But I’m not buying it. Again, too much volatility, too much uncertainty, and I’m not convinced that there isn’t another big story to break between now and the big vote.
What am I betting on???Â
THE FINAL RESULT
I think it’s most likely that Kavanaugh makes it. But who votes for him and why is more than I can tell you. So I’m placing my biggest bet on a party-line vote of 50, my second largest at 51, and I’m leaving myself a hedge at the top and bottom so I don’t get totally scorched if Kavanuagh picks up a couple Democrats or Jeff Flake flakes.
We’re nearing the end of one of the most gripping stories in memory. Emotionally, it’s been a nightmare and it will haunt American politics for decades. Don’t go patting yourself on the back though — no one is really right here. That’s as much editorializing as I’m going to do.
Good luck out there. It’s getting hot.
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