Clear, concise, to the point…and one hundred percent true.
This is a lesson that should be tattooed on the forehead of every GOP politician. We are in these fights to win. You don’t win by standing there and letting the other guy punch you, hoping that his knuckles break before he knocks you out. You have to punch back. If we are to stop this tsunami of last-minute allegations in critical nominations, we must raise the cost of entry to the point where only allegations that have documentary evidence are allowed to be heard. I don’t care what Ford says happened. I don’t care what Ramirez says happened. I don’t care what Swetnick says happened. Put up or shut up.
The secondary lesson was for future presidents. GOP senators and a lot of Trump’s advisers were both risk averse and were very much out of sync with the mood of the GOP base. That is a given for all administrations. If you are willing to fight until the last dog is dead for your nominees, you can win. If you show the slightest indecision or weakness, then your nominee is dead and the base stops caring. And when the base stops caring, the House and the Senate stop caring as well.
The essential truth of this covers a hell of a lot more ground than just Court nominations, too.