They’re going to have to close the loop.

No, I don’t mean Elon Musk’s Hyperloop being shut down due to Musk’s being sued by the SEC for securities fraud, all due to an inappropriate tweet.

I mean 4 senators deciding which way they’re going to vote on Judge Kavanaugh.

Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, Maine Senator Susan Collins, Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, and West Virginia (and lone Democrat) Senator Joe Manchin huddled on Thursday ahead of a Senate GOP meeting which I assume, but cannot be sure, that Manchin was not invited to. In Manchin’s words:

There’s talk, and we’re still talking. There’s no decisions made on anything, I can tell you that. There are still some concerns that people have, and we’re going to try and close the loop.

It’s an interesting metaphor that Manchin used. Which loop are they trying to close? Their own centrist flock of four’s unity? The vote-for-Kavanaugh loop which without their votes will come up short and therefore remain open ended? The loop of evidence that they must decide on, which really means who do you believe is both:

  • Telling the truth as they recall it? And is
  • Reasonably certain of their memories of 36 years ago?

Here’s Senator Flake:

You look at what more time has done in the past couple of days in terms of just ludicrous allegations, some of which have been recanted. Others … were anonymous to begin with. And what does that do to the accused?

So, he seems to at least have the decency to state what Senator Graham had to shout from his seat on the dais, that the process has descended into venal levels of absurdity. But unlike fellow retiring Senator Corker, he has not stated which way he’ll be voting.

Here’s a final possible interpretation of Senator Manchin’s “closing the loop” comment. What if in fact Senator Manchin has been trying to convince his GOP moderate colleagues – Collins, Murkowski and Flake – to vote for Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation? What if a West Virginia Democrat Senator is the only hope Kavanaugh, and all those who support him, have left at this point?

That might be a dead wrong interpretation, of course. But Manchin chose to talk to the press about compromise, at a point when most of his Democrat Senators want to metaphorically lynch Judge Kavanaugh with every chance they have to chat with the media. Is Manchin trying to get Collins, Murkowski, and especially Flake to be reasonable?

That would be ironic. But in fact, when some Congressional aide or other person from within the House of Representatives is apparently doxxing GOP Senators by placing their home addresses on Wikipedia, Manchin’s comments and possible bipartisan persuasion would itself be something remarkably reasonable in the midst of this chaos, slander and absurdity.