This is impetuous, but I think the electoral map has changed with the Kavanaugh decision. The Democrats avoided direct confrontation and tried to sandbag the nominee by a late allegation of sexual assault from 30 years before.
They gambled that whipping up post-Weinstein militant-feminist support would induce the president to say something outrageous that would split his party and drench him in another momentary shower of confected outrage, such as during the partial migration ban, the Charlottesville imputations of softness toward Nazis and the Klan, the Helsinki comments, and the detention of abandoned minors of illegal immigrants at the southern borders.
This would be the biggest such explosion yet and would leave the Supreme Court vacancy unfilled, assure control of the House for the Democrats, and possibly the Senate, and facilitate grid-lock and continued distractions about impeachment for another two years.
Because of the superb handling of the challenge, though it arose late and suddenly, by President Trump, Senate Majority Leader McConnell, and the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, Charles Grassley, the Republicans avoided anything offensive to women, avoided arousing further sympathy for the complainant, Christine Blasey Ford, by having her questioned by a special examiner, an Arizona female prosecutor with a background in this area (Rachel Mitchell), and made no effort to discredit the witness or exploit the several implausible elements of her testimony. But it was established that there was no support of any kind for her allegation.
Read more at the New York Sun.