This is probably open only to speculation, so maybe this is more of an IMHO than a Great Debate, but one thing that I have not seen addressed about the Kavanaugh debacle is:
We know that Diane Feinstein had been sitting on the Ford letter and released it only very late into the Kavanaugh hearings process. I can understand that she was reluctant to do so due to the fact that Professor Ford requested it be kept secret. In the end, when it seemed that Kavanaugh’s nomination proceeding to the Senate floor was inevitable, she felt she had no choice. I can respect that.
What I’m wondering about is as follows: the Judiciary Committee had a Republican majority all along. They weren’t likely to find disqualifying fault in his judicial philosophy, or his work for Ken Starr or his work for George W Bush. His performance on the Circuit Court does not seem to have been particularly controversial, especially given the Republican majority. So…what was she thinking might happen before that point to stop the nomination from going forward before she felt she had to resort to blowing Prof. Ford’s secret? Was she hoping that someone more willing to reveal would have a similar allegation? Did she think that he had made rulings that are unpopular enough with Republicans to get some of the majority to reject him? Basically, why did she not think until the likely end of the hearings that the Ford bombshell would be necessary to potentially derail Kavanaugh’s path to the Supreme Court?