On Sunday morning, Senator Ted Cruz made an appearance on This Week. The interview’s first question, given the shape the weekend’s news cycle had taken, was unsurprising: The host asked the senator about the new book The Education of Brett Kavanaugh, an adaptation of which had been published the day before in The New York Times. The essay—written, as was the book itself, by the Times reporters Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly—doubled as news: It suggested, for one thing, that Kavanaugh might have misrepresented his past while testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee last year. It also suggested that the allegations brought against Kavanaugh by Deborah Ramirez, a classmate of his at Yale, were better corroborated than the American public had been led to believe. And it suggested that another classmate had heard a similar story—involving another woman.
The revelations brought the reactions you’d expect: Several Democrats called for Kavanaugh’s impeachment, while the man who nominated him to the Supreme Court offered a duo of tweets both supporting Kavanaugh and vaguely threatening the Times for reporting on him. (Donald Trump punctuated those thoughts with a hashtag that might seem, to anyone who paid attention to the events of last year, redundant: #ProtectKavanaugh.) Cruz, however, took a different tack: When the show’s host, George Stephanopoulos, asked him about the new information—and about the call his fellow Texan and the presidential candidate Julián Castro had made for Kavanaugh’s impeachment—the senator, before saying anything else, shook his head, apparently amused at the absurdity of the whole thing. And then he laughed.