Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Forget your personal political views for one minute. It’s hard to argue politics — White House politics, congressional politics, now Supreme Court politics — hasn't gone full crazy.

Be smart: Democracy isn't just messy — it’s dirty. And getting dirtier. 

  • You have virtually the entire Democratic Party believing the Republican nominee for the Supreme Court was a predator.
  • You have virtually the entire Republican Party believing two women are making up that they were victims of attempted rape or sexual humiliation — or confused about who actually did it. 
  • You have the White House putting Brett Kavanaugh on Fox News to proclaim his innocence, in what's apparently the first TV interview of a Supreme Court nominee.
  • You have him needlessly explaining in that interview that he was a virgin in high school, and for "many years thereafter," when none of the allegations involve intercourse.
  • You have the same lawyer, Michael Avenatti, running for president against Trump, who survived the public airing of a tape in which he talked about grabbing women’s privates and then survived a wave of allegations by other women.

What's next: A public hearing to air all of this, for a panel of partisans on Thursday. 

Go deeper

The childless vaccine

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

It'll likely be a long time before children are vaccinated against COVID-19, even though vaccinating kids could eventually play an integral role in reducing the virus' spread.

The big picture: None of the leading contenders in the U.S. are being tested for their effectiveness in children. Even once one of them gains authorization from the Food and Drug Administration, there will only be a limited number of available doses.

Progressives bide time for a Biden victory

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Progressive Democrats want to beat President Trump so badly that they're tabling their apathy about Joe Biden — organizing hard to get him into office, only to fight him once elected.

Why it matters: That's a big difference from 2016, when progressives’ displeasure with Hillary Clinton depressed turnout and helped deliver the White House to Trump.

Election influence operations target journalists

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Foreign and domestic actors looking to influence the 2020 election are trying to trick real reporters into amplifying fake storylines. This tactic differs from 2016, when bad actors used fake accounts and bots to amplify disinformation to the population directly.

Why it matters: The new strategy, reminiscent of spy operations during the Cold War, is much harder for big tech platforms to police and prevent.