McConnell picked Kavanaugh and told the Trump camp the Senate would handle the details. Unbeknownst to McConnell, Trump never had any interest in the Supreme Court process beyond the rose ceremony and as such, has been providing no cover or backup.
If and whem Kavanagh goes down, Trump can say he always had his misgivings but he was going along with the Senate. His base has a parochial understanding of government anyway and this ends up simply giving them something else to be mad about.
Trump could easily withdraw Kavanagh and say it's just another example of why the swamp needs to be drained.
NYT columnists forget how deeply disinterested Trump is in ruling.