According to conservative Jennifer Rubin, the relentless attacks by Republicans on Christine Blasey Ford — who has credibly accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault — will forever haunt the GOP with female voters now and in the future.
Writing in the Washington Post just as the Senate GOP leadership claimed the half-baked FBI investigation into allegations of lying, drinking and sexual accusations against the federal judge found nothing, Rubin said Republicans will rue the day they stuck with Kavanaugh.
“Republicans under President Trump have adopted a distinct political methodology evocative of autocratic regimes: Eschew rationality and facts, whip up hate, play to the mob,” she wrote. “In the case of the Supreme Court, it was not enough for Republicans to praise Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh and to let the facts come out about their nominee; they had to turn the FBI investigation into a Swiss-cheese production, laughably omitting key issues (Did he lie under oath about drinking, suggesting he might not have a solid memory of high school debauchery?) and not interviewing all the key witnesses.”
According to Rubin, their acceptance of the severely limited FBI investigation is the least of their sins, with their attacks on women accusing Kavanaugh of assault exposing to all the world the deeply-rooted misogyny of the party.
“In order to rally their base, Republicans needed to smear, insult and dismiss Christine Blasey Ford — and by extension thousands of female sex-crimes victims. Their white-male base responds to hate and resentment — against minorities, against complaining women, against foreigners — and Republicans did not disappoint,” Rubin charged.
“Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) turned into a crazed screamer, Trump ignited the victim mentality and Republicans repeated the falsehood that Ford had no “corroboration” (despite prior statements and passing a polygraph test),” she continued. “Conservatives in the Senate, in the media and in legal circles who knew better figured that any new disincentive to report sex crimes was a small price to pay to get their man on the bench. And besides, what’s a little sexual assault when you’re young, right? It wasn’t actually rape, Senate candidate Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) said. (North Dakotans ate it up; if Republican win the seat, chalk one up for ‘If it’s not rape, it doesn’t count.’)”
According to Rubin, the GOP may win the day by putting Kavanaugh on the court for life but will reap the whirlwind of what will come in the aftermath.
“Every 5-4 decision in which Kavanaugh is the deciding vote will be denounced as illegitimate, the work of a partisan judge elevated to the court by nefarious means. The decision will be respected legally in the short term, but in the future, it will be argued, the decision should carry zero precedential weight,” she wrote. “Those he once accused of participating in a left-wing cabal will seek to vacate cases they lose in which Kavanaugh was the deciding vote. In future cases, they will urge justices and lower court judges to downgrade the importance of these decisions, in effect treating them as unpublished opinions that should not impact future cases.”
“Democrats will ferret out the witnesses whom the FBI ignored and subpoena FBI officials to testify. They will leak the full FBI report at some point and disclose any communications between the FBI and White House that reveal efforts to curb the FBI investigation. They will seek Kavanaugh’s removal, and maybe even his disbarment>” she explained. “None of this is desirable, nor would it have been conceivable had Trump picked another justice. However, in producing a worthless investigation and declaring open season on sex-crimes victims, Republicans push women out of the party and onto political war-footing. If power politics is what the Republicans want, women and others in the anti-Republican coalition (make and female Democrats, independents and ex-Republicans) will learn to play just as fiercely.”
You can read the whole piece here.