In case you thought the Republican Party was done coming up with ways to run their reputation into the ground, here’s another one.
Thursday morning, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee for the first time — and Republican U.S. Senator from Utah Orrin Hatch termed her “attractive.”
In case you’re unaware why that’s so head turning, Ford has brought forward her credible story of a sexual assault at Brett Kavanaugh’s hands — and Kavanaugh is President Donald Trump’s nominee to replace Anthony Kennedy on the U.S. Supreme Court. You’d think — or hope at least — that all involved would respect the seriousness of the situation, but that hasn’t proven to be the case.
He told reporters, responding to what he thinks of Ford’s credibility as a witness:
‘I don’t think she’s uncredible. I think she an attractive, good witness… In other words, she’s pleasing.’
Before adding that last part, Hatch faced a push for clarification from CNN’s Elizabeth Landers. At neither that point nor any after have Hatch and his staffers found a reason to acknowledge that what Hatch said was out of line.
Reporter Kate Irby explained:
‘Hatch’s office says he has used “attractive” to describe people’s personalities for years, both men and women… Reiterating that we asked him to explain and he said “pleasing.”’
With Hatch’s comment, those concerned with protecting those who have been victimized like Ford have got frustrating salt poured into their wound.
It’s not as though it’s a one-off mistake from the Republicans. They’ve proven time and time again to be keen on pressing on past any concerns for respecting victims of sexual harassment and assault. They scheduled a vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation before even hearing one word of testimony on the allegations against him and in the absence of an FBI investigation. Democrats have pushed for one — and the agency has handled issues of this nature in the past — but Republicans have shot down the idea.
Varying numbers of them have whipped out an array of “defenses” in their aims to skirt past the seriousness of the situation. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman and Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley, for instance, is among those to have complained that the allegations didn’t come to light sooner. Are they no longer relevant because they didn’t emerge in the precise week he’d have preferred to deal with them, though? Is that seriously what he’s getting at?
It’s but another example of the incompetence and lack of care exemplified by Hatch’s comment. Millions upon millions of Americans live with the scourge of sexual harassment and assault daily, and this spectacle is the best Republicans can come up with for dealing with the situation.
Kavanaugh presently faces credible allegations of sexual misconduct from three women including Ford. Deborah Ramirez says he abused her during a get-together at Yale some years ago, and the most recent to come forward, Julie Swetnick, says that Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge sought to corral girls into being gang raped in situations similar to the one Ford has described.
And Republicans continue to charge right on through.
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