Space Force News / YouTube Mitch McConnell DESTROYS Democrats  ...
Space Force News / YouTube

Nothing could exemplify the wholesale contempt the Republican Party has for women than the words of its own Senate Majority Leader, fresh off of successfully installing an accused attempted rapist and hard-right political operative onto the Supreme Court.

McConnell clearly holds disdain for the protesters — many of whom were women and survivors of sexual assault — who have desperately tried to derail Kavanaugh’s nomination over the last few weeks, but he considered them useful idiots too. “Harassing members at their homes, crowding the halls with people acting horribly, the effort to humiliate us really helped me unify my conference,” McConnell told the New York Times. “So I want to thank these clowns for all the help they provided.”

There used to be a time in this country when someone in as important a position as McConnell would, after a bitter political fight, attempt to mend fences with his opposition, particularly in a circumstance fraught with such a raw and emotional issue as rape.  There would be some act of simple grace in the acknowledgment of the validity of the other sides’ sentiments, even in defeat. That is the way the U.S. government worked for well over two hundred years, and it is in part what has kept us together as a nation.

It is now clear that no such comity will ever exist in this country’s government again. More than anyone in the Congress and Senate, Mitch McConnell has worked to undermine those traditions, preferring instead to tear the fabric of this nation in two for the sake of imposing his party’s reactionary agenda on us all. So it’s not unexpected that rather than acknowledging their trauma, even in disagreement, he would instead belittle those rape victims, who protested and painfully told us their stories, as “clowns.”  Donald Trump has now made it acceptable to cruelly mock one’s political opponents, giving no quarter to the fact that they may represent the views of more than half the nation. McConnell’s remarks here simply signal that in the age of Trump the Republican Party has no decency left to spare (if it ever had any to begin with).

And regarding the political cost the GOP may have to pay for its pushing of Kavanaugh and its self-serving dismissal of the allegations against him, McConnell brushed off the outrage, insisting that “these things always blow over.”

Even here the undercurrent of misogyny is instructive. Demeaning and diminishing the victims of sexual assault, raising doubts about their truthfulness, was  the GOP’s tactic from the get-go in the Kavanaugh hearings. McConnell’s smug self-assurance that the anger and emotions poured out over the last two weeks will just “blow over” is simply another way of minimizing the experience of those who have had to deal with the trauma of sexual assault and its aftermath. It’s another way of saying that rape, in the end, is really not that big of a deal.

For those women and men who take a different view of sexual assault than that of the Republican Senate Majority leader, November 6 is now only thirty days away.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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