During Donald Trump’s unhinged press conference on September 26th, he admitted point blank to the unbelievable partisanship that has engulfed the Republican party under Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump:
REPORTER: “If I could follow up on John’s question. Why is it, Mr. President, that you always seem to side with the accused and not the accuser? You have three women here who are all making allegations. Who are all asking that their stories be heard. And, you know, if you look at the case of Roy Moore, if you look at the case of one of your staffers, you seem to time and again side with the accused and not the accuser. Is that because of the many allegations that you’ve had made against you over the years?”
TRUMP: “Well, first of all, I wasn’t happy with Roy Moore, let’s get that straight. But Roy Moore was a … Republican candidate. And I would have rather had a Republican candidate win.”
The scary part about this quote from Donald Trump is that it isn’t just the opinion of Donald Trump, but the opinion of most of the current Republican party.
In case you weren’t familiar with the story behind this question, Roy Moore was accused by nine different women of being targeted for sex while they were teenagers by Roy Moore who was then in his early thirties. Three of the women accused him of sexual assault. Most of the women were targeted by Roy Moore at the Gadsden Mall in Gadsden, Alabama, and there were multiple reports that Roy Moore had been banned from the mall because of his predatory actions.
So, what Donald Trump was saying, which is something that has been echoed by much of the current Republican party, is that any Republican candidate, even a sexual predator like Roy Moore, is better than a Democrat.
This Republican attitude of unswerving loyalty to a political party above all else was exemplified by the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh that was sealed by Maine GOP Senator Susan Collins, who gave an incredibly dishonest speech to explain her vote:
Susan Collins may have earned fist bumps, but in doing so, she strung a web of falsehoods and omissions:
She referenced the American Bar Association’s past recommendation of Brett Kavanaugh:
“Judge Kavanaugh has received rave reviews for his 12-year track record as a judge, including for his judicial temperament. The American Bar Association gave him its highest possible rating. Its standing committee on the federal judiciary conducted an extraordinarily thorough assessment, soliciting input from almost 500 people, including his judicial colleagues. The ABA concluded that his integrity, judicial temperament and professional competence met the highest standards.”
But she ignored the fact that the American Bar Association has re-opened their evaluation due to concerns about Kavanaugh’s temperament.
She stated her belief that Supreme Court Justices should be non-partisan:
“I have always opposed litmus tests for judicial nominees with respect to their personal views or politics, but I fully expect them to be able to put aside any and all personal preferences in deciding the cases that come before them.”
But she ignored the fact that Brett Kavanaugh showed his extreme partisan views in his testimony.
She unironically mentioned Merrick Garland:
“That Judge Kavanaugh is more of a centrist than some of his critics maintain is reflected in the fact that he and Chief Judge Merrick Garland voted the same way in 93 percent of the cases that they heard together. Indeed, Chief Judge Garland joined in more than 96 percent of the majority opinions authored by Judge Kavanaugh, dissenting only once.”
But she failed to note that Merrick Garland had been prevented from even receiving a hearing after he was nominated for the Supreme Court, because of her own party’s obstruction.
She stated that the sexual assault accusations should be treated as a legal process:
“But certain fundamentally legal principles about due process, the presumption of innocence, and fairness do bear on my thinking, and I cannot abandon them.”
She stated that she was concerned about the public’s faith in the judiciary:
“I worry that departing from this presumption could a lead to a lack of public faith in the judiciary”
But she failed to note that the public has less faith in Brett Kavanaugh than any Supreme Court nominee since polling of nominees began. Nor did she mention that a former Supreme Court Justice opposed Kavanaugh’s confirmation specifically because he was worried about how it would affect the public’s faith in the judiciary.
She dismissed allegations as “outlandish” that Brett Kavanaugh took part in drugging women so that they would submit to sexual assault:
“I am thinking in particular not at the allegations raised by professor Ford, but of the allegations that when he was a teenager Judge Kavanaugh drugged multiple girls and used their weakened state to facility gang rape. This outlandish allegation was put forth without any credible supporting evidence and simply parroted public statements of others.”
But she failed to mention that some of Brett Kavanaugh’s high school friends made reference to such a thing in their yearbooks. Nor did she mention that women being drugged so that they would submit to sexual assault is unfortunately not uncommon at all.
She stated that the statements from four potentially corroborating witnesses to Dr. Ford’s testimony absolved Brett Kavanaugh:
“The four witnesses she named could not corroborate any of the events of that evening gathering where she says the assault occurred. None of the individuals Prof. Ford says were at the party has any recollection at all of that night. Judge Kavanaugh forcefully denied the allegations under penalty of perjury. Mark Judge denied under penalty of felony that he had witnessed an assault. P.J. Smith, another person allegedly at the party, denied that he was there under penalty of felony. Professor Ford’s lifelong friend, Leland Kaiser, indicated that under penalty of felony she does not remember that party. And Ms. Kaiser went further. She indicated that not only does she not remember a night like that, but also that she does not even know Brett Kavanaugh.”
But she failed to mention that 2 of the 4 were named as assailants, so were defending against their own possible incrimination. Nor did she mention that 1 of the 4 stated that she believed Dr. Ford.
She referenced the #MeToo movement and how survivors need to be listened to:
“Every person, man or woman, who makes a charge of sexual assault deserves to be heard and treated with respect. The #MeToo movement is real. It matters. It is needed. And it is long overdue.
We know that rape and sexual assault are less likely to be reported to the police than other forms of assault. On average, an estimated 211,000 rapes and sexual assaults go unreported every year. We must listen to survivors, and every day we must seek to stop the criminal behavior that has hurt so many. We owe this to ourselves, our children, and generations to come.”
But she did this after trying to poke holes in Dr. Ford’s testimony over such things as her ride home, and by inferring that because others might not have remembered a night in which they were not sexually assaulted, that means the night in which Dr. Ford was sexually assaulted may have never happened:
“Furthermore the professor testified that although she does not remember how she got home that evening, she knew that because of the distance she would have needed a ride. Yet, not a single person has come forward to say that they were the ones who drove her home or were in the car with her that night.
And Prof. Ford also indicated that even though she left that small gathering of six or so people abruptly, and without saying goodbye, and distraught, none of them called her the next day or ever to ask why she left. “Is she okay?” Not even her closest friend, Ms. Kaiser.”
Then, after trying to offer the fact that Dr. Ford’s friend did not know of the sexual assault as being proof against Dr. Ford’s testimony, she stated that she herself had not previously known that friends of hers had been sexually assaulted:
“Since the hearing, I have listened to many survivors of sexual assault. Many were total strangers who told me their heart-wrenching stories for the first time in their lives. Some were friends that I had known for decades. Yet with the exception of one woman who had confided in me years ago, I had no idea that they had been the victims of sexual attacks.”
She claimed that Dr. Ford’s testimony had been treated with respect by the Senate Judiciary Committee:
“I have also heard some argue that the chairman of the committee somehow treated Prof. Ford unfairly. Nothing could be further from the truth. Chairman Grassley along with his excellent staff treated Prof. Ford with compassion and respect throughout the entire process. And that is the way the senator from Iowa has conducted himself throughout a lifetime dedicated to public service.”
But she failed to note that all 11 of the GOP Senators on the committee had granted heir time to a prosecutor to question Dr. Ford, but only 2 GOP Senators granted their time to the prosecutor to question Brett Kavanaugh.
She lamented the partisanship that had overtaken this Supreme Court Nomination:
“We live in a time of such great disunity as the bitter fight over this nomination both in the Senate and among the public clearly demonstrates. It is not merely a case of differing groups having different opinions. It is a case of people bearing extreme ill will toward those who disagree with them. In our intense focus on our differences, we have forgotten the common values that bind us together as Americans.
It is particularly worrisome that the Supreme Court, the institution that most Americans see as the principle guardian of our shared constitutional heritage is viewed as part of the problem through a political lens. “
But she failed to mention that the nomination process had become so partisan in part because her own Senate Majority Leader had eliminated the 60 vote rule, allowing for Supreme Court Justices to be confirmed without support from the other party.
She professed her hope that Brett Kavanaugh would lessen divisions:
“Despite the turbulent, bitter fight surrounding his nomination, my fervent hope is that Brett Kavanaugh will work to lessen the divisions in the Supreme Court so that we have far fewer 5 to 4 decisions and so that public confidence in our judiciary and our highest court is restored.”
But failed to mention that Brett Kavanaugh’s career before becoming a judge consisted of working to impeach Bill Clinton and working to stop the 2000 Florida recount so George W. Bush could be named President. Nor did she mention how Kavanaugh had written in his opening statement of his testimony about how he was a victim of “the left”, “the Clintons”,”left-wing opposition groups”, then stated “what goes around comes around”.
This Republican attitude of unswerving loyalty to a political party above all else was exemplified by Nebraska GOP Senator Deb Fischer’s declaration that she would be voting to confirm Brett Kavanaugh before the FBI investigation was even completed:
Nebraska Republican Senator, Deb Fischer, who is running for re-election this year, apparently got annoyed by an advertisement that was being run in Nebraska urging her to vote No on confirming Brett Kavanaugh. So, she informed everyone that she had already made up her mind:As senators awaited the latest FBI background report on Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Sen. Deb Fischer said she intends to vote for confirmation of Kavanaugh’s nomination to a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court when the issue comes before the Senate.“I’ve made my position very clear,” Fischer said during a Tuesday interview by Coby Mach on his “Drive Time” radio show on KLIN.“I’m a yes vote for Judge Kavanaugh,” Fischer said.
Apparently, Deb Fischer doesn’t really care what could come up in the FBI’s investigation. She’s going to vote Yes no matter what.
So, if the FBI investigation shows that Brett Kavanaugh committed perjury, Deb Fischer is still a Yes vote, because she doesn’t care if a Supreme Court Justice lies under oath.
And, if the FBI investigation shows that there is corroborating evidence for sexual assault committed by Brett Kavanaugh, Deb Fischer is still a Yes vote, because she doesn’t care if a Supreme Court Justice sexually assaults women.
This Republican attitude of unswerving loyalty to a political party above all else was exemplified by Tennessee GOP Senate nominee Marsha Blackburn’s belief that Dr. Ford’s allegation was a false accusation before Dr. Ford even gave her testimony:
Marsha Blackburn, the Republican nominee for U.S Senate from Tennessee, made known her thoughts on the sexual assault accusation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, calling the accusation a “smear”:
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn says sexual misconduct accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh from high school are a “delay tactic,” saying his female accuser should testify under oath and a committee vote shouldn’t be delayed.
Blackburn says Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein has had Ford’s letter since July, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer wants Democrats to delay on Kavanaugh in an “11th hour smear” attempt.
Marsha Blackburn wants Kavanaugh’s accuser to testify, but it doesn’t appear that she wants Kavanaugh’s accuser to testify so that they can get to the truth. Marsha Blackburn appears to have already made up her mind on what she thinks is the truth. She thinks the truth is that it is just a “smear”, which by definition means a false accusation.
This Republican attitude of unswerving loyalty to a political party above all else has resulted in a slew of Republican politicians within the last two years being convicted of crimes, accused of sexual assault, and openly espousing neo-nazi and white supremacist views. When a party believes that party loyalty comes before all else, they give license to party members to feel they are above the law. When Donald Trump hires affirmed white supremacists like Steve Bannon and Steve Miller to work in the White House, it gives license to all white supremacists to believe they can espouse their views without consequence. When Donald Trump offers his support for a sexual predator like Roy Moore because Roy Moore is a Republican, it gives license for any sexual predator to feel welcome in the Republican party, and it says to the party followers that even a criminal is better than a Democrat. This extreme partisanship by Republicans is not healthy for the country. It is going to tear our country apart if it isn’t stopped.