In the wake of Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing, mockery of sexual assault victims seems to have become a Republican talking point: Donald Trump openly mocked Dr. Christine Blasey Ford at a rally, his son mocked a then-anonymous Ford with an Instagram post, and other Republican officials and candidates have been following suit: In the past two weeks, a North Carolina county official shared a fake photo of Christine Blasey Ford suggesting she wasn’t hot enough to be sexually assaulted in high school; Iowa Rep. Steve King recently shared a disgusting meme of Ford and Hillary Clinton that implied Ford’s allegations are part of a left-wing conspiracy.
Then on Sunday, a Republican Senate candidate in North Dakota called #MeToo a “movement toward victimization.”
In an interview with the New York Times on Sunday, North Dakota Senate candidate Kevin Cramer echoed Trump’s comments on political correctness by saying that voters like his ability to say “what a lot of other people don’t dare say—but think.”
When asked for an example, the Times reports that Cramer brought up Ford’s allegation against Kavanaugh and the #MeToo movement:
“That you’re just supposed to believe somebody because they said it happened,” Mr. Cramer said, alluding to Christine Blasey Ford — who has accused Justice Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers — and, more broadly, women who have come forward to claim that they were sexually abused or assaulted.
Invoking his wife, daughters, mother and mother-in-law, Mr. Cramer said: “They cannot understand this They are pioneers of the prairie. These are tough people whose grandparents were tough and great-grandparents were tough.”
The lesson that Cramer has taken away from the confirmation hearings, and the MeToo movement?: “The world got to see close up how ugly it can be when you go too far.”
Frank Luntz, a Republican pollster, told the Washington Post that, “In this era of #MeToo, there are a lot of men — and some women — who believe that justice no longer exists in America, that the accusation is enough to destroy someone’s career and someone’s life. That wasn’t manifesting itself politically until” the Kavanaugh hearings. This is obvious bullshit, since white resentment is the primary political engine of modern Republican politics, but he manages to make a point nonetheless: Victims are on the ballot this November.