Inside the Beltway: ‘#MeToo has been weaponized’
It seems like years since Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh first appeared with President Trump at the White House as a newly minted Supreme Court nominee, accompanied by his family and applauded by peers. That was the evening of July 9. The calm promise of those early days quickly gave way to raucous protests, disrupted Senate hearings, explosive media coverage, partisan distractions and feminist uprisings. Fox News host Tucker Carlson recently declared that he has never seen the nation’s capital “crazier, more paranoid, more tense or more dumb.”
Yes, well. Some observers are just plain fatigued by one particular aspect of it all.
“I am tired of Democrats telling women when we should feel victimized. #MeToo has quickly evolved into terrorism. Winning by whining isn’t going to work,” says Christine Flowers, a syndicated columnist, talk radio host and immigration lawyer who in the past has described the #MeToo activism showcased during the Kavanaugh controversy as a “Trojan horse” sent to destroy conservatism.
“The direct attack on Brett Kavanaugh seems designed to target the poster boy for conservatism: pro-family, pro-life, pro-faith, pro free markets, pro-limited government. The attack on his character is exactly the sort of sexy, salacious salvo that you would expect from progressives who have gone from legitimate and balanced protest to the estrogen-fueled hysteria of the Women’s March,” Ms. Flowers recently wrote.
Things may not go as planned, though.
“I think that the #MeToo movement has had the opposite effect than the one feminists had hoped for, especially as we see how it has impacted the Kavanaugh nomination. It has alienated many moderate-to-conservative women who understand that sexual abuse is a problem, but who are angered at the way that #MeToo has been weaponized to advance a political agenda, namely, get Democratic women elected to office for the midterms and beyond,” Ms. Flowers tells Inside the Beltway.
“As someone who, in my immigration practice, deals regularly with women who are seeking asylum precisely because they have been abused watching as the topic of abuse has been trivialized, monetized and politicized is troubling and infuriating,” she says.
‘THEY’RE NOT HUMAN POLYGRAPHS’
Simple question: should the FBI investigate the Kavanaugh matter? That is what CBS “Face the Nation” moderator John Dickerson asked Rep. Trey Gowdy, South Carolina Republican and chairman of the House Oversight Committee.
“One of the questions that Christine Blasey Ford has said is that she would have liked the FBI to do a kind of neutral fact finding on this. What do you think about that?” Mr. Dickerson asked his guest.
“I’m a big fan of the FBI, John, but they don’t investigate sex assault cases. There are very, very few federal sex assault cases. So my first question would be: The FBI to investigate what? There’s no crime scene to process, there are no forensics to evaluate. What the FBI could do is go interview Dr. Ford and interview Judge Kavanaugh. But they’ve already interviewed Judge Kavanaugh. And even if they did interview Dr. Ford she still has to testify,” replied Mr. Gowdy, who spent a combined 16 years as a federal prosecutor and district attorney in his state.
“So the only role I can see the bureau playing is identifying other witnesses that may have knowledge. Some of that’s already been done by Dr. Ford. Judge Kavanaugh’s defense is he wasn’t there so you wouldn’t expect him to produce witnesses. But I don’t know what people expect the FBI to do. They’re not human polygraphs so they can’t tell us who’s telling the truth,” Mr. Gowdy concluded.
GOP: PREPARED AND READY
The Republican Party is staying on task as elections loom; money and ground game are in fine fettle. The Republican National Committee has raised $243.6 million to date, compared to $125.8 million for their Democratic counterparts. And between the RNC and three sister party organizations dedicated to Senate, House and gubernatorial races, there is now $590.9 million in the Republican treasure chest. The DNC and its three respective groups have $491.7 million.
The GOP also quietly reveals that it has built “a massive field operation that Democrats simply can’t match” which includes 540 paid staffers in 28 states, 22,800 trained Republican leadership “fellows, and thousands of dedicated volunteers who so far have forged 38 million voter contacts by knocking on doors and making phone calls.
“History could be against us, but the RNC is 100 percent committed to doing whatever we can to protect our House and Senate majorities this fall,” observes Michael Ahrens, the RNC’s very busy “rapid response director.”
THIRD PARTY FERVOR
The national Libertarian Party reports that their voter registration has surged 92 percent in recent years, while the number of registered Democrats has declined by 8 percent, Republicans by 5 percent.
“Democrats and Republicans are also being battered by people leaving their tribes to register as independents up 19 percent in the last 10 years. Despite all this, the exclusion of viable Libertarian Party candidates from debates in contested elections is reaching new highs,” the party noted in a new analysis. “Despite concerted efforts by the Democratic and Republican political duopoly, along with a fossilized media landscape, about 800 Libertarian Party candidates are in it to win it this November.”
POLL DU JOUR
54 percent overall think President Trump “cares about the needs and problems” of those affected by Hurricane Florence.
51 percent overall say the federal government “did a good job” preparing for Florence; 79 percent of Republicans, 44 percent of independents and 39 percent of Democrats agree.
51 percent overall say the federal government “responded as fast as it could” to Florence; 78 percent of Republicans, 43 percent of independents and 40 percent of Democrats agree.
43 percent approve of the way Mr. Trump has responded to Hurricane Florence; 77 percent of Republicans, 39 percent of independents and 21 percent of Democrats agree.
Source: An Economist/YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted Sept. 16-18.
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