News & Politics

These 5 Far-Right Republicans Just Proved They Don’t Take Sexual Assault Seriously

People show their true colors when the Supreme Court is on the line.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

Christine Blasey Ford, the 51-year-old Palo Alto University psychology professor who has accused Judge Brett Kavanaugh of attempting to rape her back in 1982, is calling for an FBI investigation of her allegations—and the response from many far-right Republicans has been appalling. Senate Republicans like Chuck Grassley, Orrin Hatch and Lindsey Graham have, so far, been insisting that the Senate should not wait for an FBI investigation to vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation, which they are determined to ram through the Senate as quickly as possible regardless of Ford’s allegations. And Ford, in addition to receiving death threats, is being repeatedly vilified, demonized and insulted by the far right. Some conservatives have been quite reasonable and fair-minded in their comments: CNN contributor Ana Navarro has asserted that an FBI investigation of Ford’s allegations is in the best interests of the Supreme Court, and Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin has warned fellow Republicans that insulting Ford could inspire a lot of American women to vote Democratic on November 6.

But the frequent attacks on Ford are sending out a painful message that many Republicans—certainly not all of them, but way too many of them—could care less about sexual assault if the allegations involve members of their party. Here are five odious examples of far-right Republicans trivializing the issue of sexual assault in recent days.

1. Dinesh D’Souza: Ford Was Part of the ‘Culture of Hookups and Binge Drinking’

When right-wing Trump critics like Jennifer Rubin argue that insulting Ford could come back to haunt Republicans on November 6, here is a perfect example of the type of disgusting thing she’s talking about: on September 20, D’Souza displayed the classic blame-the-victim mentality when he posted, on Twitter, “No one in the media is covering the culture of hookups and binge drinking the accuser was part of.”

Translation: she was probably wearing a short skirt and therefore, was asking for it. And yet, some Republicans can’t figure out why they are denounced as knuckle-draggers, cretins and rape apologists.

2. Dennis Prager Argues That Ford’s Allegations, Even If True, Are Irrelevant

Theocrat Dennis Prager has a very twisted view when it comes to sex. Back in the late 1990s, the far-right wingnut radio host wanted to crucify President Bill Clinton for having an extramarital affair with Monica Lewinsky. But in a September 18 commentary for the National Review—published with the headline “The Charges Against Judge Kavanaugh Should Be Ignored”—Prager actually said that even if Kavanaugh was guilty of attempted rape back in 1982, he deserves to be confirmed to the Supreme Court regardless.

Prager’s exact words: “I am not interested in whether Mrs. Ford, an anti-Trump activist, is telling the truth. Because even if true, what happened to her was clearly wrong, but it tells us nothing about Brett Kavanaugh since the age of 17. But for the record, I don’t believe her story.”

The most unsettling part of all: Prager speaks for a lot of Republican men when she says such things.

3. Rev. Franklin Graham Dismisses Ford’s Accusation as ‘Not Relevant’

Ford has alleged that 36 years ago—when she was 15 and Kavanaugh was 17—a drunken Kavanaugh pinned her down, groped her and covered her mouth when she tried to scream. In an interview with the Washington Post, Ford alleged, “I thought he might inadvertently kill me. He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.” But Christian Right theocrat Franklin Graham (son of the late Rev. Billy Graham and an avid Trump supporter) insisted that Ford’s allegation was “not relevant” when he appeared on the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) on September 18. And Graham told CBN’s Heather Sells that even if Ford is telling the truth, “there wasn’t a crime that was committed.

4. President Trump Accuses Ford of Either Lying or Exaggerating

President Trump is determined to see Kavanaugh confirmed to the Supreme Court come hell or high water—and he obviously has no interest in waiting for the FBI to investigate Ford’s allegation of attempted rape. On September 21 at 9:14 a.m., Trump posted on Twitter, “I have no doubt that, if the attack on Dr. Ford was as bad as she says, charges would have been immediately filed with local law enforcement authorities by either her or her loving parents. I ask that she bring those filings forward so that we can learn date, time, and place!”

5. Donald Trump, Jr. Ridicules Ford on Instagram

In the Trump family, the apple doesn’t fan from the poisonous tree. And earlier this week, Donald Trump, Jr. (President Trump’s son and vice president of the Trump Organization) used Instagram to insult and ridicule Ford. On Instagram, Trump, Jr. posted a “mock” letter that was written in crayon and attributed to a 17-year-old Kavanaugh. The note read, “Hey, Cindy, will you be my girlfriend? Love, Brett,” with boxes for checking either “yes” or “no.”

Not surprisingly, Trump, Jr. retweeted D’Souza’s “culture of hookups” comment after it was posted.

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Alex Henderson is a news writer at AlterNet and veteran political journalist. His work has also appeared in Salon, Raw Story, Truthdig, National Memo, Philadelphia Weekly, Democratic Underground, L.A. Weekly, MintPress News and many other publications. Follow him on Twitter @alexvhenderson.