That special place in hell “for women who don’t help each other,” as former Secretary of State Madeline Albright once famously quipped, is going to need an annex.
There are few things less helpful to women than turning a sexual assault allegation into a political football. But that’s exactly what some female lawmakers are doing with the accusation lodged against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
First there’s Sen. Dianne Feinstein who sat on a letter from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford — the woman who’s alleged she was sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh when they were teenagers. For two months the California Democrat refused to share it with colleagues and never once raised its subject matter with Kavanaugh either in private or throughout several days of public confirmation hearings.
Her actions suggest she did not find the allegations credible. Since 35 years had passed without corroboration and with discrepancies in the details, it’s fair that Feinstein might approach the claims with skepticism. But she certainly found them convenient.
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Only when all other attempts to discredit Kavanaugh had failed, did she make known the letter’s existence, cryptically stating that she had referred the matter to the FBI — which Feinstein surely knows has no jurisdiction to investigate.
We can safely assume Feinstein also knows that these transparent attempts to delay the vote on Kavanaugh put the confirmation vote closer and closer to Election Day, which is exactly what Democrats want.
Ford’s privacy, Kavanaugh’s reputation — not to mention the truth — are irrelevant. So much for helping women. This is about winning.
Then there’s the chorus of female politicos whose comments on the Ford accusations are various shades of embarrassing, infantilizing and regressive.
Former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett claimed the Senate Judiciary Committee’s invitation to attend a hearing Monday — which Ford’s attorneys said she was willing to accept only days ago — bullies an already traumatized woman. Ford may not perceive herself as a victim. Jarrett certainly does and wants everyone else to, as well.
New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, whose close relationship with the Clintons makes her a questionable champion of sexual assault victims, has railed on social media about how the request that Ford appear “in whatever format she deems appropriate” is somehow an Orwellian attempt to silence her. It takes some significant mental gymnastics to equate an opportunity to speak — under circumstances of one’s choosing — as an attempt to quiet them. Which leads one to wonder if Gillibrand perceives Ford as valuable to the Democrats only as long as she keeps her mouth shut.
Speaking of silence, Hawaii Sen. Mazie Hirono thinks that just the men in this country need to shut up, after her categorical declaration that they are solely responsible for perpetuating a culture of sexual misconduct. Hirono seems to think insulting and alienating half of the population somehow elevates the other half. She’s wrong.
Forget men. Women are often their own worst enemies. In the latest political firestorm, that’s proving true.
Don’t worry. Secretary Albright can tell them where to go.