Appalling victim mockery by Donald Trump

Even by Donald Trump’s standards his mocking of Christine Blasey Ford at a political rally was appalling. He has attacked her already, but this took his boorishness, misogyny and inappropriateness to a new level of low.

And while he seems to get a sick kick out of mocking people in order to feed his narcissism, and it has often worked with his base of support, this time it may backfire in his attempt to nominate Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Votes may (and should) swing against Kavanaugh over this latest Trump cringe.

Washington Post – ‘Just plain wrong’: Flake, Collins and Murkowski criticize Trump for mocking Kavanaugh accuser at political rally

A trio of Republican senators crucial to the confirmation prospects of Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh criticized President Trump on Wednesday for mocking the account of a woman who has accused his Supreme Court nominee of sexual assault decades ago.

In separate interviews, Sens. Jeff Flake (Ariz.), Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) — all considered swing votes on Kavanaugh — took issue with comments the president made the night before at a political rally in Mississippi that drew laughs from his supporters.

“There’s no time and no place for remarks like that,” Flake (R-Ariz.) said on NBC’s “Today” show. “To discuss something this sensitive at a political rally is just not right. It’s just not right. I wish he hadn’t done it. . . . It’s kind of appalling.”

About two hours after Flake’s appearance, Collins also took exception to Trump’s remarks, telling reporters, “The president’s comments were just plain wrong.”

Speaking to reporters early Wednesday afternoon, Murkowski said: “I thought the President’s comments yesterday mocking Dr. Ford were wholly inappropriate and in my view unacceptable.”

Would this affect their Kavanaugh vote?

Collins:

She did not answer a question about whether the comments could affect how she votes on Kavanaugh.

Murkowski:

“I am taking everything into account.”

Flake…

…Flake, the Judiciary Committee member who pushed to delay the vote on Kavanaugh so the FBI could investigate, later told The Washington Post that Trump’s comments would not factor into his thinking on the nomination.

“You can’t take it out on other people, the president’s insensitive remarks,” he said.

It’s hard to see it not having an effect.

See also NBC News:  Sen. Flake says he was ‘troubled’ by Kavanaugh’s partisan tone at hearing

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) said he was very troubled by the tone of Judge Kavanaugh’s remarks during his testimony and added, “we can’t have this on the court.”

It is disgraceful enough on it’s own for a president to publicly mock someone’s claims of sexual assault.

But worse, it will feed the attacks on Blasey Ford by others.

This is a new low, fed from the highest level, on dealing with the insidious and huge problem of sexual assault.

It could have been just unthinking of Trump about the implications of his actions, he seems to have a tendency to only think of himself and his own selfish needs, but quite possibly Trump has done this with the intention of deterring anyone else from speaking up about sexual assault. That would be even more appalling.

And the awful actions of the president reflect very poorly on the United States. Is this an irreversible slide of a once great country?

Cartoons provoke sexual assault debate

Cartoon by Bruce McKinnon

The Star: Halifax cartoonist’s response to Kavanaugh hearing goes viral

MacKinnon said he was compelled to draw the cartoon, which was published in the weekend edition of The Chronicle Herald, to illustrate what he believes to be a crucial example of how allegations of sexual abuse are treated in North America.

“In a year that was so dominated by the #MeToo movement and the changes that I think we all hope will come from that, this seems to be an almost watershed moment and a very pivotal one for America”.

“I think it’s important that people face up to it. It is disturbing. But it’s exactly the scenario (Ford) described.

“So if we don’t talk about it, if we turn away from it and pretend it isn’t there, we’re not going to solve the problem.”

“I was surprised by the response and really encouraged by the fact that there was so much discourse that came from it, so much open debate,” he said.

“There was a lot of nasty stuff out there too, no question. It does underscore the deep divide and the real polarization of opinion here and in the U.S., but that’s what an editorial cartoon is for: to provoke debate, and hopefully, in the larger picture, some things get worked out.”

A similar cartoon:

But this issue has other important considerations that can’t be ignored either.

Ford testimony, Kavanaugh response

Christine Blasey Ford has been giving testimony on Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in the US Senate.

This is on events alleged to have happened a long time ago.

Ford seems like a genuine and credible witness, but memories are no always accurate over long periods of time in particular. However it does seem that she has genuine beliefs about what happened.

Kavanaugh has not looked or sounded convincing in what I have seen of him denying things.

From Reuters:

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh testifies on Capitol Hill regarding sexual assault accusations by Christine Blasey Ford

Kavanaugh says he was not at the party described by Dr. Ford

Kavanaugh says he had demanded a hearing, says his family and name have been destroyed by accusations against him

Kavanaugh says Democratic rhetoric, reaction against him aimed to ‘blow me up and take me down’

Kavanaugh cites a long series of false last-minute smears designed to scare him and drive him out of the process, ‘crazy stuff’, says the opposition against him has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit fueled by anger against Trump; ‘This is a circus’

Kavanaugh says he will not be intimidated into withdrawing from this process, says while he may be defeated in the final vote, he will never quit; says due process means listening to both sides

Kavanaugh says he is ‘innocent’ and that he has ‘never done this’ to Ford ‘or to anyone’

Kavanaugh says no one ever accused him of any kind of sexual misconduct through his career; categorically and unequivocally denies the accusations against him by Ford