Photo: AP

After last night’s horrific spectacle of President Trump mocking Dr. Christine Blasey Ford to a crowd of hooting, chortling morons in Mississippi—which his White House defended this morning as “fair game”—there’s a new addition to my teetering stack of Reasons to Lose Hope: this Politico report on how Republicans are using Brett Kavanaugh to stir up the base.

As the site reports:

Senate Republicans are making an aggressive play to ward off primary challenges in 2020, digging in behind embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and showing the GOP base that they are fighting on behalf of President Donald Trump’s court pick.

At least 21 Republican senators will be up for reelection in 2020 — including GOP leader Mitch McConnell — and the first step toward keeping their seats with Trump atop the ticket is avoiding a Trump-fueled primary challenge. Many of them, save for Maine moderate Susan Collins, are among Kavanaugh’s staunchest defenders against what they deem a “smear campaign” of sexual assault allegations and inspection of Kavanaugh’s drinking habits.

Advertisement

Ah. Yes, cool. The party that controls the White House, the House, and the Senate (for now), and the vast majority of state governments is solidly tied to a constituency that begs for attacking sexual assault survivors as...What, exactly? Agents of a Soros-funded “smear campaign?” Silly old sluts? Victims of self-hypnosis, but definitely not sexual assault?

This party is so disgusting that senators are racing to promote themselves as defenders of the poor wee Prince of Bethesda in advance of primaries two years from now. This is a party—of both men and women—that identifies with the accused and not the accuser, that can’t wrap their heads around why a woman wouldn’t report her assault, that worries about their sons being accused of rape but not their daughters being raped. This is a party that hates women. And it rules our lives.

It’s important to remember that although the Republicans dominate American politics, and though their approval ratings are higher than the Democrats’ (lol), fewer people identify as Republicans now than in previous years. In 2017, the Pew Research Center found “37% of registered voters identified as independents, 33% as Democrats and 26% as Republicans.” Twenty-six percent is a pretty small share, though many of those “independents” are Republicans in all but name; the number rises to 42 percent when you include those who lean Republican. (Fifty percent identify as Democrats or lean Democratic.) A shrinking number of people are willing to admit being Republicans, but those who are left are really, really Republican, like the people who vote in Republican primaries, for example.

Advertisement

As Politico noted, it’s a double-edged shit sword: Not only do these people hold vile views, but they also see holding those vile views as a loyalty test for the vile president, who has himself been accused of sexual assault by 17 women.

Republicans say Kavanaugh is breaking through in a different way: It’s a fundamental shirts vs. skins exercise in which GOP senators are telling their voters whether they are with Trump or against him. And it’s been on the front page and top of the newscasts for more than two weeks now.

There is a loud, baying, screaming, guffawing minority of absolutely disgusting morons who cheer on the president as he attacks an eminently credible and brave woman who came forward about a terrible thing that happened to her. These people are not all Americans, or most Americans, but they’re vital to the party that controls so much of America, a party that may lose this November but that is still a long, long way from being destroyed, as it needs to be. These are the people that Republicans need to win, so they won’t stop throwing them meat now.