It Ain’t 1991 Any More

Public hearings Monday. The bobbleheads on the news already are comparing the current situation to Anita Hill’s testimony in 1991. But it ain’t 1991 any more. And a big reason Republicans are expected to lose the House in the midterms is that the gender gap is at an all-time high.

This week [August], we got a poll showing that same 24-point gender gap in the only “national” election of 2018: the national popular vote for the U.S. House. A YouGov survey found that male voters preferred the Republican candidate by 9 percentage points, while female voters preferred the Democratic candidate by 15 points. It was a bit of an outlier, but not egregiously so: A RealClearPolitics-style average1 of generic-ballot polls taken in the past two weeks reveals a gender gap of 16 points, and the two highest-quality polls from that period — Quinnipiac and Marist — each showed a gap even bigger than 24 points. If YouGov, Quinnipiac or Marist is correct, then just like 2016 broke a gender-gap record for presidential races, 2018 will have the widest gender gap in congressional elections since at least 1993.

1993? or 1992?

In 1992, 24 women were elected as new members to the House and four to the Senate, more than in any previous decade. Many cited anger over Hill’s treatment during the Thomas hearings as a reason for running.

And that was a long, long time ago, and we’ve had that #MeToo thing going on lately. Democrats don’t dare help cover Kavanaugh’s ass the way they made excuses for Clarence Thomas back then. And women are watching.

To sum up our current situation, a president who is on tape bragging about his ability to sexually assault women with impunity, who has been credibly accused of sexual misconduct by a dozen women, who emphatically supported accused abusers such as Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly and Roy Moore, and who promised that he would appoint only Supreme Court justices who would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, has appointed a man who is now accused of an attempted rape. Virtually the entire Republican Party is coming to that man’s defense, a defense that promises to include relentless attacks on the accuser. Just like what every other woman in her position goes through.

As Bloomberg News reports, the Trump team will try to discredit Ford’s credibility by raising questions about why she didn’t tell anybody at the incident at the time it happened. But every woman in the world knows why that 15-year-old girl didn’t tell anybody about it: because it would turn her trauma into an absolute nightmare. She’d be the one blamed. She’d be disbelieved, she’d be ostracized, she’d be called a liar and a slut and a hundred other names. Every woman knows that because every woman has seen it happen.

Orrin Hatch, who obviously didn’t get the sensitivity memo, has already said the allegations are not credible and the accuser is “mixed up.” And, of course, Trump Junior has been his trademark creepy self.

The choice for Republicans is to behave like the troglodyte jerks they are and treat Professor Ford as a nut and a slut.  Or, they can try to project “sensitivity.” But if they vote to confirm Kavanaugh they won’t be fooling anybody. Paul Waldman continues:

Not all of them are saying that; many Republicans are worried about how this controversy will make them look, and they’re trying to step carefully. But if they’re going to insist that Kavanaugh be confirmed, as they will, that means they’re saying one of three things:

They can say Ford is a liar who concocted this story for political effect, falsified therapist’s notes from 2012 to corroborate her story, pretended to be unwilling to go public until journalists discovered her identity, and has volunteered to withstand the tsunami of hate and death threats guaranteed to come her way on the chance that she could torpedo Kavanaugh’s nomination.

Sensitivity is as sensitivity does. See also Women Are Being Reminded of What Republicans Think of Them.


16 thoughts on “It Ain’t 1991 Any More

  1. Boy, this is not what I want to see–a rehash of the Anita Hill trashing.  I will never forgive the Republicans and the Democrats who enabled the trashing of a young woman who was telling the truth about some men's behaviors.  My sister is a Mormon and through the last few years I have met many people from her church who have helped her.  I have become less critical of the Mormon church as a result.  But, already Orrin Hatch has undone my kinder feelings toward Mormons.  He looks poised to put a new stain on Mormons as he did with Anita Hill.  When you put this incident with Kavanaugh's tenure working for Judge Kosinski, the judge removed for sexual harassment/discrimination wherein Kavanaugh claims he is “Sgt. Schulz” and "saw nothing".  I suspect he saw everything and just thought that was the way to treat women and keep them in their place.  Remember he is Roman Catholic.  This is the church that has done more harm to children throughout its history than helped.  I am sure he will find some way to make ripping babies out of the arms of their parents an okay thing and will not hold the Trump administration criminally liable for its crimes against humanity.  Each day of this administration America gets closer to hell. 

  2. They sure know how to campaign: insult everybody, raise taxes, raise cost of healthcare, raise the cost of imported goods (for NO discernible purpose), promise to gut social security, gut all the agencies that protect us, refuse to take guns away from—well—anybody, dredge the lowest slime of humanity for lifetime judicial appointments. Way to go, GOP. If someone gets the hot tar, I’ll spring for the feathers.

  3. As an old white man, the best I can do is to hope that I got this right.   The contrast between the Obamas and the Trumps renders an excellent example some of the effects of white male privilege.   The Obama administration was essentially scandal-free, to the extent that, Fox News had to harp on the color of his suit, his taste in mustard and the fact that he knew what arugula was.  His nickname was "no drama Obama" because he handled adversity and opposition with a cool head.  The contrast with Trump is too obvious to require a description.  With Trump everything is a drama, and it's always about him.

    Maybe I'm being too simple, but, it seems obvious that Trump never had to handle adversity or frustration.  He grew up barking orders at subordinates who insulated him from the kind of experiences most people have to endure.

    Women, people of color and other minorities not only have to deal with adversity, but, also with the fact that everything they might have worked for, every scrap of security that they've achieved, can be swept away.  They have dealt with injustice, exploitation and loss all their lives.  This is a cruel education, but, it can make them resilient and strong.  As a white male, I might have some understanding, but, I haven't walked the walk.  The best thing I can do is join them and hope that they kick some ass.

    I'm outside of the country now, looking back on events in the US, and to be honest, taking a bit of a breather.  At this moment, I am happier than I have ever been in my life.   I think that's because the stress and toxicity that we all live with has been lifted away.  Sometimes we carry a burden, and we are aware of it, but, we can't judge its weight until we set it down.

    Just sayin'


  4. I do not think it was even 1991 in 1991 in a large part of the United States.  In hindsight we got stuck with Clarence Thomas and rejected insight into the reality of the judicial competence of that nominee.  The result has been a degradation of the supreme court, and a crippling of our highest court.  It would be easy to say that this was the beginning of a judicial system that favored the rich, the corporations, the powerful, and (fill in your favorite as the list would get quite long) at the expense of justice for all.  Is it no wonder that now it continues in this path and strives to restrict all manner of choices for women.  Justice is always a bit on the blind side, but even in 1991 the courts needed to respect women and the varied, important, and expanding roles and also their judgement and their insight into the competency and character of those filling the seats of power. One can only hope a lesson has been learned by that that sort of blindness.  Since that time the expansion of women's roles has continued.  The Senate desperately needs to peek around the blindfold for the court and see this social reality.  It would be a serious mistake to try to attempt to cover the mouth and protests of the potential victims again.  

  5. " The bobbleheads on the news already are comparing the current situation to Anita Hill’s testimony in 1991"

    Right, I had forgotten all about "long dong silver", the "coke can and the pubic hair", good times. Ah those fucking republicans, they sure can pick'em. Kavanaugh is just another carbon copy entitled rich kid turned GOP huckster, a true neoconsuperfratboy. I hope to hell he goes down, Trump will surely just nominate another federalist wing-nut but at least we can say as country that entitled rich white boys who rape their female classmates cannot sit on the supreme court. Bar meet floor!

  6. Yeah, the times have changed.

    But many if the GOP players still remain.

    Right now, most GOP Senators are saying the right thing.

    And most suprisingly, so is tRUMP!

    But we still have almost a week before the big battle:

    Ford v. Kavanaugh.

    You know that in those days, the GOP Senate politicians will "stew" over being challanged by a woman,  will boil over and burn.  

    An as for tRUMP, he’s a pressure-cooker who can blow at any time!

  7. If Ford can present herself reasonably well, I expect the whole thing to really polarize people, in a favorable way. The Rs will be seen as male troglodytes,unable to accept her. Women will be galvanized, and red state Democrats will no longer have an excuse to break ranks.

  8. Right, I had forgotten all about "long dong silver", the "coke can and the pubic hair", good times.

    Yeah, I watched a review of those 1991 hearings and got a big laugh when Anita mentioned about Clarence taking a measurement of his wand and bragging on his endowment. That was probably one of the factors that lead me to believe that she was telling the truth. It's that distorted understanding of thinking that male and female sexuality both respond to the same stimuli. 

  9. One thing this shows is how ineffective the democrats on the Judiciary committee are, they have three reasons to force Grassley and McConnell to tank this nomination: 1-  Kavanaugh has arguably lied under oath in this and previous senate confirmation hearings. 2- The GOP is withholding over 90% of the public documents related to the his work on GW Bush's administration. 3- We have this new credible allegation of sexual assault. Where the hell are the democrats, Diane Feinstein should be all over every cable show, evening news, anyone that will listen, pound theses three points make it overwhelming. But no we have mostly silence, senate decorum, she is doing exactly what the GOP wants. I don't get it?

  10. I've never known what to think of Sen. Feinstein, It seems she still wants to believe the repugs are serious about policy? This "roundtable" was a dandy, Trump just wants out of the meeting so he starts agreeing to everything, Diane actually seems to belive at one point that she is going to get a deal? Even after McCarthy steers Trump back to the right she seems to belive she has accomplished something? 


  11. I really hope the Ford case against Judge Kovfefe is just a delaying tactic, giving the Dems time to find and publicize the real dirt: lying under oath, and the money trail (who's his Sugar Daddy?).  If "sexual misconduct" in High School is the only thing they can pin on him, the GOP will win by pretending to take Ford seriously but then excusing it as "youthful indiscretion", not relevant to appointment to the Supreme Court. 

    Anita Hill got treated like crap, but I always thought that her allegations were a very weak weapon against Thomas.  Sure, he's a creep; but that's not why he's a bad SC Judge.

    • If “sexual misconduct” in High School is the only thing they can pin on him, the GOP will win by pretending to take Ford seriously but then excusing it as “youthful indiscretion”, not relevant to appointment to the Supreme Court.

      Attempted rape is taken more seriously these days than in the past.

  12. Maybe they should call Bart O'Kavanaugh to testify? I know his credibility might be called into question because he was such a party animal according to Mark Judge's recollections,but it might help get to the bottom of things.

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