Chuck Grassley can’t seem to stop putting his foot in his mouth after the Kavanaugh hearings and vote. Last weekend, he was asked why there aren’t more Republican women on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“It’s a lot of work — maybe they (women) don’t want to do it,” Grassley said.
The Grassley-led hearing on Judge Kavanaugh’s appointment to the Supreme Court greatly deepened the widening political gender gap between men and women. Grassley’s statement that women might not want to do the work of the Judiciary Committee feeds the perception held by many women that many men just don’t get it.
Specifically, men of Grassley’s generation don’t seem capable of comprehending the new reality of #MeToo and women’s emancipation. When Grassley was first elected to the U.S. House in 1975, there were no women serving in the Senate. When he was elected to the Senate in 1981 there were only 2 women serving in the Senate. He seems perfectly satisfied to keep women silent and in the minority in 2018.
Today, the Judiciary Committee he chairs consists of 11 Republican men and no Republican women. The 10 Democrats on the Judiciary committee include 4 women. Obviously, Grassley did understand the terrible optics of 11 Republican men piling on Dr. Ford, so he farmed it out to a female prosecutor to question Ford. He and his fellow Republican Senators chose to hide behind a woman rather than do the dirty work themselves.
It’s quite obvious that most of these 11 Republican men on the Committee, Grassley included, have created a male culture that Republican women may find offensive. He and his fellow Republican mens’ reaction to the testimony of sexual assault victim Dr. Ford speaks volumes about their demeaning attitudes toward women.
Orrin Hatch, one of Grassley’s close associates on the Committee said Dr. Ford was “mixed up” before he ever heard her testimony. Last week Hatch said the women attempting to speak to him at the Capitol needed “to grow up” before he would talk to them. His arrogant and condescending attitude toward women is symbolic of men still living in the past.
Now Grassley is continuing his war on women by accusing the women seeking justice for Dr. Ford and all women of sexual assault as paid protestors.
Last week, Senator Grassley said he agrees with the Republican-created conspiracy theories that these women exercising their freedom of speech rights at the U. S. Capitol are paid protestors. During an interview on Fox Business News, Maria Bartiromo asked Grassley about it.
“Do you believe George Soros is behind all of this?” she questioned. “Paying these people to get you and your colleagues in elevators or wherever they can get in your face.”
Grassley replied, “I have heard so many people believe that. I tend to believe it. I believe it fit in his attack-mode he has, and how he uses his billions and billions of resources.”
Grassley’s acceptance of this wildly unsubstantiated claim of paid protestors further illustrates his lack of understanding of the importance of sexual assault to women. The women demonstrating in support of Dr. Ford and other sexual assault victims don’t need any money to be motivated. Many have personally experienced the pain of assault, harassment and denial of guilt by men. Many have remained silent for years carrying the painful memories. That’s the power that brought these sexual assault victims and their friends to Washington to speak out. It wasn’t money, Senator Grassley; it was the belief that sexual assault victims deserve to be heard.
Republicans are ratcheting up their attacks on women now that they have successfully railroaded Kavanaugh on to the court. Led by President Trump, they are now redefining the debate. The new Republican talking point is to describe women (and men) who support the victims of sexual assault as the “mob.” Grassley was one of the first to begin to describe peaceful protestors as the mob.
“They have encouraged mob rule,” Grassley said on the Senate floor last week. “It has been made worse by what has happened to Judge Kavanaugh. I hope we can say no to mob rule by voting to confirm Kavanaugh.”
Iowa’s senior Senator suggested women are lazy, that they are paid protestors and now he calls them the angry mob. Doesn’t Iowa deserve better?
Please vote early. A vote for Democrats will tell Grassley and Trump that you reject their vicious attacks on women.
by Rick Smith