Kabuki Theater On the Subject of Rape In the U.S. Senate Again.

Kate Riga of TPM showed some video of Republican Senator Joni Ernst questioning another fine Trump judicial nominee Neomi Rao about her stance on rape.  While in college, Rao wrote some lovely views about date rape:

A nominee President Donald Trump would like to replace Brett Kavanaugh on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals once said that “a good way to avoid a potential date rape is to stay reasonably sober.” She’s also previously argued that “multiculturalists … seek to undermine American culture…

“If she drinks to the point where she can no longer choose, well, getting to that point was a part of her choice,” Rao wrote in one piece

Still, she appeared to maintain her larger point about sexual assault, saying, “I tried to make the commonsense observation that women can take certain steps to make sure they’re not a victim.”

Roa Translation:  Druken sluts get what they deserve, but I regret writing that NOW.  My thoughts on rape have “evolved.”  Except for that bit about taking steps to make sure you are not a victim.

Little fact for Ms. Rao.  On average, men have twice the muslce mass of a woman.  Now, I would like to see a man get into a wrestling match with another man who has twice the muscle mass.  I’m sure the smaller man could readily avoid being thrown to the floor or avoid injury from another man determined to throw his weight around. 

But I digress…

What I want to focus on besides Rao’s abhorrent views on rape is that we have more Republican judicial Kabuki Theater going on here.  We have another Trump judicial nominee that thinks date rape is entirely avoidable, and if you are drunk, you deserved to be raped.  And what the nominee wrote many years ago shouldn’t count too.  Probably about anything really, but especially about rape or treating women badly.  But to help this rotten nominee out, we will have a Republican woman who has been raped and abused ask a few questions that essentially lead the witness to say, “I do NOT think that way at all now!”

And with my cynicism showing, I will make a safe bet that Joni Ernst will vote to confrim Rao to Kavanaugh’s open seat.



Ernst has already shown her true colors before with Kavanaugh.  Ernst voted to confirm an alleged rapist to the SCOTUS.  Ernst heard from Kavanaugh’s accuser, but she dismissed the testimony and did not want to have any delay to hear any more.  Ernst went along with the other Republicans and that was that.

But because she is going through a painful divorce and has reported that she was abused and raped in the past, we are to believe what with her questioning of Rao?  The eternal optimist in some of us would thnk, “Maybe Ernst is evolving in her committment to voting along party lines for judicial nominees who think rape victims deserve blame for being raped?  Maybe Ernst is looking through her own experiences at the Pussy Grabber in Chief’s judicial nominees and having second thoughts?”

I would not count on it. 

Ernst would not be the first victim of rape and abuse to side with those who embrace rape culture.  In fact, Ernst would not be the first women to throw other women under the bus.  My betting is that Ernst is like many who have some power and had to work at it.  Men and women will sell out other people to acquire wealth and power.  Everyone on Daily Kos has seen this in their own lives.  

But the Media and Republicans will play up Ernst’s questioning of Rao’s views on rape because of Ernst’s personal history.  When Rao is confirmed — and she will be, Republicans will tout Ernst’s questioning as due diligence on Republican concern over rape.  It’s on their checklist to try and stop the bleeding of Republican women voters during elections.  And Ernst gives Senate Republicans a heat shield from allegations that they do not give a damn about what happens to women.

I fully expect some Susan Collins type speech out of Joni Ernst on this vote.