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White Victimhood: Brett Kavanaugh and the New GOP Brand

Brett Kavanaugh is now the brand of the Republican Party. Up until recently, with Trump is President, many Republicans have been able to maintain a certain amount of distance as exemplified by the op-ed in the New York Times by Anonymous that expressed the idea that everyone knows Trump is crazy but there are adults in the room who do their best to keep him under control. Trump lies but everyone knows that so who cares? Trump is also a known sexual predator who slept with Stormy Daniels and assaulted a dozen or more women because they “let you do whatever you want.” Up until now, that behavior was compartmentalized and only applied to Trump.

By backing Kavanaugh, Grassley, Graham, Hatch, McConnell and friends have let us know that the Trump culture is now the culture of the Republican Party. The Kavanaugh hearings demonstrate that it is a big mistake for women to come forward and accuse certain powerful men of sexual assault or rape. For many men, it may well be that as Trump has said, “this is scary time.” The appropriate response to this as shown by Lindsey Graham and Brett Kavanaugh is to attack those women.

Trump followers have been reminded by Kavanaugh that if one is accused of a crime the best response is not to address the charges, but to engage in ad hominem and go after the accuser. It does not matter how many accusers there are. Trump ridicules them and their representatives. Michael Avenati is labeled the porn lawyer. Lindsey Graham attacks Julie Swetnick when he says, Who would go to ten parties where there were gang rapes? The implication is that she is a slut. Trump makes fun of Blasey Ford for not remembering details and questions why she did not come forward sooner. This is the same group who attacked Elizabeth Warren for “impugning the reputation of a man.”

So, the Republicans are at once sending a message regarding the #metoo movement—according to them, it has gone too far. And, they are saying to their supporters: you too could be attacked. Your sons could be unfairly accused. On the surface, this doesn’t seem to make sense. We do not have a rash of male victims of unsubstantiated accusations by females. We do have an ongoing problem with sexual assault and harassment. And we have a history of not taking sexual assault seriously.

The Kavanaugh hearings also have established that it is perfectly acceptable to lie under oath as long as the ends justify the means. If you are caught with your pants down, guys, lie. Stonewall, do not admit anything. Establish your story and stick with it. Don’t worry about the facts. The facts can be spun. Boys will be boys. It isn’t sexual assault because nothing happened. Everyone drank in college.

Whatever you do. Don’t just sit there and take it. Attack, express your anger. Yell. You’ll have plenty of support from all the angry men out there who have lost jobs to women and minorities and immigrants and progress. All those men and women who want to turn back the clock. And if your back is against the wall—go ahead and cry because those Trump supporters, although they all have guns, live in fear and are emotionally on edge. They are afraid of being attacked by terrorists though they’ve never met one. They’re afraid of black men though they don’t know any.

Trump and Kavanaugh have both shown that you can be a rich white guy and get the backing of white men and women across the spectrum simply by establishing your common victimhood.

 

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