Today was an utterly horrid day for America in general, and for women in particular. Brett Kavanaugh, a man whose judicial record reveals that he doesn’t respect women’s basic rights, and who has been accused of being a serial sexual assaulter, was greenlighted for the Supreme Court today by Senate Republicans. He’ll be confirmed tomorrow. In the immediate aftermath, Chuck Grassley opened his mouth and made it even worse.
The Kavanaugh nomination was shepherded by the Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee, which has precisely zero Republican women on it. Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley tried to put a happy face on that today by telling a group reporters that he believes there will be some Republican women on the committee next year, though he failed to even bother suggesting any names. Then he remembered that he was Chuck Grassley, and he said this about women being on the committee: “It’s a lot of work – maybe they don’t want to do it.” No, really, he said this.
After apparently realizing he’d screwed up, Grassley later tried to change the context of what he said by adding that “We have a hard time getting men on the committee. It’s just a lot of work whether you’re a man or a woman, it doesn’t matter.” But this did nothing to walk back Grassley’s original suggesting that men were willing to work harder than women.
It’s yet another reminder that the Republican Party couldn’t be more out of touch with mainstream America if it tried. At a time when the #MeToo movement is sweeping across the country, the GOP is putting an alleged serial sexual assaulter on the Supreme Court, after having done everything it could to prevent the allegations against him from being properly investigated or sorted out. The Republicans were already in line to lose a significant number of seats in next month’s elections; after today, that number may climb even higher.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report