It is better to have a man who gropes women in office that to risk the appointment of a Republican, according to writer Kate Harding, who shared her views in an op-ed published Friday in The Washington Post.
Harding, the author of “Nasty Women: Feminism, Resistance, and Revolution in Trump’s America,” was responding to the scandal surrounding Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., who has been accused of groping a woman and shown in photos acting in a way that has brought forth calls for his resignation.
Harding, who has claimed in the past that the Republican party ruins “everything,” describes herself as, “a feminist who lives under a two-party system, where one party consistently votes against the interests of women while the other sometimes does not.”
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Although she supports singling out Franken for political punishment, she noted that the problem is deeper than one man.
“(I)t becomes difficult to believe that Franken is the only sitting Democrat with a history of harassment, abuse or assault,” she wrote.
“If I believed for one second that Franken is the only Democrat in the Senate who has done something like this, with or without photographic evidence, I would see that as the best and most appropriate option. But in the world we actually live in, I’m betting that there will be more. And more after that,” she wrote.
“And they won’t all come from states with Democratic governors and a deep bench of progressive replacements. Some will, if ousted, have their successors chosen by Republicans,” she added.
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Minnesota has a Democrat governor, making it likely that if Franken steps down, a Democrat would be appointed to fill the seat until a special election is called. However, Harding said in red states, liberals could be replaced by conservatives.
“In other words, if we set this precedent in the interest of demonstrating our party’s solidarity with harassed and abused women, we’re only going to drain the swamp of people who, however flawed, still regularly vote to protect women’s rights and freedoms,” she wrote.
Mocking Republicans and claiming they are morally and ethically inferior to their Democratic counterparts is not unfamiliar territory for Harding. One look at her Twitter, and her disdain toward the Republican party becomes apparent.
In the article, Harding continued to explain her fear for what could happen if liberals are ousted, even if they are abusers.
“The legislative branch will remain chockablock with old, white Republican men who regard women chiefly as sex objects and unpaid housekeepers, and we’ll show them how staunchly Democrats oppose their misogynistic attitudes by handing them more power,” she wrote.
Her remedy was not to punish Franken directly, but to have him submit to an ethics investigation, commit to not running for president, and begin a listening tour to hear how various groups of women are abused. Then, when his term ends, he should hand the reins to a liberal woman, she wrote.
“… in a sharply divided political climate where toxic masculinity knows no party, yet is only ever acknowledged by one, we must think about how to minimize harm to women. One more empty apology and resignation, one more head on a pike, will not make American women safer or better off,” she wrote.
According to CNN, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway on Thursday noted that a year ago, when she called for change in how members of Congress act toward women, the fact that the call came from a conservative voice meant she was ignored.
“I would talk to some of the members of Congress out there,” she said in a 2016 interview. “When I was younger and prettier, them rubbing up against girls, sticking their tongues down women’s throats uninvited who didn’t like it.”
On Thursday, she noted that it was nice that someone finally listened, even if the fact that she was aligned with Trump meant no one listened to her.
“I’m so glad that women on the left, particularly on Capitol Hill are now coming forward and now want to have hearings and are swearing under oath and getting people to come forward,” she said.
“That’s great. I tried to do it 13 months ago, nobody wanted to listen to me because of the campaign I was managing,” she said.
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