I am not a crier. One of my best friends teases me that Satan cries more than I do; my husband jokes about my “six-second cry” when I finally shed some tears.
But as I watched Brett Kavanaugh’s opening statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee last Thursday, I cried—and for more than six seconds. I wept for him, for his crushed wife seated behind him, for his young daughters, and for his friends. I cried for our country. It was an emotional release of sympathy, frustration and rage.
I wasn’t alone. Several of my friends admitted they had the same reaction. The Federalist’s Mollie Hemingway mirrored the feelings of millions of women when she choked up that evening during an interview with Tucker Carlson on Fox News: “I was sobbing when I was watching it,” Hemingway said. “I heard that a lot from people as well. It was hard just to watch those clips here.”
A bungled political assassination attempt on Brett Kavanaugh will cost the Democrats more than a seat on the Supreme Court: The party might also have killed its edge with suburban women just weeks before the pivotal midterm elections. The near-unanimous reaction to this travesty among my fellow suburban moms is unlike anything I’ve seen in the Trump era.
Until now, Democrats have been confident that women living in the suburbs would propel the much-vaunted “blue wave” this fall because President Trump remains unpopular with this traditionally Republican constituency. Polling conducted over the summer indicated suburban women had a strong preference for Democratic candidates over their Republican opponents. Several vulnerable Republican-held congressional districts are located in suburban areas.
But Democrats have overplayed their dirty hand, and women might exact their revenge in November. Republican women are outraged at Democrats and their media accomplices for what they’ve done to Brett Kavanaugh and his family. One poll taken right after Kavanaugh’s testimony showed 71 percent of Republican women believed Kavanaugh was telling the truth. In a Morning Consult poll released late Monday, 58 percent of Republican women described Dr. Christine Ford as “opportunistic.” Republican women are the only voters whose support for Kavanaugh’s nomination has increased post-hearing.
The majority of women voters in red states with vulnerable Democratic senators up for reelection next month support Kavanaugh’s confirmation; a Harvard/Harris poll shows identical voter enthusiasm between Republican and Democratic women for the midterm election.
The truth is that Republican women have been skeptical about the Kavanaugh allegations since the beginning. CNN hosted a discussion group shortly after Ford’s sexual assault claims were made public; the interviewer appeared shocked to hear several Republican women say they believed Kavanaugh’s denials and doubted his accuser. A few said that even if the accusations were true, they were irrelevant. “I would hate to think 30, 40 years later, somebody is going to destroy your life because somewhere at some party, maybe you touched somebody the way you’re not supposed to,” one woman said.
Women rallied to Kavanaugh’s defense on Capitol Hill before the hearing on September 27. The media admitted that Congressional offices were fielding as many calls from women in support of Kavanaugh as from those who opposed him.
“Female voices have echoed throughout the Senate this week demanding male senators justify their support for Kavanaugh,” wrote Associated Press reporter Meg Kinnard on Sunday. “But other women have spent hours calling Senate offices in support of Kavanaugh, condemning what they saw as an anti-Republican ploy.”
A CNN segment aired Monday featured dozens of women visiting fence-sitting senators to demand they vote against Kavanaugh; at the end of the piece, the reporter confessed that “while the opposition is loud, there is quiet support for Brett Kavanaugh among women.”
I asked several suburban moms to share their thoughts about the Democrats’ assault on Kavanaugh. Here is a sampling of their responses:
“The whole process was shameful, an obvious political maneuver. Ford clearly had ‘something’ happen to her, and the Democrats capitalized on her pain. Their disingenuous actions actually hurt the real plight women face. It was a dark day for America on Thursday.”
“What does it say about me as a woman that I don’t feel such strong affiliation with the sisterhood that I therefore automatically believe every charge leveled at a man by a woman? Is it my training as a lawyer? I don’t think so. I think it is my years of being married to an honorable man, and my parenting of two young men who ‘know’ what is and isn’t expected of them in their treatment of their female peers.”
“Knowing that this happened so long ago and they were teenagers (I believe) makes it a non-issue for me. People change over the years, they grow up, and most become mature and responsible. I think it is immature and disrespectful to bring up something from someone’s past to ‘smear’ them.”
“Democrats behavior in this process is truly disgusting and childish. I am appalled. I also watched Judge Kavanaugh’s rebuttal. I’ve read comments that ‘we don’t want a judge with that temperament on the bench!’ Really? I work in the legal system and that’s exactly the temperament I expect in a judge. I will vote in November no matter what. And there is no way I’d vote Democrat in this political climate.”
And this is from a childhood friend, one of the few women I know who did not vote for Trump, but still is a Republican: “I don’t think even if he was a douche in high school that he should be condemned. No one else has come forward to make such claims the entire time he’s been a judge. It’s ridiculous.” She also told me that Trump is a “narcissistic idiot” but she plans to vote Republican in November. She lives in Illinois’ 14th Congressional District, which the Cook Political Report rates as “leans Republican.”
The Kavanaugh debacle has been a motivator for the GOP. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said in an interview Sunday that Republican voter enthusiasm has changed “drastically” over the past several days.
“We look at absentee ballots, those who are requesting ballots prior [to Election Day] and that has increased over the last week,” McCarthy explained. “We look at volunteerism. We look at things that are happening online.”
The shared tears and collective fury are galvanizing women voters, but not in the way Democrats initially calculated. The Democrats’ insistence that due process and a presumption of innocence don’t apply to men (particularly conservative white men) is a terrifying prospect for the husbands, sons, fathers, and brothers we love. The Left still doesn’t understand that we don’t hate men like they do.
The Democrats’ shameful conduct also has quashed their most convincing argument, which is that Donald Trump is a vulgarian who does not have the temperament to lead. What Republican woman now believes that Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii)—who warned American men to “just shut up and step up for once”—or Cory Booker (D-N.J.) or Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) are more prudent or civilized than Trump? Why would any suburban mother vote to empower a lowlife, bottom-feeding hustler like Michael Avenatti? Trump’s tweets look tame compared to the bile coming from these people.
I am told we are to believe women no matter what. If what I now hear from my suburban sisters is the truth (excuse me, “our truth”) then the Democrats have plenty to worry about right now.
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