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Tom Cotton Declares War On True Enemy Of Women, Dianne Feinstein

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Tom Cotton, the Republican senator from Arkansas, turned up on "Face the Nation" Sunday to audition for "Donald Trump's Next Top Attorney General." Cotton expressed his sympathies for Christine Blasey Ford and vowed to seek justice from the people who truly "victimized" her. He's not talking about Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh or "Superman" comic collector Mark Judge, the men Dr. Blasey actually accused of attempting to assault her. His ire is reserved for the Democrats or -- as Jeanine Pirro describes them like they were a satanic Little League team -- the "Demon-rats."

"The Democrats have disgraced this process and the United States Senate in the orchestrated smear campaign of character assassination they've run against Judge Kavanaugh," [Cotton told host John Dickerson.]

This ascribes malice and intent to Democrats without actual evidence. I thought these guys were all about "presumption of innocence" these days. Kavanaugh has three public accusers so far: Dr. Blasey, Deborah Ramirez, and Julie Swetnick. Where's the proof that these women are part of some liberal conspiracy to "take down" Kavanaugh? It seems like Cotton is the one engaging in "smears" and "character assassination."

Cotton argues Democrats "betrayed" Dr. Blasey -- almost like friends at a party who try to lock you in a room and tear off your clothes. The surprise villain here is Dianne Feinstein, that other bad-ass senator from California, who Republicans -- again without a schmear of proof -- claim sat on Dr. Blasey's allegations for weeks until she could release it for maximum damage to Kavanaugh because everything is about him. Feinstein counters that she kept Dr. Blasey's identity and accusations confidential as requested. Ryan Grim at the Intercept has denied that Feinstein or anyone on her staff leaked to them Dr. Blasey's letter to the Senate. There's no corroborating evidence to back up any claims of wrongdoing. Feinstein and Grim both passionately refute the GOP's accusations. By the Kavanaugh Standard, that means the case is closed, right?


No, Cotton wants a thoroughly pointless investigation of Feinstein's office to find out who leaked the letter and callously ended Kavanaugh's girls basketball coaching career. Meanwhile, the senator insists the one-week flash sale FBI investigation into the accusations against Kavanaugh won't tell us anything we don't already know, which I suppose is certainly possible if the White House effectively limits the scope of the investigation to information and leads identified as "Show FBI" and carefully avoids everything marked "Never Show FBI." Swetnick is reportedly consigned to the latter group. I guess there's just not as solid a connection between her and Dr. Blasey's charges as there were between Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky.

On top of that, Cotton is terribly concerned that the Democrats' mishandling of this matter will somehow prevent women from coming forward to report sexual assault.

"Any impact that this entire episode has had on women's willingness to come forward and report sexual assault, which I encourage them all to do immediately after it happens, is caused by the Democrats, is caused by Dianne Feinstein and Chuck Schumer not respecting her requests for confidentiality."

Yes, ladies, please report your sexual assault promptly as if this traumatic event is a library book you must responsibly return within a week. Don't leave your sexual assault in your DVD player and forget about it for years. That Blockbuster isn't even open anymore. Oddly, I thought what might discourage women from reporting sexual assault is conservative men slut-shaming and victim blaming them.

But it's not just anonymous assholes on Twitter. It's also assholes who work for well-regarded conservative publications.

And, yes, there are even such assholes in the Senate.

But sure, it's the "leak" in Feinstein's office that is perpetuating rape culture. Fortunately for us all, a man as upstanding as Cotton is going to uncover the perpetrators no matter the cost. Cotton was part of the GOP wave that flipped the Senate in 2014 because Democrats didn't bother to vote and we've paid for it ever since. He's also incredibly petty and cruel. He's the same guy who blocked the nomination of Cassandra Butts as US ambassador to inflict "pain" on Barack Obama. She later died from leukemia at 50, still waiting for her hearing. That, my dear Republicans, would probably more aptly qualify as "ruining" someone's life for political gain.

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle.

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