A new level of tribalism in the Republican Party
The tirade of attacks against Judge Brett Kavanaugh has put on the table the reality that the Republican Party lives in the Trump Era.
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Last Thursday the entire country met Christine Blasey Ford and heard in her own voice the recollection of her terrible adolescent experience when a young Brett Kavanaugh tried to sexually abuse her during a party.
Since the Washington Post made public her accusation, Ford has become an example of what millions of women live on a daily basis worldwide.
Among stalwarts of the #MeToo movement and national activists, the division of opinion was clear: Whom should we believe?
As James Hohmann wrote in his daily column for the Post, a radical division is seen within the two political parties of the country.
Among Republicans, 59 percent believe Kavanaugh, 5 percent believe Ford.
Among Democrats, 56 percent believe Ford, 8 percent believe Kavanaugh.
To perceive this situation as a moral debate rather than a political one is simply impossible.
Hohmann describes it as “the most vivid illustration to date of the escalation in tribalism during the Trump Era.”
And the president himself seems to agree.
During his press conference on Sept. 26 — and after the clear humiliation of having been the laughingstock of the Annual Assembly of the United Nations — Trump assured the media that the accusations against his nominee are nothing less than a “con game” mounted by the Democratic Party to prevent Kavanaugh from obtaining a lifelong seat on Supreme Court.
“Look, if we brought George Washington here, the Democrats would vote against him,” the president said. “George Washington would be voted 100 percent against by Schumer and the con artists.”
This debate has reached beyond a division of opinion in terms of gender or opportunism.
According to Domenico Montanaro of National Public Radio, polls have determined that within the Republican Party, both men and women believe in Kavanaugh more than in Ford at an estimated 55 percent versus 5 percent. In the Democratic Party statistics are inversely proportional.
In fact, and according to data collected by the Post, the nomination of Kavanaugh has been “the most polarizing issue” during the Trump presidency, just below his approval rating.
And it’s not surprising that a presidency that opened with one of the largest opposition demonstrations in history — in which thousands of women and supporters took to the streets to express their rejection of the inauguration of a president who claimed to be able to do whatever he wants with women — further divides the country with its open support for officials accused of sexual abuse and assault.
Let’s just remember Rob Porter, the White House staff secretary accused by two former wives of domestic violence; Roy Moore, the judge of the Alabama Supreme Court, accused of harassing teenagers; and Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s campaign manager who was accused of violence against a reporter in 2016; all officials or candidates close to Trump whom he has defended tooth and nail.
The most recent name on that list is Brett Kavanaugh, a man who epitomizes the misogyny of the Trump administration and the fervent tribalism of the Republican Party, once a political organization that has now been reduced to closed ranks silently obeying the boss in the White House.