Thursday, October 04, 2018

The Defeat Disguised As Victory

It's beginning to look like the fix is in. The truncated F.B.I. investigation of allegations against Brett Kavanaugh has arrived at the White House, which is crowing that there is "no corroboration" of those allegations. It's a dark time in the United States. The Trumpists will soon control all three branches of the American government. But Geoffrey Kabaservice writes that the Kavanaugh  confirmation may be the Republican Party's last hurrah. The Kavanaugh circus has underscored just how male dominated the Republican Party is:

Congress has long been a lopsidedly male place. There have only been 52 women senators in the entire history of the United States, and it took until 2011 for women legislators to get a restroom near the floor of the House of Representatives. Congress is still about 80% male, so gender parity is a long way off. But that figure blurs the imbalance between a Democratic caucus where one-third of the members are women and Republican caucus where women are only around one-tenth of the membership. 

The faces of the Republican and the Democratic Parties couldn't be more different:

The 3-to-1 ratio by which Democratic congresswomen outnumber Republican congresswomen may soon become even more imbalanced. According to the Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University, there are over 200 Democratic women running for Congress this year (15 in the Senate, 187 in the House) but only 60 Republican women (8 in the Senate, 52 in the House). 

The Republicans know about the difference. But they have refused to do anything about it:

In the wake of Mitt Romney’s defeat in 2012, many Republicans appeared to understand the need to narrow the gender gap, both in voting and in women’s representation in Congress. The Republican National Committee’s 2013 “autopsy” report highlighted “the party’s negative image among women” and emphasized how essential it was “to improve our brand with women throughout the country and grow the ranks of influential female voices in the Republican Party.” But the Republican leadership largely ignored these recommendations. Making matters worse, Donald Trump, both as candidate and president, has gone out of his way to make comments widely perceived as insulting toward women — most recently with his mocking of Kavanaugh’s accuser and the Me Too movement.

With Trump and Kavanaugh as the two faces of the Republican Party, American women are as mad as hell. And that anger shows up in the gender of the candidates running in the mid term elections:

While the number of Republican women running for Congress this year actually represents a modest improvement upon the party’s past standards, it’s dwarfed by the Democrats’ record-breaking totals. In fact, while the number of Republican women who filed as House candidates this year went up by 11% compared to 2016, Democratic women’s numbers soared by a whopping 87%. 

While the votes are still to be counted, this election could be a turning point. Like George Armstrong Custer, Donald Trump may have marched the Republican Party into its Little Big Horn.



Lorne said...

It seems likely, with the truncated FBI investigation, that Kavanaugh will get the nod, Owen. I agree, however, that it could very well be a Pyrrhic victory. If we have learned anything from this sorry episode, it is that women today are not to be trifled with.

Owen Gray said...

From the very beginning, Lorne, my wife had Trump's number. He was, she said, "a pig." It's pretty clear now that, when you elect a pig to the presidency, he turns the whole place into a sty.

Deacon Jester said...

The planning for the cancellation of the mid-terms can really get underway now.

Owen Gray said...

That's the way the ducks are lining up, Deacon. The Republican trashing of democracy is almost complete.

The Mound of Sound said...

What democracy? With the vaunted system of "checks and balances" in a shambles thanks, in part, to the politicization of the judiciary, there can be no democracy. Trump has succeeded in undermining the independence of the legislative branch which no longer dares to stand up to the executive. Having transformed the judiciary into a partisan political institution, Trump has a court that dispenses ideological judgments. That is no longer a court of law. Its decline translates into a lapse of the rule of law and, without that, there is no democracy.

If the American people at some point do demand a democratic restoration they'll probably have to fight for it.

Owen Gray said...

They will, indeed, have to fight for it, Mound. And whether they fight or not depends on how angry they get.