Patterico's Pontifications


Embattled Senate Candidate’s Attempt to Exploit Sexual Assault Victims Fails Miserably

Filed under: General — JVW @ 2:29 pm

[guest post by JVW]

Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D – North Dakota), having slipped behind her opponent in the polls, went full Feinstein over the weekend and saw her cheap demagoguery blow up in her face:

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp apologized Tuesday for misidentifying victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse and rape who were listed in a recent North Dakota newspaper ad aimed at her opponent.

The Democrat, who is facing a tough race for re-election, said in a statement that she had recently learned that several of the women named in the ad either hadn’t authorized it or are not survivors of abuse.

[. . .]

The ad that ran Sunday in several North Dakota newspapers was an open letter to [GOP challenger Kevin] Cramer, criticizing comments he made on Kavanaugh’s confirmation . It was signed by more than 125 people, though some just listed their initials.

Heitkamp said she was investigating how her campaign obtained the names. She said they may have come from a “Facebook feed” that was forwarded to the campaign.

[. . . ]

Several women listed in ad criticized Heitkamp on social media for listing their names.

Lexi Zhorela told The Associated Press that she learned of the ad Monday night

“I’m furious,” the 24-year-old hairdresser and single mother from Bismarck said. “I know I’m not the only woman hurt by this.”

Zhorela said she was listed in the ad because she had been tagged by a friend in a Facebook post who knew she had been the victim of sexual assault.

“I have only shared my story with a couple of people in confidence,” she said. “I didn’t want it blasted for the world to see.”

Zhorela said she had intended to vote for Heitkamp in November but will “definitely not now.”

Heitkamp has apparently been fulsome in her apology, and it’s certainly possible that that the ad was drawn up and submitted without her knowledge or approval. But a candidate sets the ethical framework for his or her campaign (unless of course he or she is entirely the creature of sleazy campaign consultants), so Sen. Heitkamp’s staff must have felt that this line of attack was well within the bounds of what their boss would approve. Desperate to ward off what is starting to feel more and more like a trouncing in three weeks, the Heitkamp campaign borrowed one of the more revolting pages from the Democrat playbook — one that had not worked for them in the Kavanaugh confirmation battle — and watched as it blew up in her face.

Sexual harassment and sexual assault are real, and women bear the brunt of the unwanted harassment. We should never try to mitigate that fact and we should always be open to the idea that people whom we otherwise admire and respect might not always privately behave in acceptable ways. But at the same time it is now undeniable that sexual harassment and sexual assault have been relentlessly politicized by grievance-mongering groups who think it can be provide a shortcut to political power. The always dubious idea that all women should always be believed has been exposed as nothing more than a political cudgel used to bash (mostly male, largely Republican) opponents. It is quite obvious for all to see that advocacy groups can not be counted upon to act in good faith, and their political allies will not hesitate to demagogue the issue for gain. Shame on Heidi Heitkamp, and here’s hoping that North Dakota voters make her pay for trying to exploit a sensitive subject.


13 Responses to “Embattled Senate Candidate’s Attempt to Exploit Sexual Assault Victims Fails Miserably”

  1. At what point are progressives forced to acknowledge that Democrats have driven a stake right through the heart of #MeToo?

    JVW (42615e)

  2. Heitkamp probably voted against Kavanaugh because she was ordered to by big pocket Democrat donors, and they will probably now abandon her because she is toast.

    JVW (42615e)

  3. Um, does somebody have a fork nearby? Stick it in her… she’s done.

    B.A. DuBois (80f588)

  4. the reason you can’t believe all women about rape and sex assault things is cause a lot of them lie (make stuff up)

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  5. Sadly, #MeToo was always innately political. So it is not surprisingly that politicians would try to use it. And when they found that they wanted to use that blunt instrument in a partisan action, they just try to brazen it through.

    I believe that Americans are basically concerned with fairness. They can be bamboozled or misled, sure. But the whole “Why did Bill Clinton get a pass” is much on everyone’s mind.

    Simon Jester (c84895)

  6. But the whole “Why did Bill Clinton get a pass” is much on everyone’s mind.

    Only if they’re old enough, and interested enough, to remember.

    AMAZING: Lindsey Graham Sets Trap By Quoting Clinton Defender James Carville. The Left Falls In Head-First.

    Walter Cronanty (f48cd5)

  7. #metoo was something that the Left hoped to use to beat Trump and Republicans in general about the head and shoulders, but the monster took on a life of it’s own and became unpredictable in who it touched, no pun intended.

    OT… nothing from nothing, but try as I might to like Ben Sasse, I have had limited success to this point.

    Colonel Haiku (43fb26)

  8. #MeToo was always stillborn. They shot down a few politicos from both parties, more Democrats than Republican, but most of the game harvested was from the entertainment industry — movies, TV, and television news. Television news! The public saw it and understood it. This was not us. Not the men we know, not the women we know.

    nk (dbc370)

  9. Ich bin ein Victim-er.

    Ed from SFV (6d42fa)

  10. #8… very good point made with those last two sentences, nk.

    Colonel Haiku (43fb26)

  11. another clinton democrat bites the dust! most red state democrats in senate gone. short term republicans win! long term only lefty democrats left in senate. if house doesn’t go democrat pelosi is thru and alexandria ocasio-cortez takes her place. better never lose the white house again or else! schumer/pelosi wants to tax you. ocasio-cortez wants to re-educate YOU in a camp.

    lany (909e9a)

  12. Perry hasn’t learned that you eventually run out of other people’s money 💰

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  13. There is a picture of Heidi Heitkamp next to the definition of “toast”

    Neo (d1c681)

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