On the one hand, it shouldn’t be surprising. I know I shouldn’t be surprised. There is no rational basis for expecting anything else.
On the other hand, it is entirely shocking and I should be shocked. We all should be. Shocked. Disgusted. Aghast. Ashamed.
The video of Trump mocking Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony at his rally. Remember, aides were initially surprised at his restraint on the matter. pic.twitter.com/p75xQrDeJD
— andrew kaczynski🧐 (@KFILE) October 3, 2018
The crowd cheered as the President derided Dr Ford’s testimony and memory and described those ‘out to get’ Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanuagh as “evil”.
A man’s life is in tatters, Trump told the Mississippi crowd, seemingly oblivious to the wreckage Ford described enduring in her own testimony.
It is far from the first time Trump has resorted to cruelty and used his platform to belittle a person with whom he disagrees. It is his favoured modus operandi which does little to diminish its deplorability.
Donald Trump MOCKED a prisoner of war.
He MOCKED a disabled reporter.
He MOCKED a family who lost a son in battle.
And tonight he MOCKED a woman who was sexually assaulted.
Republicans, honestly, where is your basic humanity?
— Mikel Jollett (@Mikel_Jollett) October 3, 2018
It ought to remain unfathomable that a man who can accurately be described as one of the most powerful individuals in the world would use the full force of his position to denigrate a private citizen.
Dr Ford’s lawyer Michael Bromwich described Trump’s attack as “vicious, vile and soulless”.
“Is it any wonder that she was terrified to come forward, and that other sexual assault survivors are as well?” Mr Bromwich tweeted. “She is a remarkable profile in courage. He is a profile in cowardice.”
A vicious, vile and soulless attack on Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. Is it any wonder that she was terrified to come forward, and that other sexual assault survivors are as well? She is a remarkable profile in courage. He is a profile in cowardice. https://t.co/UJ0bGxV1EZ
— Michael R. Bromwich (@mrbromwich) October 3, 2018
Trump’s decision to openly mock Dr Ford has been criticised by many Republicans – including those with the potential to swing the Supreme Court vote.
Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake said that mocking “something this sensitive at a political rally is just not right. I wish he hadn’t done it. It’s kind of appalling.”
‘Kind of’ seems an understatement.
Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski said it was “wholly inappropriate and in my view unacceptable”.
When Dr. Ford said it was their laughter that she remembered for years after her assault, we all nodded our heads in understanding. Same, sister
When Trump humiliated and mocked Dr. Ford on a public stage tonight, we heard that same laughter ringing in our ears.
— Kaz Weida (@kazweida) October 3, 2018
Millions of men and women watched Dr Ford deliver her extraordinary testimony last week in awe of her courage and dignity and grace under fire.
— AJ+ (@ajplus) September 28, 2018
Too many related too well to the story she told and too many of them won’t be shocked by Donald Trump’s response and not merely because they have grown to expect a vacuum of leadership and moral fortitude in the office of president.
They won’t be shocked because they have spent their lives growing accustomed to having their experiences of harassment or assault dismissed, diminished, disbelieved or derided.
Donald Trump has reminded us, yet again, why he remains the worst nightmare a woman could possibly conjure. He is a bully and a coward but the travesty – and tragedy – remains that he is also the leader of the free world.