The Slatest

Republican Congressman’s Joke About Kavanaugh Sexual Assault Allegation Demonstrates Failure to Understand Sexual Assault Allegations or Jokes

Norman, surrounded by individuals who appear to be family members, smiles and raises his right hand.
Rep. Ralph Norman (center, hand on Bible) is sworn into office on Capitol Hill on June 26, 2017. Yuri Gripas/Reuters

More right-wing laughs about Brett Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford, via Charleston’s Post and Courier:

A South Carolina GOP congressman opened an election debate Thursday by joking that he almost had to miss it and fly back to Washington to address the latest drama involving the Supreme Court.

“Did y’all hear this latest late-breaking news on the Kavanaugh hearings?” said U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman, R-Rock Hill. “Ruth Bader Ginsburg came out saying she was groped by Abraham Lincoln.”

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Norman, of course, is attempting to make light of Ford’s allegation that Kavanaugh trapped her in a bedroom, forced her down, held his hand over her mouth, and tried to take off her clothes during an incident that took place while both were in high school.

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Needless to say, it’s a comment that fails to meet basic standards of human decency, but it is also a failure as a joke. The deliciously satirical formulation Norman appears to be bumbling toward is “LIBERAL IDIOT/LIAR makes FOOLISH SEX ALLEGATION in order to destroy POWERFUL REPUBLICAN,” and while he fills the first two variables appropriately if you stipulate that an accusation of forcible groping is in fact a silly trifle, the “Abraham Lincoln” punch line is insurmountably nonsensical given that Lincoln does not hold a high-stakes position of power, because he is dead. Ruth Bader Ginsberg already being on the Supreme Court confuses matters further, as does Norman’s setup about the Ginsberg-Lincoln accusation happening during the Kavanaugh hearing.

What I think Ralph Norman meant to say, in other words, was something like: “Did you see this? Have you heard about this? It looks like JANE FONDA, ALEC BALDWIN, MICHAEL MOORE, AND FORMER VICE-PRESIDENT AL GORE have come out saying that SECRETARY OF COMMERCE WILBUR ROSS sent them AN INAPPROPRIATELY RIBALD LIMERICK!”

Now that’s humor!

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