Thursday, September 20, 2018

S.C. 5th District: A race between a man who jokes about sexual assault and a man who has admitted to domestic abuse

Norman makes crack about Kavanaugh allegations

Posted by Sam Spence on Thu, Sep 20, 2018 at 3:28 PM

click to enlarge U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman (left) told a joke referring to misconduct allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh during a debate with Democrat Archie Parnell on Thursday - U.S. HOUSE / PARNELL YOUTUBE
  • U.S. House / Parnell YouTube
  • U.S. Rep. Ralph Norman (left) told a joke referring to misconduct allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh during a debate with Democrat Archie Parnell on Thursday
Hundreds of thousands of voters in South Carolina's 5th Congressional District just found out that on Nov. 6, they'll be choosing whether to re-elect their congressman who jokes about sexual assault or to trade him in for a man who has admitted to domestic abuse.

As if a week filled with discussion of the shape of the president's genitalia and whether it matters that a Supreme Court nominee has been accused of sexual assault wasn't enough, Republican Congressman Ralph Norman insisted tapping another nail into the coffin of American civility today.

Norman dropped into his hometown Kiwanis Club meeting for a debate today against Democratic nominee Archie Parnell, but said he almost couldn't make it because of an emerging scandal in our nation's capital.

"Ruth Bader Ginsburg came out saying she was groped by Abraham Lincoln," Norman said, according to Post and Courier's Jamie Lovegrove who was present. (Video here from Rock Hill Herald.)

For anyone choosing not to avail themselves of national politics these days: Norman is referring to accusations that President Donald Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, sexually assaulted a woman when she was 15 and he was 17. Norman's sarcastic remark matches with other national Republicans from Lindsey Graham to Franklin Graham to Roy Moore who are defending the federal judge's confirmation. But as bad as Norman's joke may have been today, it also means that both the Democratic and Republican candidates in the 5th District have found themselves on the opposite side of a national movement to call out and stop predatory behavior by men against women.

This spring, news broke that Parnell tried to downplay allegations of domestic abuse against his ex-wife found in divorce filings. Confronted with violent details of the incident by his campaign manager, Parnell refused to leave the race, prompting her to resign and Democrats close to home and in D.C. to withdraw support. Parnell admitted to physically abusing his ex-wife, calling it "something that I have regretted every single day since."

Nonetheless, Parnell successfully secured the Democratic nomination. It's also worth noting that Norman is the same rootin-tootin comedic mind that plunked his .38-caliber Smith & Wesson down on a table during a meeting with gun control advocates earlier this year, declaring, "I'm not going to be a Gabby Giffords."

The single non-major party candidate in the 5th District is Constitution Party candidate Michael Chandler.

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