If someone can tear him away from the campaign trail, Matt Rosendale needs to speak to the people about Montana about his support for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Rosendale has made the Kavanaugh nomination one of the centerpieces of his bitterly negative campaign, with dozens of tweets in just the past few weeks attacking Senator Tester over the nomination.
And now, following the credible allegations of sexual abuse by Judge Kavanaugh, Rosendale needs to tell Montanans whether he would still support ramming the nomination through the Senate or if he would demand the Senate listen to Professor Christine Blasey Ford, who went public with her story this weekend.
The answer to that question would provide crucial insight into the kind of Senator Mr. Rosendale would be if elected to the Senate. Would he continue his hyper-partisan support for President Trump at all costs and join the small chorus of conservatives who are already attacking Professor Blasey Ford or would he use his office to ensure that the Senate truly investigated the background of those chosen to sit on the nation’s highest court? Would Rosendale be the kind of Senator who uses his office to treat those who have been assaulted with respect or would he use his enormous power to silence and shame them?
The longer we wait without an answer from Rosendale, the more obvious the answer to those questions will become.
There’s only one reason Republicans are so desperate to rush this nomination through: they’ve wanted complete control of the Supreme Court for almost two generations and know that the perfect storm of the blue wave coming this November and the likely indictments of those close to the President mean this might be their only chance for some time. They know that if they want to roll back voting rights for people of color, reproductive freedom for women, and limits on the power of corporations to influence our elections, this is their moment.
And the Republicans who refuse to at least listen to Blasey Ford are making it clear those goals far outweigh the need to fulfill their constitutional obligation to vet candidates for the Court.
As a candidate, Rosendale has a special obligation to answer how he would act, were he in the Senate today. He’s inextricably linked his agenda to President Trump’s and has made Supreme Court nominations one of the few arguments for his candidacy. Given his non-stop, absolute support for Kavanaugh over the past few weeks, Rosendale needs to let Montanans know where he stands today in light of these charges.
There’s one more reason Rosendale needs to speak. Long after other Republicans abandoned the Alabama judge, Rosendale stood by Alabama’s Roy Moore in his Senate bid. He stood by Moore after he was accused by multiple women of lurid sexual advances while they were teenagers, after he was exposed as a tax cheat, a xenophobe, and a supporter of the time of slavery.
Despite all these reasons, each of which should have disqualified Moore from the Senate, Rosendale stood by Moore, calling him “an honorable man.”
There are plenty of reasons the Senate should reject Kavanaugh outside of these allegations—his perjury, troubling finances, and clear connection to a misogynistic mentor come to mind, as do his support for the idea that the President is immune from prosecution and his historic unpopularity—but for Rosendale, given his explicit, repeated support for a man charged with sexual abuse of teenagers, the question demands an immediate answer.
Will Matt Rosendale stand with women? Or those who would silence and threaten them?
We deserve to know.