A Republican in the US House from Minnesota is in the political fight of his life, and unfortunately for Rep. Jason Lewis, his past just made it a whole lot more likely that it’s a fight he’s going to lose.
It’s true that the #MeToo era was tailor-made to expose sexual abuse and assault, and that most Republicans find themselves on the wrong side of history regarding the issue with alarming frequency. In fact, six years ago, then-candidate Lewis was on record defending Missouri Republican Todd Akin, who ultimately lost his seat in the House after attempting to delineate a line between “legitimate rape” and what he claimed was simply women who changed their minds about wanting to have had sex.
At the time, Lewis said:
…his first point was legitimate, I wish he would have stopped there and that is to say, that if you…believe that there ought to be an exception for rape and you are a pro-lifer, then every consensual sex act will turn into a rape — and that we see all the time.”
That’s now-Representative Lewis mansplaining how women will simply claim they were raped in order to get abortions in places where you can only get an abortion if you were raped.
Then in 2012, when professional douchebag Rush Limbaugh was publicly sparring with Sandra Fluke about funding for birth control and in a bit of hot wat for throwing around the term “slut,” Lewis jumped on that bandwagon as well:
It used to be that women were held to a little bit of a higher standard. We required modesty from women. Now, are we beyond those days where a woman can behave as a slut, but you can’t call her a slut?”
But if you think that being the Todd Akin or Rush Limbaugh of Minnesota was bad, buckle up. CNN recently unearthed audio from Lewis’ old radio show, and though his handlers now insist that the comments from the show have “all been litigated before” and that “it was his job to be provocative while on the radio,” the actual recording tells a story that can’t quite be explained away so cavalierly.
Talking about allegations made against former GOP candidate Herman Cain, Lewis made fun of the victim:
I don’t want to be callous here, but how traumatizing was it? How many women at some point in their life have a man come on to them, place their hand on their shoulder or maybe even their thigh, kiss them, and they would rather not have it happen, but is that really something that’s going to be seared in your memory that you’ll need therapy for? You’ll never get over? It was the most traumatizing experience? Come on! She wasn’t raped.”
Allow me to condense that for you into the salient bit: “They would rather not have it happen, but … She wasn’t raped.”
We’re actually pretty sure that’s sexual assault, Congressman.
You can listen to the audio here:
Featured image via screen capture