Donald Enabler GOP Congresswoman Barbara Comstock—Show Her the Door in 11/2018 February 18, 2018
What’s with the GOP and its attitude toward women? IMHO, Republicans should rename/rebrand their party the GMP, the G rand M isogynistic P arty. They are too often anti-choice and against women getting equal pay. Several prominent GOPers have insensitively dismissed women’s concerns. Remember Campaign 2012? MO GOP Sen. candidate, Cong. Todd Akin, “crashed and burned” in his race against Dem. Senator Claire McCaskill. Akin talked about how “if it was legitimate rape, the female body has ways to shut that whole thing (pregnancy) down.” Sen. McCaskill, running for re-election in 2018, will probably face MO GOP Atty. General Josh Hawley. Hawley was caught on tape blaming sex trafficking on the 1960’s women’s liberation movement (shareblue.com, 1/31/18, Chapman). We now have Demagogue Donald as our “leader.” Donald is notorious for his sexist/misogynist attitudes, as that infamous “Access Hollywood” tape demonstrated.
“Sexist/misogynists of a feather flock together.” Donald’s staff secretary Rob Porter and speechwriter David Sorensen recently resigned following allegations of domestic abuse (CNN. Hansler, 2/10/18). Donald showed no sympathy for the women harmed. Instead, he tweeted, “People’s lives being shattered by a mere allegation… There is no recovery for someone falsely accused—life and career are gone…(CNN, Hansler, 2/10/18).” Donald’s “courtiers”, chief-of staff John Kelly, Kellyanne Conway, and Sarah Huckabee Sanders, lamely tried to defend Porter, even after a photograph of the abuse that one of Porter’s ex-wives suffered surfaced. On 2/3/2018, FBI Director Chris Wray testified before Congress that the White House was aware as early as 3/2017 about Porter’s spousal allegations. Porter was not then told to resign. The White House allowed Porter to review classified material, even though the FBI had not approved Porter’s security clearance because of these allegations. Porter resigned only after these allegations became public (Orr, shareblue.com, 2/10/18, Liebelson, huffingtonpost.com, 2/12/18, CNN, Diamond, 2/13/18). Just before he resigned, White House officials, including chief-of-staff Kelly, were interested in promoting Porter to deputy-chief-of-staff, despite their knowledge of the spousal allegations against him (CNN, Collins & Liptak, 2/13/18). There were also allegations of domestic violence against former Trump advisor Steve Bannon as well as Andrew Pudzer. Pudzer, the former Carl’s Jr fast food king, ended up withdrawing his nomination as Donald’s Labor Secretary (See huffingtonpost.com, Liebelson).
There are other GOPers in government who are Donald’s enablers when women’s issues are involved. Exhibit A-- Congresswoman Barbara Comstock, a proud member of the Independent Women’s Forum (IWF). This group, was originally formed for the purpose of discrediting Anita Hill. Hill had accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during his 1991 Supreme Court Senate confirmation hearings. Among its other comments, IWF has stated, “There are clearly some women out there who are deeply confused about what it means to be raped, and they are, in many cases, being misled by the adults around them (iwf.org/news/2803061, schof, Daily Kos, 2/12/18).” Meet Barbara Comstock.
Second-term GOP Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (58) currently represents Virginia’s 10th Congressional District (CD). The 10th CD rests in Northern VA and covers the outer suburbs and exurbs of Washington, D.C. The 10th stretches from rural Frederick County, bordering W. VA, to the heavily populated and rapidly growing D.C. suburbs. This CD includes all of Loudon County and part of Fairfax County. The 10th takes in part of Prince William County, including Manassas, site of the bloody Bull Run Civil War battles. The 10th has part of the city of McClean, home to many D.C. lawmakers and lobbyists. Langley, the CIA’s headquarters, Ashburn, and Leesburg are in the 10th (CQ & Barone 14 Almanacs).
The 10th’s economy is dominated by its proximity to D.C. This CD supports technology firms and defense contractors. Many residents have jobs in the federal government. In the rural areas, agriculture remains strong. In 2011, Loudon and Fairfax Counties ranked first and second respectively in the nation’s median household income (Barone &CQ14). As of 4/2016, the VA 10th had many “wealthy and highly-educated voters (Sabato, “Crystal Ball”).”
The 10th was initially GOP turf. It gave W Bush 56% and 55% of its votes in 2000 and 2004 respectively. An influx of Hispanic and Asian immigrants and backlash to cultural and religious conservatives made this area Democratic-friendly. In 2008, Obama beat McCain 51%-48%. In 2010, prior to re-districting, Hispanics constituted 13.5% of the 10th, Asian Americans 12.4%, and whites 63.7% (Barone 14). After redistricting done by a GOP-dominated legislature, several large Latino districts near Bull Run and Herndon were removed as well as southern McClean and a wide swath of northern Warren and Fauquier counties, bolstering conservatives. The white population increased to 73.6%, while the Hispanic and Asian Americans decreased (CQ & Barone 14). In 2012, Romney edged Obama by 1.1% (VA State Bd. of Elections). However, in 2016, Hillary clobbered Donald here by 10 points(dailykos.com). In 2017, the 10th gave Democratic gubernatorial winner Ralph Northam a 13.3 percentage over Confederate-loving/ Donald- endorsed Ed Gillespie (vpap.org, 2017). The 4/07/2017 Cook PVI (Partisan Voting Index) gives the swingy 10th a D+1 lean.
Springfield, MA native, Barbara Comstock, (Barbara Jean Burns), spent her high school years in Houston, TX, where she met her future husband. Comstock’s father worked for Shell Chemicals. Her mother was a teacher. While attending college, Comstock interned for MA Dem. Senator Ted Kennedy. As she worked for Kennedy, Comstock realized she was really a Republican (NY Times, 10/10/82, Huetteman, 4/06/15, NY Times). She received her undergraduate degree in 1981 from Middlebury College and a 1986 law degree from Georgetown Law Center (Huetteman, NY Times, bioguide.congress.gov). After working in private practice, Comstock served from 1991-1995 as a senior aide to VA’s 10th District GOP Cong. Frank Wolf. From 1995-1999, Comstock was chief investigative counsel and senior counsel for the GOP’s House Committee on Governmental Reform. She was known as one of D.C.’s most prominent anti-Bill and Hillary Clinton opposition researchers. Many critics found her anti-Clinton work obsessive and “unhinged (Brock, “Blinded by the Right,” Conason, Salon, 11/15/05, Mintz, Washington Post, 8/22/01).” She was known for her strong opposition research against Al Gore that W Bush’s team used. She later served in W’s Justice Dept. and was a Romney consultant (nationalreview.com, 9/29/14). Comstock was a former co-chair of the Susan B. Anthony List Executive Committee (“Politico,” Schroeder Mullins, 5/13/08). That organization wants to end abortion by supporting anti-abortion politicians who are mainly women (sba-list.org).
In 2009, Comstock won election to the VA House of Delegates, defeating a Democrat by just 316 votes. She was re-elected in 2011 and 2013. In her 2013 re-election race, she won by about 1% of the vote. Her Democratic opponent made the race close by attacking Comstock’s anti-abortion and anti-gun control stands (B. Trompeter, 1/05/13). When Cong. Wolf decided not to run in 2014, Comstock won the GOP primary to take his 10th CD seat. Comstock was endorsed by the Chamber of Commerce. Right-wing Koch Industries gave her $10,000 (opensecrets.org, 2014). In this poor Democratic turnout year, Comstock clobbered her opponent by 16.14 percentage points (U.S. House, General Election, 2014). In 2016, a presidential year where swing state VA was in play, Comstock’s re-election was expected to be closely contested. Comstock called on Donald to get out of the race once the “Access Hollywood” tape was aired and let Mike Pence run in his place. Her anti-Trump comments gave Comstock “cover,” and a $10,000 contribution from Koch helped. Comstock won by a 5.77% margin (U.S. House, General Election, 2016). Comstock is also one of the top ten House recipients of money from the NRA (National Rifle Association) to the tune of at least $137,000 (Einenkel, Kos, 2/14/18). How will she “explain” these contributions after the 2/14/2018 Parkland, FL high school massacre?
Trump “opponent” Congresswoman Comstock quickly got on the bandwagon. Since Trump took office, she has voted with him 97% of the time, just like most Deep South GOP House members, despite her district going heavily for Hillary (See projectsfivethirtyeight.com). She voted for Donald’s awful tax cut for the top 1%. Even before “Donald came to town,” Comstock’s record was right wing. Besides being anti-choice and for tax cuts, she opposes same-sex marriage. She repeatedly voted for repealing Obamacare. Yes, she voted once against repealing Obamacare in 5/2017 when the spotlight was on her vote. However, the House then had enough votes to support this repeal so she ran for moderate “cover.” That bill died in the Senate. She supports the Keystone Pipeline. She also opposes net neutrality. She opposed Obama’s executive orders on DACA immigrants. She suggested tracking people entering the U.S. like “FedEx can track packages coming here all of the time (See Vote Smart, gov.track.com, “Winchester Star,” “Loudon Times -Mirror, 8/07/15, msnbc.com).”
Cong. Comstock yammers about being a champion for sexual harassment victims. Comstock’s talk is hot air. She has been one dedicated member of the Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) since at least 1998. Besides attacking Anita Hill and making the statement about women being “deeply confused about rape,” the IWF, like Donald, minimizes sexual harassment and gender discrimination. It opposed the Violence Against Women Act and is against equal pay for women. Comstock was a paid consultant and paid legal strategist for this group. As a Congresswoman, she spoke before the IWF in 2/2015 and attend IWF events as recently as 3/2017. From 2014-2017, Comstock has received several individual contributions from IWF members totaling at least $12,750 (docquery.fec.gov, Kos schof, 2/12/18, washingtonpost.com, Instagram.com, iwf.org/media).
A 10/2017 poll by Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows Comstock with a 32% approval v. a 48% disapproval rating. In a matchup with a generic Democratic opponent, she loses by 9 points. Trump was also found to be unpopular, with a 59%-37% disapproval rating. However, 11/06/2018 is politically eons away. The Democrats have at least 9 candidates running against Comstock and have not settled on a nominee (insidenova.com, Koma, 10/13/17). State Senator Jennifer Wexton (48), a former prosecutor, has grassroots support and backing from several legislators (Portnoy, Wash. Post, 4/20/17, insidenova.com, 8/02/17). Wexton has attacked Comstock for refusing to hold in-person town hall meetings and for her ties to Donald’s agenda (Wash. Post, Portnoy). A former pilot, Shak Hill, plans to challenge Comstock as not right wing enough in the GOP contest. Comstock should defeat him (Portnoy, 8/06/17, Wash. Post).
As of 1/2018, this general election race has been rated a “Toss Up” by Cook, Sabato, Nathan Gonzales, and Decision Desk HQ. Comstock is the only Northern VA GOPer in Congress. She watched her friend Ed Gillespie get clobbered in the 11/2017 VA Governor’s race. In that same election, Comstock saw Dems defeat seven-GOP House of Delegate members in seats with whom she shares territory. Dem. Gov. Ralph Northam won the 10th CD’s Loudon County, where half of the 10th ‘s Dem. voters live, by 20 points. Dem. turnout was high, triggered by anti- Trump opposition. However, to quote W Bush, never “misunderestimate” Comstock. She is a relentless campaigner and operative and runs hard on local issues. GOP groups, Koch Industries, and her IWF gang will financially bolster her (See Wash. Post, Portnoy, 11/08/18). Comstock’s VA 10th, one of 23 districts that went for Hillary while backing a GOP Representative, must be flipped in order for “Team Blue” to get close to the net 24 seats it needs to recapture the House. On 11/06/2018, Democrats in the VA 10th must come out in droves to send Donald enabler Comstock home by voting for her “Blue” opponent.