Flashback: Democrats Defended Sen. Sherrod Brown Against Wife Abuse Claims

Sherrod Brown and Joe Biden (Chip Somodevilla / Getty)
Chip Somodevilla / Getty

When Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel noted in 2012 that Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) had been accused of abusing his wife, liberals accused Mandel of abusing women by raising the issue.

Rita Smith, executive director of the Denver-based National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, declined at the time to criticize Brown. Instead, she defended Brown’s voting record on women’s issues. And she told an interviewer that Mandel’s attack on Brown was “‘actually abusive,’ because he is putting Brown’s family, including his former wife, in a negative spotlight, ‘and that is abusive of women.'”

That is how many Democrats really feel about politicians who abuse women. As long as they have a “D” after their names, and vote for abortion, they are almost incapable of abuse.

True, the allegations against Brown came in an ugly divorce, where it is not unknown for warring spouses to make all kinds of claims against each other. And Mandel raised the issue in the context of a tough Senate race, where accusations are always subject to distortion.

But in the Rob Porter case, the standard that Democrats and the media are applying to the White House is that even defending the presumption of innocence — as President Donald Trump did Friday and Saturday, after letting Porter go — amounts to condoning the abuse.

Former Vice President Joe Biden — that paragon of propriety when it comes to respecting women’s bodies — said Friday that there were “abusers … within the Oval Office.” He said that Trump’s praise for Porter’s performance on the job was like saying an “axe murderer” was a “great painter.”

Perhaps Biden should look closer to home, in Delaware. His former colleague, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-DE), “admitted to hitting his ex-wife hard enough to give her a black eye,” the Washington Free Beacon notes.

And yet no Democrats have called on Carper to resign.

Not even Porter could deny all of the allegations against him. The photographs and the statements of his former wives are more than credible: they are convincing. Chief of Staff John Kelly, whom the media are busy dragging through the mud, said Friday that 40 minutes after he learned of the full extent of the allegations, Porter was gone.

Everyone can agree that there is no place in public leadership for people who abuse their partners.

Everyone except partisan Democrats, who accuse the accusers of abusing women.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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