The Democrats are unparalleled artists in the discipline of using and abusing innocents for pleasure or profit, then plaintively weeping on camera for forgiveness when caught – assuming denials and blame shifting fail first, of course.
Crafty devils, they know that Americans tend to forgive those who have fallen from grace and seek absolution.
Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) is the latest perpetrator of the tried and true modus operandi of the desperate left. Emulating the godfathers of the party, the Heitkamp campaign went after her opponent, Congressman Kevin Cramer (R-ND), who dared question the demand to believe all allegations without any need for evidence, so long as they’re made by women who claim to be victims. He was speaking in reference to the recent congressional circus disguised as a Supreme Court nominee’s confirmation process.
He further infuriated Heitkamp by invoking his wife, two daughters, mother, and mother-in-law:
“They cannot understand this movement toward victimization. They are pioneers of the prairie. These are tough people whose grandparents were tough and great-grandparents were tough.”
But Heitkamp, or at least one of her employees, sniffed out an opportunity to shift the focus to her opponent – not to mention the chance to sling a little mud his way – and released a poignant newspaper ad using the names of survivors of sexual assault – with an emphasis on Indian women.
It was a bold #MeToo statement – well, until it spectacularly backfired.
Step One — Revictimize
As political ads go, it should have been a devastating message. Heitkamp had 125 women claiming to have “suffered from domestic violence, sexual assault, or rape” and the declaration that Representative Kevin Cramer doesn’t believe them. Both were tied together nicely by spinning Cramer’s own words about the women in his life, resulting in the bumper sticker worthy slogan, “Prairie Tough.”
The Heitkamp camarilla let the “Prairie Tough” laden message soar high across the plains in several major print publications until the inevitable fiery crash landing after several of those listed in the advert came forward with almost unbelievable claims: No one asked permission to broadcast the names of these victims.
Oops. In an ad about non-consent, one might assume these geniuses would actually get consent to run the names of the women.
Kady Miller, Keeley Beck, Lexi Zhorela and Eve Lancaster – now unceremoniously outed as abused – took extreme offense to Heitkamp’s Hail Mary play and started to fight back by publicly, and angrily, airing their own version of Prairie Tough on Facebook.
And one woman, identifying herself as Miller, told The Daily Caller by messenger, “I definitely want to clarify right away that I am NOT a domestic/sexual assault survivor … I’ve never supported Heitkamp and this is very wrong of her campaign to slander people’s names!”
Lexi Zhorela, a self-proclaimed liberal hairdresser from Bismarck, also messaged, “I never once gave the okay for it to be used. My name was tagged in a Facebook post apparently at random.”
Heitkamp, aghast, apologized after a day or so: “I deeply regret this mistake and we are in the process of issuing a retraction, personally apologizing to each of the people impacted by this and taking the necessary steps to ensure this never happens again.”
But that isn’t nearly enough for the women who were listed without their permission.
Zhorela spoke on the record with The Associated Press and appeared on camera with CNN’s Erica Hill on the show New Day to explain her anger at Heitkamp. “You know, the names that didn’t want to be out there are already out there for the world to see. You can’t really retract that, the damage is done.”
Step Two – Deflect and Blame
When Heitkamp reemerged amidst the growing brouhaha, she proclaimed:
“This was incompetent. It was wrong. It should have never happened. It was a very flagrant error of the campaign and I own it.”
But let’s face it – she didn’t own it. Instead, she was quick to deflect, telling the Associated Press, “I think the victims deserved an explanation on how this happened.”
Heitkamp then scrambled after being out of touch with her own campaign in search of the fall guy and ended up forcing out a lowly staffer who had been allowed to run rogue with a very sensitive issue for many North Dakota women. So now, she’s feeling vindicated – as if that fixes anything.
All is fair in politics when Democrats are involved.
However, the red state — and now a few of its resident blue-voting women — are hoping her reelection bid fails just as spectacularly and publicly as her campaign splashed these women’s names across the news.
Republicans were quick to pounce. Communications director for the North Dakota Republican Party, Jake Wilkins, said in a statement:
“This is another example of Heidi Heitkamp exploiting whoever she can for political gain … With a campaign built on lies, misinformation, and manufactured controversy, it’s no wonder Heitkamp is the most vulnerable Senator in the country.”
Her opponent, Cramer, added his two cents’ worth: “This is what happens when desperate people do things for their own personal political gain. She proved a point that her personal politics matter more than someone’s personal pain.”
Ah, there it is. All is fair in politics when Democrats are involved.
Step Three – Pen the Concession Speech
Heitkamp’s last-minute stunt out of desperation only further rooted support for Cramer. The latest polling shows the beleaguered senator on the ropes, with Cramer in a 16 point lead.
Looks like Heidi’s in a heap of trouble.
In a state full of red voting conservatives, Heitkamp might as well consider her first term in the United States Senate a fluke. In a recent interview, she boldly stated that her “no” vote for the confirmation of Kavanaugh contradicted her constituents’ requests but backed up that decision by adamantly stating in her position in representing North Dakotans it is much more prudent for a politician to “exercise the judgment God gave you” than to represent her voters’ wishes.
When asked by KX4 and West Dakota Fox anchor Chris Berg if she considered suspending her campaign for a couple of days, Heitkamp said she thinks they “pretty much did.” “We pretty much went into full-on let’s deal with this,” she told him, adding that “a number of campaign activities were canceled as a result of this.”
Sure, she apologized. Yes, she whacked the staffer “responsible.” But her crocodile tears, at this point, aren’t helping the Senator gain traction in the hearts of her soon-to-be Cramer constituency. The damage is done. Pen the concession speech already.