The GOP's chances of unseating Claire McCaskill just got worse.

Fresh off the scandal involving Donald Trump’s favorite Pennsylvania Senate contender, Rep. Lou Barletta, and his ties to Holocaust deniers, Republicans suffered yet another blow in their fight to hold onto the Senate majority, this time in Missouri.

Josh Hawley, the state attorney general running for Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill’s seat, was caught on tape at a December “Pastors and Pews” meeting in Kansas City, blaming sex trafficking on the women’s liberation movement of the 1960s.

“We have a human trafficking crisis in our state and in this city and in our country because people are willing to purchase women, young women, and treat them like commodities,” he said. “There is a market for it. Why is there? Because our culture has completely lost its way. The sexual revolution has led to exploitation of women on a scale that we would never have imagined, never have imagined.”

Hawley might want to do his homework, because human trafficking has existed both prior to the feminism of the 1960s in the United States, and in countries that have never had a “sexual revolution.”

McCaskill has long been a top target of Senate Republicans. But their every attempt to defeat her has been hobbled by a series of male Republican candidates done in by sexist remarks.

Just one week ago, Hawley’s primary challenger, Courtland Sykes, made national news for proclaiming that feminists have “snake-filled heads” and that he expects “a home-cooked dinner at six every night” from his woman.

Even more famously, McCaskill’s GOP opponent six years ago, Todd Akin, decisively blew up his own campaign with his remark that rape exceptions aren’t needed for abortion because “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.”

In fact, the Missouri Republican Party seems to have a serious problem with women in general. The state’s new GOP governor, Eric Greitens — a close friend of Mike Pence — was recently accused of tying up his mistress, stripping her naked, and blackmailing her with revenge porn. And he has not yet been forced to resign.

The ugly side of Republicans that particularly comes out when they target women in positions of power, like McCaskill, underscores better than anything else the crucial need our country has for such women.


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