This is not what respect looks like.

The Republican Party has been waging a despicable smear campaign against Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who says Brett Kavanaugh tried to rape her when they were in high school.

But to Trump, the ugly attacks on Ford are a great sign of respect. Not that Trump — who has admitted to sexually assaulting women and even suggested “Second Amendment people” could stop Hillary Clinton from making judicial appointments if she became president — has any idea what respect for women looks like.

“I think the Senate Republicans couldn’t be nicer in the way they’re handling this,” Trump told reporters Wednesday. “They could have pushed it through two and a half weeks ago and you would not be talking about it now, which is frankly what I would have preferred.”

That, unsurprisingly, contradicts what Trump has been claiming since Ford went public with her very credible allegation against Kavanaugh. He, like Senate Republicans, have said they want Ford to have the opportunity to tell her story.

But Republicans are setting up a sham hearing, refusing to listen to any witnesses or conduct a thorough investigation. And they have already said they intend to hold a vote on Kavanaugh to confirm him, regardless of what comes out in the hearing.

Now Trump isn’t even bothering to hide his impatience with the whole process. But he’s still lauding Republicans, who have said Ford is “mistaken” and even part of a nefarious Democratic plot.

“The Republicans could not be nicer, could not be more respectful to the process, certainly could not be more respectful to the woman and I’m OK with that,” Trump added. As if treating a woman who says she was a victim of violent sexual assault with respect is some kind of above-and-beyond generosity on the part of Republicans — and on the part of Trump, for being “OK” with it.

Trump himself started attacking Ford last week — just one day after White House aides, including daughter Ivanka Trump, praised him for managing to restrain himself.

Trump has been even more vicious toward Deborah Ramirez, the second woman to come forward with serious allegations against Kavanaugh. Ramirez says Kavanaugh shoved his penis in her face when they were at a party at Yale University. Kavanaugh’s own roommate from Yale says he believes Ramirez.

That hasn’t stopped Trump from attacking Ramirez, saying she was “all messed up” and “totally inebriated” and therefore her allegations are nothing more than a “con game” on the part of Democrats.

Republicans have handled the entire matter with a grotesque lack of respect.

They have made it perfectly clear that they do not take sexual assault seriously. Several Republicans in Congress — including Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, a member of the Judiciary Committee — have said that even if the allegations are true, they don’t care. They are OK with putting an attempted rapist on the Supreme Court.

There is nothing respectful — to the women who say Kavanaugh assaulted them, certainly, or to all of the women in this country who have survived sexual assault — about that.

Published with permission of The American Independent.