top of page

What's With Republican Candidates Beating Up Women?

Trump already endorsed crackpot Sean Parnell in Pennsylvania and wife beater Herschel Walker in Georgia you know damn well he really wants to endorse another over the top lunatic, Eric Greitens in Missouri. You know what they all have in common? Violence towards women. Greitens story is old and sordid, much discussed and resulted in numerous court cases and Greitens resigning as governor in an unofficial plea bargain to escape certain impeachment and a probable prison term. He's reinvented himself as a Trumpist Big Lie freak show and is the front-runner in the crowded GOP Senate primary.

Parnell isn't being charged with beating up random women-- just his wife (and children), from whom he is now estranged. This afternoon Jonathan Tamari caught Philadelphia Inquirer readers up with the latest developments in the Parnell case. Earlier today his wife testified under oath that Trump's favorite Pennsylvania candidate "choked her until she bit him to escape, that he hit their children and verbally lashed out at her with obscenities.

Sean Parnell is a violent asshole endorsed by Trump

In tears, Laurie Parnell said that her husband would call her a “whore” and a “piece of shit” She also testified that he once put her out of the car and left her by the road after they argued when he told her she had to get an abortion.
The estranged wife also testified that he once slapped one of the children hard enough to leave fingerprint-shaped welts through the back of the boy’s T-shirt.
In a court hearing here over custody of their three school-age children, Laurie Parnell described years of intense rage and abuse that she endured from her husband.
...In a statement released by his campaign, Sean Parnell, 58, vigorously disputed her claims and said he was looking forward to rebutting them when the hearing resumes in a week. He attended Monday’s session, but did not testify.
“Let me empathically state: I have never raised a hand in anger towards my wife or any of our three children,” the statement said. “What happened today in court was not justice, nor did it have any basis in fact or truth. Next week, I’ll have an opportunity to present the truth to the court and I look forward to that opportunity.”
The public testimony-- which took place after the candidate tried and failed to win a court order silencing his wife-- seemed likely to greatly complicate his political ambitions.
...Parnell’s personal conduct amid his acrimonious split from his wife has become the most glaring question around his candidacy. The issue was first raised by a GOP rival, Jeff Bartos, who launched an attack on the topic in September, just after Parnell won Trump’s support.
In his testimony, Laurie Parnell said her family grew to be terrified of her husband. She said that Sean was diagnosed with PTSD and 90% disabled after his serving in Afghanistan, seeing heavy combat in 2006 and 2007 and receiving two Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart. He later published a book about his time in the war. His publisher says he lectures in part about PTSD.
In their Pittsburgh-area home, Laurie Parnell said, “We we’re all walking on eggshells. The minute he walked back into the house we were petrified.”
...Public records show that Laurie Parnell twice sought protection, and received temporary protection from abuse orders against her husband. Such temporary orders are granted before the defendant has a chance to respond, and are commonly approved. In 2020, almost nine out of 10 requests for temporary protection from abuse orders were granted, according to Pennsylvania court figures.
Permanent protective orders are only issued after a joint hearing involving both parties. Neither of the temporary orders against Sean Parnell became permanent. The first ended after an agreement between the couple, according to court records supplied by Sean Parnell’s campaign, and a judge dismissed the second order after a hearing.
Until her testimony Monday, it was not publicly known what behavior drove Laurie Parnell’s criticism of Sean Parnell.
Sean Parnell also sought a protective order against Laurie in 2018, but was denied even a temporary order.
For Trump, the flurry of charges from Laurie Parnell meant that he has now endorsed two Republican candidates shadowed by domestic abuse allegations.
In September, the former president had urged former NFL star Herschel Walker to run for the U.S. Senate in Georgia, endorsing him one day after he gave Parnell the nod and campaigning with him.
Walker’s ex-wife has testified that he was physically abusive and threatening toward her. A judge in Texas issued a protective order that prevented him from possessing a gun for a time.
Trump himself has a history of legal troubles involving interactions with women. He is currently being sued by one woman who claimed he raped her decades ago and by another who accused him of groping her while she was a contestant on his former reality show, The Apprentice.

Pair of Florida misogynists

Trump's an admitted groper and Republicans seem more tolerant of violence and abuse towards women than normal people are. Republicans have generally voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act (originally sponsored by Senator Joe Biden) whenever it comes up. For example, when it was reauthorized in 2013, it only passed because 87 Republicans joined 199 Democrats to beat the 138 Republicans who opposed it. Among the opponents of reauthorization are a number of Republicans who are prominent in Republican politics today, like Florida's now governor Ron DeSantis, Mo Brooks (AL), who is running for the Senate, Tom Cotton (AR) and Marsha Blackburn (TN), who are now senators, Ann Wagner (MO), who was overheard last week complaining about "whacky birds" on the extreme right forcing her to vote against her own conscience, Jeff Fortenberry (NE), who was arrested on unrelated corruption charges last week, Steve Scalise (LA), now the party whip, insurrectionists Paul Gosar (AZ) and Louie Gohmert (TX), Gym Jordan (OH), Mike Pompeo (KS), who Trump plucked out of the House to make Secretary of State and Scott DesJarlais (TN), a dentist who was drugging his female patients and raping them.

When the Violence Against Women Act came up again in 2019, there were only 33 Republicans still voting to protect women-- a Trump effect on their party. 157 Republicans voted no, including many who had supported it at one time like California Trumpists Kevin McCarthy, Devin Nunes and Ken Calvert. Other now prominent Republicans who voted against protecting women from violence include notorious misogynists like Matt Gaetz (FL), Montana's violent now-governor Greg Gianforte, Andy Biggs (AZ), Ted Budd (NC) and Jody Hice (GA), two more Trump-backed candidates for higher office, and, needless to say, Elise Stefanik, who bills herself a defender of women's rights (except for almost any rights that came after the right to vote).

bottom of page