By Maggie Thurber | Special to Ohio Watchdog
Ohio’s U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown opened a can of worms when he began talking about the so-called Republican ‘war on women.’ In his effort to latch on to the Democrat talking point, he forgot that his own background might be more indicative of a ‘war on women’ than anything any Republican could do.
In divorce proceedings 26 years ago, Brown was accused of multiple acts of violence over a three-year period of time.He denied all charges and his ex-wife continues to support his campaigns for office.
The main stream media didn’t report much on charges and, other than in a primary in 1992, his opponents haven’t used them as political fodder. But bloggers saw what the traditional press corps didn’t and they made the case about Brown’s hypocrisy.
Recently, the Cleveland Plain Dealer published a story questioning whether any mention of the abuse charges was a ‘despicable’ attack or fair game.
Until recently, it was part of a quiet Web and Twitter campaign waged against the Democrat by a few bloggers and low-level partisans. Except for a story in the Cincinnati Enquirer, most recent press coverage of Brown stayed away from it, with newspapers reasoning that they dealt with the domestic dispute when covering Brown’s early political life and found little relevance in a 26-year-old story today.
What the newspapers failed to realize – but what bloggers clearly did – is that a 26-year-old story is extremely relevant when Brown is making the passage of the Violence Against Women Act a centerpiece of his campaign for re-election and when he’s joined the chorus of Democrats accusing Republicans of waging a ‘war on women’ for not supporting government funding of contraception and abortion.
In light of Brown’s focus on these issues, his personal record of violence is fair game – except to the traditional media that would rather ignore the unpleasantness than educate citizens and potential voters about Brown’s hypocrisy.
Larke Recchie, Brown’s ex-wife, has characterized the reporting of her divorce statements as an attack on her family and has accused the campaign of State Treasurer Josh Mandel, Brown’s opponent for Senate, of being behind the “dirty campaigning.”
It’s not ‘dirty campaigning’ when you inform people about your opponent’s record. If there’s anything negative in the reporting, it is the fault of the perpetrator – not the fault of those reporting it. As the late Andrew Breitbart said, “The truth is not mean. It’s the truth.”
If Brown and his family do not want people talking about the charges his ex-wife made in a sworn affidavit, he should stop being a hypocrite by accusing Republicans of a ‘war on women.’
As the Plain Dealer reports:
Mandel campaign spokeswoman Nicole Sizemore said in a statement that “if the Brown campaign insists on politicizing the domestic violence issue, then voters deserve to know the facts about Sherrod Brown’s own personal past on domestic violence so that they can decide for themselves whether or not it is relevant in the election.”
Sizemore is correct.
It is Brown’s attempt at scoring political points with women that brought on the discussion in the first place, making the domestic abuse charges a legitimate issue.