It sounded like a threat

Mimi Rocah and Karen Schwartz on Marie Yovanovitch and Christine Blasey Ford:

Like many Americans, we expected the testimony of the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, to be powerful. We did not expect it to prove so emotional, or to feel so familiar.

But by midmorning, things took a turn. Democratic counsel Daniel Goldman asked her about how she felt after learning President Donald Trump had discussed her with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy during the now infamous July 25 phone call. It was a chilling moment. Referring to Yovanovitch as “the woman,” Trump told his Ukrainian counterpart she was “going to go through some things.”

“It was a terrible moment,” Yovanovitch recalled Friday. She said “that the color drained from my face. I think I even had a physical reaction,” when that portion of the call was read to her. It sounded, she said, “like a threat.”

In that moment, Yovanovitch became not only a witness to the corruption of Ukrainian-American policy but also a victim of that corruption — “the former ambassador” but also “the woman.” Clearly, she was being targeted by a smear campaign orchestrated by Rudy Giuliani and his henchmen, a campaign adopted and amplified by the president of the United States.

Those watching the hearing could not help but be struck by the imbalances of power at play. It’s a power dynamic that we’ve seen before however, notably during the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford.

Ford seemed to symbolize women everywhere who had been assaulted as she recounted, yet again, her assault. In the same way, Yovanovitch seems to symbolize any woman who’s ever had a man try to undermine her, demote her or push her out.

And lest we think this is unique to Trump, you can draw another direct line between these testimonies and Anita Hill, a woman who came to symbolize anyone who has ever been sexually harassed in the workplace.

Well, he didn’t run as a feminist.

Image result for trump stalking clinton

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