"The damage is done": Sexual assault victim outed by Heidi Heitkamp says there's no way to fix it

The most bizarre, inexplicably self-destructive campaign ploy by a Democratic candidate for high office since, uh, Monday.

Remember, the whole idea of publishing the names of assault victims by Team Heitkamp was to show that her opponent was callous in #MeToo matters. Ten days ago, after the Kavanaugh wars ended, Kevin Cramer said of the women in his family, “They cannot understand this movement toward victimization. They are pioneers of the prairie. These are tough people whose grandparents were tough and great-grandparents were tough.” That was an opportunity for Heitkamp. Her chances of reelection are slim but they depend on catalyzing Democratic turnout. Democrats nationally this year are counting heavily on women to make the difference for them. And now suddenly here was Cramer handing Heitkamp a reason for women, especially younger women, to be angry at him.

And so her campaign published an open letter rebuking his point about #MeToo “signed” by scores of women who had been sexually assaulted. Except that some of the women, like Lexi Zhorela in the clip below, never agreed to reveal what happened to them. Others say they were never assaulted in the first place. Somehow a Democratic women senator, in her zeal to prove how insensitive her Republican counterpart was, ended up making the most breathtakingly insensitive #MeToo mistake of the entire national campaign.

John asked the key question in writing about this on Tuesday: How the hell did Team Heitkamp obtain this list of alleged and actual survivors? She knows the answer — but you don’t get to know it, apparently:

The victims get outed but the person who outed them gets to keep their anonymity? That’s an interesting standard. Don’t worry, though. The lawyers will provide that information in due time.

Here’s Zhorela confirming that Heitkamp has lost her vote, in case there was any doubt. Note to Cramer: You caught a break here thanks to Team Heitkamp’s mind-bending ineptitude. Might want to shut that yapper the rest of the way!