WASHINGTON – The allegations of sexual misconduct that have plagued the confirmation proceedings of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have stirred up strong emotions across the nation.
The situation has led to heightened security on Capitol Hill, with many GOP lawmakers, like Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), having become the target of angry protesters.
The hearings are just one of many partisan bones of contention that have led to the degradation of civility in an increasingly heated political landscape.
In a candid open letter to Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) published by CNN, Sen. Paul's wife, Kelley, made it clear the situation had become untenable for her family.
"In the last 18 months, our family has experienced violence and threats of violence at a horrifying level," she wrote. "I will never forget the morning of the shooting at the congressional baseball practice, the pure relief and gratitude that flooded me when I realized that Rand was okay."
"He was not okay last November, when a violent and unstable man attacked him from behind while he was working in our yard, breaking six ribs and leaving him with lung damage and multiple bouts of pneumonia," she continued.
She noted how those on the Left – like Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes and MSNBC commentator Kasie Hunt – made light of the incident.
"I hope that these women never have to watch someone they love struggle to move or even breathe for months on end," Mrs. Paul wrote.
She seems to lay the blame for the toxic political climate at the feet of Democrats, who some critics have accused of fomenting unrest.
Seemingly at the end of her rope, Mrs. Paul called on Sen. Booker to "condemn" the violence, noting how her husband was recently accosted at the airport "by activists 'getting up in his face,' as you, Senator Booker, encouraged them to do a few months ago."
"Rand has worked with you to co-sponsor criminal justice reform bills," she told the New Jersey Democrat. "He respects you, and so do I. I would call on you to retract your statement. I would call on you to condemn violence, the leaking of elected officials' personal addresses… and the intimidation and threats that are being hurled at them and their families."
However, Jeff Giertz, a spokesman for Sen. Booker, insists the New Jersey lawmaker’s words were taken of context.
"Senator Booker actually says — to a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to ending homelessness — to 'get up in the face of some congresspeople and tell them about common sense solutions’ that address this problem and ‘I don’t want to hate anybody, because I know the truth,'" Giertz told The Hill.
"To think Senator Booker is somehow urging violent confrontation with these words requires you to ignore all context," he said.