When U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) announced in a brief statement in August that she and her husband Gail were divorcing I commented on Twitter and Facebook that I was sad to hear that news. I hate divorce. I hate what it does to families. I hate what it has done to the institution of marriage. My hope is that couples who are struggling can find a way to reconcile.
However, that is not always a possible or reasonable, and I did not know the details behind why Gail and Joni Ernst were getting a divorce. I didn’t want to know. It’s none of my business. They asked for privacy, and I wanted to respect that.
So my intention was not to publish a story about her divorce and the details surrounding it. Since I started blogging in 2006, I have written only one story about a politician’s divorce or impending divorce.
What I did not do was go trolling for divorce filings. I never have and I never will.
The same can’t be said for CityView who published them when they were inadvertently released in a court filing when the divorce was finalized even though they were supposed to be sealed. The same can’t be said for Democrat activists who gleefully shared details revealed in those filings.
Shame on the person who released the file, and shame on those who hovered like vultures waiting for the filings to be released.
Ernst addressed the leak with reporters:
The revelation from the affidavits that Ernst said Gail physically assaulted her years ago, led to another revelation, Ernst stated she was raped while in college.
Jennifer Jacobs who interviewed Ernst after the affidavits release wrote:
Republican Senator Joni Ernst says that she was raped in college by someone she knew and that her ex-husband physically abused her, making her one of the highest-profile women in her party to allege assaults in the era of the #MeToo movement.
Ernst publicly disclosed the rape in an interview with Bloomberg News, which she decided to do after details of her divorce from husband Gail Ernst were reported this week.
“I didn’t want to share it with anybody, and in the era of hashtag-MeToo survivors, I always believed that every person is different and they will confront their demons when they’re ready,” the Iowa senator said in the interview.
Her voice broke. “And I was not ready.”
The proper response should be to offer condolences, sympathy, and support. Unfortunately, some on the left believe the appropriate response is to criticize Ernst for her Kavanaugh confirmation vote.
Like this response from a former Democratic Iowa House candidate:
Incredible. And this was a mild example of what I’ve seen on social media.
Ernst deserved better treatment than this. She deserved her privacy.