Far from torpedoing the campaign of Sen. Joe Fain, R-Auburn, a rape allegation against him may have rallied a backlash of support. It comes as views on sexual assault suddenly are more tribal by party than views on many actual political issues, like taxes.

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A group of Democratic leaders gathered Tuesday to publicly call for the resignation of Sen. Joe Fain, R-Auburn, due to an allegation of sexual assault. But something more surprising may be happening behind-the-scenes.

Fain’s campaign seems to be taking off. Or at least doing just fine.

State public-disclosure records show that since Fain was accused a few weeks ago of raping a Seattle woman 11 years ago in a hotel room, his campaign has raked in more than $118,000. As of Tuesday, it’s the top money-raising legislative campaign in the state (with a total of $550,000). His Democratic opponent, Mona Das, has also seen a surge in donations, though she still lags with a total of $275,000.

I called some of the more than 100 individual donors who have given to Fain since Sept. 27. That’s the day that Candace Faber, who said she was inspired by Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony in the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, tweeted her explosive accusation against Fain (he has denied it).

Rather than torpedoing Fain, that allegation may be helping rally a backlash of support for him — including from some women.

Arlene Koetje, of Seattle, was among those who said she sent $50 to Fain not in spite of the allegation, but because of it.

“This was just thrown out there at a good person,” she said. “Anybody who goes to a hotel room with a man gets exactly what you might expect.”

This echoes comments made last week by King County Councilwoman Kathy Lambert, a Republican, who told KUOW that “it’s a two-way street” and “I tell my daughters you don’t go to a hotel room with a man who is drinking.” Lambert later walked those comments back a bit. But at the campaign event where she was quoted, KUOW reported that she and the 200-some people there gave Fain a standing ovation.

“I did have some pause about the accusation, but it also felt very political in nature to me,” said a woman who gave Fain $100 in October (she would only agree to be quoted if I didn’t use her name). “So I decided that without more information, I could set it aside.”

This I heard repeatedly — that the allegation in this specific case could be discounted or compartmentalized in part due to politics. But also that the #MeToo movement at large had become just another partisan cudgel.

“The Democrats will use any smear to win,” another Fain donor told me. “The media too. So thank you for your call.” She hung up.

The reason I’m exploring this topic isn’t to weigh in on Fain, 37. The voters in South King County’s 47th district will do that, and I don’t envy them their task. My view is that Faber’s account seems detailed and credible enough to be investigated, even if just in a fact-finding mode by the Legislature itself.

That is essentially what happened with the other two state legislators who faced #MeToo accusations this year, Rep. David Sawyer, a Democrat from Tacoma, and Rep. Matt Manweller, a Republican from Ellensburg. Both were steered from office when independent investigations found the accusations to be firm. (Sawyer got voted out in the primary, and Manweller has agreed to step down when his term ends this winter.)

A similar example, though with the opposite result, is the cautionary tale of Bellevue Police Chief Steve Mylett. He was just cleared of sexual-assault allegations after a review found the woman had completely fabricated them.

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But absent any investigation (and maybe even with one), what we’re seeing now in the reaction to the Fain case is like a Kavanaugh echo — it’s the politicization of the issues of sexual assault and harassment.

Last week the Economist magazine had a national poll showing that views on sexual assault suddenly are more tribal, by party, than our views on many actual political issues, like taxes. The poll asked whether men who sexually harassed women 20 years ago should be allowed to keep their jobs today, and 65 percent of Republicans said yes. Only 15 percent of Democrats agreed. (The right answer, it seems to me, is “it depends.” That’s not a choice offered much in red vs. blue politics.)

“Rather than breaking along gendered lines, the #MeToo divide increasingly appears to be a partisan one,” the magazine found. “The gap between Trump and Clinton voters is at least six times greater than the one between genders.”

So now it’s Republicans who are from Mars, and Democrats from Venus.

Party madness is erasing all distinctions and differences. But creating an all-consuming, unthinking new one in their place.