It takes only a little imagining to consider how the nomination proceedings would be halted if a nominee was accused of murder, or manslaughter. Barring child abuse, and the villainous character of a stranger rapist, our culture views sexual assault as ‘something that happened to the victim’ rather than ‘something that defines the perpetrator’. Hearing or reading individuals minimizing the impact of sexual assault illustrates this point, and identifies the seat of rape culture within our psychology.
Only with regard to liberals. They know that conservatives take allegations like that seriously. This is why Dianne Feinstein and the rest of the Democrats sprung this after the hearings were over and the vote was about to be taken.
They knew that this would not affect the Democrats (to almost a member were planning on opposing the nominee even before they knew who he was) but they wanted to affect the Republican Senators, to bring public pressure from their conservative constituents and change their vote.
Accusing a conservative man of rape or attempted rape is the worst thing you can accuse him of. Even worse than killing someone because sometimes a man “needs killin’”. No woman ever “needs rapin’”