So yesterday the video was released of Donald Trump advocating just walking up to women and, to use his words, grabbing them by the pussy. This is particularly damning because Trump has sold himself as a straight shooter who won’t play any PC games. Now it’s clear he does have a filter and does present himself as something he’s not. I suspect that will ultimately be more damaging than Trump trying to “fuck” a married woman, or his use of the words “bitch” and “pussy”, or even boasting of what can only be described (even by people who aren’t third-wave feminists) as sexual assault.
So let’s monitor the fallout less than 24 hours later. Initially, Trump threw out an, “I’m sorry if people were offended.”:
“This was locker-room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course — not even close,” Trump said in a statement. “I apologize if anyone was offended.”
First, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell demanded more of an apology:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the comments are “repugnant, and unacceptable in any circumstance” and made clear Trump’s brief statement would not suffice.
“As the father of three daughters, I strongly believe that Trump needs to apologize directly to women and girls everywhere, and take full responsibility for the utter lack of respect for women shown in his comments on that tape,” he said late Friday.
What Mitch didn’t mention is that he’s still endorsing Trump and is still holding a SCOTUS Justice seat for him, in opposition to the Constitution, on the now off chance Trump wins.
Then we have Utah’s Jason Chaffetz:
Chaffetz, a Republican representing Utah’s Third Congressional District, appeared on Fox 13 News at Nine Friday, saying: “I’m out. I can no longer in good conscience endorse this person for president. It is some of the most abhorrent and offensive comments that you can possibly imagine.”
Rep. Chaffetz said he and his wife have a 15-year-old daughter, and he said if he can’t look her in the eye and tell her about what Trump said he can’t endorse the man.
Remember though that most Republicans dislike President Obama for, among other reasons, not imposing his will via government power over women and their reproductive choices. But this event of Trump talking about groping women without their consent crosses the line. Sure. Ok.
The enormously conservative Martha Roby from Alabama is also off the Trump train:
Donald Trump’s behavior makes him unacceptable as a candidate for president, and I won’t vote for him.
Full statement: pic.twitter.com/Ge7GU1TSvm
— Rep. Martha Roby (@RepMarthaRoby) October 8, 2016
I love how Republicans are now acting surprised, like they had no idea who they were getting into bed with when Trump got the nomination.
It was right about now that the Trump handlers realized that nothing short of a sincere-sounding apology would be sufficient as the internet began piling on along with other Republicans, so Trump released a statement:
Here is my statement. pic.twitter.com/WAZiGoQqMQ
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 8, 2016
Happily, as with most of Trump’s walk backs, we can find a handy rebuttal embedded within Trump’s twitter feed:
As I told everyone once before, Wiener is a sick puppy who will never change-100% of perverts go back to their ways. Sadly, there is no cure
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2013
For extra shadenfreude, the perpetually offended Michele Bachmann is standing by Trump, just as clumsily as she does just about everything else:
Yeah, it was just bad boy talk. He was a spring chicken at 59-years-old back then. He’s matured in the meantime, right?
Also, you can find some real joy at google.com right now:
But while hopeful Republicans are speculating that Trump will drop out, Trump himself says that ain’t gonna happen:
BREAKING: Donald Trump tells newspapers that `I’d never withdraw’ and there is `zero chance I’ll quit’ the race for president.
— The Associated Press (@AP) October 8, 2016
So, back to the fallout. Lindsey Graham took to twitter to express his displeasure:
Name one sports team, university, publicly-held company, etc. that would accept a person like this as their standard bearer?
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) October 8, 2016
Sports team would be Penn State…can’t think of a publicly-held company, but the Catholic Church may come close. But the real answer is the Republican Party. They accept Trump as their standard-bearer and has since the primaries. Enjoy him! You upheld him and voted for him. Hell, most of you have endorsed him.
New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte will be writing in Pence’s name:
New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte says she is dropping her support for Donald Trump and plans to write in vice presidential running mate Mike Pence’s name for president.
Ayotte says in statement that she cannot support a presidential candidate “who brags about degrading and assaulting women.”
Yes, you can’t vote for Trump, you’ll instead vote for the guy who defends Trump and pretends he never said a bunch of things he clearly said. Way to take a moral stand, Kelly.
Dinesh D’souza seems to think this is all the fault of the media trying to help Hillary:
— Students for Trump (@SoCal4Trump) October 8, 2016
Pretty funny that this complaint comes from a convicted felon.
Oh, and Mike Pence, who derives his moral values from his Christian faith, is of course still on board with a guy who tried to fuck a married woman while he, himself, was freshly married to Melania:
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) October 8, 2016
Oh, and other evangelical leaders are still firmly in Trump’s camp. Why? Because we have to fix America’s immorality!
Many social conservatives would find remarks like these appalling and disqualifying for a political candidate. Nevertheless, some of Trump’s prominent evangelical supporters are standing by him.
“I’ve listened to the tape, my view is that people of faith are voting on issues like who will protect unborn life, defend religious freedom, create jobs, and oppose the Iran nuclear deal,” Ralph Reed, the chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition and a member of Trump’s religious advisory board, said in a statement. “I think a 10-year-old tape of a private conversation with a TV talk show host ranks pretty low on their hierarchy of concerns.”
Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, another Trump supporter, toldBuzzFeed he isn’t concerned with sharing “values” with the GOP nominee.
“My personal support for Donald Trump has never been based upon shared values, it is based upon shared concerns about issues such as: justices on the Supreme Court that ignore the constitution, America’s continued vulnerability to Islamic terrorists and the systematic attack on religious liberty that we’ve seen in the last 7 1/2 years,” he said in an email.
Welp, there it is. Quite a 24 hour period, eh? I know I didn’t pre-empt this post with a Morning Happiness entry to help mitigate the cynicism our political process is bound to inspire. To make it up to you all, we’ll just end on this note:
If you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back at you and makes you phone bank for it. pic.twitter.com/HkzXDPpQhR
— Mark R. Yzaguirre (@markyzaguirre) October 7, 2016