Yesterday, the Feast of the Holy Rosary, Our Lady appears to have delivered us from yet another major threat to civilization and world peace. This video was released of Trump talking exactly the way you knew Trump talks when he is not pretending to care about stuff his “prolife” Christian fanboi care about:
It would appear that the only thing Trump will ever get to nuke is himself.
As Nate Silver attests he is cratering even faster than before as all but his most diehard supporters (who still number in the millions) flee him. Some of the GOP leadership has at last evolved a spine and are rescinding endorsements and refusing to touch the unclean thing. Even Trump, who has for all the 11 years since this video was made, never seen any need to ask God for forgiveness, reluctantly offered a blame-shiftin non-apology:
“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. I apologize if anyone was offended.”
But as Deacon Steve Greydanus has pointed out:
This is the Platonic Ideal of a Non-Apology “Apology”:
• First, it wasn’t that bad (“locker room banter”)
• Second, it was a long time ago (“many years,” i.e., when I was 59 rather than 70)
• Third, other people are worse than I was
• Fourth — the kicker — “I apologize if anyone was offended.”
“I apologize if anyone was offended” MEANS HE ISN’T SORRY. THAT’S how he really feels right now.
What he said later for the cameras was scripted for him. It does not represent his real thoughts.
And he’s right, of course. Which is why people are fleeing him. Except those paladins of righteousness, the prolife Christian Trump supporters, who have committed themselves to denying, excusing and defending the braggadocio of sexual assault with a variety of strategies guaranteed to tell the women of America that all the accusations of misogyny ever leveled at prolife conservative Christians by feminists were actually too modest.
First up is the “Bill Clinton did it too” gambit. Yes. He certainly did. I’ve always believed Juanita Broaddrick and I’ve never believed she was the only one. Back in the days of “character matters” I thought prolife Christians who hated Clinton hated his treatment of women. But now it turns out they just hated that he won. Now that it’s Trump who is sexually assaulting women, it’s okay because Everybody Does It.
Suggested slogan: Trump 4 Women 2016: Working to Rape You Less Than Bill Clinton!
Next up: The “This is just normal healthy locker room banter” excuse. From “prolife family values conservative Christians” who hold themselves out as way better Christians than that commie in the Vatican.
Robert George responds to this lie:
A theme emerging last night and this morning from Mr. Trump’s supporters, especially his female supporters, is that his “crude words” were “typical male locker room banter and braggadocio.” They were in poor taste, they say, but “that’s how men talk.” We shouldn’t take them literally or seriously. They do not really reflect his attitude towards women. “You know how men are!”
Let’s work backwards in examining this defense of Mr Trump.
First, if you look at what he actually said, it is clear that his words do indeed reflect his attitude towards women. They recount specifics of things he has done and tried to do (such as seduce a married woman). Moreover, they are consistent with everything we know about Donald Trump from his public record of words and deeds. And we have no evidence or reason to think he has changed.
Second, it is just plain false to say that men generally talk this way about women or regard women as Trump regards them. I grew up in West Virginia, among manly men (to say the least). Many—indeed most—did not talk like Trump, whether in locker rooms, or pool halls, or out hunting or fishing. We were not angels. We had our faults. And there were those, unfortunately, who did disrespect women and spoke of them in the way Trump does. But not all, not most—even among those who were not especially religious. Nor do the men I have hung out with since growing up—-strong, accomplished, often truly courageous men—indulge in Trump-like “locker room banter.” They need have no fear of a “hot mic” catching lewd or misogynistic comments. We don’t talk that way—for the simple reason that we don’t *think* that way. I point these things out, not to be “holier than thou,” but to defend the honor of my sex—honor that is impugned by the claim that men are just “like that.” Some are; many are not. It is from the many that our leaders should be chosen.
A personal message from Grandpa Mark to any Trump supporter who says that this is normal, healthy locker room banter. I’ve spent a lot of time in locker rooms and the only guys who talk this way are the ones you flee in order to go have a beer with guys who love their wives. If you regard Trump’s talk as normal, a word of advice: if you come anywhere near my grand-daughters you will walk funny for a week.
This brings us to an even more astonishing defense offered by some: the “Hey! We knew this was coming. Ho hum. Nothing new. This is a distraction” defense. As if walking into support for this swine open-eyed somehow makes it less mind-numbingly stupid to have done so.
Yet another defense is the “It’s the Year of Mercy! This was so long ago! O the humanity! How would you like your past thrown in your face like that! He *said* he was sorry!” defense.
I repeat, during the 11 years between this video and today, Trump has insisted he does not need the forgiveness of God for anything. There is zero evidence his forced and scripted apology is worth the paper it is written on, given that it opens with a bald-faced lie, “Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am” and immediately rushes on to “[T]here’s a big difference between the words and actions of other people. Bill Clinton has actually abused women, and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed and intimidated his victims. We will discuss this more in the coming days. See you at the debate on Sunday.”
Truly the words of somebody sick over his sins.
By the way, there are women out there who are saying, loudly, that Trump is not merely a man of words when it comes to sexual assault. And at least one federal judge thinks they are credible.
But still the “prolife conservative Christian” Trump defender soldiers on, telling us that Trump is a “baby Christian” and only a heartless ogre holds him accountable for sins committed so very long ago. Never mind that Trump has never, till today, acknowledged that he has any sins to repent and never mind that his defenders have had no trouble at all holding Clinton accountable for every sin she has ever committed. (Indeed, they habitually hold the curious moral theory that when a betrayed wife who is a Democrat remains faithful to her vows she is the exact moral equivalent of an adulterous Republican sex predator.) In sum: God’s mercy means that rape and sexual assault cease to be a crime when you issue a grudging apology dragged out of you while Reince Preibus stands off camera with a pistol aimed at your head, but we are fine with maintaining an elephant-like memory for the sins of culture war enemies.
“But he said he was sorry!” Yeah. So did Clinton with his Big Bible and his lip-biting and his meeting with pastors. And even though he is not running for office and it’s his betrayed wife, there is zero obligation to forgive him. Just Trump. And “forgive” means “vote for him”.
Suggestion: Since our prisons are so overcrowded, we should allow every person guilty of rape and sexual assault to say “Sorry” and then release them, followed by a reward of some high political office. It’s the Year of Mercy. What are you, some kind of heartless Inquisitor if you doubt that?
And finally, we get the biblical defense of Trump from Sean Hannity:
King David had 500 concubines for crying out loud.
Robert George sums up the dilemma prolife conservative Christians have created for themselves through their fault, through their fault, through their own most grievous fault, not only in making a sexual predator their poster boy, but now, amazingly, in foolishly defending his brags of sexual assault:
Time & again I said: Trump will shame those who link themselves to him, tainting worthy organizations they lead and noble causes they serve.
Trump family is beautiful… By their fruits you will know them
— Fr. Frank Pavone (@frfrankpavone) September 27, 2016
I would put up the tweet expressing condemnation of Trump’s bragging about sexual assault, but there is none. Just silence, coupled with a tweet insisting that Trump is “prolife” and we all must vote for him.
That’s the truly incredible thing about what is happening right now: even at this late hour, when Trump has given them one final chance to leave the sinking ship and salvage what tattered shred of credibility they have, the preternaturally blind leaders of prolife conservative Christians are now committing themselves to the argument that sexually assaulting our wives, daughters and granddaughters is just healthy locker room masculinity, that all men talk the way this pig does, that Trump is the New Constantine, that disgust at this swine is “perfectionism”, and that if you reject these gross excuses you are the moral equivalent of a Donatist heretic will go to hell.
He is going to get ground to a powder on November 8. And when all the dust has settled, all the pro-life Christian Trump supporter will have left is Trump’s name tattooed all over his face and the reputation of having defended a sex predator as the New Constantine and God’s Anointed, just so long as he is a Republican sex predator.
To get a man’s soul and give him nothing in return–that is what truly gladdens the heart of Our Father below. – Uncle Screwtape
You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men. (Mt 5:13).
On the insistence of the gospel that “love believeth all things”, I will grant that Trump has, for the first time in this campaign and under massive duress, mouthed the words, “It was wrong, and I apologize.” Inasmuch as I am offended on behalf of my wife and grand-daughters, I forgive him as Jesus commands. And inasmuch as he has made clear that those words mean extremely little to him, I will not grant for one second that a fit token of forgiveness is to reward him with nuclear launch codes and command of the mightiest military the world has ever known. Still less do I grant that a “prolife conservative Christian” base of fanboi have the slightest contact with Prudence when they go on defending sexual assault even after their Dear Leader has admitted defeat on this point.
Trump has achieved something Hillary could never do in a million years: convince prolife conservative Christians to shred their integrity completely in defense of a draft-dodging, racist, sex predator who supports abortion and gay marriage.