Too late for GOP to repudiate Trump
Bill Press: Even for Donald Trump, this was a new low. We just didn’t realize what a lowlife he really was.
Even for Donald Trump, this was a new low. From a whole slew of previous comments, we knew he was a misogynist with zero respect for women. We just didn’t realize what a lowlife he really was. Until release of the 2005 videotape of the man late-night host Seth Meyers now calls “the pervert on the bus.”
You run out of adjectives trying to react to Trump’s bragging about forcefully kissing women, grabbing their genitals and getting away with it because he’s a “star.” It’s sick, shocking, disgusting and degrading. And I haven’t talked to one woman yet who doesn’t believe that it’s sexual assault — for which any other CEO would be out of a job or in jail.
Equally disgusting are the lame excuses put forth by Trump and his evil sidekick Rudy Giuliani. They dismiss it as only “locker room talk,” uttered 11 years ago, and insist that Bill Clinton did far worse. No, no and no. It wasn’t just “talk,” as four women told The New York Times. He actually groped them. Trump was bragging about what he had done to women, not what he wanted to. Eleven years ago, he was 59 years old, not 18. And, last time I checked, Bill Clinton was not on the ballot.
Trump supporter Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., even argues that Trump’s treatment of women did not amount to sexual abuse. “That’s a stretch,” he told the Huffington Post. Is he kidding? If grabbing a woman’s genitals isn’t sexual abuse, what is?
The truth is, Trump couldn’t get past the hiring interview in most corporations. Walmart, for example, has very strict hiring policies that prohibit “sexually explicit language, off-color jokes,” “remarks about a person’s body,” as well as “using slurs or negative stereotyping,” “verbal kidding, teasing or joking,” and “intimidating acts, such as bullying or threatening.” By those rules, Trump couldn’t get a job as a janitor at Walmart, let alone CEO.
But if their attempts to defend Trump are laughable, so are their sudden efforts to distance themselves from him: either by renouncing him altogether, like John McCain and Jason Chaffetz, or condemning him but still voting for him, like Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio.
For those who have withdrawn their endorsement, the obvious question is: What took you so long? For sticking with Trump — even after he called all Mexican immigrants “rapists,” ridiculed war hero McCain, smeared Ted Cruz’s wife and father, attacked a Gold Star family and promised to throw Hillary Clinton in jail — only to bolt when he was caught using the “p” word, they hardly deserve a Profile in Courage Award.
Even worse are those like Ryan, Rubio, Chris Christie, John Boehner and others, who are trying to have it both ways: pretending to be outraged by Trump’s lewd remarks but planning to vote for him anyway because he’s the nominee of their party. Hypocrites! If they can’t defend him, won’t stand on the same stage with him or wouldn’t let their kids listen to the tape, how can they still vote for him?
Let’s face it. Here’s what’s really going on: Ryan and company know there’s no way Trump can win. They’ve already lost the White House, so now they’re desperately trying to save the House and the Senate to prevent Clinton from scoring the trifecta. And, in order to do so, they’re spreading the myth that Trump is somehow different, pretending he does not represent the real Republican Party.
Don’t you believe it. There’s no difference between Trump and Ryan. Trump wasn’t forced on Republicans. They set the stage for him. They welcomed him. They embraced him. And they nominated him for president. He’s the direct result of decades of negative campaigning and scorchedearth politics led by Richard Nixon, Lee Atwater, Newt Gingrich, Karl Rove and the tea party.
As science-fiction writer John Scalzi writes, Trump “is the actual and physical embodiment of every single thing the GOP has trained its base to want and to be over the last forty years — ignorant, bigoted and money-grubbing, disdainful of facts and frightened of everything because of it, an angry drunk buzzed off on wood-grain patriotism, threatening brown people and leering at women. He was planned. He was intended. He was expected. He was wanted.”
It’s too late now for Ryan and other Republicans to repudiate Trump. He’s the monster they created. He’s their man. He is who they are.