Trump dou­bles down on des­per­ate strat­egy

Don­ald Trump’s at­tempts Sun­day to shift at­ten­tion away from his boasts of sex­ual ag­gres­sion and as­sault add yet an­other layer to the ris­ing foun­da­tion of rea­sons to end his pres­i­den­tial am­bi­tions. We ap­plaud the many mem­bers and lead­ers of his own party w

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE -

Trump’s attacks dur­ing Sun­day’s de­bate rep­re­sented a cyn­i­cal Hail Mary that we hope vot­ers see through.

Trump’s attacks be­fore and dur­ing Sun­day’s de­bate rep­re­sented a cyn­i­cal Hail Mary pass that we hope ob­jec­tive vot­ers see through as the des­per­ate acts of a badly dam­aged politi­cian.

Rather than try­ing to re­verse the per­cep­tion of him pre­sented by a video record­ing in which he talks about women as if he were a com­mon thug, Trump chose to blame Hil­lary Clin­ton for her re­sponses to well-known prob­lems she and her hus­band dealt with years ago.

Only in a mind as un­prin­ci­pled and undis­ci­plined as Trump’s does such an ar­gu­ment make sense.

It’s one thing to crit­i­cize a wife’s re­sponse to the dis­cov­ery and al­le­ga­tions of a hus­band’s be­trayal. It’s an­other to boast, as Trump is heard do­ing in that 2005 tape, about forc­ing one­self on women.

Per­haps his rip­ping into Fox News jour­nal­ist Megyn Kelly, blam­ing her tough ques­tions of him on his pre­sump­tion that she was men­stru­at­ing? Or his take­down of pri­mary op­po­nent Carly Fio­r­ina based on her looks? Th­ese com­ments, which sug­gest a man at odds with ra­tio­nal views about women, were made within the last sev­eral months.

But any sug­ges­tion that he learned from those mis­takes dis­ap­peared af­ter the first pres­i­den­tial de­bate, as he went all out to defend his pub­lic sham­ing of a Miss Uni­verse win­ner for gain­ing weight.

Times of cri­sis re­veal vol­umes about a per­son, and pres­i­dents must rou­tinely deal with many crises si­mul­ta­ne­ously. What Trump has shown us, again and again, is an in­abil­ity to deal with chal­lenges.

As Clin­ton said in Sun­day’s de­bate, the 2005 tape shows ex­actly who Trump is. And, thank­fully: “This is not who we are” as Amer­i­cans.

Los­ing one’s cool and launch­ing into tirades used to be con­sid­ered a boor­ish trait in an adult. It is also an in­stinct that sug­gests a deeply flawed char­ac­ter. In so many ways, Trump has sul­lied the na­tional de­bate.

He would be an end­less dis­as­ter in the high­est of­fice in the land.

THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee Don­ald Trump speaks dur­ing the sec­ond pres­i­den­tial de­bate at Washington Univer­sity in St. Louis on Sun­day.

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