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Posts published in “Day: October 9, 2016”

Why the furor


So, I've been mulling over this latest Trump debacle – and of course the question that keeps coming up is: Why, after all that he's said and done – and especially his history of denigrating comments about women – is this particular bit of slime creating so much furor among Republicans?

In the past months we've been subjected to multiple Trumpisms, any of which coming from a normal person would have caused even the most craven of of his own party to speak out, and would have likely effectively ended the campaign. But not so with this sack of garbage. The Republicans have continued to suck it up, make excuses and let his comments slide.

But this time, for some reason, Trump's comments have not only created a firestorm within the party, you have Republicans announcing they will not vote for him, disinviting him to campaign events, calling for him to step down from the election, and actually saying his comments were beyond acceptable; “disgusting, vile, sickening” are a few of the adjectives used.

Which brings me back to my original question: Why this time? It's certainly not his first foray into “deplorable” territory – his comments are well-documented, I'm not going to attempt to repeat them all here. But through it all the Republican organization has stood by why is this finally the straw that broke the camel's back?

My theory? & yes – I know this is not going to sit well with some, and I'm usually the last person to cry misogyny or racism … but, here it is:

In ALL of his prior repulsive comments, Trump has always targeted: non-whites, “foreigners,” Democrats that Republicans already hate (ie: Hillary Clinton), women that don't meet the GOP standards of attractive (Rosie O'Donnell; even Carly Fiorina), and individuals or groups that basically have some weakness already – even Heidi Cruz, whose main issue is that she is married to Ted Cruz who nobody (Republican or Democrat) seems to like.

In classic “Bullying 101” fashion he's always attacked someone who is already weak, and already viewed with disdain by the Republican bullies as being out of the mainstream.

But lo and behold! What people heard on that Access Hollywood video was Trump attacking THEM! He was denigrating “beautiful” white women! Women that Republicans see as respectable, successful, and attractive, and most importantly – part of their “tribe.”

Women who could actually be Mitch McConnell's or Jeb Bush's daughters. Trump just jumped the fence and came into their yards!

All of a sudden his comments got personal. And notice the way they've responded? Not with outrage that he's once again shown his lack of respect for any human who's not him, but that he's talking about women who could be “their” women … their property. “MY daughters, MY sisters.”

“I have a wife. I have a daughter. I have a mother, and I have five sisters all of whom I love dearly,” [Sen. Mike] Lee said. “It's occurred to me on countless occasions today that if anyone spoke to my wife, my daughter, my mother or any of my five sisters the way Mr. Trump has spoken to women, I wouldn't hire that person. I wouldn't hire that person, wouldn't want to be associated with that person...”

“I am sickened by what I heard today,” [House Speaker Paul] Ryan said. “Women are to be championed and revered, not objectified.”

“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,” [Sen. Mitch McConnell] said late Friday.

“Today!” We've all been hearing Trump speak that way about all women for decades – even his own wives and at least one daughter … but only with this tape did it suddenly dawn on the Republicans that it could be their own women that Trump was speaking to or about.

I don't have to repeat here the names and women he's attempted to shame over the decades, let alone the last several months; you've heard them often enough, but as I think about it, with very few exceptions every one of those women has been … not a “WASP.” They've mostly been non-white, or from another country, or successful in occupations traditionally dominated by white men, or not conforming with an Aryan profile of attractive, and most importantly they've not been “owned” by white Republican men.

For the Republicans this isn't about Trump's lack of respect for people in general, or even for women in general. It's about the fact that it's maybe – finally – sinking in that he's “coming for them,” and maybe – finally – they're starting to understand that they too need to be afraid.

Trump 31: Small peccadilloes


Back in the 90s one of the chief congressional staffer pit bulls sicced on to Bill and Hillary Clinton was Michael Chertoff, a Republican by party (now as then), an attorney by profession and during the George W. Bush Administration secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

He has also said he will endorse and vote for Hillary Clinton for president, saying she has the qualities and background to do the job well.

In an October 7 piece on the National Memo, writer Joe Conason noted this: "Asked about Clinton’s email problems, Chertoff briskly brushed that overhyped 'scandal' aside, comparing it with the Whitewater circus as a frivolous distraction from serious issues."

More exactly, Chertoff said this:

In the end … I go back to Sept. 11, 2001, and I was on duty. I was the head of the [Justice Department’s] Criminal Division and I was part of the immediate response to prevent that from happening again. In looking back on that I realized that in the ’90s we spent an enormous amount of time pursuing issues involving the Clintons’ associations back in Arkansas in the ’80s, Whitewater and other things, and we didn’t spend nearly the same amount of time on what bin Laden was up to and others were up to in the region. And it reminded me that — you know — the ability to spend an inordinate amount of time chasing small peccadilloes is a luxury we only have in a world at peace.

Think now about how much time Donald Trump has spent attacking enemies (many of his own making), getting into battles over basic deportment, and in general devoting a whole lot of his time on pointless junk. A president's time is precious and critical; there is never enough. Does Trump look like the sort of person who will manage it well? Ever? Or have the perspective to understand what is worth his time and what isn't? In the end, only a president can make that call. - rs