Oh my!

Ummm, wow.  My favorite part of today– getting on twitter at about 5:45 and working back through all the tweets to figure out just what Trump had done that was blowing up. Of course, the only thing remotely surprising about this is that it didn’t come out now (Yglesias has completely owned this on twitter– lots of good ones about the failure of Republican opposition research, among other things).

As  man who has spent plenty of time in locker rooms, let me just say I have literally never heard friends joke about sexually assaulting women (sexual assault is what this is, to be clear).  Oh, I’ve heard plenty of not-so-nice comments about women’s appearances, etc., but nothing remotely like suggesting it is okay to grope/grab/kiss a woman without their permission.  This is not locker room talk, much less “dining room table” talk (yes, Trump’s former campaign manager did say that).

Also, any headlines/stories that focus on Trump’s comments being “lewd” or “vulgar” is completely missing the point!  It’s not that Trump said “grab them by the pussy” it’s that he somehow thinks it is okay for him to grab them by the pussy.  David Graham:

Yet this clip is essentially different in type, too. In describing his behavior toward women, Trump is describing sexual assault: non-consensual kissing and grabbing of women’s genitals. He is bragging, if privately, about appalling and illegal behavior.

Naturally, Ezra absolutely nails the response:

But the question isn’t whether Trump has any decency. We’ve known for some time that he doesn’t. The question is whether we have any decency — whether we will elect this man, or even come close to electing this man, knowing all we know about him.

Here is the compliment I can pay Donald Trump, and I pay it with real gratitude: He never hid who he was. Perhaps he lacked the self-control, or the self-awareness, but whatever the mechanism, he never obscured his cruelty, or his misogyny, or his greed, or his dishonesty. He is not a clever demagogue but a crude one.

He mocked a disabled reporter while the cameras were rolling. He accused his opponent’s father of conspiring to kill John F. Kennedy. He attacked the parents of a fallen war hero. He retweeted white supremacists. He accused a judge of bias because of his “Mexican heritage.” He directed the world to watch a nonexistent sex tape of a woman he body-shamed a decade ago. He lies, constantly, fluently, and shamelessly. He insults his opponents with schoolyard nicknames while retweeting slavish sycophants.

Trump knows nothing about policy and has learned nothing about it. [emphases mine] He has incited violence at his rallies, joked about the assassination of the Democratic nominee, and casually thrown the NATO alliance into doubt. He has proven himself a man of little discipline and less grace, incapable of either forgiving or forgetting, and completely unable to control his own reactions. He believes only what he wants to believe, trusts only the polls that show him ahead, listens only to the people who flatter his ego.

He has done all this in public, and he has done all of it repeatedly, almost gleefully. If we elect him, there will be no excusing our actions to future generations, no pleading ignorance in the face of threat. It was all here. It was all obvious. It will all be visible to our children, and to historians.

Trump told us who he was, showed us who he was, again and again. The test here is not of his decency, but of our own.

And if this Wikileaks dump of Clinton’s speeches (she actually does support free trade and is a friend to Wall Street– I’m shocked, shocked!) was done to take attention away from Trump what a massive fail.  All it’s done is let this story be utterly buried under the Trump avalanche.  And any of the Bernie supporters upset about what they read (and many surely will be) are not exactly thinking tonight that this is the time they want to chance Trump in the White House.

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About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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