I have been away for about a year. In that year I have watched in amazement as Republicans, Conservatives and independents gathered behind a man who is everything that Conservatives and the GOP supposedly detest.
On Friday, a bombshell video was released. To be honest, I did not think it would have any impact. At all. I said so in a few tweets to various folks. I mean, the video did not reveal a side of Trump previously unknown. But, the thing I missed?
This was not the words of former employees. This was not the word of former reality show contestants. This was not the word of his ghost writer. This was the man himself. This was Trump in his own words talking about sexually assaulting women. Trying to have sex with married women.
And finally, for many Republicans and Conservatives, this was the straw that broke the camel’s back. They are taking back their support. They are calling for him to step down. Not all of them of course.
There are a lot of supporters who won’t accept this as any kind of confirmation. But I want to step back a bit, as I have been absent this blog for a year…
I was never a huge fan of the Donald. He always seemed like a sleazy guy. He routinely seemed to treat women as objects. But I did not pay him that much attention…I saw a season of the Celebrity Apprentice and the overbearing personalities on the show kind of minimized his massive ego.
But then in 2011, he joined the Birther Moment. He kept telling us Obama was not born in the United States. He was born in Kenya. He claimed in interviews his private investigators were uncovering some damning stuff. We were going to be shocked by what he was finding out. And then Obama presented his long form birth certificate. And that shut it all down. Right? Well, in 2016 Donald Trump delivered that crushing defeat to Birtherism. He announced that President Barack Obama was indeed born in America…and then took credit for putting it all to rest…because he got Obama to provide his birth certificate. But here is the thing, Donald… President Obama should never have had to provide his birth certificate to begin with. Birtherism was ridiculous on it’s face.
Trump has tried to blame Hillary for the start of Birtherism. This is false. There was an e-mail within the campaign that suggested that they could emphasize that Barack Obama grew up outside the Continental U.S. But the e-mail did not suggest he was born outside of the U.S. There was a low level campaign worker who was angry that Hillary conceded and supported Obama who suggested he was not American Born. But that is a disgruntled low level employee. The campaign never put it out. So, no, it did not start with Hillary and her campaign. Donald has since shown himself to believe any conspiracy.
For a brief time in 2012 he threatened to run for President. I did not think it would happen and I was right. But in June of last year, Trump announced his candidacy. He was in a field of seventeen. It was contentious as candidates declared how bad he would be for the country. One by one they fell. One thing that has been clear long before his candidacy is how thin skinned he is. He is incapable of taking the high road. He is notorious for his celebrity and Twitter feuds. If someone insults him, no matter who it is…he must reply.
And this carried into the primaries. I remember how shocked people were in 1992 when Bill Clinton answered the question of whether he wore boxers or briefs. Conservatives were livid that he would answer such an undignified question. Yet in 2015 when Trump brought a debate to a halt to assure us his penis was a-okay and not small it was a pretty collective shrug. As people dropped away, the same people who said how terrible he was were now declaring how great he was.
It was stunning and dumbfounding. Trump attacked Megyn Kelly mercilessly because she asked him an entirely valid question. Instead of pausing, reflecting and explaining that he has behaved shamefully in the past, but his relationship with his wife and his friends have challenged and helped him grow as a man. Or something like that. But no, he doubled down and defended his words.
And this was a regular thing with him. In the first debate with Hillary Clinton Donald Trump made a big deal of his temperament. He has an amazing temperament. It is excellent. Based on this, we can tell that Donald Trump does not know what Temperament is. Because he has the worst temperament of any modern candidate. So, he has an awful temperament. He is amazingly thin skinned. Oh yeah…he has a massive ego. He lost the debate. But he argued he won. But Pence was declared the winner of the Vice Presidential Debate. Trump noted this, only to take credit for the success. Because he picked Pence. So, Pence’s success really belongs to Trump.
Trump congratulated himself after the debate for taking the high road and not bringing up Bill’s affairs in the debate. Yeah, bringing them up by saying how great it was of you not to bring them up is not taking the high road.
Trump is constantly telling us how much he knows. How he is the only one who can fix problems. How he knows more about Isis than even “the generals”. Trump seems to be running more to satisfy his ego. When he was called to step down this weekend, he declared this will never happen. Why would he give up his biggest power grab ever?
So often, his supporters stand behind his outsider status. But that is a smokescreen. He has gamed the system for decades. In recent weeks, the GOP has declared how he is a genius for this. Why does anyone think he is going to magically fix the tax code in a way beneficial to all Americans. He has never showed an interest in that before.
So, this video that came out on Friday…Trump issued two “apologies”. Both of them basically were the “Sorry I got caught being a creep” routine. On top of that? He claimed Bill Clinton has told him far worse on the golf course. “I was bad, my opponent’s husband is way worse” is not a defense. And yet it is working. I have had people (including a Catholic Priest) use the “his words are not as bad as Clinton’s actions” defense. The problem is, Donald Trump Trump was describing his actions. He was casually laughing about grabbing women, forcing them to kiss him…these are not just words. This is not just banter. Did you see Civil War? Spider-Man has banter with various characters. This is two guys laughing about being creepy.
So, yeah, don’t be Billy Bush. People point out Bill Clinton’s affairs. Except we know Trump has had affairs. He is on his third marriage (as are his surrogates Newt Gunray-er-Gengrich and Rudy “I Was At 9/11” Giuliani). Melonia Trump spoke about how she and Donald have been together for eighteen years. That means they were together for two years of his marriage to Marla Maples Trump. But Clinton has been accused of rape! Yeah, so has the Donald. This video from 2005 verifies he hits on married women, forcefully kisses them and grabs women in other areas without consent. He talked about this while he was married to his current wife. And do we really think this is the worst Donald has been? At best, he and Bill Clinton are tied. If your argument is Clinton is worse? You are admitting you have no defense of Trump. Clinton is clearly not worse.
People declare that the video is eleven years old. And that would be a valid point. If you know, Trump had not continued to offer sleazy commentary in regards to women well into the present. He talks in the video how he just can’t stop himself when in the presence of a beautiful woman. And he has shown no evidence that this is changed. If we had some examples showing how he has become enlightened, we might be able to discount the video…but we don’t, so we can’t.
We knew he was a sleazy douchebag already (don’t trust a person who only has himself and his family verifying how “nice” he is), all this video did was hammer it home and add a bit of rapey talk to his repertoire. And it is still not enough to drive his hardcore fans away.