For Democrats, Words 'Trump' Deeds
Dimwitted humorless ideologues should never attempt irony. Of course, the great problem for reasonable people is in figuring out if the ideologues in question are being ironical or dead serious. A case in point is the lede to an article on the second presidential debate written by NBC reporters Andrea Mitchell and Alisdair Jamieson: “Donald Trump's campaign sought to intimidate Hillary Clinton by inviting women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual abuse to sit in the family area close to the center of Sunday night's presidential debate.” Yes, women who have been victimized by Bill Clinton’s predatory behavior and threatened into silence by Hillary are intimidating her by their presence.
Two of the women invited by Trump, Paula Jones and Kathleen Willey, have accused Bill Clinton of making unwanted sexual advances. A third, Juanita Broaddrick, has described her experience with the former president as a rape, an explosive charge that she refuses to back off from. The fourth woman was raped as a twelve-year-old girl by an assailant who was defended in court by Hillary Clinton. Clinton did little to burnish her credentials as a champion of women by portraying the victim as overly-sexualized and laughed when the manifestly guilty defendant managed to beat a polygraph test.
Conspicuously absent from the group of aggrieved women were perhaps the most well-known apparitions from Bill Clinton’s sordid past, Jennifer Flowers and Monica Lewinsky. There is no mystery here. Although they are twists in the skein of Clinton’s extramarital affairs, they don’t qualify as victims. Flowers was his girlfriend for twelve years; Lewinsky was a groupie, an important term that should be kept in mind.
It is fair to characterize the ex-president’s relations with women as a single-minded pursuit of a very specific goal. To that end, he has employed a three-pronged approach: charm them, awe them, or as a last resort, coerce them. Few of the Democrats affecting outrage over Donald Trump’s remarks had any problem with the behavior of their party’s standard-bearer and we may safely assume that several of them sniggered approvingly over the Big Dog’s creative use of a cigar with the 22-year-old intern Lewinsky. A cynic -- and it really doesn’t pay to be anything else -- would observe, well, that’s politics. After all, the Democrats are the party that pretends, on the basis of nothing, that Donald Trump has ongoing dealings with Vladimir Putin’s Russia, while lionizing Ted Kennedy, a man who made overtures to the KGB back in 1983. The liberal warhorse and media darling wanted to help the Soviets improve their image in America in order to undercut Reagan’s policy toward them.
Some dare call it treason.
The Republicans who flocked to desert Trump in the wake of the leaked tapes are a more mixed bag. A few of them are genuinely religious people flaunting sensibilities that strike soi-disant sophisticates as alien, relics of a bygone age. Several are Bush loyalists who deeply resent Trump’s disrespectful treatment of the family they served. Some are establishment types who are, curiously, perfectly content with consigning the nation to a continuation of Barack Obama’s reign of error (a cliché so apposite that I don’t have the heart to suppress it). And the rest are the sort of timid milksops off whom Democrats make very good livings by intimidating and bluffing.
Some people never learn. John McCain in 2004 turned his back on the courageous veterans who exposed the truth behind John Kerry’s ignominious and abbreviated military service. He tarnished his moral stature and infuriated conservatives with his bizarre embrace of a far-left pol who entered the national consciousness by slandering the men who fought in an unpopular war. Four years later, he received a well-deserved reward from the mainstream media when they slaughtered him for opposing their Sun King. Now McCain is bending his efforts to ensuring that Hillary Clinton will spend at least four years appointing Supreme Court justices, transforming the health care system into a replica of the disasters in place in Canada and Western Europe, and keeping in place the horrific, potentially apocalyptic arrangement with the mad mullahs of Iran.
Mitt Romney was appalled at Trump’s fratboy language and announced that he is opting out of the struggle to keep the Clintons away from the White House. The squeaky-clean Romney was destroyed four years ago by a blizzard of lies dumped on him 24/7 by assorted scoundrels, such as Harry Reid, perhaps the vilest human ever to disgrace the US Senate, who conjured up an imaginary playmate to promote the falsehood that Romney paid no income taxes. Romney ran afoul of a blatant collaboration between his opponent, Barack Obama, and one of the Democrats’ media water-carriers, Candy Crowley. Momentarily shocked by the ambush, Romney became a deer caught in headlights. He did manage to score a personal victory by preserving his gentlemanly demeanor. Getting really angry and fighting back hard might have been, in retrospect, a better idea.
Paul Ryan is to all appearances a decent and thoughtful man. He is also a man who was widely perceived to have lost a debate to a manic Joe Biden, who jauntily peddled lies with a rictus grin plastered across his face. Exposing those lies would have been undignified, so Ryan gave a textbook lesson in losing with class.
What unites the Republicans opposing Trump and abetting Hillary’s ambitions is their skill at losing. No matter what glaring weaknesses their Democratic foes may bring to the contest, the milquetoast wing of the GOP can be trusted to find a way to shield the other side and magnify their own shortcomings. Newt Gingrich understands the reality of the situation facing Republicans this year: either you join the struggle to keep Hillary and Bill out of the White House or you are helping them to return. Really -- it is just that simple.
An examination of the words used by Trump to provoke so much gnashing of teeth is revealing. He said to Billy Bush: “When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything…Grab them by the p…y. You can do anything.”
Let us begin by noting something that has escaped the pundits: Trump is not talking about women in general -- he is talking about groupies. In our celebrity-obsessed society, there exists a sub-culture of women who frequent concerts and sports bars for the purpose of having sex with pop stars and athletes. A joke making the rounds for roughly fifteen years went, what is the most successful pick-up line in the history of New York City bars? The punchline: Hi, I’m Derek Jeter. Now, Jeter’s appeal to women was enormous and his success rate in meeting them must have been mind-boggling, but it is a very safe bet that he never assaulted one woman in his entire life. The same cannot be said for Ted Kennedy and Bill Clinton.
Donald Trump spoke in lewd locker room terms. He used a word that some people find highly offensive. He most definitely was NOT talking about assaulting women. He was clearly commenting on women who make themselves available to celebrities. If you disapprove of groupies, if you think that their lifestyle displays a lack of self-respect, you have plenty of company. Resist the urge to label them as victims, however, because they do not view themselves as victims.
Women whose paths crossed with Ted Kennedy on many occasions and Bill Clinton on a few occasions emerged with bruised bodies and torn clothing. Joe Biden thinks that Trump’s graphic talk amounts to assault. It’s a shame that he is utterly indifferent to the real thing when it is committed by Democrats. It’s a bigger shame that he reveres men like Kennedy and Bill Clinton.