Trump: Is his ‘locker room talk’ disqualifying?
Donald Trump says it was only “locker room talk” when he bragged of forcibly kissing women and groping their private parts on that Access Hollywood tape, said Ryu Spaeth in NewRepublic.com. The grisly truth, however, is that “this is hardly the first time Trump has been exposed as a misogynist.” During his presidential campaign, he’s repeatedly demeaned women with sexist, dehumanizing comments. He mocked Fox anchor Megyn Kelly by saying she had “blood coming out of her whatever,” and attacked former GOP rival Carly Fiorina’s looks by saying, “Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?” He’s been repeatedly accused of harassing and assaulting women; his ex-wife, Ivana, said Trump once yanked out a clump of her hair and raped her in a fit of rage. For a deep dive into how Trump views women, said Dahlia Lithwick in Slate.com, just listen, if you can stomach it, to the archived hours of Trump’s appearances on The Howard Stern Show. In his banter with the shock jock, Trump repeatedly rates women’s looks on a 1 to 10 scale, brags of ogling and sleeping with Miss Universe contestants, and discusses his own daughter’s “voluptuous” breasts and agrees with Stern’s observation that she is “a piece of a--.” The predatory sleazeball caught on NBC’s tape is not just an act; it’s “who he really is.”
Spare me the “left-wing hysteria,” said Dennis Prager in National Review.com. How many of us can honestly say we’ve never made a private remark that wouldn’t embarrass us if it were made public? Conservatives who are now abandoning Trump need to ask themselves: Is it really “worth giving the Left the White House over such trivia,” knowing that a President Hillary Clinton would install a liberal majority on the Supreme Court that would last for at least 30 years? The “trumped-up outrage” here is ridiculous, said Heather Mac Donald in City-Journal.org. The same feminists and liberals clutching their pearls over Trump’s “bragging about his libido” argued in the 1990s that it was utterly irrelevant that President Bill Clinton exploited “the power of the presidency to seduce a young intern.” What’s worse: Trump’s words or Clinton’s actions?
Trump wasn’t just bragging, said Nicholas Kristof in The New York Times. Numerous women over the years have come forward with tales of his “sexual predation.” One former business partner, Jill Harth, testified in a lawsuit that he put his hand up her dress under the table during a business dinner with her husband; later, during a tour of his Florida estate, Harth says, Trump pushed her against a wall, kissed her, and groped her in his daughter Ivanka’s bedroom. Trump denies the allegations, said John Kelly in USA Today, but it’s a simple fact that Trump and his companies have been sued dozens of times for harassing and discriminating against women. He’s been repeatedly accused of firing women who “didn’t meet his standard for attractiveness,” who got pregnant, or who complained about a hostile work environment.
No doubt about it: “Donald Trump is a vile human being,” said Jonathan Chait in NYMag.com.But what if Democrats had to decide whether to withdraw their support for a Trump-like presidential candidate, “even if it meant handing the presidency to Republicans?” It’s not just a theoretical question: When he was president, Bill Clinton was accused not only of philandering but also of rape and sexual assault. Yet Democrats stuck by him, because “policy matters an awful lot.” Now Republicans have to make that same, deeply uncomfortable choice.
Only in America
■ A Milwaukee man trying to register to vote under Wisconsin’s new voting law was told that he needed to show a photo ID to obtain a photo ID. Leroy Switlick, 67, has voted for 40 years, but is partially blind, so he does not have a driver’s license. He’s made three trips to a state office without success. “If I’m coming to get a photo ID,” Switlick said, “how can I already have a photo ID?”
■ Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin declared Oct. 13 “Oilfield Prayer Day,” calling on Christians to “thank God for the blessings created by the oil and gas industry,” which is suffering due to falling prices. After complaints that she’d excluded non-Christians, Fallin asked all faiths to ask God to protect the industry. “I think prayer is always a good thing for anyone,” she said.
Good week for:
Kenneth Bone, the nerdy undecided voter in a red pullover sweater who changed the sordid tone of last week’s presidential debate by earnestly questioning the candidates on their energy policies. Bone, 34, became an instant internet hero, appeared on Jimmy Kimmel, and received an offer to star in a porn film.
Ignoring the coaches’ advice, after Italian researchers found that having sex before sporting events has no discernible effect on athletic performance and might even “have a beneficial effect.”
Spoiler alerts, after Fox News commentator Mike Huckabee compared Donald Trump to the Captain Quint character in Jaws, saying that Republicans need a tough, “vulgar” guy to “save your butt” from the sharklike Hillary Clinton. “I hate to be the one to tell you this,” replied host Megyn Kelly. “Captain Quint got eaten by the shark.”
Bad week for:
The latest conspiracy theory, after InfoWars founder Alex Jones told his radio listeners that Hillary Clinton and President Obama are literally “demon-possessed” and that his sources say they “both smell like sulfur.”
Ronald McDonald, after McDonald’s announced that its signature character would cut way back on public appearances due to the “current climate around clown sightings in communities.”
Second thoughts, after an Alabama man revealed in a widely shared Facebook post his deep regret for getting a “Feel the Bern” tattoo on his penis to support presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. “It seemed like a good idea at the time,” Joshua Hughes said.
Boring but important
Muslim detention case heads to Supreme Court
The Supreme Court said this week it will decide whether Muslims, Arabs, and other immigrants rounded up after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks can sue former Attorney General John Ashcroft and other officials for violating their civil rights. Hundreds of noncitizens, many of them Muslim, were held in harsh conditions at a Brooklyn detention center after the attacks—some for as long as eight months. They were never charged with terrorism offenses, but instead detained on civil immigration violations. Only six justices will preside over the case, which also names former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a defendant. Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan have recused themselves, and the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat remains vacant.