The political earth has had a few seismic shifts over the past 7 days.
First, the discovery of a video exposing Donald Trump’s penchant for trash-talking women, and the requisite 24/7 news coverage of that; followed by the Sunday debate where Trump paced around behind Hillary Clinton like an alpha-male lion. The week ended with another round of Republicans abandoning the SS Trump-tanic before the last lifeboat is gone; finally, circling back to Trump’s trash-talking Republicans for abandoning support of him.
With his “shackles” removed (I didn’t know he’d been arrested!), Trump is now free from the burden of carrying all those lame-os on Election Day. He has “strategically” moved from the scripted/TelePrompTed speeches back to his ol’ reliable, slash-and-burn self:
“The very foul mouthed Sen. John McCain begged for my support during his primary (I gave, he won), then dropped me over locker room remarks!”
“Disloyal R’s are far more difficult than Crooked Hillary. They come at you from all sides. They don’t know how to win – I will teach them!”
“Despite winning the second debate in a landslide (every poll), it is hard to do well when Paul Ryan and others give zero support!”
(For the record, PolitiFact rated Trump’s last tweet, Pants-on-Fire False!)
However, at a rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Trump supporters have clearly spent too much time at the Trump Kool-Aid dispenser:
“Don’t let the government-run media elect crooked Hillary.”
“Donald Trump is going to make America great! He hasn’t paid taxes in 20 years!”
“They echoed nearly verbatim,” The New York Times writes (Oct. 11), Mr. Trump’s defense that his lewd comments about women on a 2005 recording were merely ‘locker room talk,’ calling them harmless words compared with the far-worse actions Mrs. Clinton and her husband had taken to shame women.
“They reiterated Mr. Trump’s claim that national polls showing him behind by double digits were ‘rigged’ and that he was heading to victory in November.”
“ ‘I don’t believe anything the media says,’ said Brad Chilson, 47, a truck driver from Bradford County, Pa.
Sadly, this is what passes for an informed electorate.
“…Katie Packer,” The Times writes, “a strategist for Mitt Romney in 2012, posted a photograph on Twitter of 30,000 people at an Ohio rally four years ago a week before Mr. Romney’s defeat. ‘None of the Trump crowds so far in the general election surpass what we regularly had in ’12,’ Ms. Packer wrote. ‘They are so naïve.’ ”
As for the willfully blind –
After the release of the Trump tape, Senator Marco Rubio, running for re-election in Florida, put out a statement:
“[Trump’s]…comments were vulgar, egregious [and] impossible to justify. No one should ever talk about any woman in those terms, even in private.”
Not rescinding his support, Rubio clings to desperate rhetoric:
“…I respect that voters chose [Trump] as the GOP nominee, I have never hesitated to oppose his policies I disagree with… I disagree with him on many things, but I disagree with his opponent on virtually everything.”
Memo to Marco: “Impossible” to understand!
Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, however, remains a little clouded by the Trump video, specifically Trump’s graphic description of grabbing a woman.
“ ‘I don’t characterize that as sexual assault. I think that’s a stretch. I don’t know what he meant,’ Sessions said,” in a story that appeared in USA Today, “according to a transcript of the interview that the magazine included in its story.
“The reporter then asked, ‘So if you grab a woman by the genitals, that’s not sexual assault?’
“And Sessions, a former state and federal prosecutor in Alabama, answered, ‘I don’t know. It’s not clear that he — how that would occur.’
“After the story appeared on Monday [in The Weekly Standard], Sessions issued a statement that the ‘characterization of comments I made’ are ‘completely inaccurate.’
“ ‘My hesitation was based solely on confusion of the contents of the 2005 tape and the hypothetical posed by the reporter, which was asked in a chaotic post-debate environment,’ Sessions said in the prepared statement. ‘I regret that it resulted in an inaccurate article that misrepresented my views. Of course it is crystal clear that assault is unacceptable. I would never intentionally suggest otherwise.’ ”
Memo to Jeff: Exactly, what is confusing about, “…grab ’em by the p****!”
For the record, “The Department of Justice defines sexual assault as ‘any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient.’ ”
Despite the “mischaracterization” Senator Sessions’ still supports Trump.
As reported by Fox 5 in San Diego (Oct. 11), “Congressman Darrel Issa, R-Vista, who has openly supported the GOP nominee, was apologizing Monday for the candidate after watching the tape.
“ ‘That behavior has no place in political life. It’s the type of talk and discussion that should never be heard. I’m sorry that he ever said it and I certainly would hope that he has learned from this,’ Issa said.
“When asked if he was going to vote for Trump, Issa didn’t come out and say yes, but won’t be voting for the other candidates.’ ”
Memo to Darrell: “won’t be voting for the other candidates”? That only leaves Trump, Darrell. Niiiice try at the ol’ fake-out.
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley stands by his endorsement of Trump despite the tape, but offers this creative rationalization:
“You stop to think, there’s only a few saints who have been president of the United States.”
Memo to Chuck: …And far fewer Senators with political courage!
Joni Ernst, Iowa’s other Republican senator, issued this statement in a tweet:
“The comments DJT made are lewd & insulting. There is no excuse, and no room for such reprehensible and objectifying talk about anyone, ever.”
Ernst then tells The Des Moines Register, “I will vote for the Republican ticket. If Donald Trump is at the top of that, yes, I will be supporting the Republican ticket.”
Memo to Joni: … I’m speechless…
Trump continues to play to his base, telling them that he represents them against the Washington elites.
“Come November,” Trump said on his website, “the American people will have the chance to re-declare their independence. Americans will have a chance to vote for trade, immigration and foreign policies that put our citizens first. They will have the chance to reject today’s rule by the global elite…”
The problem with his argument is that Trump is one of those elites: a billionaire admitting that he’s avoided paying federal income tax for as many as 18 years; and personally lobbied Washington for special tax loopholes for developers.
As reported by OpenSecrets.org – a non-profit, non-partisan research group which focuses on the effects of lobbying and money – “Trump himself, lobbied to have tax breaks for the industry restored after they were stripped out in a huge overhaul of the code in 1986 that was inspired by outrage over the rampant use of tax shelters.”
Memo to Trumpers: Name one aspect of Trump’s billionaire lifestyle that you relate to, (besides his ability to spout B.S.)?
Despite recent allegations of more of Trump’s non-consensual sexual encounters with women, his supporters flatly dismiss it.
“David Quinn, an electronics engineer,” The Times reports, “told his wife that Mr. Trump should drop out, as some senior elected Republicans were calling on the candidate to do. But Mr. Quinn changed his mind, he said, after Mr. Trump’s apology for his comments from 11 years ago. ‘The only thing that tape shows is he’s a healthy heterosexual,’ he said.”
Meanwhile, back at the Clinton ranch, the campaign has been dealing with the thousands of hacked e-mails from Clinton campaign associates.
More on that, Monday.