To touch a woman in anger or without her permission is just plain wrong, in my opinion, at least. So I can’t condone Donald Trump’s comments on the eleven-year old tape unearthed and conveniently released. Nor can I condone his conduct if recent reports are accurate. But the facts may not be as bad as initially reported in the media, and even if they were, the Democrats have no moral standing to attack him anyway.
As the accusers and their sordid stories multiply, so too do the efforts of The Donald and his supporters to defend him and discredit them multiply as well. For example, we’re told:
A businesswoman who accused The Donald of trying to rape her 20 years ago was found to have had an affair with him AFTER the alleged rape (he dumped her for Melania), AND, as recently as last year, tried to get a job with his campaign, as discussed here: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/09/opinion/sunday/donald-trump-groper-in-chief.html?smid=fb-share.
Another businesswoman, a former contestant on “The Apprentice,” who accused The Donald of groping her, also made an unsuccessful attempt to get a job with his campaign first, as shown here: http://truthfeed.com/busted-latest-trump-accuser-summer-zervos-wrote-a-letter-just-months-ago-offering-to-stump-for-trump/29612/.
The woman who claimed The Donald groped her on an airplane over thirty years ago is accused by a self-identified eyewitness of making up the story and even “coming on” to The Donald first (full disclosure—the “eye witness” has also admitted to having been a procurer of boys for gay British politicians, so make of his statements what you will); see here: http://heavy.com/news/2016/10/anthony-gilberthorpe-donald-trump-who-is-jessica-leeds-sexual-assault-child-abuse-scandal-campaign-refutes-claims/.
Of course, these examples by no means cover every accusation made against the Donald, but they should raise questions anyway about the timing of the accusations and the motives of the accusers—especially those who tried, and failed, to get jobs with Trump.
But let’s assume every accuser is telling the absolute truth, and The Donald truly has acted like an oaf. The Democrats have already accepted that type of behavior in Bill Clinton. So what’s the Donald’s crime? That he’s not a Democrat anymore?
Besides, no less an authority than feminist icon and Hillary supporter Gloria Steinem has said that Bill’s reported treatment of Kathleen Willey and Paula Jones didn’t rise to the sort of conduct that would have justified charges he was unfit for office. Of Kathleen Willey’s charge that Clinton groped her, she wrote, at http://www.nytimes.com/1998/03/22/opinion/feminists-and-the-clinton-question.html. :
“The truth is that even if the allegations are true, the President is not guilty of sexual harassment. He is accused of having made a gross, dumb and reckless pass at a supporter during a low point in her life. She pushed him away, she said, and it never happened again. In other words, President Clinton took ”no” for an answer.”
Same with Paula Jones:
“In her original story, Paula Jones essentially said the same thing. She went to then-Governor Clinton’s hotel room, where she said he asked her to perform oral sex and even dropped his trousers. She refused, and even she claims that he said something like, ‘’Well, I don’t want to make you do anything you don’t want to do.’”
So what does this all mean? Everyone—or at least every Democrat—gets one free grope???
Actually, a Republican would not have to grope someone to be attacked by the Democrats. Donald Trump could have been the most morally virtuous man on the planet, a virgin at the time of his first marriage, a man who never cheated on his first wife or dumped her for a younger woman or abused any woman in any way, shape, or form, and today’s Democrats in the Clinton era could find a way to portray him as a male chauvinist fascist pig, unworthy to be elected dogcatcher because of his gross mistreatment and contempt for women. Consider, for example, the case of Mitt Romney.
In 2012, when Romney was asked what he had done as Governor of Massachusetts to promote equal pay and leadership opportunities for women in state government, he said, as reported here at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binders_full_of_women:
“Thank you and important topic. And one which I learned a great deal about, particularly as I was serving as Governor of my state. Because I had the chance to pull together a Cabinet, and all of the applicants seemed to be men. And I went to my staff and I said: “How come all of the people for these jobs are all men?” They said: “Well, these are the people that have the qualifications.” And I said: “Well gosh, can’t we find some women that are also qualified?” And we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our Cabinet. I went to a number of women’s groups and said: “Can you help us find folks?” And they brought us whole binders full of women. I was proud of the fact that after I staffed my Cabinet, and my senior staff, the University of New York in Albany did a survey of all 50 states, and concluded that mine had more women in senior leadership positions than any other state in America.”
Aside from speaking in personnel managers’ geek speak—when personnel managers collect applications and resumes for particular jobs, they put the materials in “folders” or “binders”—what crime did he commit against women? To hear Obama and Biden and their surrogates comment, you would have thought that Romney’s treatment of women made Trump and Clinton seem like choirboys—even though the only things Romney handled were women’s job applications—not women themselves. Check out http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2012/10/17/presidential-debate-spawns-binders-full-of-women-meme/, and http://www.politico.com/blogs/burns-haberman/2012/10/obama-we-dont-have-to-collect-a-bunch-of-binders-to-find-qualified-women-138777, and http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2012/10/18/biden-sticks-to-binders-theme-to-attack-romney/ for just a few examples of the ridicule to which he was subjected. But then again, Mitt’s a Republican.
None of this is to excuse Donald Trump’s behavior, which should be unacceptable to men and women of reason, compassion, and good breeding. But Democrats cannot honestly express outrage if they accept Bill Clinton’s behavior, and if they cannot see the difference between Donald Trump and Mitt Romney, which, on their own statements, they cannot. However much Trump’s conduct may deserve criticism once all the facts are known, Clinton Democrats are not qualified to make it.
Malcolm L. Cross has lived in Stephenville and taught politics and government at Tarleton since 1987. His political and civic activities include service on the Stephenville City Council (2000-2014) and on the Erath County Republican Executive Committee (1990 to the present). He was Mayor Pro Tem of Stephenville from 2008 to 2014. He is a member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and the Stephenville Rotary Club, and does volunteer work for the Boy Scouts of America. Views expressed in this column are his and do not reflect those of The Flash as a whole.