Monday, October 17, 2016

Defending Trump's Misogyny... A Hopeless Task


Renee Ellmers (R-NC) is the only Republican member of Congress who Trump cut an ad for. It didn't help Ellmers win her primary. In fact, it probably hurt her She barely managed to come in second in a 3 way primary race and will be hoping for some kind of a job-- any kind of a job-- from Trump after January. These were the results:
George Holding- 16,999 (53.4%)
Renee Ellmers- 7,527 (23.6%)
Greg Brannon- 7,320 (23.0%)
She was the first woman in Congress to endorse Trump and she's one of the Republican female elected officials who has stuck with him, despite his bragging about groping women and despite all the assault allegations flooding in by the day. Sunday Ellmers was on CNN's State of the Union in her capacity as a Trump surrogate. It didn't go well, her on-air bullshit helping make it clear why her constituents retired her by such a massive vote. (Watch the video above.)

Ellmers is the go-to-person-- or go-to-female-person for the media if they need someone to defend Trump no matter how disgusting his behavior. While many of his best known surrogates hid when Trump attacked former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, the craven and desperate Ellmers was on TV defending the indefensible. After Trump's 3AM twitter storm about Machado and her weight and a phony claim she was a porn star, Ellmers dutifully went on TV and answered for Trump. "Why," asked the interviewer, "does Donald Trump keep this issue alive? What do you think he thinks he has to gain by revisiting a topic that a lot of people have obviously been turned off by?" Ellmers had to say something, so she tried, "Obviously, Hillary Clinton brought this up in the debate and she did it clearly to try to paint Donald Trump in a negative light, so now Donald Trump is addressing the issue, as he did in the debate. He’s using social media because he knows it's the most effective manner to get his message out. He knows that, unfortunately, he cannot depend upon you, the media, to tell his story, and really what is happening. You know, you heard a lot about fact checking during the debate. Donald Trump is setting the record straight and he's using social media. That's the kind of president we need. Someone who goes right to the root of the problem... This isn't about the Miss Universe. This is about Hillary Clinton using this former Miss Universe pageant winner as a pawn in her bid for this White House presidential race." That's some stretch! And she wasn't done digging. When the interviewer asked her why Trump was still talking smack about Machado rather than addressing the issues the voters want to hear about, she said that Trump " is absolutely talking about these issues. But here, again, this is part of the Hillary Clinton strategy. This is part of her playbook—corruption and making things appear something that are not there. And this is how she's trying to attack him. Her main issue is to say that he doesn't have the temperament to be president of the United States. I completely disagree... He's setting the record straight. I mean unfortunately in Washington, when you're accused of something or painted in a certain light, typically, the reaction is not to fight back. If you do, then you’re playing into it. He is setting the record straight... I think that Donald Trump needs to move on and, again, the American people want to hear about the future. He is the future of this country. He is going to turn this country around and make America great again. Unlike Hillary Clinton that remains in the gutter."

Something tells me we're not going to be hearing much from Renee Ellmers ever again after she leaves Congress in mid-January, none-too-soon. And from Renee Ellmers to Charles Blow for tonight's bonus: Donald Trump, the worst of America. I literally don't know anyone who didn't already know this long before the buffoonish Trump came waddling down the escalator spewing hatred and bigotry. Blow's point is that Trump knows he's not going to be president and he's now just "stacking logs of grievance on the funeral pyre with the great anticipation of setting it ablaze if current polls turn out to be predictive." In other words, he'd like ti burn it all down.

There is something calamitous in the air that surrounds the campaign, a hostile fatalism that bespeaks a man convinced that the end is near and aiming his anger at all within reach.

As his path to victory grows narrower, his desperation grows more pronounced.

Last week a steady stream of women stepped forward to accuse Trump of some form of sexual assault, abuse or inappropriate behavior. Trump’s response has been marked by a stunning lack of grace and dignity, let alone contrition or empathy, a response much like the man himself.

Instead, he is doubling down on sexism.

...His response to these charges has been surprisingly-- and perhaps, revealingly-- callow. He has mocked, whined, chided, bemoaned and belittled. It’s as if the man is on a mission to demonstrate to voters the staggering magnitude of his social vulgarity and emotional ineptitude. He has dispensed with all semblances of wanting to appear presidential and embraced what seems to be most natural to him: acting like a pig.

...Trump now looks like a madman from Mad Men, a throwback to when his particular privileges had more perks and were considered less repugnant. He looks pathetic.

He is a ball of contradictions that together form a bully, a man who has built a menacing wall around the hollow of his self. He is brash to mask his fragility.

...Trump is in fact the logical extension of toxic masculinity and ambient misogyny. He is the logical extension of rampant racism. He is the logical extension of wealth worship. He is the logical extension of pervasive anti-intellectualism.

Trump is the logical extension of the worst of America.

With him you get a man who believes himself superior in every way: through the gift of fortune and the happenstance of chromosomes. He believes the rules simply don’t apply. Not rules that govern the sovereignty of another’s body, not rules that dictate decorousness.

And the Republican Party was just the right place for him to park himself.

When you have a political party that takes as its mission to prevent government from working instead of to make government work, a party that conflates the ill effects of a changing economy with the changing complexion of the country and is still struck by fever over the election of President Obama, Trump is a natural, predictable endpoint.

Furthermore, Trump is what happens when you wear your Christian conservative values like a cardigan to conveniently slip off when the heat rises.

Trump is fundamentally altering American politics-- coarsening them, corrupting them, cratering them. And America, particularly conservative America, has only itself to blame.

Republicans sowed intolerance and in its shadow, Trump sprang up like toxic fungi.
That said, it was somewhat heartening this morning to read polls showing Trump sinking in deep red heartland states like Georgia-- where the latest YouGov survey reveals Clinton actually leading him 46.9%-44.4%-- Arizona and even Alaska. Are the Republican governments of those states rigging it against Trump too? We'll hear all about it on Trump TV eventually.

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