Politics & Policy

Gropers in Glass Houses

From the outside it’s going to be very difficult to figure out how much of the fire aimed at Trump is opposition research and how much of it is an organic response to his denials. Some of these women coming forward are no doubt acting on their own volition. Others are probably being encouraged to by the Democrats. It really doesn’t matter. Trump fell for a trap in the second debate when he denied actually groping women. It’s worth remembering that Trump took a long time to deny he had actually done the things he described in that Access Hollywood video. He didn’t deny it in his apology video, and it took several tries to get him to deny it in the second debate. This is almost surely because he knew he was guilty and, as he hinted, he knew that more such accusations would come to light. 

The Trump team reportedly thinks they need to — surprise! — counter punch, like they did with the Paula Jones, Broaddrick press conference. I’ve always thought this was a less effective approach than some of my friends on the right. I think the distinction one often hears — or heard — of “Bill Clinton’s actions” versus “Trump’s words” is perfectly fine as far as it goes, it just doesn’t go very far. Bill Clinton did terrible things. But the average voter already knows that. They also know Bill’s not running for president. Moreover, the people most likely to think this is a really boffo argument are already voting for him. How many swing voters does it appeal to? Any GOP nominee needed millions of Obama voters to vote for him; how many of them cared about this argument? How many Republican-friendly suburban women are going to vote for Trump because he’s attacking Hillary Clinton for her adulterous husband and her attacks on his conquests/victims? Some? Maybe. A lot? No frick’n way. 

Anyway that’s all moot now. The distinction is melting away as women come out to accuse Trump of sexual assault. The “Bill’s deeds” versus “Trump’s words” distinction is becoming, at best, very, very, blurred. He’s a terrible messenger for a very weak message. 

If Trump had been a serious candidate, he would have known this stuff was coming. He would have hired opposition researchers to vet him before others could. It’s going to get much worse, and nuking the rubble of the Clinton marriage won’t save him.

Most Popular

Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More