Trump’s Misogynous Ground Hog Day (Updated)
In a weekend editorial, the New York Times Editorial Board commiserates with the hapless and helpless man presently occupying the White House.
After all, the Times writes, Trump clearly lacks the toughness of George Washington, the confidence of Dwight Eisenhower and the grace of Richard Nixon — The Times has a tough time getting this last one out.
As to Trump’s most recent “creepy misogyny,” the Times writes, “Here again was Mr. Trump, whose casual boasting of sexual assault nearly upended his candidacy, denigrating women with references to ‘bleeding’” and suggests that Trump “does not appear to realize that he is embarrassing himself.”
Nor do his most ardent supporters realize: “Mr. Trump’s advocates are trying, implausibly, to present his online demonstrations of self-pity as feats of macho toughness.”
After illustrating how Trump is sabotaging himself and his trumpeted policies, the Times concludes with the “Big Question”:
The big question for all of us is whether with his foot-stamping and his vulgarity Mr. Trump, in defiance of all his predecessors, is creating a new model for future presidential behavior. Can the etiquette of professional wrestling and reality television truly pass as acceptable for the Oval Office? The breadth and depth of bipartisan repugnance for this president’s insults suggests, thankfully, that the answer may prove to be no.
Yet, “a few” unbelievably still answer in the affirmative.
Nicolle Wallace, communications chief during George Bush’s presidency, reacting to the President of the United States’ most recent vulgarity about women and his “never-ending obsession with women’s blood,” had this to say:
“As a former communications director, there’s a single press strategy for this White House: It’s called an apology.”
“As a woman who was fortunate enough to work in the White House as a public servant, all of the women collecting paychecks from the U.S. taxpayers, Dina Powell, Kellyanne Conway, Elaine Chow, Betsy DeVos, you should all go on the record and condemn your boss’s comments, and you should work behind the scenes to educate him about just how offensive they are..”
“As someone who once proudly called myself a Republican, the party will be permanently associated with misogyny if leaders don’t stand up and demand a retraction…”
And, finally, “As a mother of a son, I ask any woman who is defending these comments how they plan to raise good men, if the most powerful man in the world gets away with this.”
On the first three comments – expecting an apology and expecting his staff or Republicans in general to condemn Trump’s misogamy — forget it!
Wallace’s final comment, on being a mother – or a father of a son or a daughter – I find it tragic to have to recall some of the following thoughts I expressed only six months ago, shortly after this man was elected to the highest office in the land.
In the days after Donald Trump was elected to be the next U.S. president, many fathers and mothers racked their brains and dug deep into their psyche trying to explain to their sons and daughters “How America selected a racist, sexist bully“ as our next president.
Most are concerned about their daughters.
Why our daughters?
Perhaps to console them that a woman is not going to be our next president?
Perhaps to somehow explain to them how a bully, a man who has said so many vile things about women, minorities, Muslims, people with disabilities is going to be our next president?
Perhaps to try to wipe away the fears and the tears of little Latinas who will now have recurring nightmares about being torn away from their parents, perhaps to never see them again?
Perhaps to try to explain the unexplainable: How Americans could elect as their leader a man who has bragged about doing horrible things to women and has been accused by many women of doing exactly that.
I followed up with some examples of what parents were saying or writing to their daughters.
Today, as if doomed to live in a macabre un-presidential Groundhog Day, we are once again reliving the nightmare of having elected as out president a man who is clearly unfit to lead an America that was, and is, already great – without him.
This morning, Mika Brzezinski, whose father just passed away, and Joe Scarborough perhaps put it best – and too kindly – when they reacted to Trump’s personal attack as follows:
President Trump launched personal attacks against us Thursday, but our concerns about his unmoored behavior go far beyond the personal. America’s leaders and allies are asking themselves yet again whether this man is fit to be president. We have our doubts, but we are both certain that the man is not mentally equipped to continue watching our show, “Morning Joe.”
They also pointed out the blatant lies (surprised?) in Trump’s tweet:
“Mr. Trump claims that we asked to join him at Mar-a-Lago three nights in a row. That is false. He also claimed that he refused to see us. That is laughable.
“The president-elect invited us both to dinner on Dec. 30. Joe attended because Mika did not want to go. After listening to the president-elect talk about his foreign policy plans, Joe was asked by a disappointed Mr. Trump the next day if Mika could also visit Mar-a-Lago that night. She reluctantly agreed to go.
“After we arrived, the president-elect pulled us into his family’s living quarters with his wife, Melania, where we had a pleasant conversation. We politely declined his repeated invitations to attend a New Year’s Eve party, and we were back in our car within 15 minutes.
“Mr. Trump also claims that Mika was ‘bleeding badly from a face-lift.’ That is also a lie.
“Putting aside Mr. Trump’s never-ending obsession with women’s blood, Mika and her face were perfectly intact, as pictures from that night reveal. And though it is no one’s business, the president’s petulant personal attack against yet another woman’s looks compels us to report that Mika has never had a face-lift.
If she had, it would be evident to anyone watching ‘Morning Joe’ on their high-definition TV. She did have a little skin under her chin tweaked, but this was hardly a state secret. Her mother suggested she do so, and all those around her were aware of this mundane fact.
But, more significantly, Mika and Joe say, “[I]s Mr. Trump’s continued mistreatment of women. It is disturbing that the president of the United States keeps up his unrelenting assault on women. From his menstruation musings about Megyn Kelly, to his fat-shaming treatment of a former Miss Universe, to his braggadocio claims about grabbing women’s genitalia, the 45th president is setting the poorest of standards for our children…”
Finally, referring to Trump’s erratic behavior:
We, too, have noticed a change in his behavior over the past few years. Perhaps that is why we were neither shocked nor insulted by the president’s personal attack. The Donald Trump we knew before the campaign was a flawed character but one who still seemed capable of keeping his worst instincts in check.
Coming from a couple who have been so viciously and cruelly demeaned by a sitting president, their response is much too kind.
Lead image, courtesy Donkeyhotey.com