Defenders Of The Indefensible, Eleven Years Later

« October 2016 »

Memo to Ben Carson, Mike Pence, and Betsy McCaughey: YOU ARE DEFENDING.

If there's one thing you'll hear from nearly everyone talking about fall's biggest hit, Grab 'Em By The Pussy, it's that what Trump said was indefensible and inexcusable. What you will hear immediately after that from about 1/3 of the people saying that is non-stop defending and excusing it, usually on wildly fallacious grounds, because IDIOTS SAY THE DAMNDEST THINGS!

"As I was growing up, people were always trying to talk about their sexual conquest, and trying to make themselves appear, you know, like the Don Casanova. I'm surprised you haven't heard that. I really am. Maybe that's the problem. Maybe that's the problem. Maybe, maybe that's the problem." - Former GOP frontrunner Ben Carson, to CNN's Brianna Keilar.

I've got a real serious point to make in a bit, but DON CASANOVA? You may remember that, over the summer, I maintained that all the GOP candidates were equally awful, just in different ways. This is proof that I was right. For a while, a man who thought "Don Casanova" was a notorious fictional ladies man was leading the GOP polls. Also a man who thinks that if female news anchors heard even more objectification from men, they'd be OK with it.

And sure, a lot of men are pigs, jerks, and garbage people. A lot of them aren't, too. But first, there's no biological determinism behind it, it's just toxic masculine socialization and assholery. Second, most garbage men in locker rooms don't brag about how their wealth and stardom lets them get away with sexual assault, and third, why the fuck would Donald Trump try to seem cool to Billy Bush with a story about how he couldn't get a married woman to fuck him, but it's OK, because he can just grab random crotches whenever he wants? NONE OF THIS MAKES SENSE.

"I believe in grace and I believe in forgiveness. And last night my running mate showed the American people what was in his heart. He showed humility. And then he fought back and turned the focus to the choice that we face." - Mike Pence, pretending to tell himself what he's pretending he needs to hear in order to pretend to be a man of faith supporting Donald Trump.

That's not what happened. That's not even close to what happened. Well, parts of it are. Trump showed everyone (again) what was in his heart, and he certainly put the focus on the choice we all face, but not by showing humility, and not by doing anything to earn our forgiveness.

As for "fighting back", sure. He did that. By lying constantly about even the simplest, most established facts, like whether or not he tweeted that people should check out Alicia Machado's non-existent sex tape. And sniffing a lot. Seriously, most political lies fall in a range of things that you can sort of pretend are true if you ascribe to a certain worldview and limit yourself to that worldview's sources, data, and conclusions. Trump just denies reality in a way that you would think basic human pride and dignity would demand that journalists push back against. But no.

"Yes, but I wanted to point something out. And which is that Hillary Clinton expresses that she finds the language on that bus horrific, but in fact she likes language like this. Quote, 'I came to slay bitch, when he F me good I take his ass to Red Lobster.'" - Trump spokestepford Betsy McCaughey, chastising Hillary for praising Beyonce.

The language, of course, is not the problem. If Trump had said "make love" instead of "fuck", and "grab her by the lady parts" instead of "pussy", what he said would have been just as horrible, and somehow, 15% more creepy. Clinton isn't some blue-nose language scold in all this. That used to be the religious right's job, but they're way too busy normalizing rape to keep up with policing f-bombs.

And really, if you find the concept Beyonce is expressing there objectionable, there's something very, very wrong with you. "If he pleases me sexually, I will provide him with Cheddar Bay Biscuits" is quite possibly the most important statement in all of sexual politics today, and we should be supporting it wholeheartedly. It embraces consent, makes use of positive reinforcement, and recognizes female sexuality. It is everything Donald Trump is not.