Donald Trump, the self-described “best for woman” candidate:
“Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”
From Charles P. Pierce at Esquire:
“It’s just words, folks. It’s just words. Those words, I’ve been hearing them for many years.”
—Donald J. Trump, Republican candidate for president, October 9, 2016.
The most predictable fallout from Sunday night’s gutterdammerung in St. Louis was that the leaders of what we now laughingly call the Republican Establishment would be wrapping themselves in their most eloquent weaselspeak as regards to their party’s standard-bearer. And we were not disappointed.
On Monday morning, Speaker Paul Ryan, the zombie-eyed granny-starver from the state of Wisconsin, led the chorus. Per CNBC:
House Speaker Paul Ryan told fellow Republican lawmakers Monday he will not defend Donald Trump and focus only on holding congressional majorities.
Good lord, he must be looking at internal polling that turns his liver to water.
But, beyond that, what the hell does this mean? It means that Ryan doesn’t have the stones to rescind his endorsement and that he is telling the rest of his caucus to swim away from the wreckage before it sucks them all down into the abyss.
It also means that Ryan still thinks there’s enough energy in the dank regions of The Base to do him and his caucus real damage if he were to rescind formally his endorsement. His loyalty is purely toward his caucus, not toward the country. This was Paul Ryan’s Ecce Homo moment. He did everything except ask for a basin in which to wash his hands. The essential gutlessness of the man always will shine through.
And then there’s Mike Pence, the vice-presidential candidate. All through the 48 hours after the release of the pussy-grabbing tape, Pence was said to be livid—”apoplectic,” was the word bandied about most frequently—at what was on the video.
In the aftermath, Pence, that good Christian man, went on CNN to pronounce himself still a loyal crewman.
It’s every weasel for themselves and there isn’t anywhere near enough room on the ratlines of the listing hulk of the 2016 Republican campaign.