This attack would certainly be the linchpin that would cause the Make America Great Again movement to wither and die. The attack that would send Trump himself back into one of his vast towers to never be seen again. The laser-targeted karma bomb that would ensconce an Establishment Republican square where one belonged in the Republican listing for the ballot box. The indisputable evidence that would ensure the victory of the Secretary of the Status Quo and once again enshrine Republicans In Name Only in their comfortable couches doing nothing inside the Beltway.
The attack was simple. Nothing more than a tape of Donald Trump before a cameo appearance on a Soap Opera several years ago saying something rather vulgar and crude. Proof that Donald Trump's character was so thoroughly flawed he was unfit to serve in the Office of the President of the United States.
Within hours the sounds of cheers and popped champagne bottles from within the confines of Liberals and Establishment Republican Domiciles faded. In it's place came the sound of whimpers, glasses crashing into floors and walls, and then ever so faintly the sound of cursing and the gnashing of teeth.
In a move completely unpredicted by any Liberal Politician or Establishment Republican an end run was made around the vaunted news networks. Before even 24 hours had passed, before the sun had even set over parts of the United States, before any focus group could have been convened, before any messages could have crafted with the help of a large public relations staff, before any of the usual steps that would be taken in the face of such a dire emergency, Donald Trump acted. At 11:19pm October 7th 2016 Donald Trump had posted videos available on both his Facebook and Twitter accounts.
By the time 3:17am rolled around on October 8th 2016 Twitter was reporting 16,191 retweets and 32,343 favorites; while Facebook had increased to 2.7 million reported views. In the middle of the night and already the videos had accumulated more unique views than CNN gets on a yearly basis; dominating the social network trending results.
The content of the videos was a simple speech with these opening lines:
Here is my statement.
I’ve never said I’m a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that I’m not. I’ve said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more than a decade-old video are one of them. Anyone who knows me, know these words don’t reflect who I am.
I said it, it was wrong, and I apologize.The day hadn't even ended on the attack and Donald Trump took ownership of the words; expressed remorse; and offered an apology. The very simple steps a Liberal Politician or Establishment Republican would never, or even could never, consider enacting. There was absolutely no effort made in the statement to defend the taped event, hide it, disguise it, or contextualize it. Donald Trump did exactly what any reasonable person would have demanded in such circumstances.
Rather than destroying Donald Trump the attack did nothing more than outrage an already angry voter base. Now a number of politicians who decided to ride the coattails of the attack might be facing their own rapidly diminished career options.
A Doomed Attack
In talking with various people on October 8th I came to an unusual conclusion. For many voters the attack itself was on an already settled issue. Senator Ted Cruz had broached the New York Values issue during the GOP Primary Debates. To many outside voters New York is the city that made no effort to initiate a recall vote on Mayor Deblasio. It was the state that somehow sent Hillary Clinton into political office where she did nothing. It was the state where the Attorney General opened up investigations for purely political reasons with no actual legal cause to support those investigations.
Investors who engage in trading on New York's Wall Street have reputations of very loose couplings between morals, ethics, and business practices. As a New York businessman himself Donald Trump has often been the very caricature of the not-that-attractive rich person who can afford a Trophy Wife. Sanctity of life, marriage, and even traditional family values are not really associated with the Wall Street Business Crowd.
Donald Trump's own potentially loose connections to the values that many under the Republican banners hold dearly was a huge part of the GOP nomination process. The voters decided though that they didn't care about Donald Trump's three marriages. They didn't care about his reputation, real or perceived, as a skirt chaser through the years.
The attack itself then; of quote/unquote "Locker Room Banter" over skirt chasing; wasn't anywhere close to pressing the limits how many voters have viewed Donald Trump over the years. Just to put this in perspective, one of my friends once outright stated that his only issue with Trump is that he wished Trump would stay within 20 years of his (Trump's) own age for a wife.
For a vast majority of the Republican base that had supported Donald Trump from the start; and those who had flocked to the banner afterwards; the attack wasn't addressing anything that had not already been addressed. It was a dead issue.
It wasn't like the attack would be particularly beneficial to dissuading Democrat Defectors either:
Open The Floodgates on Bill
The most catastrophically under planned aspect of the attack on Donald Trump is that the video was only of one incident. That incident took place in the year 2005.
Donald Trump has been a Public Figure since at least the 1970's. Never mind for a moment that the Obama Administration has been trying to discredit Donald Trump since he took issue with Obama's lack of transparency and unwillingness to simply be truthful. Just starting from the first GOP Primary Debate in 2015 it took over a calendar year for somebody, ANYBODY, from any party or campaign to dig up something with Donald Trump saying something totally screwed up... and it was from eleven years ago.
This was not a recent event such as Hillary Clinton's Basket of Deplorables or Basement Dwellers. insults. This wasn't an ongoing re-occurrence such as Bill Clinton's Energizer.
There is no line-up of women on social media filing police reports and attempting to take legal actions because Donald Trump did or said something sexual towards them. There is no overwhelming employment record suggesting Donald Trump has a personal misogynistic streak in his own companies. There is no evidence of such vulgar skirt-chasing talk being more than a contextualized one off incident; if that.
There is, however, a long string of such events with Bill Clinton. There are numerous police reports on file accusing the former president of sexually charged acts. Such charges covering abuse, assault, and even outright rape.
There has been a long litany of attempted legal actions against Bill Clinton over his sexual actions. Legal actions that been countered directly by Hillary Clinton. Victims of Bill Clinton's sexual actions charge Hillary with acts of obstruction of justice and intimidation.
There is an entire universe of difference between something Donald Trump said; and what Bill Clinton actually did. A difference that, should Donald Trump be on his Alpha Level game in the 2nd Presidential Debate; receive the quite the highlight.
The Liberal Politician and Establishment Republican desperately wanted for there to be no debate; as a result of Donald Trump withdrawing from the race; or if there was a debate for it to be entirely about what an awful human being Donald Trump was. Instead all the attack on Donald Trump has done is to give a platform to talk about Bill Clinton's misdeeds and Hillary's Complicity in burying those misdeeds.
Given that the Bill Clinton was sent into the Office of the President of the United States twice; and given that Hillary Clinton finally has her own shot at the office; circumstantial evidence would highly suggest that the average voter for the Party of the Democrats has absolutely zero interest in sexually charged words or actions being a factor in their decision. That circumstantial evidence would then highly suggest that the average Democrat Defector crossing party lines wouldn't be affected by the taped event either.
The Stone is not for Throwing
As the debate looms ever closer and social network feeds start trending over what people expect to see or hear; other thoughts cross my mind. As I think about the attack itself I'm struck by how similar it is to events that would be found in movies from the likes of Jim Carrey, Kevin Smith, Seth Rogen, or Adam Sandler. I find myself wondering just how much of the taped event was Donald Trump being serious; or just simply telling his own version of the very offensive jokes that have defined Raunchy Comedies over the years.
I find myself wondering where the outrage and anger is at the movies and television that continually push the envelopes of decency, morality, and ethics. What made Donald Trump's event so different, or so unusual, that it could possibly justify any publication or person calling for Donald Trump to withdraw from the race?
I don't have an answer for that; because I don't think there is one beyond simple political spite. A call for withdrawal should have only been issued if Donald Trump had openly refused to apologize, ducked an apology, or performed some sort of Hillary Clinton style action to avoid taking any responsibility. Instead of acting appropriately, the Liberal Politicians, Establishment Republicans, and those collected under the NeverTrump banner, have only gotten more bitter; and more aggressive; as the end of their political futures approaches.
Possibly the most damaged out of all of the Republican Figures who took to calling for Trump to withdraw is Carly Fiorina. Carly spent a significant amount of her own presidential campaign trying to convince potential voters that she was not the same person she was in 2005. The person who routinely shows up on lists of Worst CEOS of All Time.
Then, in a single tweet, all of that work got thrown away. Carly might sound like me, might sound like she reads my blog, but jumping on Donald Trump without a proof of pattern or re-occurrence is a mistake her political career might not recover from. The key here is those patterns and points of re-occurrence.
Case in point would be Bill Clinton. According to Colin Powell the former president is still bedding down anything with a pulse that will drop it's panties. The issue of Bill Clinton's sexually charged actions matter because it is still very much a part of the former president's ongoing life.
Then there is the entire issue of Hillary Clinton herself. The single event captured on tape with Donald Trump resulted in no loss of life, no loss of property, and if it weren't for the leak of that tape it would have gone completely unnoticed. By contrast Hillary's behind the scenes actions have caused the direct loss of American Lives, the indirect loss of American Lives, the destruction of personal and private property of American Citizens, the open access of United States national secrets to foreign powers, open maleficence in office, obstruction of justice, interference in a federal investigation, the loss of American jobs, the collapse of American Health Care, and so on and so forth.
The patterns and re-occurrences of Hillary Clinton's constant stream of lies, propaganda, crafted messages, and covert actions paint a very vidid picture of somebody who belongs in a Federal Penitentiary. What Hillary Clinton did in private MATTERS because her actions have had very real negative and destructive effects on American Citizens.
Donald Trump might not be the ideal candidate that every Republican Desires. Donald Trump is, however, the candidate that the party voted for.
The key point now is too look at how Donald Trump handles the challenges thrown his way. Donald Trump did the right thing, the correct thing, the moral and ethical thing, by owning up to the words of his past and issuing an apology. That kind of action is the one that deserves support; not condemnation.
It was the action that requires everybody who understands just what threat Hillary poses to stand up and say: We Need To Elect Donald Trump.