Writing in the Guardian, former MSNBC reporter Richard Wolffe opines that we’ve reached the tipping point of the 2016 election for president. It’s over, he says, and I agree. There’s no coming back from the events of the past several days.
This is Donald Trump: a man no longer fit for polite company. His name will be torn off walls just as Ailes’ was. Republican candidates up and down the land will be chased to election day with their previous endorsements and quotes praising the groper-in-chief.
Condemning Trump’s words will not be enough to save them. It was just a few days ago that the US senator in New Hampshire, Kelly Ayotte, said “absolutely” when asked if she would tell kids to look up to Trump. She has since said she “misspoke”. But no amount of regret and criticism will erase that foolish misjudgment.
Ayotte’s misjudgment is really shared by an entire party establishment that is now stampeding for the doors. Republican leaders thought they could cutely tiptoe between their Trump-loving base and Trump-disgusted moderates. Just as they have tried to appease the Tea Party, Obama-hating fringe for the last eight years. Now they find themselves consumed by their own compromises.
You know it when you see it. That moment when an election turns decisively. Not a blip, not a gaffe, not a bad few days. But instead the point of no return for candidates and undecided voters alike.
In 2008 you could sense it in the 24-hour period around the first debate: when John McCain suspended his campaign, then revived it, ahead of his big moment on stage with Barack Obama. Erratic was the rap against McCain, and erratic was how he behaved.
Four years later, it came with the 47% video of Mitt Romney talking at a private fundraiser. Out-of-touch elitist was the caricature, and that’s how Romney sounded behind closed doors.
Now we have the grotesque video of Donald Trump bragging: “Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.” With it, Trump showed he is indeed the sum of all the sexist snippets we’ve heard so far.
The basket of deplorables just found their Mr Universe.
There is no point in pretending that Trump can claw his way back from here. He has now confirmed that he disdains women, and many women voters will surely return the favor.
The only question now is whether Republican senators and House members can get out of the way of the dumpster fire that is engulfing the GOP side right now. I’m betting on “no,” but either way it’s going to be fun watching the contortions and dishonesty of a bunch of right wingers who are only upset at what Trump said, not what he thinks. Couldn’t happen to a bigger bunch of hypocrites.