Desperation has set in among Donald Trump’s supporters. In this very paper several months ago I pointed out that if Donald Trump were the nominee, the last month of the campaign would see a flood of stories about his behavior toward women.
Sure enough, in the last seven days we have seen Donald Trump, on a video, saying that because he is famous he can grab women by their genitals. In the same video, he bragged about trying to have a married woman fired after she refused to sleep with him. “But Bill Clinton,” his supporters chimed in.
Then on Sunday night at the debate, Trump specifically denied he had ever sexually assaulted women. On Wednesday, the flood gates opened. Two women came forward in The New York Times. One described how Trump raised the arm rest between them on a plane and began groping her “like an octopus,” she said. Another described how Trump pushed her against the wall and kissed her. “But Hillary Clinton,” replied his supporters.
Another lady came forward to discuss how Trump had forced her into his daughter’s bedroom and assaulted her. A Miss Washington State came forward to describe Trump’s aggressiveness toward her. A lady from Palm Beach came forward who had been groped by Trump. On and on. By the time you actually read this there will be more coming.
Next week is going to bring even more stories and even worse details. Trump’s supporters have said Hillary Clinton is unfit for office because she attacked Bill Clinton’s accusers and tried to suppress their stories to win elections. Now Trump’s supporters are doing exactly that. They have become Hillary Clinton.
Yes, to be sure, the timing of the allegations is suspect. I do not believe these women just suddenly appeared, but that they were known for quite a while. The media just waited to do maximum damage to Trump. Again, though, in March and April of this year, I was writing in this very column that exactly this would happen.
Some Republicans are now stooping to defend Trump’s behavior. It is not enough for them to just say they are voting for Trump. They are trying to dismiss Trump’s behavior as no big deal. Worse, it is members of the “Christian Right” being dismissive of sexual assault. Jerry Falwell Jr., on CNN, said he would continue to support Trump even if Trump had a record of sexual assault.
Hillary Clinton described half of Trump’s supporters as “a basket of deplorables.” She was wrong. But as more and more Republicans dismiss serious allegations of sexual assault in the name of team sport, perhaps we may have to rethink if Clinton was wrong. I do not want Hillary Clinton to be president of the United States, but Republicans who are convinced Bill Clinton is a sexual predator, have decided to keep her out by nominating their own predator for the West Wing. That is simply inexcusable.
To get Trump there, Republicans who once said character must matter now say it is no big deal because Trump is not Clinton. When common decency becomes an issue of partisanship, you have already lost. In fact, Republicans have already lost this race. Donald Trump will not be the next president. The attacks on his decency may not affect committed Republicans, but they affect everyone else. What makes this so much more tragic is that it was all foreseeable. Republicans just chose to ignore it. Now they will pay the price for four more years.
Erick Erickson is a Fox News contributor and radio talk show host in Atlanta.