We already know that pretty much anything Hillary Clinton says or does is apt to cause Donald Trump to turn a brighter shade of orange with anger, but this one’s a doozy. In a climate rife with sexual misconduct allegations, Clinton has noticed the rather sharp party line Donald Trump seems to be drawing in vilifying a Democrat accused of misconduct (Senator Al Franken), while remaining silent about a Republican accused of multiple counts of misconduct (senatorial candidate Roy Moore), and while maintaining, through his intermediates, that the dozen or more women who have accused Trump himself of sexual misconduct are all liars.
According to the New York Times, Hillary Clinton said, “Look at the contrast between Al Franken, accepting responsibility, apologizing, and Roy Moore and Donald Trump who have done neither.” President Trump did not like that statement and took to Twitter to call Hillary Clinton his favorite childish insult, “loser”, not just “loser”, but “the worst (and biggest) loser of all time”:
Crooked Hillary Clinton is the worst (and biggest) loser of all time. She just can’t stop, which is so good for the Republican Party. Hillary, get on with your life and give it another try in three years!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 18, 2017
There is just something wrong with an individual who calls someone who was a former Secretary of State, a Senator, and first lady of the United States a “loser”. Doing so completely ignores the decorum expected of adult conversation, let alone public political discourse. Arrested development seems to be one source of the President’s playground-level insults.
Then Trump in his Tweet tells Hillary to “get on with your life”. Get on with her life? President Trump is actively pushing to get a second special counsel to investigate Clinton’s activities during the Obama administration and her candidacy for last year’s Presidential election. How is a person supposed to get on with their life when you are lodging what appear to be baseless charges at them nearly every day, Mr. President?
When it comes to sexual misconduct, there is that old line about how those who live in glass houses ought not throw stones, but Trump throws stones anyway. There’s the infamous Access Hollywood audio tape in which he bragged to host Billy Bush about grabbing women by their private parts without their consent, indicating his star status let him get away with it. And more than a dozen women have accused Trump of things like fondling their breasts and putting his hand up their skirt. Trump and his intermediaries have called all his accusers liars and have attempted to dismiss the Access Hollywood comments as locker-room talk. Locker room talk? Bragging about sexually assaulting someone is not locker room talk.
Another disturbing aspect of this comes from White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Asked yesterday about the hypocrisy President Trump was displaying on this subject, given the allegations against Trump, according to The Guardian, Sanders said that the difference between allegations of sexual misconduct against Donald Trump and Al Franken was that “Franken has admitted wrongdoing and the president hasn’t”. She went on to suggest that while the charges against Franken need to be investigated, since he admits to them, the ones against the President do not, since he does not admit to them and says they are all lies. That’s a logical hairball if ever there were one. Maybe Sanders did not realize what she was implying, but if you follow that thought through to people charged with crimes, I guess only the ones who admit it need to be investigated – the ones who say “I didn’t do it” should just be let go. That’s clearly not right. Sanders often finds herself in the unenviable position of having to twist logic into knots to defend the President’s words and actions – this time the knot broke.
Here’s the deal. No one wants to find out that a politician who is on their side politically has done something wrong. It is a disappointment to find that Senator Franken apparently groped someone while they were sleeping. Ignoring that would not be right. But there is a distinction in order of magnitude, something we see in the world of criminal charges by the number and degree of those charges. Al Franken has one accuser, and he admits to the charge, so it did happen. Roy Moore has now eight or nine accusers, and the charges include having sex with a 14-year-old girl – that is a greater order of magnitude. It does not make what Franken did okay, it just puts it in perspective. And for our President to ignore the accusations against Republican Moore while Twitter-ranting against Franken (and Clinton) means he thinks this is just politics. It means he does not understand what sexual assault, sexual harassment and sexual misconduct do to the victims – President Trump is a man who has had three wives and has two daughters and he just doesn’t seem to get that. But, then, narcissists are too busying admiring their own reflection to truly see anyone else.