I mean, who could have guessed, right? That was just so out of the blue, man!
But there it was, in an audio recording, and a lot of people listened to it and thought, “That’s Donald Trump all right.”
What did you first think when you heard that Trump had once used the phrase, “Grab her by the pussy?” Because here’s what I thought, “Yeah, yeah, I know the guy who hosted ‘The Apprentice’ for, like, 10 years.”
Of course Trump said that. It was never possible to imagine a world in which he could not have said that. Or so I thought, anyway, because in the wake of this reconfirmation of already-widely known facts about Trump’s overflowing sack of indecencies and personality defects, many people ― many Republicans, anyway ― seem very taken aback that the man could have made the kind of remark that he is constantly making.
For example, check this out:
Republicans are “sort of stunned.” Sort of stunned that the guy who began his presidential bid alienating the Latino community ― something that the Republican Party’s own 2012 “GOP autopsy” says over and over again that they needed to stop doing ― was “this dangerous.” I mean, they knew he was “dangerous,” of course. They just thought that he was one of those “manageable threats” to the existence of everything.
Like, an acceptable level of danger.
So, after constantly attacking Latinos, calling for a “total and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the U.S., threatening to undo military alliances, demonstrating a fetish for authoritarianism, a reluctance to disavow white supremacists and anti-Semites and continual misogyny was a totally containable and acceptable amount of “danger,” this latest non-surprise is finally the bridge too far.
While we are here, let us nominate this tweet, from conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, as the most evergreen tweet of all time:
This is something that could have been said at any time over the past two years and it would have been true. After promoting the brash businessman for months, Hewitt has come for his participation medal at last. Congrats, buddy.
Here’s the thing about “withdrawing,” though ― it’s too late for that, you idiot. As The Washington Post’s Philip Bump and David Weigel report:
More than 34,000 Republican voters have already cast their ballots for the 2016 general election according to the U.S. Election Project, 8,000 of them in the battleground state of North Carolina and another 5,000 in Florida. Not all of those ballots were cast for Donald Trump, it’s safe to assume, but it’s more than likely that most of them were. And that, in a nutshell, is why it’s far too late for the Republican Party to dump Donald Trump from their ticket.
“Durrrrrrr, can Donald Trump withdraw?” No. You nimrod. It is October 2016.
What are the rules that Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) is talking about? Bump and Weigel go on to solicit the expertise of Josh Putnam ― America’s all-around master of GOP party rules ― who points out that the aspect that would seem to apply in this instance, Rule 9, only makes allowances for the replacement of a candidate who experiences “death” or “declination” (i.e., an incapacitating illness, but one that leaves the nominee neither dead nor able to decline to run further). What it doesn’t do is allow the party to just jettison a candidate because you finally learned he said the words “Grab her by the pussy.”
Of course, they could always change those rules, yes?
The party could amend the rule to dump Trump, for example, but that would take a majority of the party’s Rules Committee and two-thirds of the entire party. This would be neither fast nor, necessarily, successful. (Putnam on Twitter on Friday night: “There just isn’t enough time.”)
Nooooo, you guys! There isn’t enough time! Oh, curse our luck! If only Trump had revealed his debilitating emotional instability much earlier.
Ah, well. Now, Republicans are waking up a set of brand new realizations about Trump that seemed to have been impossible to previously obtain. And if there is truly nothing to be done about it, that just means it’s time to begin the process of laughter and forgetting.
Oh, Sen. Lindsey Graham, can you name one? Guess! Just guess.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump
Jason Linkins edits “Eat The Press” for The Huffington Post and co-hosts the HuffPost Politics podcast “So, That Happened.” Subscribe here, and listen to the latest episode below.