Tuesday, December 12, 2017


I'm sure you know about this:
President Trump aggressively returned to the issue of sexual harassment on Tuesday, again dismissing his own accusers as fabricators and attacking a female Democratic senator as a “lightweight” who “would do anything” for campaign contributions.

The president’s attacks came in early morning Twitter posts after three of the accusers had come forward on Monday to renew their charges from last year that Mr. Trump had sexually assaulted them before he entered politics, and after the senator, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, had called for him to resign.

Amanda Marcotte has it right:

It's easy to do this if you're gaslighting yourself, as Trump routinely does. This is a guy who now says he hasn't even met the women who are accusing him of sexual misconduct, even though one was a contestant on The Apprentice and he's been photographed with others. He says he thinks the Access Hollywood tape is a fake, even though it clearly isn't; I think he's persuaded himself that he wasn't there and didn't say what he said.

When Trump writes something like this, I think he knows precisely what his words mean. But I think he'll tells himself now that the innuendo wasn't really there. We're the one whose minds are in the gutter -- we want to impute some hidden meaning to him because we're part of the liberal mob that wants to destroy him.

Trump is a monster, but I want to point out that at least one "respectable" Republican thinks he's just responding in kind:
“Historically members of Congress have used mean, crude, over-the-line words to attack sitting presidents, and many presidents try to rise above and not return the fire,” said Ari Fleischer, the White House spokesman for President George W. Bush. “Donald Trump has made a conscious decision to return the fire. That’s his style and I cannot say he’s wrong to do it. It wasn’t my style. It wasn’t President Bush’s style. His instructions were to rise above it.”
Seriously, Ari? You're saying that this is a proportional response? That Trump is responding in kind?

This would be valid if Gillibrand had ever insinuated that Trump sexually services Vladimir Putin in return for business favors or campaign aid. But she's never said anything like that. She's a harsh critic who's called on Trump to resign, but she's kept it high-minded. Yeah, there was that one time when she said "Fuck no" when addressing the question of whether Trump had kept his campaign promises. But Trump's tweet today is on another level entirely.

And while we're on the subject of Ari Fleischer: Yes, President Bush didn't go low, but that was mostly because he had other people, primarily Dick Cheney, to go into the gutter for him. But I imagine Fleischer has forgotten that. Trump isn't the only one who self-gaslights.

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