As noted in a post yesterday, the feigned shock of Republicans over the release of a 2005 tape that caught Donald Trump displaying his true self - additional tapes from Howard Stern shows have also now been released that show the 2005 tape was no aberration - would be laughable but for the fact that it is the moral bankruptcy of today's Republican Party that facilitated Trump's rise in the first place. Any political party that is willing to court religious extremists and white supremacist as its base has, in my view, lost all legitimacy. Hence my resignation from the GOP years ago before the cancer within the GOP had metastasized as evidenced by the nomination of Trump as the party's presidential standard bearer. A column in the Washington Post looks at the hypocrisy of Republicans now acting shocked to learn that Trump is a sexist, racist pig. Here are excerpts:
What is truly shocking is that Donald Trump’s Republican enablers are shocked.
True, Trump’s comments in the 2005 video made public Friday by The Post are shockingly vile, astonishingly disgusting and disgracefully open about the freedom Trump felt (because he was a “star”) to grope and, let’s face it, assault women.
But while the investigative reporters deserve our thanks for fully exposing Trump, no one needed to rely on their work to know who he is. Only political opportunism allowed leading Republicans — from House Speaker Paul D. Ryan to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on down — to pretend that Trump was an acceptable presidential nominee.
Indeed, it should offend and enrage Mexican Americans, African Americans, American Muslims and everyone else Trump has attacked that none of these prior offenses had turned the Republican establishment away.
Birtherism? No problem. The verbal assaults on the Gold Star Khan family? Bad, but not enough to justify rescinding endorsements. Mexicans as “rapists”? This was just “that Mexican thing,” explained Mike Pence. The trashing of a former Miss Universe for gaining weight? We can get by that, too, they decided.
But now there’s audio catching Trump describing women in the most vulgar and obscene language.
Maybe the Republicans who are now oh-so-outraged and are pulling their endorsements have done their political calculations. They figured that they could write off African Americans, Muslims and Latinos, but could not possibly offend all women, too. Perhaps they remembered the things they have said about “family values” and the importance of “character” and realized they just couldn’t roll with this one.
But if they cared about “character” and “family values,” Trump had already made clear that these meant nothing to him.
As for character, the brave and good Republicans of the Never Trump movement have been citing chapter and verse about what a horrific man this is — someone who walked away from his debts, often failed to pay the people who worked for him, demeaned John McCain because he was a prisoner of war, and gleefully gave his opponents belittling nicknames.
Sadly, sickeningly, even those whom Trump had besmirched fell into line.
And what about the devout conservative Christians (Pence, for example) who claimed to care about how people live their lives and then embraced this despicable man? The conservative writer David French put it well Friday evening. “Honestly,” he tweeted, “pro-Trump evangelicals, in future elections don’t try to argue that character matters. Just don’t.”
Even when Ryan was rebuking Trump, he seemed to be looking for an escape hatch. There must be accountability here for an entire party that was complicit in the rise of Donald Trump and tried desperately to pretend that he was fit for our nation’s highest office.
The Never Trump movement tried to block Trump, but its champions were resisted by the GOP hierarchy. Priebus actively pushed back against efforts to derail Trump at the national convention. The supply-siders were bought off with his tax cuts. The congressional leadership just wanted to hold the House and Senate and were willing to prop Trump up to minimize the damage he could cause.
This is the most shameful episode in the history of the party that gave our nation Abraham Lincoln. A steep electoral price must be paid to jolt Republicans into a period of reform, renewal and, yes, repentance.