In college football, when a player commits a particularly egregious hit and is ejected from game due to targeting, it is normal for the referee to announce the decision by stating, “Player X has disqualified themselves from the game.”
Donald Trump has disqualified himself from the race for president of the United States of America.
When Rudy Giuliani admits that you are stating you committed sexual assault, when every story about republican leaders who make statements on Trump includes how long they’ve been married and how many daughters they have and how old those daughters are and when there are reports of even more damaging material out there, it is time to step down. You have disqualified yourself.
Of course, to millions of Americans, Trump’s speech announcing that he would run was enough to disqualify him from the race. However, the audio leaked on Friday from a 2005 episode of “Access: Hollywood” was on a whole new level, even for the disgusting Donald Trump. And now, others are reporting instances of Donald sexually assaulting women – instances that come as no surprise to anyone who knows anything about Trump.
These are uncharted waters. Bill Clinton had some ugly stuff happen, of course, but there has never been this kind of brutal audio or video evidence of a would-be-president displaying disgustingly uncouth behavior at best and admitting to criminal action at worst.
Trump is now a radioactive. He has already lost dozens of endorsements and a handful of influential Republicans have called on him to step aside, a truly unprecedented move in American political history. Republicans are bleeding voters – aside from Trump diehards of course, people who would still vote for the con artist even if he “shot someone on 5th Avenue – and might lost demographics they have literally not lost in decades. Consider this: Republicans have not lost in the married woman demographic since the first time William Jefferson Clinton ran for office in 1992. Now, Donald Trump has all but guaranteed that the GOP will lose them this in this election. And, of course, he has all but guaranteed that the GOP will lose the Presidency as well.
They will not only lose the Presidency. The Republicans will also lose the Senate if Trump remains at the top of the ticket in the coming weeks, and perhaps even the House. It is unfair and incredibly damaging to Republicans running for other offices to constantly be bludgeoned by their opponents and the media with Trump comments as well as be asked to defend their presidential (but not presidential) candidate, because his comments are absolutely indefensible. Ignore the objectification of women, the sheer disgustingness of the presentation and the rejoicing in convincing married women to cheat with him, a married man himself, and consider this: Trump is bragging about committing sexual assault. Not only is it disgusting and immoral, but it is also illegal.
Politically, it is impossible to defend Trump and easy to attack anyone affiliated with him, including Republican candidates for other offices. Trump is an anchor dragging the Republican Party down to its grave, where it will rest alongside the Whig Party, the People’s Party, and the Law and Order Party of Rhode Island in the dustbin of history. All for what? So Reince Priebus can have an outsider? So cruelty and ignorance can be a political platform? So the Republicans have an excuse for getting nothing done for another four years? Certainly, if you are a Republican voter looking to win the White House, you cannot claim that ends of a Trump candidacy have justified the means: he will lose an election the GOP should have easily won, and do it in the worst possible way for the party. Just because a plurality of primary voters voted for Trump does not mean he is the incarnation of the will of the people, nor does it mean he’s a good person, nor does it mean he would be a good leader. Many terrible individuals have been elevated in a popular vote, from Robespierre to Hitler to Mugabe.
Mike Pence slipped away from his press pool rather than answer the questions he was going to be asked about his erstwhile partner. I certainly can’t blame him for doing so. Governor Pence looked solid in the VP debate last week and is well-known for being thoughtful, articulate and disciplined; and for being squeaky clean in his personal life; and for staying faithful to his wife of over 30 years. If the Republicans are going to do any winning in this election cycle, they need to break the emergency glass, dump Trump and put Pence at the top of the ticket as soon as possible.
Trump will cost Republicans the Senate. Trump might cost Republicans the House. The only way forward for the Republicans if they are to have any chance of maintaining their control of Congress and winning the White House is to remove Trump from the ticket and install Governor Pence as the party’s nominee. If Trump remains as the nominee, the Republicans have sacrificed this campaign and done nothing except stain their honor, discarded their reputation and destroyed their party.