The Republicans are doing all that they can to stop the sinking Trump ship, after a remarkably sexist conversation the candidate had in 2005 leaked and went viral. Republicans can say what they want, but these comments are well beyond any defense.
While running mate Mike Pence at least attempted to take the high-road, admitting that the comments were inexcusable, Trump mouthpiece Sean Hannity defaulted to the “men can’t help themselves” justification, which has plagued women for years. In what has to be the worst man-splaining defense of all time, Hannity is quoted as saying: “King David had 500 concubines for crying out loud,” while on a panel with two women.
While one reacts with nervous laughter, this is not a joking matter. There are clearly two Republican camps here, one that is trying to take a more traditional stance of repentance, but finding themselves stuck—there are no words to explain away what was said. This is especially true because it’s clearly how Trump feels since it’s behavior he’s exhibited his whole life.
His banter is casual and honest, as he details how women are sexual objects for men to take; that he has license to “grab them by the pussy,” just because he is in Hollywood and in a position of power. Needless to say, the title “leader of the free world” entails much more power than hosting a tacky reality show.
Hannity is in the other camp, taking Trump’s comments and trying to downplay them, using the same rhetoric that has resulted in victim-blaming and rape exoneration for years. At a time when women are at a threshold, just weeks away from potentially having the first female president elected, Republican sexism threatens to take down over 100 years of progress in the women’s movement. We cannot let these privileged white men continue to throw the troupe of the blameless man, hostage to his own sexuality, down our throats. It is not excusable. There is nothing that can convince the American public that this is not how Trump actually feels; he is a sexist embarrassment to our nation.
Sean Hannity goes biblical to defend Trump: “King David had 500 concubines for crying out loud” pic.twitter.com/IoKXNFtQ9j
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) October 8, 2016