You've undoubtedly heard by now that in 2005, while cruising on an “Access Hollywood” TV show bus with the former host of the show, Donald Trump congratulated himself for sexually assaulting a woman. “When you’re a star, you can do anything,” Trump said. “Grab them by the pussy.”
Trump then talked about his effort to sleep with a married woman, several months after he had married his third wife. “I moved on her, and I failed," he said. "I’ll admit it. I did try and fuck her. She was married."
The comments, which should come as no surprise to anyone who's been paying attention to Trump since he launched his presidential campaign more than a year ago, have generated a firestorm of outrage, even among many Republicans who had previously supported Trump.
Most significantly, Mike Pence, the Indiana Governor and Trump's vice presidential running mate and would be Defender-In-Chief, surprisingly joined the chorus.
"As a husband and father, I was offended by the words and actions described by Donald Trump in the eleven-year-old video released yesterday," said Pence. "I do not condone his remarks and cannot defend them. I am grateful that he has expressed remorse and apologized to the American people. We pray for his family and look forward to the opportunity he has to show what is in his heart when he goes before the nation tomorrow night."
Pence later forgot he was a father and husband when he said that if Trump is elected next month, "we'll have a president who respects all of the American people." He added that this election is "about maintaining the highest level of integrity in the highest office of the land," and called Trump a "winner" and a man "who never backs down."
So, Pence thinks a man who boasts about sexual assault is a man of integrity and a winner. What is most revealing and troubling about Pence's remarks, though, is the fact that he was evidently not offended by anything else Trump has said during this presidential campaign, the ugliest in my lifetime.
Here's just a small collection of things Trump evidently can say and do without his smooth, even-keeled apologist from Indiana being offended:
* He can call immigrants rapists and insist that Mexico is sending them here.
* He can say that veterans who have Post-Traumatic Stress (PTSD) aren't "strong."
* He can talk about how bad it is that we are shipping so many of our manufacturing jobs overseas but quietly get almost all of his company's products manufactured overseas.
* He can insult women over and over and over and over with sexist, mean-spirited remarks and call them pigs.
* He can comment on former presidential candidate Carly Fiorina's looks and say during a primary debate, 'Look at that face! Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!'"
* He can refer to Fox News host Megyn Kelly's menstrual cycle.
* He can subject a Latina Miss Universe winner to degrading comments about her weight and her heritage and force her to do a workout video in front of the media with a lecherous-faced Trump looking on.
* He can encourage followers to beat the hell out of innocent protestors at our rallies and say he would pay for the thugs' legal costs.
* He can have no clue how the world works and call for the US to not support our NATO allies.
* He can embrace a ruthless dictator like Vladimir Putin, say Putin is a better leader than Barack Obama, and encourage Putin to hack into one of our two great American political parties.
* He can say he doesn't care if Saudi Arabia or countless other countries get nuclear weapons.
* He can lie about almost every aspect of his life and business career and expect the American public to believe it.
* He can boast about never paying taxes and how that makes him smart and call for huge tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans while out of the other end of his mouth say how much he wants to support the country's middle class.
* He can get multiple deferments so he doesn't have to serve our country by paying a doctor to lie about a bogus foot injury.
* He can insult an American war hero like John McCain, who spent years in a prisoner of war camp, by stating he is not a hero at all because he got caught.
* He can crow about his corporate acumen when in fact he is a repeatedly failed businessman whose companies have declared bankruptcy six times and whose rich father bailed him out multiple times.