Even though this blog is called Knickertwist, I did not envision commentary that actually centered upon a presidential candidate’s actual handicapping of his odds of getting into various women’s pants. Yet here I am typing such commentary, and in my very first post. Ah, 2016! Good times!
Who ever would have thought that Access Hollywood would launch the October Surprise?
Clearly, Nancy O’Dellgate is a disaster for the candidacy of Donald Trump and for the Republican Party, some voices in which are now calling for that candidacy to end. But however bad this development is for the GOP as a whole, it does serve a handy immediate purpose for what might be termed the Ayotte wing of the party: those profiles in courage who have been twisting themselves in knots since the primaries, trying to achieve distance from Trump without disavowing him. (Of course, there are enough of these pretzels, from House Speaker Paul Ryan on down, to form a new division of Frito-Lay. But no one has contorted more excruciatingly or cravenly than Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, so in my book, it’s her wing.)
What does this latest Ewwww from the Donald do for the Ayottians?
For a good many days now, it has been obvious that Trump is going to lose this election.
Even if Hillary Clinton had not risen from her sickbed to cudgel him senseless with half her brain in the first debate...and even if he hadn’t then proceeded to unspool a string of gaping stupidities `a la body-shaming the Latina ex-beauty queen….Clinton would still have a tremendous advantage in terms of money and organization going into the home stretch, and that alone would have made things very competitive. But she did cudgel. He did unspool. That money and organization are all still there, probably bigger than before…and all of that makes things seem pretty darn decided. If it ain’t over until the fat lady sings, it feels quite safe enough for fat ladies across America to be crowing already.
Here’s the thing, though: Since the first debate, Trump has been going about the business of losing in such an ambient, tsunami-at-the-nuclear-power-plant way as to make his endorsers fear the rising levels of toxicity in their own political blood. Once Hillary had put the 9/11 pneumonia swoon behind her, the distancing-versus-disavowal question had clearly settled itself on the side of disavowal. Yet, up until revelations of Trump’s “locker room banter” with Bush 43’s anchor-cousin Billy, it was hard to see how to go about it.
After all, none of these people could express upset that Trump is a racist, xenophobic, trade-trashing, tax-weaseling, NATO-bashing, Putin-smooching, planet-pissing-on jackass; everybody has known this all along. So how to cut and run?
Enter Access Hollywood, with the final straw: He’s a creepy misogynist into his mic! For all you out there who thought the dog/slob/pig/fat-Machado/Megyn-Kelly’s-menstruation references were just for show, here is proof positive that Donald Trump is really, truly gross about women!
“That’s the deal breaker?” you may well ask. “He wants to ban Muslims, build a wall, and renegotiate our franchise deal with NATO — but being verbally crude about a few females is the unpardonable sin?"
Not, God knows, that I remotely condone that crudeness. I don't even like frat-boy talk from frat boys, let alone harassment giggles from predators. It’s just that for me, a scandal is not a scandal if it exposes nothing new. If Mike Pence were to be heard making such utterances, that would be a shocker. Donald Trump? I, for one, would have felt almost disoriented if he had not duly scrutinized and summarized the gluteal, mammary and vaginal properties of any woman in his vicinity.
This October Surprise is no surprise. But for any Ayotte worth her pretzel-salt , it could be a silver lining.