Today the headlines are filled with outrage that Donald Trump threatened to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate and then jail Secretary Clinton if he is elected. That is an abomination. But it was not the most reprehensible and disgusting thing he did last night.
It is getting harder to describe reprehensible and disgusting. They have become so overused that they are losing their abhorrent meaning. Donald Trump has accomplished so many truly loathsome acts that my thesaurus is running out of words.
Watching him menacingly hulk over her, following her around the stage, invading her personal space in what women know is an attempt at dominance, scowling at her like an angry troll. Taking pot shots filled with lies and bluster. Pacing like a caged animal trying to stalk its prey. Glowering and pouting and sniffing and snorting and whining “she got 23 seconds more than me” while he talked over her like an ill-mannered 4th grader was all revolting. They are; however, what we have all learned is just “normal” “Donald being Donald.”
The media is fixated on what they think they can get the most mileage out of. They are certainly not listening to women unless their body parts are described with vulgarity. They are certainly not concerned with sexism and victim shaming unless it involves a beauty queen or an E-Entertainment star or a soap opera rep escorting “locker room” boys from a big bus.
Last night, Donald Trump brought some women to that debate. Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, Juanita Broaddrick and Kathy Shelton. He held a press conference before the debate so they could say bad things about Bill Clinton…oh and claim Hillary was not “nice” to them… and then seated them in a front row on display for Hillary Clinton. I know, we all saw that. But how many of you SAW that.
So who were these women? Paula Jones was discredited and her lawsuit dismissed. Wait, she got money you say. What she got was a settlement to end an appeal. Her case never went to trial. After 8 years of claims, it was dismissed…on summary judgment.
Now for those of you who are not lawyers, summary judgment is a huge tool of lawyers. It says…look, we have reviewed the evidence, held depositions, filed motions, gone to pre-trial conferences and done a lot of lawyer things to develop our case. If there are ‘no triable issues of fact’ or no remedy available, then you ask the judge to put an end to the litigation and stop the case. A judge then reviews everything that each lawyer submits to prove their case and decides to either let the case go to trial or dismiss it because there is nothing there. The court dismissed the case. Jones filed an appeal. That is a very expensive, long, drawn out process where the best possible outcome for Jones would be to send the whole thing to go back to the court in order to continue the lawyering process that might eventually lead to a trial. Rather than do all that, Clinton settled and moved on. Jones got rhinoplasty, semi-nude photos taken of her in 1987 were published in a Penthouse spread and she later did a nude spread in Penthouse complaining about the taxes.
Kathy Shelton came out recently to Trump’s buddy Steve Bannon and told a horrible story of being raped as as 12 year old girl. Hillary Clinton was the court-appointed public defender for the rapist. (That means she was ordered by a judge to represent the rapist). Shelton has garnered sympathy for that awful tragedy claiming Clinton helped her rapist “get away with it.” That is false. It is true that Thomas Alfred Taylor was not tried for the rape. However, he was sent to prison for it. Clinton negotiated a plea bargain in which he received a reduced sentence for his guilty plea. I know. It is shocking that an attorney has to represent their client to the best of their ability, no matter how repugnant. Just ask Trump’s lawyers.
Kathleen Willey accused Bill Clinton of sexually groping her in 1993. After investigation, the US Office of Independent Counsel found that she had given false information to the FBI during the investigation, then lied about it when confronted, and changed her story regarding “material aspects of the case” when statements in her deposition testimony differed from her Grand Jury testimony. The US Office of Independent Counsel agreed not to prosecute her if she agreed to tell the truth. A friend of hers reportedly filed an affidavit claiming Willey tried to get her to lie to investigators in order to implicate Clinton. But Hillary wasn’t “nice” to her.
The last was Juanita Broaddrick. She claimed Bill Clinton raped her in 1978 while she was having an extramarital affair with her future 2nd husband. She did not report any claims for rape until just before Clinton announced his run for the Presidency in 1992. She later filed an affidavit stating it never happened. Then she changed her mind during the impeachment. Then she changed her mind after the impeachment. Then she said nothing until Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy in 2008 but she refused to talk to the media. Then she said nothing until Hillary Clinton became the Democratic nominee for President. This was after Broaddrick came out as a staunch supporter of Donald Trump.
Her case is far more complicated because it allegedly happened nearly 40 years ago. As a victim of rape, during the 1970’s I know that times have changed. However, I also never changed my story. I never signed a legal affidavit swearing that it didn’t happen. Claiming that Hillary Clinton’s husband raped her, if true, would be a bad thing for Bill Clinton. But she wasn’t’ there for Bill. She was there to humiliate Hillary. She was there to support her chosen candidate, Trump. She was there for headlines.
The true story here is not that these women have all been in the media asserting claims that Bill Clinton did or did not do things decades ago. But these women did not travel hundred of miles to confront Bill. These women were there to shame another woman. These women were brought to a Presidential debate. A PRESIDENTIAL TOWN HALL meeting, where our children are given homework assignments to watch and report on in class the next day.
These women were brought and placed in a seat of honor. A seat higher than Donald Trump held his own children and his wife. Donald Trump’s children and his wife were placed behind these women. They were placed second. These women were placed on the same row as Chelsea Clinton so that they could humiliate a former President and his child in front of that child’s mother. They were placed so that every time the camera panned onto Melania Trump, her stricken face was burned into our collective conscience.
They were showcased so that every time Hillary Clinton looked up in that small room they were the faces she would see. They were put there to shame Bill’s wife. They were put there to shame a Presidential candidate for unproven, unsupported, largely disproved allegations from more than 20 years ago. They were put there to victimize a victim by a man incapable of apologizing for his many transgressions. They were put there because Donald Trump thought that the correct response to referring to a woman’s genitals and bragging about his ritual sexual assault on women was to shame another man’s wife in the presence of his own. They were brought there by a leader of the Republican party that has attempted to shame Hillary Clinton for decades.
As I said in my article yesterday, Donald Trump is EXACTLY the face of the Republican Party. Mike Pence was proud of him. Mike Pence, that Christian-first man that preaches that a marriage between a man and a woman means for better or worse, was proud of his running mate for shaming a woman who stood by her vows, stood by her marriage, stood by her husband for more than 25 years of Republican’s visceral and dripping hatred of all things Clinton. He was proud of Donald Trump for degrading and embarrassing and victimizing the spouse.
Hillary is a far better woman that i am. She said “when they go low, we go high.” The problem is, there is never a bottom to their low.
The story in the media is that Trump threatened to put Clinton in jail. It should be that Trump is so low, so debauched, so craven, that he dragged our country into a filthy gutter that he dug and filled with 20 year old smut just so he could try to take focus away from lecherous descriptions of what he claimed he can do to women because he is a ‘star’.
He did that to someone’s mother. To someone’s grandmother. To someone’s daughter. He did that to a former President and a future President in front of God and a nation. Republicans stopped jumping ship to stand with Trump since “he did such a good job” at the debate. And Mike Pence was proud to stand with him….
That…my journalistic friends…is the real story.
— Mike Pence (@mike_pence) October 10, 2016
Original posted in ValientDragon blog and on DailyKos.