UNIVERSAL CITY, CA – JULY 9: Businessman Donald Trump (C) and his colleague Carolyn Kepcher (L) talk with Access Hollywood reporter Tony Potts (R) on the first stop of the 16 city ‘The Apprentice’ Recruiting Tour on July 9, 2004 at Universal Studios Hollywood in Universal City, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images)
On Friday, David Fahrenthold of the Washington Post gained a copy of a 2005 Access Hollywood recording of Donald Trump bragging about his ability to “grab [women] by the p***y”, among other things. The tape’s authenticity has been confirmed by Mr. Trump, and has led to the most significant denunciations yet from leading Republicans. Why has it taken this long for those denunciations to emerge? The answer is simple.
“This was locker-room banter,” said Donald Trump when confronted with the audio in the Post tapes. “Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course—not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended.”
Republicans finally offended by Trump
But Republicans were offended. House Speaker Paul Ryan said he was “sickened by what I heard today,” and disinvited Trump from an event the two were supposed to jointly attend in Ryan’s congressional district. Ryan has endorsed Trump.
Reince Priebus, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, said, “No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner. Ever.” Priebus has not only endorsed Trump; he routinely attacks conservative Trump opponents as “basically voting for Hillary Clinton.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell captured it best, when he said, “As the father of three daughters, I strongly believe that Trump needs to apologize directly to women and girls everywhere and take full responsibility for the utter lack of respect for women shown in his comments on that tape.”
To GOP elites, harassing white women is far worse than ethnic prejudice
Remember, Trump is a guy who was once sued by the Nixon White House for pretending that his rental properties had no vacancies when blacks applied to lease them. He has argued that a judge should be dismissed from a case involving Trump because the judge, born in Indiana, was “of Mexican heritage.” He has called for a temporary ban on all Muslims entering the United States, and attacked the Muslim parents of U.S. Army Capt. Humayun Khan, who was killed in Iraq.
None of this was enough to prevent nearly all leading GOP lawmakers from endorsing Trump as their nominee. But the latest tape just might. Why?
Because few Republican lawmakers have Muslim relatives. Few Republican lawmakers are of Mexican heritage. Few Republican lawmakers have faced discrimination based on the color of their skin.
But all of them have white female relatives. And therefore, when Trump talks about grabbing white women by the genitals, they can directly relate.
.@DanFosterType Other way around. Prejudice vs minorities more acceptable to GOP than harassing white women.
If you want to understand why Republicans keep losing the minority vote, it’s quite simple. Most Republicans are outraged by prejudice that is directed at people that look like them or their families. But most Republicans are indifferent to discrimination that is directed toward people who don’t look like them. The most consequential example of this is Barry Goldwater’s defense of the prerogatives of southern states during segregation.
There’s one ironic twist to Trump’s racial prejudice: he doesn’t have a record of sexually harassing black women, because, according to at least one accuser, he has an aversion to them.
That’ll be a footnote in most stories about Trump’s loutishness. But it’s a telling one.