Donald Trump
Credit: Evan Guest/Flickr

It looks like the intelligence community is convinced that Russian spooks are trying to undermine confidence in the outcome of our presidential election. Trump and his advisors are unnaturally close to Russian (and Russia-allied) leaders. This would have been a bit of problem in any prior election. Does it matter in this one?

The country’s most famous Klansman, David Duke, says “The fact that Donald Trump’s doing so well, it proves that I’m winning. I am winning.” I was born in 1969. For my entire conscious life, this would have been a major liability for a presidential candidate. Is that still true?

Trump is such a pig that his Rancho Palos Verdes golf club has to take special measures to protect its female employees:

“When Trump did visit, the club’s managers went on alert. They scheduled the young, thin, pretty women on staff to work the clubhouse restaurant — because when Trump saw less-attractive women working at his club, according to court records, he wanted them fired.”

Will Trump’s objectification of women hurt him at the polls the way we’d expect it to?

Politicians usually pay a price for demonstrating risible hypocrisy. For example, Trump keeps pretending not to talk about accusations various women have leveled at Bill Clinton in the past, but (unlike the Clintons) Trump has been divorced twice, and has been accused of rape by his first wife. She later softened that accusation, but it didn’t help matters much when Trump’s lawyer made the following defense:

Michael ­Cohen, special counsel to Trump and an executive vice president at The Trump Organization, went into a tirade — blasting the site via email for targeting “a private individual who never raped anybody.”

“By the very definition, you can’t rape your spouse,” he argued. “It is true. You cannot rape your spouse. And there’s very clear case law.”

I don’t know whether there’s any merit to the civil suit that has been filed “accusing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump of repeatedly raping a 13-year-old girl over 20 years ago at several Upper East Side parties hosted by convicted sex offender and notorious billionaire investor Jeffrey Epstein.” It looks like it was pulled back last week but with the promise that a new witness will be added to the complaint.

It’s true, people can make these terrible allegations without them having even a hint of proof to them. Witnesses can be paid to lie. The Clintons are certainly familiar with this tactic. And if Trump wants to dig up those kinds of unproven and politically motivated stories from the swamps of the 1990s, he’ll discover that people will hear a lot more about the same or similar kinds of allegations against him.

Morally, he has no standing to question anyone else’s marriage, nor criticize anyone for infidelity. It’s insane that he would even try to do these things based on his record of philandering. But he does seem to somehow get away with it, doesn’t he?

I could go on and on providing examples of things that would have sunk any other candidate, but I’ll finish with the revelation that Trump violated the sanctions against Cuba.

“A company controlled by Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for president, secretly conducted business in communist Cuba during Fidel Castro’s presidency despite strict American trade bans that made such undertakings illegal, according to interviews with former Trump executives, internal company records and court filings,” Newsweek reports.

What does Marco Rubio think about that? What does the Cuban-American community think about that?

It’s quite a trick to simultaneously demonstrate pro-communist, pro-Russian disloyalty to the country and get the strongest possible endorsement from the Ku Klux Klan.

Oddly, it seems like the only thing that really hurts him is when he insults regular citizens, whether that’s a disabled reporter or the parents of a fallen solider or a former Miss Universe who he called “Miss Piggy.”

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at