The vulgarian is at the gate. Flee him now.
Donald Trump should drop out of the race for president. That should go without saying. And every Republican Party leader or elected official who has a shred of self-respect should drop him cold. We question the moral fiber of anyone who does not. There should be no more temporizing, no more denying that Trump’s election would be a shame on our country.
Trump has behaved horribly throughout this presidential race, forcing his apologists to go through contortions to defend him. But after Friday’s revelation of what he said about women 11 years ago — describing sexual assault as a benefit of being a “star” — there can be no more pretending or looking away. If Trump’s campaign is not dead in the water now, there is something wrong not only with him, but with our country.
We might normally consider the kind of crude things Trump said on a hot mic in 2005 to be unsuitable to repeat in a family publication, but it’s necessary to do so this time. There is no other way to convey the full offensiveness.
In three minutes of banter with Billy Bush of “Access Hollywood,” Trump described how he once pursued a married woman and “moved on her like a bitch, but I couldn’t get there.”
And he said: “You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait.”
And he said: “And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything.”
And he said: “Grab them by the p—. You can do anything.”
Late on Friday, hours after the Washington Post reported the “Access Hollywood” recording, Trump released a video in which he offered an insincere and defiant five-year-old boy’s version of an apology. He dismissed the lewd talk as “locker room banter” and quickly pivoted to accusing Hillary and Bill Clinton of saying and doing much worse.
Two questions for our male readers: Have you ever heard another man in a locker room speak so crudely and misogynistically about women? Actually, possibly yes. But would you want such a man to be president of the United States?
Trump has had a “woman problem” forever. He has called them “pigs” and “disgusting” and “stupid.” He has suggested that women who experience workplace sexual harassment should just “look for another place to work.” He interrupted Hillary Clinton 51 times in 90 minutes in the first presidential debate.
He mocked a Miss Universe as “an eating machine.” He said nobody would vote for businesswoman Carly Fiorina for president “because of her face.” He said Fox News personality Megyn Kelly had “blood coming out of her wherever.”
And now, we learn, he believes he has license as a “star” to grope women at will.
There is no redeeming Donald Trump. He is a lost cause. The only question is whether there is redemption for the political party that so irresponsibly put him up for president.
Speaker Paul Ryan doesn’t get it. He said Friday he was “sickened” by Trump’s comments, but he did not withdraw his support. On the contrary, he said this might all be an unfortunate misunderstanding. Trump, he said, should “demonstrate to the country that he has greater respect for women than this clip suggests.”
That would be impossible, and Ryan knows it. Trump does not have greater respect for women than this clip suggests.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell doesn’t get it either. He called Trump’s comments “repugnant” and demanded he apologize to women. But he didn’t even hint that he might back off his endorsement.
Trump is a political goner, or so we hope. The stakes for our nation are so high. The only responsible course for every Republican leader and elected official now is to withdraw their support, or the GOP as a national party will be a goner, too.
Ryan and McConnell would be doing their party a service in the long run — and a service to the nation immediately — by following the example of a growing number of other Republicans, including Rep. Rodney Davis of Illinois and Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah, who have withdraw their endorsements of Trump this weekend.
“I’m out,” Chaffetz told Utah’s Fox 13 News. “I can no longer in good conscience endorse this person for president. It is some of the most abhorrent and offensive comments that you can possibly imagine.”
Once again, Trump is out to slash and burn. That is what he does best. Far from feeling contrite, he is promising to bring it on. “See you at the debate on Sunday,” he said at the end of his empty apology.
Yes, we’ll see him at the debate. The shaming of our country continues.
Follow the Editorial Board on Twitter: @csteditorials
Send letters to firstname.lastname@example.org