Laura Washington: Don’t let Trump’s enablers get away with it

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Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s attorney and former mayor of New York City. | AP file photo

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They are the masters of enabling.

Some people are trying hard to excuse and enable Donald Trump’s ugly past of misogyny, bigotry and mendacity.

Hundreds of Republican elected officials, religious leaders, military men — and women­­ — have excused and enabled Trump’s behavior for months. In the wake of the release of the heinous “Access Hollywood” tape, they stood by their man.

Take Master Rudy Giuliani.

In the wake of the tape’s release, the Trump campaign dispatched, its staunchest surrogate, to the Sunday morning talk shows to defend his guy.

It wasn’t easy.

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On “This Week” on ABC, Giuliani conceded, that Trump’s remarks about grabbing and kissing women was “sexual assault.”

“Whether it happened or not, I don’t know, and how much exaggeration was involved in that, I don’t know,” he squirmed. “I do know there’s a tendency on the part of some men, at different times to exaggerate things like this.”

He added, “And I think Donald Trump expressed that very, very clearly, that he’s ashamed of himself and he’s embarrassed by what he did.”

Let’s unpack that. Mr. Giuliani, you “don’t know” if Trump is an abuser? You, “America’s mayor,” whose iron hand once ruled New York City? You, the tough-as-nails federal prosecutor, sworn to defend and protect?

Did you ever ask him?

Then there is Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, Trump’s running mate.

The day after the tape was released, Pence issued a statement:

“As a husband and father, I was offended by the words and actions described by Donald Trump in the 11-year-old video released yesterday. I do not condone his remarks and cannot defend them.”

Four days later, Pence appeared at Liberty University to rally evangelicals to his running mate’s cause.

“As Christians we are called to forgive, even as we’ve been forgiven,” he said in the speech.

Pence declared that Trump “literally embodies the spirit of America.”

Therefore, it follows, Christians should also forgive him for calling women pigs, slobs and dogs. We should forgive him for assessing women based on their anatomy and breast size.

And let’s forgive Trump for stereotyping Muslims and Mexican immigrants as criminals, for ridiculing the disabled, for demeaning African Americans.

Let’s forgive. But not forget.

For months, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has mastered the art of denial, dodging a commitment to his party’s presidential nominee.

Last week when Rauner was asked about the tape, he replied, “I condemn in the strongest possible way sexual assault, sexual harassment in any form,” the Associated Press reported.

“I am appalled and disgusted by the statements that have come out recently in the presidential election,” he added.

When pressed on whether he would vote for Trump, Rauner, once again, demurred.

The governor has staked millions of his own money on key legislative races to defeat Illinois Democrats in November. He desperately needs conservative Trump supporters to prevail.

So, let Trump be Trump. Condemn the action, not the man.

They wink and nod at Trump’s “locker room” antics. They excuse, rationalize, spin.

They are the masters. Craven in their political aspirations, so eager to “save” America from its first woman president, they excuse America’s most famous misogynist. They enable predators everywhere.

Are we going to let them get away with it?

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