Trump’s initial, typically off-the-cuff, dismissive non-apology-apology for the leaked tape of him talking exactly like the piggish narcissist he is was not sufficient to stem his latest self-made campaign crisis. Then he wrote:
“This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course – not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended.”
CUT! I’m sorry, Don, that didn’t come off right….not sincere enough. Can we try it another way? Great!
So Trump got serious, and shot the video above. In case you, like me, got nauseous half-way through, this is what he said:
I’ve never said I’m a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that I’m not. I’ve said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more than a decade-old video are one of them. Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize. I’ve traveled the country talking about change for America, but my travels have also changed me. I’ve spent time with grieving mothers who’ve lost their children, laid-off workers whose jobs have gone to other countries, and people from all walks of life who just want a better future. I have gotten to know the great people of our country, and I’ve been humbled by the faith they’ve placed in me. I pledge to be a better man tomorrow and will never, ever let you down. Let’s be honest — we’re living in the real world. This is nothing more than a distraction from the important issues we’re facing today. We are losing our jobs, we’re less safe than we were eight years ago, and Washington is totally broken. Hillary Clinton and her kind have run our country into the ground. I’ve said some foolish things, but there’s a big difference between the words and actions of other people. Bill Clinton has actually abused women, and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed and intimidated his victims. We will discuss this more in the coming days. See you at the debate on Sunday.
Anyone, and I mean anyone, who sees the video or reads those words and concludes, “OK, he apologized. He’s still got my vote!” has proven my point made a week ago, here. Such an individual is too deficient in critical thinking skills to be anything but an impediment to democracy.
What’s the matter with the second apology? Let’s see..how about “Everything”?
1. It begins with a rationalization, in fact one that I hadn’t added to the list yet. Since Trump reasons only in rationalizations, not knowing what ethics are or believing they are worth learning about, it is appropriate that he have one named after him, as this one will be. “I never said I was perfect” is a sub-rationalization to #19. The Perfection Diversion: “Nobody’s Perfect!” or “Everybody makes mistakes!” with a clever twist. The theory of Donald’s Dodge is that as long as one never said he was above a particular kind of misconduct, he shouldn’t be judged as harshly for engaging in it. Like so much that Trumps says, this is both stupid and seductive to those who are sufficiently unethical themselves.
2. Trump is certainly right that he has never pretended to be someone he is not, and consequently, as I noted in the last post, those who profess to be gobsmacked by his misogyny now are either posturing or dumb as bricks. But being honest about oneself is a pretty wan virtue when the self one is always displaying is a disgusting one, as in Trump’s case.
3. Sure he regrets those words: they are causing him trouble. Did he regret those words for a nanosecond prior to yesterday? Of course not. Has he said essentially the same thing many times since? Sure; does anyone doubt it? Does he regret those words? No: they weren’t recorded.
4. “Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am.”
It’s Pazuzu! Trump was possessed! Don’t you just hate it when you talk for several minutes and it isn’t the real you talking? This is a leading nominee for the most dishonest statement of the year. First, I guarantee that anyone who knows Trump knows those words reflect with uncanny accuracy who he is. Second, Trump knows they reflect who he is. Third, he said in the previous sentence that “he has never pretended to be someone he is not.”
If so, what was he doing on the tape? He says now that he was talking like someone he wasn’t. Three distinct lies in just 12 words! I doubt that even Hillary can match that.
5. “I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize.”
Wait: wrong about what? Wrong about the fact that he can engage in assaultive conduct and women let him get away with it? Wrong to say it when it isn’t true? Wrong to say it because it is true? Wrong to say it with a microphone near? Wrong to use the words fuck, tits and pussy while saying it? Wrong to say it when he might be running for President some day? If we don’t know what he thinks is “wrong,” we don’t know what he is apologizing for.
I doubt he knows. He’s using the magic word “apology” to make it all go away.
6. “My travels have also changed me.”
“I’ve changed” is the classic fall-back of the philandering husband, the abusive spouse, the crooked politician and the con artist. Trump is 70. He hasn’t changed and isn’t going to change, but he thinks his supporters are so dumb they’ll believe him. (He must have changed fast, because he was attacking a former Miss USA just a week ago.)
7. “I have gotten to know the great people of our country, and I’ve been humbled by the faith they’ve placed in me.” Hey, Trump found a cure for narcissism: run for President! What canned baloney that one is. Narcissists are never “humbled.” It’s not a concept they are capable of grasping.
8. “I pledge to be a better man tomorrow…”
- “…I won’t be so stupid as to say stuff like that on tape again.”
- “…and then go right back to being the same jerk the day after that.”
- “…but not very much better.”
- “…which is what they call a low bar.'”
- “...just like I pledged to build a wall.”
9. “…and will never, ever let you down.”
The Trump Variation: “Fool you once, shame on you; Fool you 6, 349 times, hey, I won’t do it again, I promise.”
10. “Let’s be honest — we’re living in the real world.”
Translation: “Forget everything I just said. Every guy I know talks like that. People getting their panties in a bunch are just pussies and politically correct cry-babies.”
11. “This is nothing more than a distraction from the important issues we’re facing today. “
Translation: “Forget everything I just said. This is bullshit.”
12. “I’ve said some foolish things..”
Oh, is that all the uproar is about, because the comments were “foolish”? Your tax scheme is foolish. The wall nonsense is foolish. Saying you will deport 11 millions illegals is foolish. Not preparing for debates is foolish. Picking an army of ignorant, blabbering fools as your surrogates on TV is foolish.
The comments to Billy Bush, however, were rude, lewd, sexist and misogynist.
13. ” …but there’s a big difference between the words and actions of other people.”
Two more rationalizations: #2. Ethics Estoppel, or “They’re Just as Bad” and #22, The Comparative Virtue Excuse: “There are worse things.”
14. “Bill Clinton has actually abused women, and Hillary has bullied, attacked, shamed and intimidated his victims.”
You don’t point fingers and accuse others in a genuine apology, because nobody else is responsible for what you are apologizing for.
15. “We will discuss this more in the coming days. See you at the debate on Sunday.”
Translation: “I’m going to skewer that bitch!”