Yesterday afternoon we talked a little about the congressional race in central Nevada (NV-04) pitting progressive state Senator Ruben Kihuen against freshman sociopath and Trump fanatic Cresent Hardy. Today one thing has changed about Hardy. He's still a freshman and a far right sociopath… but he's suddenly no longer a Trump fanatic. Watching one Mormon after another distance him and herself from Trump, calling on him to resign from the ticket and stating bluntly that they won't vote for him, Hardy realized he'd better jump off the sinking ship as well.
Ruben has one of the more steely-eyed and hair-trigger campaigns in the country and when there's news breaking they are on top of it before most campaigns have switched on CNN. Friday night Ruben was all over Hardy for the Trump comments, even before Trump managed to negotiate with Kellyanne about how apologetic his fake-apology would be. Ruben has been a leader of Nevada Democrats in the state legislature and he understands how to lead and doesn't wait around for orders from on-high. No one at the DCCC had to call him and tell him what to do.
“What Donald Trump said in this footage joking about objectifying and sexually assaulting women is absolutely disgusting,” he released in a press statement. “These comments make me sick to my stomach. The video that emerged today is outrageous, but it also fits into the pattern of demeaning, sexist behavior that Trump has displayed throughout his life and throughout his campaign. Just this week in Las Vegas, Trump said his past comments insulting women were done for the purpose of entertainment.. It is one of many reasons he is unfit to be the President of this great nation. Somehow, Donald Trump has still earned Congressman Cresent Hardy’s '100 percent' support. Hardy says he will do whatever he’s asked to help get this sexist pig elected to the White House. Congressman Hardy’s continued silence and unequivocal support for Trump speaks volumes about why he needs to be defeated in November.”
Every Democrat running against a Trump-backing Republican should have released a similar statement. When Hardy freaked out– not by what Trump said about women– Hardy is a misogynyst himself– but that Trump had been exposed and the media was pounding on it, he did a copy-cat statement of what all the other Mormon elected officials are saying about not being able to vote for Trump. Ruben didn't blink an eye before he was in action again. This time he told North Las Vegas voters that Hardy was “flailing in the political winds; but it’s too late now for him to walk away from his '100 percent' support for Donald Trump. Hardy literally said he would do whatever he’s asked to help get this misogynistic bully elected to the White House. Just last week, Hardy said without skipping a beat that he trusts Trump with the nuclear codes. Frankly, this new video footage shouldn’t have been that surprising. Earlier this week, the cast and crew of Trump’s reality TV show accused him of similar lewd and sexist behavior. That video was part of a lifetime of behavior that already showed Trump was repugnant and unfit for the White House. Before today, Congressman Hardy has accepted every other vile and disqualifying statement that came out of Trump’s mouth. Congressman Hardy was perfectly happy to help elect a President who had called women dogs and fat pigs, said women should be punished for having abortions, demonized Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals, mocked a disabled reporter, smeared a Gold Star family and has openly lifted up the alt-right and white nationalist movements. This politically calculated decision at the eleventh hour isn’t based on Congressman Hardy’s values or principles, it’s just a desperate and self-serving move to rescue his political career. It’s not going to work.”
He pointed to a 1999 interview where Trump was asked what would happen with the women's vote if he ever decided to run for office. “I might do badly,” he admitted. “They know me better than anybody else.” And then, of course, Trump immediately went gratuitously creepy: “Women are much tougher and more calculating than men. I relate better to women. I go out with the most beautiful women in the world. Certain guys tell me they want women of substance, not beautiful models. It just means they can't get beautiful models.'' As author Lindy West noted in her NYTimes Sunday Review OpEd today right-wing like Hardy, who have consisted voted against the Violence Against Women Act “are scrambling, sanctimonious and pathetic, to distance themselves from their own hideous progeny, clearly hoping to salvage some personal credibility and perhaps even save their party.” Most of them, she writes, “are no better than Mr. Trump… just more subtle.”
If you have spent your career brutalizing and dehumanizing women legislatively rather than personally, you are no better. If you were happy to overlook months of violent racism, xenophobia, transphobia and Islamophobia from the Trump campaign, but now you’re mad that he used a bad word and tried to sleep with another man’s wife, you are no better. If you have derided and stigmatized identity politics in an effort to keep the marginalized from organizing, you are no better. If you snicker or say nothing while your fellow men behave like Donald Trump, you are no better.
The truth is that all of you have failed women for generations, and you deserve to lose our votes. Next month we will grab you where it hurts. By your ballots.
Right after the first debate– so even before the latest mess Trump stepped in– Hillary pulled ahead in Nevada. A Suffolk poll on September 29 showed her beating Trump 44.2% to 38.2%. If those statewide numbers hold for Hillary, it's very likely that the blue-leaning 4th district is going to send Ruben Kihuen to Congress.
Another Blue America candidate, Carol Shea-Porter, also running against an extremist and Trump-backing incumbent (Frank Guinta), was ready to pounce as soon as the news on Trump. Unlike Hardy, Guinta is sticking like glut Trump. Shea-Porter's campaign manager, Naomi, sent this out from Manchester yesterday:
After waiting all night to see how Trump’s despicable comments would play-out politically, Frank Guinta released a hollow, non-statement that makes it clear that he is still endorsing and voting for Trump even though many other Republicans are denouncing him. Paul Ryan refused to campaign with Trump. Mike Pence, his running mate, says “I do not condone his remarks and cannot defend them,” jumping off a sinking ship. Even Kelly Ayotte is now refusing to vote for him. Conservative Republicans all across the country, from Jason Chaffetz to Scott Garret to, are pulling their support.
Guinta must do the same and acknowledge that the man he has supported for president, Donald Trump, believes that he is entitled to sexually assault women. Simply calling these comments unacceptable and then moving on like nothing ever happened is precisely what’s stomach-turning about Frank Guinta. Frank Guinta says he wants to have “an honest conversation about the very real problems our state and country face.” But Frank deliberately ignores the issue– people have a very real problem with his nominee thinking that he can verbally and sexually assault women because he’s “a star.”
While many Republican leaders called the video sickening and repugnant, Guinta’s statement included a hard pivot back to his own campaign. This comes as no surprise to those that have watched Frank Guinta over the years.
Frank Guinta will do anything to save his political career, including sticking with Donald Trump. Because Guinta’s response was embarrassingly inadequate, the Shea-Porter Campaign has decided to assist him. Here’s what Guinta should have said: “I find these comments utterly disgusting and repulsive. They are not just unacceptable, but completely disqualifying for public office. Women are not objects that can be groped whenever a star or wealthy individual sees fit. This is sexual assault, and I won’t stand for it or support a man who believes it’s okay. I will not vote for Donald Trump in November.”
Carol Shea-Porter released the following statement in response to Congressman Guinta’s illogical and insulting pivot:
“Frank Guinta’s just brushed off Trump’s disgusting behavior. He must drop his support for the Republican nominee immediately. Trump’s comments were offensive, repulsive, disgusting, and inexcusable. It is very telling that Guinta continues to support, endorse, and vote for a man who feels that his stardom entitles him to sexually assault any women he finds attractive.”
OK? Is that the gamut of how Democrats should handle the latest Trump news cycle? If you'd like to help make sure Kihuen replaces Hardy and Shea-Porter replace Guinta, please consider contributing to their Get Out The Vote efforts by tapping on the thermometer above. These battleground state polls released a couple of hours ago by CBS News, show Trump sinking in states he desperately needs to stay afloat, especially Ohio, where he has been doing well lately. The polls from Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin were all completed before the “pussy” tape hit the headlines, headlines that are very unlikely to mean much to the intolerables– life's losers who hate everything including their own families, God, America and themselves and have such miserable lives that they want to world to end and see Trump as The Way– but normal people and “undecideds” are likely to make up their minds about who the lesser evil is.
“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.” — Sinclair Lewis