Penned by Ward Baker, executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), it offers a wealth of advice to senate candidates running while Trump competes in the general election. The memo includes everything from sartorial suggestions (“Lose the suit”) to a Trump-inspired shift away from clear policy positions to stories about random voters.
But perhaps the most interesting part is the paragraph on Trump’s relationship with women. Here’s a screenshot:
Is “wacky” really the word to use to describe Donald Trump’s history of comments about women? Let’s review.
— He once called a lawyer “disgusting” for breastfeeding her three-month-old baby.
— On how he gets over media criticism: “You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.”
— On how to act toward women in general: “You have to treat ’em like sh*t.”
— On women’s success in business (specifically on his show, The Apprentice): Trump says it is “to a very large extent, dependent on their sex appeal”…
— …as is their success in journalism: “Like you wouldn’t have your job if you weren’t beautiful.”
— Trumps’s favorite part of the movie Pulp Fiction is when a character tells his girlfriend to shut up by saying, “Bitch, be cool.”
— Per Trump, all women have a “great act” of manipulating men with their bodies.
Women have one of the great acts of all time. The smart ones act very feminine and needy, but inside they are real killers. The person who came up with the expression ‘the weaker sex’ was either very naive or had to be kidding. I have seen women manipulate men with just a twitch of their eye — or perhaps another body part.
— And then there are the insults to specific women: He cast aspersions on Carly Fiorina’s face. He called Rosie O’Donnell an “animal” and said Ariana Huffington was an “unattractive” woman whose husband “made a good decision” to leave her. Bette Midler and Angelina Jolie are not attractive, and Cher is a “loser.”
— In a skeezy turn, Trump has said repeatedly that his daughter, Ivanka, has “the best body,” that she’s wanted by “every guy” in America, and that he’d date her himself if they weren’t related.
— And last but certainly not least, there’s always the Megyn Kelly incident, in which Trump crassly attributed competent journalism to Kelly being on her period. He later called Kelly, who is at the top of network news ratings, a “lightweight” and a “bimbo.”
I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Trump’s comments and overall attitude toward women aren’t “wacky.”
“Wacky” is a word we might use about, say, a television show for children. Barney is wacky. Teletubbies are wacky. SpongeBob is wacky.
Blatant, consistent, creepy sexism is not wacky.
Houston, we do indeed have a problem, but it’s not just Trump. It’s that Republican Party leadership thinks saying your wife (side note: I don’t love the assumption that the candidate is obviously a man) doesn’t like the way Trump talks is good enough as a “quick condemnation” over an issue which apparently isn’t worth a fight.
As long as this is the sort of advice the GOP is getting about how to speak about and relate toward women, I wouldn’t expect Republicans’ trouble appealing to women voters to go away any time soon.