I can’t imagine it comes as any surprise that Donald Trump said rude, arrogant things eleven years ago. I rather suspect he said rude, arrogant, things last week.
The nice girls are shocked. Appalled. But the nice girls were not exactly Trump’s core support. The establishment Republicans are clutching their pearls and lamenting that, somehow, Trump has hijacked the Republican Party and it really shouldn’t be allowed. The National Review has pretty much collapsed into hysterical tears.
I suspect the whole thing will, having been pumped up ahead of tomorrow’s debate and in the wake of the revelations that Hilly is happy to admit she has policies for public consumption and policies she actually believes in private, be forgotten when the debate performances come in.
At this point Trump goes into the debate as the underdog. His last debate performance was panned, he’s on tape sounding like a reality TV star and his poll numbers are dropping. If he actually loses tomorrow he is likely finished. But the concept of “actually losing” involves really being savaged by Hilly and the moderators. Basically being KO’d. That could happen but it is unlikely.
More likely is that he fights even or wins on points. Winning on points, of course, means that he does not make any fatal errors for the media to pounce on.
The other alternative, and one which would be a surprise, is that Trump pays serious attention and just mauls Hilly. He has plenty of ammunition, the problem last time was his lack of focus. If he hits her on trade, immigration, jobs, Benghazi, lying to Congress, lying to the FBI, destroying evidence and obstructing justice and keeps hitting her he could very easily pull out a win.
The pussy remarks, in many ways, inoculate a lot of voters to Trump’s essential vulgarity. He is not a gentleman by any stretch of the imagination. But they also serve to remind the great American electorate of Hilly’s husband actual acts and her willingness to stand by and defend the sexual brutalism of Bill Clinton.
The electorate which is paying attention will assume that the pussy tape was fed to a willing media by the Clinton camp. It was a low and effective blow. But it essentially frees Trump from any gentlemanly constraints in putting Hilly on the mat. If he can.
The chance Trump has tomorrow is to demonstrate that he really is the tough SOB he has projected himself as. Does he have the capacity to knock Hilly down and then, while she is metaphorically lying on the ground, put the boots in so she simply cannot get back up? A technical knock out is useless in a street fight; you need to put your opponent down so they don’t come back at you.
I am not sure Trump is that tough. And I am not sure he is skilful enough to use the ammunition thirty years of Clinton corruption has put at his disposal. If he isn’t he will lose the debate and, likely, the election. But, the pussy tape gives him the social licence to fight hard and just as dirty as he wants.