Trump Tapes Reveal GOP Is Unserious

Republicans rarely miss an opportunity to major in minors. No matter is too trivial to devote  the entire attention of the Republican Party. Remember, this is the party that brought the government to a virtual standstill over Elian Gonzales and Terry Schiavo but has been unable  to muster the courage to pass a budget, defund Obama’s illegal executive orders, or impeach IRS Commissioner John Koskinen who used his role as head of the most powerful, most feared arm of the federal government to harass and intimidate political opponents of the Obama administration.

Symbolism is always easier than substance. And Donald Trump’s comments about the women he tried to have sex with caught on a hot mic offered the GOP’s prissy moralizers yet another opening to leap on top of a soap box.

It didn’t take long for the knives to come out, but it was mostly from the expected quarters of vanquished foes and yesterday’s men hoping for another moment in the sun. In other news, Bush, Romney, Ryan, and company had no comment on John Podesta’s leaked emails.


Was Trump lewd and crude? Yes. Would I do it? No. But I’m also aware that it’s pretty standard fare among both men and women these days. That’s no excuse, of course, but these recordings reveal exactly nothing that we all didn’t already know about Donald Trump.

And Trump’s lewd and crude comments 11 years ago do not diminish the dangers of a Clinton election in 30 days. Trump might have venal appetites, but the Clintons are lawless—and have venal appetites to boot. It’s no contest.

Still, that doesn’t stop the feckless prigs in the Republican Party from rushing to Twitter or the nearest MSM reporter to denounce Trump and let everyone know they are appalled to find out that he likes the ladies. Mitt Romney tweeted: “Hitting on married women? Condoning assault? Such vile degradations demean our wives and daughters and corrupt America’s face to the world.” You might be excused if you thought he was talking about Bill Clinton. Of course a big difference between Trump and potential First Husband Bill is that when women turn down his sexual advances, he takes no for an answer. Trump tries seduction, Clinton uses force: it’s an apt analogy for this election.

But for some reason Republican leaders still can’t distinguish between the personal and the political—and not just that but between relatively petty personal vice compared with massive public corruption. At least not when it comes to Donald Trump. They’re pretty forgiving when it comes to Democrats. JFK had multiple affairs in the White House. Martin Luther King, Jr. was an adulterer too but today he is honored with a national holiday on the premise that his public service outweighed his private vice. And then there’s Bill Clinton. He’s one of those guys who doesn’t take no for an answer. Just ask Juanita Broaddrick or Richard Epstein. But that doesn’t bother Republican pols who can’t wait to knock one of their own on the head.

Trump did what, let’s face it, a lot of rich (and not so rich) guys do: he indulged his taste for the ladies. And it’s not confined to men. These trysts do require a partner, remember. Again, that’s no defense of the behavior, but it also shouldn’t be news that we live in a time of sexual license.

When we’re talking about the future of the republic should not our statesmen (and I use the term very loosely) be able to see what is better for the country?

This election still comes down to three things: Who will control immigration, advance a common sense trade policy that benefits all Americans, and promote an interests based foreign policy? And the fourth issue that become increasingly important during the campaign is law and order. Who will back police and support a return to order on the streets?

But Republicans, keener to take down Trump than they ever have been on opposing Obama or Clinton, are hyperventilating over the Trump tape. If you’re being rushed into the operating room for an emergency bypass operation do you screen surgeons based on personal piety or skill in cardiac surgery? If you’re a Republican pol I’d guess it’s the former. But that’s not a very good policy if you want to live.

Too many conservatives have foolishly invested the presidency with a moral importance it should not have and have allowed their idea of the office to outgrow the capabilities of fallen man. It’s based on a misunderstanding or a perversion of republican government. The president is a not a prophet, a priest, or a king, but an executive with powers delegated from the people and even then just one of three coequal branches. Inflated expectations are bound to meet disappointment. This fundamental misunderstanding of republican government is the result of a worrying lack of understanding of basic human nature.

Still their lack of interest in the Clintons’ corruption—or even in Bill’s sexual assaults—is telling. Compared to Trump’s poor adherence to the 7th and 10th commandments (adultery and coveting)—serious personal failings to be sure—we have Hillary Clinton’s 40 years of public corruption. A partial list includes her involvement in the Whitewater land fraud; the White House Travel Office scandal; the murder of four Americans in Benghazi and her subsequent lies to their families; her multiple illegal email servers that exposed American national security secrets to foreign powers’; her illegal destruction of 33,000 emails; and her selling of influence to both domestic and foreign agents while at the State Department.

Whose scandals are more pertinent to the presidency?

Politics is serious business. The fate of the country and all of her citizens is on the line. Hillary Clinton is easily the most corrupt person ever to seek the presidency and all Jeb “Please Clap” Bush can do is tweet something treacly about having two “precious granddaughters.” Ineffectual congressman Jason Chaffetz warbled some saccharine platitudes about looking his daughter in the eye before turning on Trump.

This election remains a binary choice. It’s Trump or Clinton. (Sorry Gary Johnson fans.) The actions of Bush and Chaffetz and people like them make clear they prefer Clinton, despite the fact that she has repeatedly endangered national security in order to enrich herself and her family. But for some reason, the most important thing on these Republicans’ minds is Donald Trump’s bawdy talk from 2005. It’s weak and unserious.

This is not a defense of what Trump said or did. It’s an argument for a sense of proportion. For many Republican leaders the Trump tape is disqualifying but Benghazi isn’t, pay to play at the State Department isn’t, selling weapons to ISIS isn’t, harassing Bill’s victims isn’t, compromising national security isn’t. Do whatever you want to the country, just don’t talk dirty!

To save their virginal ears they would inflict on the country a gangster and a kleptocrat. The moralizing and fussiness of the Right is embarrassing. For all their complaints about Donald Trump’s shortcomings they prove time and time again that they are unserious and fundamentally unfit to lead.

About Chris Buskirk

Chris is publisher and editor of American Greatness and the host of The Chris Buskirk Show. He was a Publius Fellow at the Claremont Institute and received a fellowship from the Earhart Foundation. Chris is a serial entrepreneur who has built and sold businesses in financial services and digital marketing. He is a frequent guest on NPR's "Morning Edition." His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, The Hill, and elsewhere. Follow him on Twitter at @TheChrisBuskirk

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39 responses to “Trump Tapes Reveal GOP Is Unserious”

  1. What were Alcibiades’ youthful indiscretions compared to the corruption and un-spiritedness of the Athenian government?! So un-serious. Sad!

  2. I recall Ben Franklin had quite the appetite for the ladies. Washington and Jefferson were known to indulge outside of their marriage as well. None of these behaviors harmed the republic, rather these men created the republic. Given that we have been taught by our betters, Manhattan Privilege and Manhattan Media, that any fornication of any sort is to be celebrated, why are they now pretending to be church ladies sucking their teeth?

    I could care less if Trump likes the ladies. Personally, I would prefer a man that satisfies his appetites directly than be subject to one who rapes his country for the benefit of Mexico, Korea and China and then pretends to be moral and upstanding.

  3. Yes, True Conservatism, Inc., is profoundly unserious. There is more condemnation on National Review today of Trump’s remarks than there ever was of Obama’s blatantly illegal and un-/post-constitutional behavior. If Trump doesn’t win the republic is finished, but either way it is good to see the Republican circus poodles dutifully jumping through fiery hoops on command to the bitter end. They were consistent there, at least.

  4. Ocam’s Razor suggests that the reason why the GOP leadership/conservative intelligentsia feigns outrage over Trump saying “tits” and “pussy” in a private conversion while yawning with indifference in the face of Clinton’s self-proclaimed open borders globalism is that they approve of Clinton’s position.

    But since the majority of Republicans and conservatives vehemently oppose Clinton’s political views, these Republican/conservative “leaders” can’t come out and state what’s really on their mind. So we’re treated to these endless attacks on Trump’s “temperament” and “personality” instead.

    • Yep. If they are delusional enough to believe audio of Trump saying “pussy” and “tits” will sink him, they are delusional enough to believe no one has caught onto them.

  5. What is this, like the 50th time the #nevertrumpers have tried to take Trump down?

    Of course, this time they think it will have a different outcome.

    Donald Trump is a Double Barreled Stud and I respect that.

    • I can just hear them now if this time they succeed and it results in Killary winning:

      “Gosh fellas, it wasn’t our fault!! We’re just a bunch a weaklings who write for magazines nobody reads! Now come on and let’s get John Kasich elected in 2020!”

      Buncha cowards…

    • I have begun to wonder if Trump released this now knowing the Dems were going to release a week before the election. By doing so, he can now use it against Hillary during the debates and remind all of America that he does talk salty 20th the guys but doesn’t rape women while Akasa State Polic r guard the hotel room’s door.

  6. You seem to forget that Republicans pretend to be the party of religion, family values, morality, when they’re not pretending to be fiscally responsible. Hypocrisy is oh so relevant to leadership choices.

    • Right. So let us all vote for the Democrat, which makes no effort whatever to stand for such principles, fiscal responsibility, national defense, and indeed is made up entirely of fools, liars, and traitors. All to avoid that cardinal sin of hypocrisy…. bbooooo…sssssss…..

      • Nope. Vote for Gary Johnson and stop rationalizing the deplorables.

      • Well, since I already know you don’t favor national defense, it should come as no surprise that you would support a Trojan Libertarian. Smoke if you got ’em.

        Oh, and BTW, “deplorable” is now a badge of honor. Do try to keep up.

      • 1. I absolutely favor a national DEFENSE, but that is not what we have, we have a world police force that wastes $100B-$200B each year and invasive, ineffective, destructive and wholly unconstitutional nazi agencies in the CIA, DEA, ATF, ICE, Border Patrol, DHS and others.

      • No, you don’t favor national defense. You’ve made that perfectly clear dozens of times to many other thread contributors. If you want borders open, you don’t care at all about national defense. You can bitch all you want about wars, but it’s as simple as that. If your border is open you are not defended and you no longer have a sovereign nation.

      • Please try to argue without the ridiculous strawman. I love our military. They should be in the US.

      • Also, the US isn’t a “sovereign nation”. It is a Federal Republic consisting of member States. Learn about America, dummy.

      • Nice try. With absolute freedom of movement among the several states, and a dangerous world outside, the rest of the world must be presented with a unified nation. But you don’t actually believe in borders, so I’m wasting words on you again.

        But don’t worry. It’s your party — i.e., Democrat — that turned states into mere administrative districts.

      • Oh I believe in borders. For government. Why do terrorists want to kill us? Because of a) free trade? Or b) our government?

        More of a disease isn’t the cure for disease.

      • Finally, you make a point! Not a complete one, not a very good one, but you’ve made one. +1 for you. Now, if only the basis for your entire worldview wasn’t based in Fantasy Land.

      • And as always, Naturalization has absolutely nothing to do with immigration. If you really are worried about it, write an Amendment Bill and get it passed. Otherwise, the Feds have no business coming into a State to evict its residents, or setting up a military/police force or wall on the State’s border.

      • Idiocy. Rank idiocy. You’ll note we also have one Constitution, as well.

      • How so? You can literally be a US citizen without EVER stepping foot in the US and you can live in the US for nearly your entire life and die without ever being naturalized. They are only tangentially connected. We have one Constitution and I invite you to learn about it. And as importantly the REASONS for what it says. That is why Madison took notes at the Constitutional Convention.

      • Also, you can call yourself deplorables, racists, bigots, homophobes and sexists all you want and I will laugh as this has the exact opposite effect of what you think it will.

      • When you leftist useful idiots keep shrieking RACISTSEXISTBIGOTHOMOPHOBE, the rest of us know you don’t have an actual argument.

      • No one should vote Democrat. No one should vote Republican. Not in this shitefest of a race. It’s embarrassing.

      • When will you start hanging out at liberal blogs and telling liberals than they should not vote for Clinton, but for Johnson?

      • Duh, I do all the time, but since they’ve blocked me on Disqus, I have to use Facebook. Everyone I know knows that I detest Hillary even more than I detest Donald.

    • You seem to forget that you are here posing as a conservative Republican. I realize that makes your life difficult in some ways, but you could always simply own up to what you actually are and argue from there instead of engaging in this ridiculous charade.

      • Absolutely not. I’ve never stated I’m a Republican, not once. I never have been and never will be. I’m a small “l” libertarian and a small “c” conservative. You can be both if you don’t have ethics problems.

      • You’re not any sort of “conservative”, and you cannot be a libertarian and a conservative any more than you can be a Muslim and a Christian.

      • Sure I am. I absolutely believe in conserving the libertarian foundation of America – Natural Rights, the DoI, the Constitution, minus the slavery thing from the Southern States. I go to Catholic Church EVERY Sunday. And so I’m all of those, except a Muslim.

  7. Words to remember: the full text of Bill Clinton’s 1998 quote:

    “As you know, in a deposition in January, I was asked questions about my relationship with Monica Lewinsky. While my answers were legally accurate, I did not volunteer information.

    Indeed, I did have a relationship with Miss Lewinsky that was not appropriate. In fact, it was wrong. It constituted a critical lapse in judgment and personal failure on my part for which I am solely and completely responsible. . . . .I misled people, including even my wife. I deeply regret that.
    Now, this matter is between me, the two people I love most–my wife and our daughter–and our God. I must put it right, and I am prepared to do whatever it takes to do so.
    Nothing is more important to me personally. But it is private, and I intend to reclaim my family life for my family. It’s nobody’s business but ours.

    Even presidents have private lives. It is time to stop the pursuit of personal destruction and the prying into private lives and get on with our national life.

    Our country has been distracted by this matter for too long, and I take my responsibility for my part in all of this. That is all I can do.
    Now is the time — in fact, it is past time to move on.
    We have important work to do — real opportunities to seize, real problems to solve, real security matters to face.
    And so tonight, I ask you to turn away from the spectacle of the past seven months, to repair the fabric of our national discourse, and to return our attention to all the challenges and all the promise of the next American century.”

  8. In the rush to defend Trump at all costs, we are told here to believe that it’s standard fare for men (and women???) to behave in a “lewd and crude” manner:

    “Was Trump lewd and crude? Yes. Would I do it? No. But I’m also aware that it’s pretty standard fare among both men and women these days.”


    Does the author of this essay confess — or even accuse its fellow coauthors of American Greatness — to having committed sexual assault and boasting of it, or pimping his wife to Playboy magazine (or raping his first wife while impregnating his mistress)? It’s a very good bet that every single contributor to American Greatness are good, albeit flawed, human beings who view women as equals, all children of God and not as pigs whose value lay primarily in their ability to satisfy one’s sexual appetite.

    Tomorrow, once word of the latest developments in the rape case against Trump makes its way through the American media who will be surprised we’ll by told by American Greatness that child rape is “standard fare” in the US and that we should welcome an alleged child rapist as our next potus.

    It will be interesting to see where AG draws the line, if anywhere, on a candidate whose nomination guaranteed the election of Hillary Rodham Clinton. And for those who still cling to the fantasy that Trump would bring China and Mexico to their knees, this is a man who had his merchandise made in, you guessed it, China and Mexico.

    • The fact that you feel the need to lie through your teeth in this fashion speaks poorly for you own moral character. Not to mention your honesty and your pretense of being part of the party of Lincoln”. Trump did not “commit sexual assault and boast of it”.

      The only people peddling this “child rape” crap hail from the dankest corners of the moonbat left.

      • Good grief, even Giuliani couldn’t and didn’t deny what Trump said.

        But let’s forget what Rudy Giuliani and I think Donald Trump said. Let’s go what The Conservative Review, by no means a left wing Hillary apologist group, thinks Donald Trump said:

        “Trump is saying in the video that that he assaults women. He molests them. That he can’t control himself around women he is attracted to. Trump is saying he behaves as a sexual predator.”

        Yes, I remember you well from your idiotic interpretation of Trump’s observation that his supporters are so loyal to him that he could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose any supporters. The transcript leaves no other possible interpretation that Trump said exactly what he said and that it was no way a claim by him about someone else said he said.

        And if in fact it were true that someone else — the “they say” thesis — claimed that Trump could someone and not lose support then where is the proof of this alleged other person or persons? There is no such proof as no one else ever made this claim about Trump, which would have been as vile and insidious a charge as any in this campaign.

        Imagine if Hillary or some liberal made this accusation of Trump — don’t you think Trump and his supporters would have been outraged by it? Of course, and we’d never have heard the end of it. But it was Trump who made this claim about his supporters. And you are living proof of it.

        (Same name.)

      • You”l have to point out to me where exactly Giuliani said that Trump “confessed to committing sexual assault”. Hop to it, sparky.

        You expose yourself for the leftist-posing-as-a-conservative which you are when you cite the bitterly neverTrump Amanda Carpenter in support of your case. Why not Bill Kristol while you’re at it? Carpenter is a Clinton supporter, as is Bill “All hail Obama!” Kristol. And as you are, of course.

        The transcript leaves no other possible interpretation that Trump said
        exactly what he said and that it was no way a claim by him about someone
        else said he said.

        You are an illiterate ignoramus, a dishonest hack, or both. I’d guess both. The only possible interpretation of his words is that he’s mocking some stupid claim which somebody like you made against him.

        If Trump said today “They say I sexually assaulted women”, you’ll show up here tomorrow exclaiming that Trump himself said “I assault women”!

      • Another stellar post from a sycophant of “American Greatness”.

        I will type the words slowly in the hope that you may comprehend them:


        (A shame I can’t bold and increase the font size to deprive you of the claim that you never read this.)

        Let’s be clear. Not only did Donald Trump, in his boasting to Billy Bush, describe sexual assault, Rudy Giuliani admitted, albeit reluctantly, that what Trump described was sexual assault.

        But let’s be even clearer. If this were the only instance of disgusting behavior of Donald Trump it would too thin gruel to accuse him of persistent lechery. And even then, if the only accusation against Trump is a lifetime of sexual gluttony, including raping his first wife (sworn deposition), having a well-publicized affair with a mistress while married to his first wife (very well publicized), pimping out his second wife to Playboy (very well publicized) to seeking sexual gratification with married women while married to his third wife, who was pregnant at the time (his own admission), we just might be able to eek out the conclusion that Trump’s “greatness” is so profound and the state of the republic so dire — essentially, the Decius thesis, that we need an autocrat to save the republic from itself — that it would be well worth it to bring in even a Marquis de Sade to save the republic from its own cultural decline and collapse.

        But I ask you consider the profound irony of suggesting that a nation in putative decline and at risk of imminent collapse can only be saved by a Marquis de Sade, a modern day Caligula. Can a man who has no moral compass in any way, who eagerly discusses his daughter’s “piece of ass” on a national radio show (Howard Stern, easily verified) and much, much more have any capacity whatsoever to arrest the cultural decline of a nation of 330 million wicked souls?

        The insanity of self-proclaimed conservatives abandoning their principles to seek rescue and salvation from a man whose own lifetime of deeds contradict his election year claims — he makes his merchandise in China and Mexico, buys Chinese steel and uses illegal immigrants for his construction projects — cannot be overlooked. We can easily forgive a foible here and there, but we cannot overlook a lifetime of behavior rife his hypocrisy, debauchery, ignorance and, above all, disgrace. We can choose disgrace, but our descendants will not judge us kindly.

        As for the “I could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue…” matter, Trump’s own words are forever recorded on youtube and transcripts can be found instantly through a google search. This was no invention of the crazy left. The man said it himself and pointed his finger at the audience for dramatic emphasis. If you’re seriously suggesting that someone else said this and not Trump saying it (and about) himself and his supporters, I’m happy to read your evidence that proves that someone else said it first about Trump and his supporters and that he was merely “saying what they are saying”.

        Facts, please, no more idiotic deflections and reductions to absurdity.

      • Give it a break with lewd talk 4 brothers, 3 sisters Do you think there has not been lewd conversations spoken in jest from both sexes, in our catholic household in jest.In fact it starts at a young age as potty talk. Oh and don’t flatter your male egos by thinking it is the privilege of the male species, I have heard the most raunchy conversations and cackles around a table of women And if you claim to have never heard it, I will call you a lier. Stop the bullshit.