The Hypocrisy of Condemning Trump and Recommending Pence

When I heard the leaked tape of Donald Trump saying, “grab them by the pussy,” I was appalled, disgusted (that happens to be my least favorite word, even worse than moist), yet not shocked. This came from the same man who told a female contestant on The Apprentice that “must be a pretty picture, you dropping to your knees.” This is the same man who attacked Megyn Kelly in a blatantly sexist way, accusing her of being angry because she’s on her period. This is the same man who consistently attacks women who disagree with him by insulting their attractiveness, illustrating that he truly believes that this is the only value a woman could possibly have. So no, a recording of him treating women as attractive objects who exist solely to satisfy his urges does not surprise me.


This comment came from the same man who insinuated that “second amendment people” could “take care of” Hillary Clinton if she started taking away the right to bear arms. This is the same man who said that Mexico only sends drugs and rapists into our country. This is the same man who proposed not letting Muslims into the United States, ignoring the fact that the majority of shootings in this country are done by white men. This is the same man who said he “could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.” And guess what? He still didn’t lose any voters. I could spend a week writing out completely outrageous, offensive and inappropriate things that Trump has said just in the past 9 months, much less things he has said in the past 40 years. That would be exhausting and has been done enough if you just google “Donald Trump.”

What was shocking to me is that this comment was somehow the straw that broke the camels back for so many. GOP politicians have been withdrawing their support one by one, which normally would make me ecstatic, but currently strikes me as somewhat phony and hypocritical. Below are a handful of statements responding to the recording by major Republican politicians:

“Hitting on married women? Condoning assault? Such vile degradations demean our wives and daughters and corrupt America’s face to the world,” — Mitt Romney

“As a husband and father, I was offended by the words and actions described by Donald Trump in the eleven-year-old video released yesterday, I do not condone his remarks and cannot defend them. I am grateful that he has expressed remorse and apologized to the American people. We pray for his family and look forward to the opportunity he has to show what is in his heart when he goes before the nation tomorrow night.” — Mike Pence

“As the father of three daughters, I strongly believe that Trump needs to apologize directly to women and girls everywhere, and take full responsibility for the utter lack of respect for women shown in his comments on that tape,” — Mitch McConnell

“As the grandfather of two precious girls, I find that no apology can excuse away Donald Trump’s reprehensible comments degrading women.” — Jeb Bush

I will however give props JUST THIS ONCE to Reince Priebus who actually had the correct response: “No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner. Ever.” (That will probably be the only time I will ever give Priebus credit for anything.)

Notice anything? They all have the “wives, daughters” reason in their statement. You don’t condemn his comments because you have a wife or a daughter, you condemn his comments because you know those comments were fundamentally wrong. However, this level of outrage wasn’t there at any of his other comments or actions. So why now, why at this stage of Trump’s campaign? The GOP has had a problem with female voters in the recent past, for good reason. It might be noted that Trump isn’t the only one that’s being harmed by his comments. It’s no secret that GOP politicians may risk losing their seat in Congress due to Trump being the presidential candidate of their party.

The reason that this reaction infuriates me is not just because there wasn’t this level of reaction when he was attacking all groups of minorities or even veterans or because his campaign has invited the outpouring of an unprecedented level of misogyny, racism and hatred that I have not known in my 24 years of life. What I don’t understand is that most of these men who have spoken out against Donald Trump’s latest lewd comments have spent their careers legislating women’s bodies. They have not spoken up against sexual violence in professional sports, or in colleges nor have tried to combat rape culture. They have been the same ones to question if the girl was “asking for it.” Let’s not misunderstand; what the Donald was talking about was sexual harassment and unfortunately, something that every woman has experienced at some point (or multiple times) in her life. However, if we laud these other politicians for finally “standing up” to him, it does not excuse that they have, or have attempted to, passed legislation that restricts my freedom, and every daughter, wife or mother’s freedom of choice. It does not excuse the fact that they supported a candidate who had been accused of rape by his first wife.

In 2009, something called the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was put to vote (after it was defeated in 2007). In the Senate, only FIVE out of 41 Republicans voted in favor of the act that “states that the 180-day statute of limitations for filing an equal-pay lawsuit regarding pay discrimination resets with each new paycheck affected by that discriminatory action,” instead of “beginning on the date that the employer makes the initial discriminatory wage decision.” In the House, only a meager THREE out of 177 Republicans voted in favor of the act. I think you can guess that Mike Pence, Jason Chaffetz, Paul Ryan, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Mitch McConnell were not part of that small minority.

Let’s focus on Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence for a minute. Some people who are condemning Donald Trump are calling for Pence to lead the ticket instead. We cannot ignore the fact that Indiana has introduced some of the most restrictive legislation in the past few years. While everyone is so angry with someone who once called a Miss Universe winner “miss piggy,” saying “pussy,” politicians like Pence have been passing laws against LGBT rights, against women’s rights and have not stood up when Donald has said any of his other incredibly offensive comments. Mike Pence signed on to the campaign knowing exactly the type of person that Donald J. Trump is.

In 2011, Pence sponsored an amendment to prohibit any federal funding for Planned Parenthood, because he is opposed to abortion. I don’t want to be the thousandth person yelling about how PP provides valuable, life changing services for low-income women and not just abortion, or how federal funding does NOT go to abortion services so you can read that in a plethora of other articles. (Please PLEASE research this topic if you don’t agree with me. Please learn about what planned parenthood offers and if you don’t understand why these services are necessary, I would love to have a conversation with you.) I don’t want the person to point out that the Hyde Amendment already prohibits federal funding for abortions (which you should probably know if you’re a career politician but we’ll let this one go). It might also be worth mentioning that he cut PP funding that resulted in the closing of five non abortion clinics. Pence had to declare a public health emergency due to a huge spike of HIV rates in his state. This article does a good job of explaining how his legislation enabled a health epidemic in his state.

In 2013, as Indiana Governor, he signed legislation requiring abortion clinics that provide pill based medical abortions to meet the same standards as surgical abortion facilities. Just this past March, he signed a bill that requires abortion providers to bury or cremate fetal tissue. It will ban women from seeking an abortion because of a fetal anomaly, a provision that has already been deemed unconstitutional by a federal judge. It will require women to sign a form certifying they have received a brochure about fetal hospice services if they wish to terminate a lethal fetal anomaly. But don’t worry, the state already requires that women are told that “human life begins when a human ovum is fertilized by a human sperm” State law also requires abortion providers to report information about each abortion to the state as well as a 20-week ban, an 18-hour waiting period after state-mandated counseling, and a law that requires women to receive an ultrasound before an abortion. This bill (HB 1337) is so extreme that several pro-life Indiana Republicans have criticized it. ““The bill does nothing to save innocent lives. There’s no education, there’s no funding. It’s just penalties,” Rep. Sharon Negele, a Republican who has previously sponsored anti-abortion legislation, said.

Now, if you claim to be “pro-life” as so many of Pence’s supporters say they are, you might not support everything in the paragraph above, but still admire his effort to protect fetuses. Let’s ignore the fact that the people enacting this legislation are not doctors or health professionals or have no real education in what is best for women’s health or the child’s health. If you are pro life but are not willing to support a child after it has been born, I cannot accept you calling yourself “pro life.” If you support all of the restrictions above, you do not care about women’s health.

Pence is also known for a bill that permits discrimination against LGBT people by private businesses and also co-sponsored Todd Akin’s anti-abortion bill redefining rape as “forcible rape.” He also happened to cut $1.18 million from domestic violence programs, while also cutting corporate taxes. But we’re still supposed to believe that he “cares” about women because he’s a father and a husband and cannot condone Trump’s comments from 10 years ago. I’m sorry if this outrage against Trump currently seems false because he’s just bluntly saying what politicians have been trying to enact their whole careers.

Sorry, but I just don’t buy it.

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