The Double Standard—Trump and Priebus Style

Here is Reince Priebus’s response to questions raised by Chris Wallace on FOX about the New York Times article chronicling Donald Trump’s long history of very sexist behavior towards women:

In essence, Priebus is arguing that because such attacks have not previously derailed Trump’s candidacy, they no longer matter. Trump is a transformational candidate because everything that used to be fundamental to how we judge political candidates has not seemed to apply to Trump. Therefore, Trump is more likely than Clinton to be a transformational force in Washington—to have a transformational impact on how the American government operates.

This is, of course, a classic example of the logical fallacy of equivocation, among other fallacies.

But, beyond the GOP chairman’s manifold illogic about Trump and his strengths, Trump himself has sought to make Hillary Clinton a symbol of the political establishment by very pointedly asserting her involvement in the sexual scandals that plagued her husband, characterizing her as an “enabler” and as a victimizer of women because of how she characterized some of the women who accused her husband of infidelities. Trump’s argument is that he is more “pro-women” than Hillary is because, well, if he does not convince women that he is, he is going to lose the election in the fall.

Trump and his surrogates are arguing that he ought to be given a pass on behavior that he engaged in, which seems in many ways to have been at least broadly similar to Bill Clinton’s behavior, but Hillary Clinton should be vilified for not standing with the women who accused her husband. An added irony is that Trump has criticized her for exploiting the characterization of herself as a victim, as if she were claiming an equivalent victimization to that experienced by a rape victim, but lost in this discussion is that all of the women who accused Bill Clinton of infidelity were not victimized to the same degree or even actually victimized, except perhaps by the subsequent notoriety. These scandals never were the equivalent of the accusations against Bill Cosby. But, whatever Bill Clinton did or did not do, Trump is essentially insinuating that Hillary should have divorced her husband, just as his former wives divorced him, and that her failure to do that represents some sort of moral failure.

In sum, Trump wants Hillary Clinton to be blamed for not blaming Bill for doing what the New York Times article, in effect, blames him for doing and what he believes that he should not be blamed for doing.

Try to wrap your mind around that Palinesque exercise of mental acuity and moral certitude.


2 thoughts on “The Double Standard—Trump and Priebus Style

  1. Well, if Trump goes on to actually gain the nomination and then win the general elections [there are 50 + 1 of them] in November, then it will not have mattered.

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