Saturday, October 8, 2016

No Remorse, No Apology

Mike Pence said he cannot defend Mr. Trump’s comments, but “I am grateful that he has expressed remorse and apologized to the American people.”

Except he did not express remorse and he did not apologize. The only regret he has is that he was caught, and he said “I apologize if I offended anyone.” No, one does not put conditions on an apology. Neither does one blame their behavior on someone else or rationalize it by citing someone else’s behavior. That doesn’t work when you are 10, and it sure doesn’t work when you’re 70, regardless of whether or not you are running for president. Bill Clinton’s behavior twenty years ago is not an excuse for being a pig ten years ago, and if Mr. Trump wants to hold Hillary Clinton accountable for her husband’s behavior, then should we not hold Melania Trump accountable for her husband’s? No.

Mr. Pence doesn’t deserve any wiggle-room. He knew what he was getting into when he signed up for this gig, and if he didn’t, then he’s willfully ignorant of Mr. Trump’s long history of misogyny, he’s too dumb to play dead in a cowboy movie, or he’s willing to sacrifice his hard-core Christian morals for political gain. That’s opportunism, not leadership.

Mr. Trump has stated he “will never withdraw.” Leaving that Freudian softball aside, what does that tell us about the character of a person who asks us to place the fate of this country and the world in his hands? At this point, I don’t think he should be granted the power to run a college fraternity; they have rules now about that kind of behavior. If you’re too boorish to run a frat, there’s always playing piano in a brothel.