One of the rules I tell my students is to “never lie to the feds.” It just doesn’t pay as Martha Stewart will attest. As the White House has now learned, it also doesn’t pay to lie despite FBI investigations.
The trademark of the Trump Administration is to lie when caught red-handed. Trump himself has tried to say that over a dozen women are not telling the truth about his sexual misconduct. Haha. He’s even said that a video with his face and his voice isn’t him. It’s like listening to Bill Cosby when over 50 women had come forward but he was suing for defamation.
Then the administration says it “suddenly” discovered that Rob Porter, White House Secretary, had a record of domestic violence. Unfortunately for the president along with the rest of the dysfunctional White House, that was a big fat lie, and the reason we know that is the FBI was doing its own investigation of Porter for security clearance purposes. The White House was told no fewer than three times that Porter is compromised, but the men in power stuck by him. Even when they had to know the jig was up, Trump was tweeting that Porter was being treated unfairly and denied, of all things, “due process.”
Of course, standing behind all of this male bonhomie over the degradation of women is Trump’s affair with a porn star and the fact she was paid off to shut up before the election—by his lawyer out of his own pocket, because … drumroll … “I will always protect Mr. Trump.” Not to mention Trump’s enthusiastic embrace and the RNC’s pathetic support of serial abuser Roy Moore who came close to becoming a US Senator due to their moral bankruptcy. When you layer Porter’s domestic violence and their knowledge of it for months before they removed him, you have a White House awash in misogyny-fueled narcissism. If Chief of Staff Kelly ever thought he would be able to remove the stench of the Trump White House from his résumé, the Porter arrogance and intransigence proves otherwise.
To summarize, time after time after time, this administration has hired, promoted, and defended known abusers and violators—including the president. The message seems to be that the 1950s are alive and well and women are supposed to be subservient to the appetites of their men. What is different 60 years later, though, is that women are more educated, more likely to be in the workplace, and generally fed up with the men’s operating assumption that females were born to be used while the men were born to be well, men, in their view. And that difference is playing out in the polls: College-educated women are not keen on the Republican Party. For the women still willing to prop up the gross behavior and attitudes of the worst of all possible locker rooms, now called the White House, shame on you.
Here is my question: this White House is controlled in so many ways by Evangelical politicos. Do God-fearing people who give cover and power to this administration also think—misguidedly—as Kelly did, that they get a pass on their support for this morass of self-righteous pulchritude? I think not. The religion of “family values” and “American values” and the “right to life” is now a coopted faith. In American life that makes it accountable for the ugly behavior of their men and the ongoing failure to stem such attitudes. Were I in their shoes, I would be running with all of the power I had to Republicans who actually have a backbone and don’t condone the mistreatment of women. Admittedly, that is a silent cadre in Washington right now, but they must also see that siding with this White House through acquiescence makes them complicit in his behavior. Or do they?