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Clippings: Truth about Trump was always obvious

One analogy for the Republican Party’s response to the release of Donald Trump’s taped 2005 remarks detailing his intent to commit adultery via crude sexual assault comes from the world of sports — the NFL, to be exact. 
In February 2015 Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was cited for assault. Soon afterward, video surfaced of Rice dragging his unconscious fiancé out of a hotel elevator. Ravens coaches and officials rushed to his defense. In July, after a June hearing with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, the league suspended Rice for two games.
In August, more video surfaced, this time showing Rice knocking out his fiancé in the elevator. In September, the NFL changed its mind and suspended Rice indefinitely, and no team representative has given him the time of day since. Well, what did Ravens and NFL officials think happened in the elevator in the first place? They needed video to make the call?
What’s the point? Given all we already knew about Donald Trump, why was the language used and intent expressed on that videotape the least bit of a surprise to Republican Party officials and officeholders?
That is exactly how one might expect a well-documented serial philanderer and harasser of women (on “The Apprentice,” at his other workplaces and at his beauty pageants — the evidence is easy to find) like Trump to talk about them.
This is how he feels, in unvarnished private speech about the half of the human race — those Trump has more recently publicly described as “pigs,” “slobs” and “dogs” with “blood coming from her wherever.”
Really, it’s like the words of the Claude Rains character in “Casablanca” when he raids Humphrey Bogart’s establishment: “I’m shocked, shocked, to find that gambling is going on in here.”
And only now Republicans like Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and former presidential candidate and longtime Arizona Sen. John McCain are changing their mind about supporting Trump? And Paul Ryan only now is suggesting to his GOP House colleagues it’s OK not to embrace the former reality TV star and beauty pageant owner?
These sudden shifts smack of convenience, not principles. Or rats abandoning a sinking ship they never would have boarded if they had any moral backbone to begin with.
Of course, by now we know Trump has more excuses for his offensive acts, positions (those are a story for another day) and statements than Addison County has cows, but his defense for expressing a plan to indecently assault women and commit adultery is particularly insulting.
It was “locker room banter,” Trump said.
Really? I have played sports since I have been 10. That’s more than 50 years. Sticking to the all-male squads and starting in my teen years, I’ve played on five soccer teams, two softball teams, six hockey teams, two basketball teams and four baseball teams, and joined hundreds of pickup basketball games.
I have never heard anyone speak with that level of contempt for women in any locker room, sideline or post-game gathering at any point in those five decades.
No, that’s not “locker room” talk, Mr. Trump. You own those words. That’s who you are. A harasser. A hater.
Look, I truly understand there are many who really cannot vote for the alternative because of their conservative principles. But sitting out the Presidential race, or even better writing in the name of a legitimate candidate, might lead to a clean conscience and better nights of sleep after Nov. 8.
One thing is for sure: You’ll have a better and more moral candidate in four years. 

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