Thursday, May 19, 2016

At Least He Knows A Mistake When He Hears One

You know you've stepped in it when one of your defenders maintains on your behalf that you "have great respect for women."  It is never a good sign given that Donald Trump himself has claimed "I have great respect for women."

Former Philadelphia mayor, Pennsylvania governor, and Democratic National Committee chairman Ed Rendell told The Washington Post's Dave Weigel of Donald Trump

Will he have some appeal to working-class Dems in Levittown or Bristol? Sure. For every one, he'll lose 1½, two Republican women. Trump's comments like `You can't be a 10 if you're flat-chested,' that'll come back to haunt him. There are probably more ugly women in America than attractive women. People take that stuff personally.

It is odd, as recognized here, that one "suggests in public that a woman's own appearance dictates just how she feels about Trump's frequent critiques of other women's looks or his fitness for the Oval Office." Still, there are more unattractive women than attractive women in America, just as there are more unattractive men than attractive women. It is an unfortunate condition of human anthropology or biology unavoidable for most of us, as Shel Silverstein and Bobby Bare seemed to understand over 35 years ago.

Nonetheless Rendell, as a public figure, is unable to speak the obvious and therefore took the more prudent course, telling reporters "it was dumb and insensitive and stupid, and if I offended anybody, I apologize."

Give the guy two points for acknowledging "it was dumb and insensitive and stupid," which is about as close as any public official or celebrity comes to saying "I was wrong." Take one point off for saying "if I offended anybody" and another half-point for the irrelevant "I apologize."

If I offended anybody? It is remarkable that someone could refer to a comment as "dumb and insensitive and stupid" and then confess to uncertainty as to whether anyone was offended. Of course, people were offended if it was insensitive and the "if" draws suspicion upon the sincerity of the entire apology.

Moreover, we need to disabuse ourselves of the notion that saying "I apologize" is an apology. Donald Trump does not demonstrate great respect for women by pleading that he has great respect for women. Neither does "I apologize" constitute an apology. My remark "was dumb and insensitive and stupid" is very good; the rare "I was wrong" is better.

"You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass,” Donald Trump said in an interview in 1991.   What Ed Rendell said about women is nowhere near as bad as what Donald Trump stated then or has stated more recently. However.... really, there is no "however."

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