‘Teflon Don’ avoids the scorn of the ‘family values’ GOP — again

We’ve all heard the saying that someone is “Teflon” when any criticism or accusation fails to stick to them or to harm them. Donald Trump takes Teflon to a whole other level.

The recent, very disturbing accusation of sexual assault from author and advice columnist E. Jean Carroll should be the straw that breaks the proverbial camel’s back. But, sadly, we have not seen any sign that it will.

President Trump has always shown us who he is. Along with a myriad of accusations, ranging from sexual harassment to sexual assault, there are numerous women who have come forth to tell their stories of lewd remarks, despicable behavior and downright criminal conduct they allegedly suffered in Trump’s presence. The number is now at least 16 women who have accused him of these things.

Trump, in his own words in the infamous “Access Hollywood” tape, showed that the allegations against him have followed a pattern of which he was proud. His words asserting that “when you are a celebrity, women let you do anything,” capture exactly how he has acted his entire life.

Then why, when women assert that he assaulted them, are they doubted, or their stories not as breathlessly reported by the media as they would be if the accusations were against someone else?

Is it outrage fatigue? Is it that, while most Americans believe the commander in chief is a sexual predator, they don’t think his base will punish him for it? Is it that another accusation of Trump being a sexual predator is simply another day in today’s bizarre news cycle?

Let’s think about this: In 2019, the president of the United States is being accused by multiple credible women of sexual predation and assault. 

But the accusation by Carroll is something altogether different. She describes a very familiar modus operandi employed by Trump in the accusations that came from some, if not all, of the other women — that he would force himself on them, forcibly kiss them and then violate them by grabbing them by the genitals or, in the case of Carroll, allegedly engaging in what many people would define as rape. 

Can you imagine if this kind of explosive, credible, detailed accusation came out against former President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) or Sen. Corey Booker (D-N.J.) or any of the other men running for the Democratic presidential nomination?

It would be covered relentlessly, and it would be difficult to imagine any of them surviving such an accusation and going on to win the presidency. 

So why are Americans giving President Trump a pass? Moreover, why are Republicans giving Trump — yet again — permission to carry on like nothing has happened?  

Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway’s husband, attorney George Conway, wrote an op-ed asking the same question. He also made the point that Republicans (and Trump) believed Juanita Broaddrick’s claims against Bill Clinton, using her in 2016 to dredge up those old allegations to hurt Hillary Clinton.

Carroll’s allegations are at least as credible as Broaddrick’s were, yet no Republican has come out (nor will any, I suspect) to condemn Trump’s alleged behavior. Their complicity is criminal — not just on these allegations of sexual assault but on everything else President Trump and his crooked administration have gotten away with for nearly three years. 

Republicans have been lemmings thus far regarding anything having to do with Trump and his disgusting behavior toward women. After all, this is the party that professes to hold “family values” as sacred, and it is now led by a man who paid hush money to a porn actress to cover up the affair they had. 

That same man is now denying even knowing his latest accuser when there is a public picture of the two of them in social conversation.

The president is a liar and sexual predator, and Republicans are enabling him every moment they stand by his side. 

Americans, particularly Republicans, knew Donald Trump was rotten when they elected him. I don’t know if they knew just how much or if they just didn’t care. But now there is no denying how unfit, morally corrupt, inhumane, criminal and indecent the president is.

Will Republicans continue to stand by his side? Do they hold him up to their children as grand examples of righteousness, pride and moral virtue? Will they continue allowing him to wear his Teflon suit and to get away with crimes, sins and outrageous actions that they would quickly deem impeachable under any Democratic president?

No wonder the voters rejected Republicans in 2018. No wonder most Americans in numerous polls say they will not vote for Trump in 2020. This latest outrage will only serve to underscore how much damage Trump is doing to America and Americans. If Republicans will not strip Trump of his Teflon armor, other voters surely will, come 2020. 

Maria Cardona is a principal at the Dewey Square Group, a Democratic strategist and a CNN/CNN Español political commentator. Follow her on Twitter @MariaTCardona.

Tags Barack Obama Bernie Sanders Bill Clinton Donald Trump George Conway Hillary Clinton Joe Biden Kellyanne Conway

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