In a Sunday interview on MSNBC's "AM Joy," NBC political analyst Anand Giridharadas went on the warpath against Kellyanne Conway and President Trump, ultimately concluding that Trump is the "commander-in-chief of American rape culture" and Conway is a "monster" for defending him.
Giridharadas was reacting to a clip from ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" in which Conway responded to old allegations that Trump has sexually harassed or assaulted a dozen women:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Do the President’s accusers deserve due process?
CONWAY: George, let me say something—those accusers have had their day on your network and elsewhere for a long time. They were trotted out again, uh, late last year. And I don’t need a lecture from Kirsten Gillibrand or anybody else who protected and defended and harbored a sitting president who had sexual relations in the Oval Office and was impeached for lying. I don’t need a lecture from her or anybody else. And she since of course has said that President Clinton had [should have] resigned. But let’s call this for what it is—that’s a Democratic Party bereft of any ideas and any accomplishments.
Both Giridharadas and show host Joy Reid were appalled by the fact that Conway brought up the Clinton sexual abuse allegations, seeing it as some broader pattern of Republican obfuscation of Trump's purported approval of rape:
REID: So we had, you know, some Republicans on earlier today and they did the same thing. There’s the pivot directly to Democrats, pivot to Bill Clinton. It’s been kind of hard to get anyone in the administration to directly answer the questions about Rob Porter and Donald Trump. That approach—it works with the Fox News crowd, does it work in a larger context?
GIRIDHARADAS: No, and I mean it -- we don’t need to even worry about a kind of monster like Kellyanne Conway who will just say whatever for money, so let’s disregard her. I think this week was actually a turning point, um, with two different staffers, these charges dredged up, this -- these haunting pictures, um, and then you have the president’s own history of self declaring himself to be a vagina-grabber and winning on that platform. This week was a turning point because I think we’re starting to realize that Trumpism doesn’t merely tolerate sexual abuse. Sexual abuse is a very apt metaphor for everything Trumpism is: the living -- the cultivation of fear in everyone, um, the insistence that people are loving it when you are actually degrading and dehumanizing them and making their lives harder and then just going around telling people that the blacks love you, the Hispanics love you, the women love you, um, the state of constant insecurity that you create in others, and then the inversion of your own insecurities into this attempt to dominate others. This is a rape culture presidency and Donald Trump has become the commander-in-chief of American rape culture.
Perhaps Republicans like to bring up the Clinton sex scandals because they're curious if Democrats really believe that all allegations of sexual misconduct should be automatically believed and those accused should be punished:
Every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported. https://t.co/mkD69RHeBL— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 23, 2015
Last month, multiple outlets (including NYT) reported that Clinton protected a man working for her 2008 campaign staff who was accused of sexual harassment and re-assigned his accuser to another job:
A senior adviser to Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign who was accused of repeatedly sexually harassing a young subordinate was kept on the campaign at Mrs. Clinton’s request, according to four people familiar with what took place.
Mrs. Clinton’s campaign manager at the time recommended that she fire the adviser, Burns Strider. But Mrs. Clinton did not. Instead, Mr. Strider was docked several weeks of pay and ordered to undergo counseling, and the young woman was moved to a new job.
Examples like this clearly show that Republicans have a point. Hillary Clinton is not old news. She is not just a distraction from Trump. Her actions, both past and present, directly reflect on the political party that has supported both her and her husband for decades, and it's worth constantly asking Democrats and Clinton supporters (especially those in the media): On what basis can you legitimately claim the moral high ground here?
It's easy to virtue signal and recite feminist talking points about supporting female victims of abuse, but Democrats have not appeared to be too willing to follow their own advice when it counts. Sen. Al Franken and Rep. John Conyers's recent resignations from Congress are some of the only exceptions to this, and even those have come in the wake of a wider Democratic campaign to appear consistent and principled when attacking Trump as a sexual predator.
Check out the video of Reid and Giridharadas's exchange via Real Clear Politics here.