The great evil | On Politics | Chicago Reader

The great evil 

Republicans remain silent about E. Jean Carroll’s charge that Trump raped her.

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click to enlarge How evil? This much.

How evil? This much.

michael vadon / flickr

Amid the furor over Tara Reade’s sexual assault allegations against Joe Biden, it’s easy to forget that his Republican opponent has been accused of rape.

As well as 24 or so other allegataions of sexual misconduct, including sexual assault and harassment against women.

That opponent is, of course, Donald Trump, to whom the Republican Party has sworn a blood oath of fealty—allegations of rape being no matter.

I remind you of this not to minimize Reade’s allegation, but to point out the gaping political divide between the parties when it comes to violence against women.

Democrats have to at least pretend to care about the victims. Republicans don’t even pretend—their base clearly worships Trump no matter how many women come forward to say he’s raped, assaulted, groped, assailed, or maligned them.

The only time Republicans seem to care about sexual assault against women is when it can be used to score gotcha points against Democrats—particularly Democratic women—who stood with Christine Blasey Ford when she came forward with her complaint against Brett Kavanaugh.

Back to Trump’s rape case . . .

His accuser is E. Jean Carroll, a prolific and well-regarded journalist who, among other things, wrote “Ask E. Jean,” a popular advice column for Elle. In January, Elle didn’t renew Carroll’s contract. 

“Because Trump ridiculed my reputation, laughed at my looks, & dragged me through the mud, after 26 years, ELLE fired me,” Carroll tweeted. “I don’t blame Elle. It was the great honor of my life writing ‘Ask E. Jean.’”

Carroll went public with her rape charges last June, when New York magazine published an excerpt of her book What Do We Need Men For? A Modest Proposal. Here is what she says happened during the fall of ’95 or spring of ’96—she’s not sure of the date . . .

She bumps into Trump outside a Bergdorf Goodman store in New York City. He recognizes Carroll from her cable TV show. He asks her to help him buy a woman a present. He leads her to a dressing room to try something on to see how it looks. And then . . .

“The moment the dressing room door is closed, he lunges at me, pushes me against the wall, hitting my head quite badly . . . He seizes both my arms and pushes me up against the wall a second time . . . jams his hand under my coat dress and pulls down my tights . . . The next moment, still wearing correct business attire . . . he opens the overcoat, unzips his pants, and, forcing his fingers around my private area, thrusts his penis halfway—or completely, I’m not certain—inside me . . . I finally get a knee up high enough to push him out and off and I turn, open the door, and run out of the dressing room.”

“The Donna Karan coat dress” she wore that day “still hangs on the back of my closet door, unworn and unlaundered since that evening.”

Don’t forget that dress, people.

When asked about Carroll’s accusation, Trump trashed her.

“She’s not my type,” he said. As if he might have raped her if she was his type.

This is vintage Trump. He frequently makes jokes about the women he’s maligned, physically and/or verbally, over the years. His acolytes love when he does this. It’s so, what—anti-politically correct? 

Remember his exchange with former Fox anchor Megyn Kelly during a Republican debate in 2015.

Kelly: You’ve called women you don’t like fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals . . .

Trump: Only Rosie O’Donnell . . .

As the Republicans roared with laughter.

Looks like Trump’s misogyny is the new normal. The press even asked him to weigh in on Reade’s allegations against Biden—like he was a disinterested party. Apparently, Harvey Weinstein was unavailable for comment.

Now back to that dress . . .

In November, Carroll sued Trump in New York state court for defamation. And in January, she asked the presiding judge to order Trump to provide a DNA sample for “analysis and comparison against unidentified male DNA present” on the Donna Karan dress.

Trump’s lawyers responded by saying he’s just too busy to deal with Carroll’s lawsuit: “If the court does not stay this action, the president will suffer irreparable harm.”

In response, Roberta Kaplan, Carroll’s lawyer, noted that Trump had recently filed a defamation lawsuit against the New York Times.

"Here, we have a President who is not only defending cases where he is not asserting this immunity, but, as I just noted, he has actually brought cases as a plaintiff," Kaplan told the judge. "That kind of cherry picking, your honor, is an intolerable abuse of the process.”

We’re still waiting for that judge’s ruling. Don’t worry—I’ll keep you posted.

As I’ve said before, I’m no fan of Biden—I voted for Bernie. I was sort of hoping Biden might step down to let someone more vigorous take the nomination.

Actually, I have this fantasy where all of the prominent officials charged with sexual assault step down. That means Trump, Biden, Kavanaugh, Justice Clarence Thomas. Let’s not forget about him.

The Democrats would then nominate a candidate to run against Vice President Pence with the winner getting to name two Supreme Court nominees.

How about newly elected president Elizabeth Warren nominating Anita Hill to replace Thomas? Better late than never for justice to be served.

I know—none of this will happen. It looks like Biden vs. Trump: the Democrat accused of sexual assault vs. the Republican accused of rape. And assault. And groping. And harassment . . .

In previous elections, I found myself voting for centrist Democrats because they’re the lesser of two evils.

But this time is more dangerous than most. This time we’ve got Trump supporters—waving signs with swastikas and Nazi slogans—demonstrating in downtown Chicago against Governor Pritzker, who’s Jewish. Meanwhile, the Republicans remain as silent as church mice.

Yes, these are dangerous times. This time I won’t be voting for the lesser of two evils. I’ll be voting against a great evil.  v

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