Aides quietly stunned

Aaron Blake warns journalists not to let Trump move the Overton window on them. No, the fact that he managed not to call her a lying slag for a few days is not a shining example of restraint.

CNN ran a pretty amazing heading on Thursday: “Aides quietly stunned by Trump’s respectful handling of Kavanaugh accuser.”

I saw that headline yesterday, and nearly gagged, and did not read the story about Trump’s aides’ quiet amazement that he managed not to wave his dick on camera.

Trump has been “respectful” and shown “restraint” only by his own, very artificially depressed standard. It’s notable that he hasn’t directly attacked Christine Blasey Ford as a liar or completely discounted her account — as he has with women who previously accused him and his allies of sexual assault — but Trump has more than hinted in both of those directions.

Of course he has. All that shit about poor poor Kavanaugh, and what a fine man he is, and how hot his daughters are and how kind of presentable his wife is despite being so much older than the hot hot daughters – all that was an attack on Christine Blasey Ford.

Trump’s initial comments Monday included saying Ford should be heard, but he also repeatedly referred to the lateness of the allegation — a clear allusion to the idea that this could all be politically motivated.

On Tuesday, Trump said of Kavanaugh: “I feel so badly for him that he’s going through this.” Trump added: “This is not a man that deserves this.” These are not the things you say about someone you think may have committed sexual assault. And you could say the same thing about what Trump said Wednesday, when he called Kavanaugh an “extraordinary man” with an “unblemished record.”

Well to be fair those are things Trump would say about someone he thinks may have committed sexual assault: let’s not forget that he admires that kind of thing, and brags about doing it when he doesn’t know there’s a mic on.

Trump has now questioned the timing of Ford’s accusation and the fact that a report wasn’t filed; he has suggested Kavanaugh is the real victim here; and he has cast the whole thing as “besmirching” Kavanaugh.

It’s abundantly evident that Trump is sending a signal to his base that this is all a ruse, and occasionally throwing in a “Hey, we should let her testify” doesn’t really change that.

Trump is also sending a signal to “his base” and to everyone else that women are lying slags out to ruin men, and they need to be kept firmly down.

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