Steel Cage Breath Match (Open Thread)

So, Joe Biden was in Miami yesterday, speaking at an event to raise awareness about sexual assault on campus, and he said High School Joe Biden would have whipped High School Donald Trump’s ass for disrespecting women. Here’s the quote, via NBC Channel 2:

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday told an audience at the University of Miami that he would have “beat the hell out” of President Trump in high school for comments he has made about women.

“A guy who ended up becoming our national leader said, ‘I can grab a woman anywhere and she likes it,'” Biden said, according to ABC News. “They asked me if I’d like to debate this gentleman, and I said, ‘No.’ I said, ‘If we were in high school, I’d take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him.'”

“I’ve been in a lot of locker rooms my whole life. I’m a pretty damn good athlete.”

He added, “Any guy that talked that way was usually the fattest, ugliest S.O.B. in the room.”

I like Biden, but I wish he hadn’t gone there.

This morning, Trump responded to Biden’s remarks via Twitter in exactly the manner you’d expect:

Maybe Anti-Cyberbullying Czar Melania Trump can weigh in here?

There’s no equivalence between Trump and Biden on women. Biden has his flaws and has made serious mistakes (Anita Hill), but his heart is generally in the right place. He’s just a few years older than my dad, who also has old-fashioned views on chivalry: “Don’t bother reporting a sexual harasser to HR, honey — tell me, and I’ll beat the living shit out of him.”

Trump is a sociopathic pig who sees women as objects to be used and controlled, which is infinitely worse. But there’s an objectification and lack of agency in the Biden and Dad-style impulse to protect women too. That’s part of the problem.

Alyssa Rosenberg at The Post wrote a column that outlines why Biden’s remarks were unhelpful. I recommend the whole thing, but here’s the concluding paragraph:

There’s no question that Trump’s policies and nasty, sexist behavior can do real damage to women. But the best way to fight Trump isn’t for Biden to remind us how tough he was in high school. It’s for the former vice president, and everyone else, to get behind the women who are standing up to Trump.

Yeah, what she said.

Another very fine person…

Trump finally commented on the Porter situation (The Post):

“We wish him well; he worked very hard,” Trump said to a small group of reporters at the White House, providing his first public comments on the topic. “We found out about it recently, and I was surprised by it, but we certainly wish him well, and it’s a tough time for him. He did a very good job when he was in the White House, and we hope he has a wonderful career, and he will have a great career ahead of him. But it was very sad when we heard about it, and certainly he’s also very sad now. He also, as you probably know, says he’s innocent, and I think you have to remember that. He said very strongly yesterday that he’s innocent, so you have to talk to him about that, but we absolutely wish him well. He did a very good job when he was at the White House.”

It was “very sad.” Porter is “very sad.” But Porter did a “very good job” and has a “great career ahead of him,” because who wouldn’t want to hire a serial domestic abuser?

I get tired of saying it, but it’s true: Having that sexist sack of shit in the White House is a daily degradation, a wound that never really heals. But what’s even sadder than unemployed Porter is that it’s all so utterly unsurprising.

Of course Trump isn’t capable of expressing pro forma concern for the actual victims. Of course it did not occur to him to condemn domestic violence in general terms. In Trump’s mind, women are inferior creatures — it’s been clear for decades he believes this — and tens of millions of Americans, including millions of white women, are okay with that.

There Needs to Be a Reckoning

A simultaneously fascinating and horrible piece in Vanity Fair on the last days of Harvey Weinstein that includes this gem:

But as Weinstein saw that his time and his options were running out, he began to scramble. And as revealed here for the first time, he decided to take matters into his own hands. Weinstein and a coterie of loyalists—according to a dozen current and former T.W.C. employees and Weinstein advisers, as well as the initial findings of an internal company investigation—would allegedly spend his last days at the company searching for and trying to delete documents; absconding with others; surveilling ex-employees’ online communications; and seeking to discover who, in the end, had orchestrated his downfall.

Imagine being such a horrible person that you wake up in the morning with the goal of destroying people to defend a serial rapist. A few people are named (Frank Gil), but before this is all over, there needs to be a real reckoning. WHo were the people who brought these women to his hotel knowing what he would do to them? Who were the people who cleaned up the messes? All of them need to be named, shamed, and prosecuted where applicable.

Do Not Let Me Hear Of The Wisdom Of Old Men


Donald Trump’s North Korea tweet was obvious enough that the instant responses to it included the word “dick-measuring” and the thought that he probably can’t find the button. It is becoming more and more obvious that he is indeed the WYSIWYG president. “There is no wizard behind the curtain — just an old, angry, obnoxiously ignorant man.”

The world is changing fast – away from the assumed preference for old white men. Even when their privilege was intact, within their value system they had a lot to be angry about. First, the physical decline. As we get older, it becomes more difficult to keep weight off, more difficult to maintain muscle tone. Joints begin to ache. Men’s sexual abilities decline starting at around age 20. There’s some cognitive decline; reflexes slow down.

Additionally, society keeps changing. People of color, women, people whose sexuality differs from cis-het all are being legitimated. Some are taking prominent jobs away from their rightful owners, those cis-het white men. Read more

Galloping Autocracy Report (Open Thread)

I was going to draft a post on some alarming developments that haven’t received the attention they deserve due to the furor over the “Fire and Fury” book, but this tweet pretty much sums it up:

To be clear, I’m not suggesting the would-be autocrats will succeed, just pointing out that they are trying. It is our job to stop them.

Also, Angry Black Lady is absolutely correct here:

I realize some folks are pissed off at Gillibrand for calling on Al Franken to resign. But if you read the article ABL calls out above and can’t recognize that it’s positively dripping with the exact same brand of sexism that tore Hillary Clinton down at every turn, I don’t know what to tell you.

The Mordor Exit

I didn’t think this was real at first, but apparently it is:

Y’all be careful over there!

In other news, Time recognized “The Silence Breakers” as its “Person of the Year” today, honoring a movement comprising mostly women who’ve refused to stay silent about sexual harassment, which has sent shock waves through entertainment, media and political power circles.

So, #MeToo is having a moment, but one of the NYT’s most notorious Beltway hacks put her own spin on it via a tweet about an article in her paper on Harvey Weinstein:

That seems to miss the point rather badly, so I’ll spell it out: Hillary Clinton aspired to a powerful office in an environment that was and is shot through with misogyny. The remarkable thing about the #MeToo movement is that it is revealing the scope of the abuse across industries and organizational charts.

The lesson we should take away from that isn’t “Whoa, how ironic that Hillary was dealing with human garbage at every turn!” It’s that it’s way past time to take out the fucking trash.

Anyhoo. Open thread.

Where in the World is Matt Lauer

Not at 30 Rock:

NBC News said Wednesday that it has fired Matt Lauer over “inappropriate sexual behavior,” making the “Today” show star the latest high-profile man to become embroiled in workplace harassment allegations.

In a staff memo, NBC News Chairman Andrew Lack said the network received “a detailed” complaint about Lauer Monday night. “It represented, after serious review, a clear violation of our company’s standards. As a result, we’ve decided to terminate his employment.”

Lack added: “While it is the first complaint about his behavior in the over twenty years he’s been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident.”

Lauer, 59, joined “Today” in 1994 as its news anchor. He became co-host of the morning program with Katie Couric in 1997 after Bryant Gumbel stepped down.

His current co-host, Savannah Guthrie, read Lack’s statement on the air on Wednesday’s program.

Still time for him to get residency in Alabama and primary Richard Shelby, I suppose. Just work on his bible thumping a bit.