Top Republican lawmaker actually admits Trump wouldn't be president if sexual misconduct were a barrier to holding office
Every now and then, a politician says something so breathtakingly honest and obvious — but totally out of line with their personal interests — that it takes you a moment or two before you even realize what they said.
That's what it's like to read the following quote from Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), one of the top Republicans in the Senate, as reported by Vox's Li Zhou:
“I think sexual misconduct is wrong,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), while adding, “if it’s a barrier to people being in public office, the president wouldn’t be president.”
Grassley was discussing Herman Cain, who Trump has picked to join the Federal Reserve. Republican lawmakers appear to be souring on the nomination, which has yet to be formalized, in part because of sexual misconduct allegations from his past. Previous reports uncovered that he had settled at least two sexual harassment lawsuits brought against him; at least two other women making allegations of his sexual misconduct have emerged.
Whenever such allegations come up, whether its Vice President Joe Biden making women uncomfortable by being unnecessary touching, or the sexual assault allegations against Justice Brett Kavanaugh, an odd dynamic arises. How can we have a reasonable debate about whether such allegations are ultimately disqualifying for public office when around two dozen women have made disturbing claims about the president's behavior? And, in fact, Trump has admitted to grabbing women's genital without their consent and leering at teenage girls in the locker rooms at beauty pageants.
Yet he holds the most powerful position in the country.
It speaks to one of the many ways in which merely having Trump in office, and letting him remain there, lowers standards for our government and corrupts our social norms. There's no secret about what Trump has done, and most people in unguarded moments would probably admit that it should be unacceptable.
It's just rare to hear a Republican bring it up so candidly and openly, acknowledging the repugnant truth that we all have to live with because the GOP has forced it upon us.