Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump took his anger out over the release of a 2005 sex tape on Hillary Clinton during the second Presidential debate last night and it was everything the right wing fever swamp-dwellers could have hoped for.
He began his bizarre day by hosting a pre-debate press conference with four women who have accused former president Bill Clinton of sexual assault and sexual advances.
Much has been discussed about this tactic and since Trump's entire campaign has been built around attacking his opponent's family members, he did go there.
And then he took the debate stage and huffed and puffed and sniffled around for over ninety minutes, constantly looming behind Hillary Clinton in an effort to intimidate her.
As we expected, the sex tape was in play early. When Anderson Cooper described his words as sexual assault, Trump denied it and said, "No, I didn’t say that at all. I don’t think you understood what was — this was locker room talk."
He then weirdly went off into a tangent about ISIS chopping people's heads off. He again reiterated that he wasn't proud of the tape and repeated that he "will take care of ISIS."
What a sex tape and ISIS has to do with each other is only known to Donald.
When Cooper pressed him on his boasts of kissing women without their consent, Trump said he has tremendous respect for women and that he didn't do it, but he will still defeat ISIS very quickly.
ABC's Martha Raddatz followed up on the sex tape next, Trump delivered maybe the most vile attacks one presidential candidate has leveled against another during a presidential debate.
It was a Roger Stone special, served with a side of Limbaugh and a piece of Hannity pie.
Trump said, "It was locker room talk, as I told you. That was locker room talk. I’m not proud of it. I am a person who has great respect for people, for my family, for the people of this country. And certainly, I’m not proud of it. But that was something that happened.If you look at Bill Clinton, far worse. Mine are words, and his was action. His was what he’s done to women. There’s never been anybody in the history politics in this nation that’s been so abusive to women. So you can say any way you want to say it, but Bill Clinton was abusive to women.
Hillary Clinton attacked those same women and attacked them viciously. Four of them here tonight. One of the women, who is a wonderful woman, at 12 years old, was raped at 12. Her client she represented got him off, and she’s seen laughing on two separate occasions, laughing at the girl who was raped. Kathy Shelton, that young woman is here with us tonight. So don’t tell me about words. I am absolutely — I apologize for those words. But it is things that people say. But what President Clinton did, he was impeached, he lost his license to practice law. He had to pay an $850,000 fine to one of the women. Paula Jones, who’s also here tonight. And I will tell you that when Hillary brings up a point like that and she talks about words that I said 11 years ago, I think it’s disgraceful, and I think she should be ashamed of herself, if you want to know the truth."
Hillary responded by taking the high road and said, "When I hear something like that, I am reminded of what my friend, Michelle Obama, advised us all: When they go low, you go high."
After she brought up Trump's refusal to apologize to the Gold Star Khan family, Trump delved back into the Birther movement and used the already debunked Sidney Blumenthal talking point as some sort of excuse for his own behavior.
He said, "Well, you owe the president an apology, because as you know very well, your campaign, Sidney Blumenthal..."
Trump attacked her over her primary race with Bernie Sanders and then he let fly the most abhorrent thing I've ever heard during any political debate.
Trump said, "And I’ll tell you what. I didn’t think I’d say this, but I’m going to say it, and I hate to say it. But if I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation, because there has never been so many lies, so much deception. There has never been anything like it, and we’re going to have a special prosecutor.
So we’re going to get a special prosecutor, and we’re going to look into it, because you know what? People have been — their lives have been destroyed for doing one-fifth of what you’ve done. And it’s a disgrace. And honestly, you ought to be ashamed of yourself."
This is the actions of a banana republic candidate, people.
Digby put it this way:
Threatening to jail your political rivals is something you don’t see in advanced democracies. That’s the way it’s done in banana republics and totalitarian dictatorships, and it says everything you need to know about Trump.
Of course, Trump's supporters love his authoritarian positions and his attacks last night are what hey were dreaming about, but the Washington Post editorial board condemned Trump's actions last night and wrote: A new low, even for Donald Trump
Mark the moment. A major-party presidential nominee is officially promising to lock up his political opponent, despite the fact that an impartial federal investigation concluded that no fair prosecutor would have charged Ms. Clinton in the matter of her emails. If anyone needed any more proof that Mr. Trump does not understand the meaning of rule of law as opposed to arbitrary rule of autocrat — that he would use the levers of the federal government in a vindictive, self-serving and corrupt manner — Mr. Trump provided it.
But the overwhelming impression was that Mr. Trump, with his campaign sinking and Republican office holders urging him to withdraw, decided that his best response was to snarl and double down on old falsehoods. Coming out of a disastrous first presidential debate, an even more disastrous aftermath and the release of a video in which he made disgusting comments about women, Mr. Trump dismissed his boasting of sexually predatory behavior as “locker room talk.” When that did not work, he dredged up accusations in Bill Clinton’s sordid past. It was a desperate and ineffective counterpunch.
The only people that were energized by his performance were the Hannity types, who viewed Trump's performance as a crushing defeat for Hillary Clinton.
Early polls show that Hillary Clinton won the debate, but if anything is true, it's that Trump's performance came right out of the swamp that is Steve Bannon's fevered brain.
America suffered last night, and will keep suffering until he is crushed at the polls.