As I write this, it is (checks watch) 15 minutes until the start of the second presidential debate between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump. The bingo cards are printed, drinks for the drinking game are standing by. Since Friday, all anyone can talk about is the leaked footage featuring Trump describing how his fame and wealth enable him to approach, including married women, not only in an aggressive manner but in a way that is essentially sexual assault.
What followed was a simultaneous dogpile from the left (and a lot of folks in the middle) and immediate repudiation of Trump by dozens of down-ticket Republicans who have apparently only now realized what a boat anchor he is to their political careers.
Tonight's debate is expected to contain a number of deflections from Trump onto Secretary Clinton's husband, who, it turns out, is not only comparably famous, but also has a lot to answer for from an alarming number of women. In anticipation of this, Trump held a press conference with many of Mr. Clinton's accusers less than two hours before the debate. We will have to wait and see if this strategy helps Trump in any way beyond reinforcing his already rabid base, but the smart money says otherwise.
But let me refocus on someone else and their response to Friday's video for a moment: UK Independence Party Leader and Brexit architect Nigel Farage. Farage was quoted as saying,
"Look, this is alpha male boasting. It's the kind of thing, if we are being honest, that men do. They sit around and have a drink and they talk like this.
"By the way, quite a lot of women say things amongst themselves that they would not want to see on Fox News, or the front page of a newspaper. I'm not pretending it's good - it's ugly, it is ugly."
You don't have to listen very long to the Trump tapes to hear an insecure weasel of a man seeking approval and validation from, of all people, Access Hollywood host Billy Bush, Trump is an egotistical man-child, a wealthy and entitled idiot so convinced of his own brilliance, he has convinced millions that he is as smart as he says he is, with almost no evidence to back the assertion. We can't expect anything good from him.
But for Farage, a selfish and short-sighted but generally accepted to be sane individual to say that mean everywhere are talking about pushing themselves sexually on women against their will? Unbelievable.
Thankfully people are jumping on these claims: Jake Tapper on CNN did one of the best jobs, pinning Trump surrogate and non-apologist Rudy Giuliani like a bug on a board:
"I have been in locker rooms. I have been a member of a fraternity. I have never heard any man, ever, brag about being able to maul women because they get away with it -- never."Folks, this is not just talk.
Men, when you hear garbage like this, I hope you are calling it out.