Republicans shouldn’t wait for the president to speak first. Trump, who was recorded bragging about assaulting women and has faced allegations from more than a dozen women, has had plenty to say in defense of men accused of everything from sexual harassment to sexual assault to child predation to hitting their wife in the face. Most of the time “it’s sad,” or the man (like Bill O’Reilly) is nice or good, or it’s unfair since the accused (like Roger Ailes) had also “helped” his accusers, or (like Roy Moore) “he totally denies it.”
We are long past the unapologetic misogyny of President Trump or the hypocrisy of his evangelical supporters. But GOP lawmakers will be trying to lose seats if they galvanize women against them with their complicity on this issue. Sure, the tax reform bill seems to have curbed the Democratic wave’s velocity during the last four weeks, but the threat to the GOP majority remains.
Even among the rock-solid base Trump has enjoyed from the start, support has begun to erode among a core constituency: white women without a college degree who helped him win the Rust Belt.