language, politics

The Shlong and Snort of It


It is remarkable how one candidate’s inability to watch his mouth has quickly degenerated into a whole party’s, and indeed a whole media’s epidemic of potty politics. The Republican campaign, following its leader, has taken American political discourse to the nether level — “down there,” or “wherever.”


It would be commendable if Trump’s associates would seek a higher level and disavow his discourse as unsuited to the gravitas of the position they are seeking. But no. Here’s Rand Paul, tweeting about Trump’s comment about Clinton’s “disgusting” use of the bathroom:


Paul apparently felt the need to publicly share his opinion about how long women should use the bathroom. He said Wednesday on Twitter that Carly Fiorina, who is also running for president as a Republican, had “ZERO trouble making it back from commercial breaks,” so there was no reason Clinton should have had trouble either. This statement seemed to ignore the circumstances surrounding Clinton’s bathroom trip, as well as the fact that not all women’s bodies are identical (Abigail Abrams, International Business Times, Dec. 23).


Fiorina, that shining example for all women, was so thrilled by Paul’s encomium that she retweeted it. All of this provides yet another comparison between the seriousness of the Democratic candidates and their debates, and the deep frivolousness of their Republican counterparts. Continue reading

gender, language, other topics, politics

Really Disgusting!

Donald Trump is a man with an interesting mind – perhaps too interesting for someone who wants to be president.


Consider his problems with the girlie stuff: for instance, the examples discussed in an op-ed column by Frank Bruni in the December 23 New York Times. In it Bruni notes several cases of the Donald’s extraordinary squeamishness about what we might term bodily products, in one case Marco Rubio’s sweat, but in many more, and with greater revulsion, women’s various secretions. The column was occasioned by Trump’s effusions at a meeting in which Trump went off at length on Hillary Clinton’s taking a bathroom break during Saturday’s Democratic debate (in which Trump himself played no role, of course). You can savor the Trump discours in this clip.


As Bruni notes, Trump’s “fastidiousness” is nothing new. He has repeatedly found it necessary to comment, always irrelevantly and always with “disgust” and loathing, on women’s bodily fluids. Everyone remembers (how could anyone forget?) his effusion against Megyn Kelly after she had the temerity to question him about his misogyny: “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.” This coment was both bizarre and ingenious: bizarre because there was no blood coming out of her eyes, figuratively (whatever the figure might mean), nor as far as the eye could see, out of her wherever, which was perfectly clothed; and because this is just not the sort of statement one hopes for from someone who might just possibly in the near future become our President. But it was crazy like a fox, designed to direct the hearer away from any intellectual response, toward a purely emotional response to the imaginary specter of flowing menstrual blood – the worst kind. Continue reading