The response of local Republican “leaders” to Donald Trump’s gross conversation about his pursuit of women tells us a great deal about about their suitability for their own positions.
Margaret Farrow is a University of Wisconsin Regent. She is one of the people charged with leading the UW System in the 21st century. Her response to Donald Trump:
Former Lt. Gov. Margaret Farrow, part of a coalition of Wisconsin women supporting the GOP nominee, defended Trump, noting the comments were made 11 years ago before he was running for president and were recorded without his knowledge. However, she said she raised her own sons not to use that kind of language.
“I’m more interested in keeping our country safe and bringing back jobs,” Farrow said, commenting before Ryan’s announcement late Friday. “On those two points I think he stands head and shoulders above Hillary Clinton.”
As a Regent, that won’t cut it. Mr. Trump’s crass attitude and behavior are salient in the world of the people attending the University of Wisconsin, and their concerns should also be of concern to Ms. Farrow. It is apparent that her interest in Republican politics has overtaken her judgment when it comes to the University of Wisconsin, and that she can no longer act effectively in her role as a Regent. She should resign immediately.
Paul Ryan’s response to the Trump debacle was this statement:
“I am sickened by what I heard today. Women are to be championed and revered, not objectified. I hope Mr. Trump treats this situation with the seriousness it deserves and works to demonstrate to the country that he has greater respect for women than this clip suggests. In the meantime, he is no longer attending tomorrow’s event in Wisconsin.”
Well, that’s pretty weak sauce. Disinviting Trump from an event to which he was reluctantly invited, and hoping that Trump “treats this situation with seriousness.” Were Paul Ryan a leader, he would pull his endorsement from Trump, as Sen. Kelly Ayotte, Sen. Mike Crapo, and Rep. Jason Chaffetz have done. But Paul Ryan is not a leader. Nor does he appear to be from the 21st century. Women today do not ask to be championed or revered. They ask to be treated as people, and to be respected. Save your reverence for your religion, Mr. Ryan. Women in general do not need it.
Several hours after the revelations, our sometime-governor tweeted this response: “Inexcusable. Trump’s comments are inexcusable.” That’s all. Again, not enough strength to withdraw an endorsement, nor even a thought about what is appropriate. Nothing more on Twitter in the last 14 hours. Pathetic, really, but I don’t expect anything more from Scott Walker. There’s nothing inside, best I can tell.