Scoot down the bench, ladies, and make room for one more. You know how it goes and how it feels. He walked again, all the while calling his accusers contriving liars.
It's not for lack of trying. Here are the last 15 seconds of Democrats' 21-plus hours pressing for the president's impeachment from the well of the U.S. Senate. "And so I ask you. I implore you," Democratic House Manager Adam Schiff pleaded in his peroration. "Give America a fair trial. She's worth it."
To the defendant, America is not worth it. She's just another plaything to be abused for his pleasure and dismissed at his whim. She now joins a still-growing list of 25 women who have publicly accused this president of one or another form of abuse, a central word in the articles passed in the House in December.
This new victim will do well to steel herself for coming calumny that her new sisters know only too well.
(Names and charges in the following partial compilation are drawn mainly from Business Insider, a slightly left-of-center publication.)
Jessica Leeds tells of feeling her airplane seatmate's hand go groping up her skirt in the 1970s. In his public denial just ahead of 2016's election, the Republican nominee told rallying fans, "Believe me, she would not be my first choice." (America take heed; Russia take comfort.)
A decade or so later, in her divorce deposition, the first wife of the now-impeached president accused him of "violent assault," reportedly terming the incident "rape" to friends. As the 2016 campaign got underway, the ex-husband's then-lawyer, Michael Cohen, claimed, "You cannot rape your spouse." (America, gird yourself given this quite similar claim last summer: "I have an Article 2, where I have the right to do whatever I want as president.")
Two Miss Teen USA contestants interviewed just before the 2016 election substantiated what the now-president told radio host Howard Stern 10 years earlier. "I'll go backstage and everyone's getting dressed . . I'm allowed to go in because I'm the owner of the pageant. ... You know they're standing there with no clothes. ... And so I sort of get away with things like that." (America, it is often said you are a young country, but know youth is no shield against his prurient desires.)
Former Elle columnist E. Jean Carroll accused the man in the White House of raping her in a department store dressing room. She has written he was "forcing his fingers around my private area, thrusts his penis halfway – or completely, I'm not certain – inside me." The denial from the White House was typical and categorical: "This is a completely false and unrealistic story . . . and was created simply to make the president look bad." (America, nowhere are you safe from this predator who will grab anything in any place and feel entitled to do so.)
Time after time the very vitriol and damnation that spew in denial after denial by the forever-impeached president and his mouthpieces kindle suspicion that he is just the kind of person who would do what his accusers allege.
"Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign. ... Total fabrication. The events never happened. Never. All of these liars will be sued after the election is over," he announced at a campaign rally. He has said the charges came from "women who got paid a lot of money to make up stories about me," and blamed "mainstream media" for bolstering "false allegations." Here's more: "It is totally ridiculous." "Give me a break." "Total fiction." "This is not who I am as a person, and it is not how I've conducted my life."
The president's last defense quoted above is surely his most indefensible. To have lived one's life in a way that honestly allows such an assertion measures a wide, welcome distance from this serial abuser of women, of Congress and of so many things decent people hold dear
Doug Kamholz, of Springfield, spent years as a local activist, Illinois farmer and traveling reporter. He now emails his weekly "Wednesday Moorings with Moxie" to anyone who contacts firstname.lastname@example.org .