The women who won it all came home and the trouble continued:
Megan Rapinoe may not visit Donald Trump in the White House but she might throw him out of it, according to a poll released on Tuesday.
Rapinoe, 34, capped an outstanding World Cup on Sunday, scoring a penalty as the USA beat the Netherlands 2-0 in Lyon to win their fourth title.
The outspoken USA co-captain said earlier in the tournament she would not visit the White House if her team won the title and Trump extended an invitation.
Trump responded by criticizing Rapinoe on Twitter. He congratulated the team on their win but also vacillated on whether the team would be asked to visit.
On Monday, Rapinoe said the team would visit Congress but not the White House, if asked.
A day later, Public Policy Polling, a Democratic firm, said that due to “popular demand”, it had polled the public about a “Megan Rapinoe v Donald Trump 2020 match-up”.
It said: “We found that Rapinoe gets 42% to 41% for Trump.”
Of course the country is divided on this:
Conservative commentator Ann Coulter continued her criticisms of the U.S. women’s soccer team on Sunday after Team USA’s Ali Krieger and Megan Rapinoe spoke out about their negative feelings towards President Donald Trump.
Coulter, 57, who penned the 2016 pro-Trump book In Trump We Trust, took to Twitter on Saturday to mock Krieger for issuing negative comments regarding the president. Coulter responded to a CNN interview with the American soccer player – where she said Trump “warrants no respect” and defended her teammate Megan Rapinoe’s refusal to visit the White House – by tweeting: “We’d rather hear from the team of under-15-year-old boys who beat them.”
Coulter continued rebuking Team USA on Sunday, in a series of tweets where she vowed to ruin “soccer for as many people as possible.”
Coulter says soccer is a stupid game anyway, and certainly not American in any way, but that “defeat” she mentioned was a public relations scrimmage with those boys and it’s unclear if anyone was actually keeping score, but let that pass. Rapinoe is proudly and openly gay – deal with it – and big on equal pay for equal work for women, in soccer in particular but also in general – and she’s not going to apologize for any of that. And she’s well-read and articulate – she knows her stuff – no one is going to embarrass her on any topic. She’s both smart as a whip and quick as a whip. And she was captain of the team that just won the Women’s World Cup for the United States, not for Russia. Trump is the one who admires Putin and defends Russia. Rapinoe won for America.
The new poll numbers say it all, even if she’s not running for president. But she has the general concept down cold:
US women’s soccer captain Megan Rapinoe sent a message to President Donald Trump on Tuesday, telling him he’s excluding groups of Americans with his message and that he needs to do better in caring for every single American.
When asked by CNN’s Anderson Cooper what she would say to Trump, Rapinoe looked into the camera and said, “Your message is excluding people. You’re excluding me, you’re excluding people that look like me, you’re excluding people of color, you’re excluding Americans that maybe support you.”
The back-to-back World Cup champion added that “we need to have a reckoning” with the implications of Trump’s Make America Great Again slogan, because “you’re harking back to an era that was not great for everyone – it might have been great for a few people, and maybe America is great for a few people right now, but it’s not great for enough Americans in this world,” she said, still directing her message to the President.
“You have an incredible responsibility as the chief of this country to take care of every single person, and you need to do better for everyone,” Rapinoe added.
She understands the job. Does he? Of course she’s not a billionaire, so what does she know? But she does know better than to accept an invitation to the White House, and so does the team:
“I would not go, and every teammate that I’ve talked to explicitly about it would not go,” she said.
“I don’t think anyone on the team has any interest in lending the platform that we’ve worked so hard to build, and the things that we fight for, and the way that we live our life – I don’t think that we want that to be co-opted or corrupted by this administration,” Rapinoe told Cooper.
She added that allowing the White House to “put us on display” didn’t “make sense for us at all,” adding that “there are so many other people that I would rather talk to and have meaningful conversations that could really affect change in Washington than going to the White House.”
And there is that alternative:
Rapinoe accepted the invitations that she and the team have received from Democratic lawmakers — including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California — telling Cooper that based on conversations with her teammates, “everyone is interested in going to Washington.”
“This is such a special moment for us, and to be able to sort of leverage this moment and talk about the things that we want to talk about and to celebrate like this with the leaders of our country is an incredible moment,” she said. “So yes to AOC, yes to Nancy Pelosi, yes to the bipartisan Congress, yes to Chuck Schumer – yes to anyone else that wants to invite us and have a real substantive conversation, and that believes in the same things that we believe in.”
So she is proud to be an American. She just imagines an America where it’s not 1953 anymore. Now women work, for good wages at real jobs, and yes, some of them are gay, but almost all of them no longer take crap from anyone, particularly patronizing men – no mansplaining, thank you very much. And they won’t be used or put on display or anytime like that. They’re not ornamental. They’re not trophies. They win trophies.
Donald Trump will never understand these new women. He’s on his third trophy wife. She poses. She says nothing. And his highly ornamental daughter seems to float along doing little. No one is sure what Ivanka is supposed to be doing. She may not even know what she is supposed to be doing. But that doesn’t matter:
President Donald Trump told reporters on Friday that the foreign leaders at the G20 Summit “loved” his daughter Ivanka.
“I thought Ivanka was amazing at the G-20, and I’ll tell you, the foreign leaders loved her, and they just think she’s great,” Trump said. “She’s very smart and she’s done a great job. She’s sacrificed a lot.”
The President claimed his daughter’s “worked on almost 10 million jobs” and getting companies “to hire people.”
“But the people, the foreign leaders really like her a lot,” he said.
None of this is remotely true:
A video of Ivanka awkwardly attempting to join a conversation with several foreign leaders at the summit went viral last week, spawning mockery and many a meme online. Critics pointed to the video as evidence that Ivanka, who is a White House advisor but does not work for the National Security Council, had little business attending the summit.
“It may be shocking to some, but being someone’s daughter actually isn’t a career qualification,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) tweeted in response to the video.
White House deputy communications secretary, Jessica Ditto, told the New York Times that the clip was a “misrepresentation.”
It wasn’t. Being ornamental is being useless. Trump doesn’t understand women. He never has. The New York Times’ Annie Karni and Maggie Haberman offer background on that:
It was supposed to be an exclusive party at Mar-a-Lago, Donald J. Trump’s members-only club in Palm Beach, Fla. But other than the two dozen or so women flown in to provide the entertainment, the only guests were Mr. Trump and Jeffrey Epstein.
The year was 1992 and the event was a “calendar girl” competition, something that George Houraney, a Florida-based businessman who ran American Dream Enterprise, had organized at Mr. Trump’s request.
“I arranged to have some contestants fly in,” Mr. Houraney recalled in an interview on Monday. “At the very first party, I said, ‘Who’s coming tonight? I have 28 girls coming.’ It was him and Epstein.”
That’s how it was:
Mr. Houraney, who had just partnered with Mr. Trump to host events at his casinos, said he was surprised. “I said, ‘Donald, this is supposed to be a party with VIPs. You’re telling me it’s you and Epstein?'”
In fact, that was the case, an indication of a years-long friendship between the president and Mr. Epstein that some say ended only after a failed business arrangement between them. The full nature of their eventual falling out is not clear.
And that may not matter much:
Through a mutual appreciation of wealth, women and years of occupying adjacent real estate in Palm Beach and on Page Six, the lives of the two men routinely intersected for decades – until the connection turned from a status symbol into a liability, and Mr. Trump made sure to publicize the fact that he had barred his onetime friend from his clubs.
“In those days, if you didn’t know Trump and you didn’t know Epstein, you were a nobody,” said Alan Dershowitz, the longtime Harvard University Law School professor who later served on Mr. Epstein’s defense team when he was charged with unlawful sex with minors in 2006.
Before Mr. Epstein pleaded guilty to the charges, and was mainly known as a reclusive, sweat-shirt-sporting billionaire who liked the company of young women, Mr. Trump spoke enthusiastically about their relationship.
“I’ve known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy,” Mr. Trump told New York magazine in 2002. “He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side.”
That seemed no big deal then but things are different now:
Speaking Tuesday to reporters in the Oval Office, the president distanced himself from Mr. Epstein, noting that he “knew him like everybody in Palm Beach knew him.” But Mr. Trump added: “I had a falling out with him. I haven’t spoken to him in 15 years. I was not a fan of his – that I can tell you.”
He was running away, but that’s not easy:
While Mr. Trump has dismissed the relationship, Mr. Epstein, since the election, has played it up, claiming to people that he was the one who introduced Mr. Trump to his third wife, Melania Trump, though neither of the Trumps has ever mentioned Mr. Epstein playing a role in their meeting. Mrs. Trump has said that her future husband simply asked for her phone number at a party at the Kit Kat Club during Fashion Week in 1998.
Mr. Epstein was a never a dues-paying member of the Mar-a-Lago club, according to an official at the Trump Organization. But as a guest of a guest, he was treated like a close friend by the club’s owner and self-appointed headwaiter, Mr. Trump.
The two were photographed together there in the 1990s and early 2000s, Mr. Trump always in a tie, Mr. Epstein always without. And in Manhattan, they attended many of the same dinner parties…
Their paths crossed far too often:
Since Mr. Trump’s decision to enter the presidential race in 2015, his aides and allies have been eager to minimize any connection to Mr. Epstein, knowing that Mr. Epstein’s relationship with Mr. Clinton would be investigated at a time Hillary Clinton was likely to be his opponent.
Roger J. Stone Jr., the former Trump adviser, wrote in his book “The Clintons’ War on Women,” which was published during the campaign, that Mr. Trump “turned down many invitations to Epstein’s hedonistic private island and his Palm Beach home.” Once when Mr. Trump visited Mr. Epstein at his Palm Beach home, Mr. Stone wrote, he later seemed to joke about the scene of underage girls he witnessed there.
“The swimming pool was filled with beautiful young girls,” Mr. Trump later told a Mar-a-Lago member, according to Mr. Stone. “‘How nice,’ I thought, ‘he let the neighborhood kids use his pool.'”
Trump knew what was up. What does he say about it now? Jennifer Rubin sees his dilemma:
You’ve seen this before. A man associated with President Trump – his former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh and Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta – is part of a story in which women or girls were allegedly abused, mistreated and/or sexually molested. There was pictorial evidence Porter abused his spouse. There were multiple, credible accounts of women who claimed Moore abused them as girls. Kavanaugh was accused of sexual assault by Christine Blasey Ford (who told witnesses about the allegation years earlier). Acosta’s plea deal for Jeffrey Epstein was widely criticized by those involved in the case and was illegally crafted in secret to avoid allowing witnesses to know and object.
And there’s only one response:
Trump comes out with a variety of excuses to the men: He was “no fan” of Epstein. Acosta’s deplorable plea deal that allowed Epstein to escape justice was a long time ago. Moore denied the claims. Kavanaugh denied the claims.
But there’s more to it:
Trump expresses appreciation for the accused man. Porter and Acosta were doing a great job, you see. Trump calls evidence from female witnesses “fake news” or claims eyewitness testimony (even by multiple witnesses) is not “corroborated” (as if that were a defense anyway). He says the males were treated very unfairly. Trump suggests the great risk is not that men like Kavanaugh (rich, white lawyers) are held accountable for their crimes but that women make false claims (which make up a tiny percentage of cases in sex crimes, no higher than false reports for other crimes). Trump does not express horror, concern or sympathy for the women involved.
And that’ll do:
Republicans go along with this charade for a time. If the stakes are low and the evidence great (e.g. Porter) Trump might even dump the person on his own. If the facts are grotesque, Republicans might not back the president (e.g. Moore’s Senate run), but they would never condemn Trump for supporting a character they consider heinous and unfit. They refuse to make an informed decision of their own as multiple Senate Republicans have done in saying their judgment on Acosta depends on whether he breached professional ethics. (A court already held his prosecutors broke the law in crafting a secret plea deal.) And they will never, ever criticize Trump as being unduly solicitous of accused predators or cruel to victims.
The incident doesn’t have to be exclusively about women. In border detention centers mothers, fathers, sons and daughters are held in dreadful conditions, which the inspector general and eyewitnesses describe in depth (and which border control officials tried to complain about internally). Trump expresses no sympathy for victims. He blames them for coming in the first place. He denies facts (fake news, again) substantiating abuse.
Republicans go along with that too, which means that they have Trump’s problem with women too:
Suffice it to say, his conduct is not how the vast majority of people view credible accusers and their abusers. And you know who really cannot fathom such thinking? Women. It is not the sole reason that white women have streamed out of the GOP, contributing in large part to Democrats’ 2018 wins, but it is a substantial motivator. (Other reasons include Republicans’ effort to take away health care, Trump’s obstruction of justice and contempt for the rule of law and the over-reliance on hard power – i.e. war – in foreign policy.)
This all adds up:
Trump, in a majority of women’s eyes, is an abusive bully who coddles other abusive bullies, refuses to hold male wrongdoers accountable and derides their female victims as nuts, devious or both. It’s one reason the gender gap, already wide, has exploded even further in the Trump era. It’s not simply that women prefer Democrats; it is that they have come to view Trump Republicans as cruel, abusive and inhumane. They are voting their values, and Trump Republicans trample on their values every day.
Republicans officials have enabled Trump every step of the way and mount zero opposition to his re-nomination. These Republicans, therefore, in the eyes of millions of women, become indistinguishable from Trump. And women will have the last say – at the ballot box.
And now they’d even vote for Megan Rapinoe. But who wouldn’t? She won something for the country. And what has he won lately?