Can We Spell Double Standard?

Over at Dispatches from the Culture Wars, Ed Brayton muses about the stark differences between Donald Trump’s response to accusations of wrongdoing against those he likes–rich or powerful white male cronies–and his attitude toward minorities who have actually been vindicated by the evidence.

As Brayton points out, when Trump finally commented about Rob Porter, a close aide who was forced to resign after reports that he had violently assaulted both of his ex-wives became public, his focus was all on the “rough time” Porter was going through–not a single reference to the women who had been beaten.

Well, we wish him well. He worked very hard. I found out about it recently, and I was surprised by it. But we certainly wish him well.

It’s a, obviously, tough time for him. He did a very good job when he was in the White House. And we hope he has a wonderful career, and hopefully he will have a great career ahead of him. But it was very sad when we heard about it. And, certainly, he’s also very sad.

Now he also — as you probably know, he says he’s innocent, and I think you have to remember that. He said very strongly yesterday that he’s innocent. So you’ll have to talk to him about that. But we absolutely wish him well.

“He says he’s innocent.” Of course, the ex-wives have released photographs of the bruises and black eyes, there are contemporaneous reports by people in whom the women confided at the time…but, just as Roy Moore deserved the benefit of the doubt, according to Trump, we should reserve judgment.

Same with Putin. He says Russia didn’t interfere with our election….and Trump tells us we should believe him. (“He was sincere.”)

Now let’s contrast that with how he treats young black men accused of crimes who were proven innocent because of DNA evidence. This involves the Central Park Five, young black and Latino boys accused of raping a jogger in Central Park. Trump had taken out a full page ad demanding the death penalty for them. But DNA evidence proved that they didn’t do it and a serial rapist who was already in prison for another rape admitted to the crime. Their convictions were overturned. And Trump’s response? “The police doing the original investigation say they were guilty. The fact that that case was settled with so much evidence against them is outrageous.”

So for those keeping score at home: If you’re a powerful white guy and Trump is on your side, nothing you are accused of is ever true, no matter how much evidence there is for it. But if you’re a powerless person with dark skin, you’re guilty of whatever he decides you’re guilty of even if the irrefutable scientific evidence says you’re not. Very convenient, don’t you think?

Equal parts cronyism, racism and misogyny…and 100% despicable.


  1. A book written years ago by Scott Peck explains Trump perfectly, “People of the Lie.”
    How can you tell when #45 is lying? His lips are moving.

  2. Kathy,

    “How can you tell when #45 is lying? His lips are moving.”

    Ditto. “People of the LIe” is a great book. Scott Peck was way ahead of his time.

  3. In this morning’s Fort Wayne Journal Gazette there was an article headline stating that the man ( photo of a black male) was given 30 years for confinement of two women. My immediate thought was if this had been a white male there is no way he would have been given 30 years for confinement, much less a murder.

  4. What does it say about a significant base of the electorate whose identity is politically aligned when collective needs are met by a codependent authority affliction requiring a chronic narcissistic arrested behavior disorder to fulfill?

  5. Let me also add to the issues regarding Trump’s double standard issues referred to today, his latest disgusting photo op in Parkland, Florida. The picture from that trip (what did that photo cost in tax dollars?) show Trump grinning from ear-to-ear in the middle of a group who were also grinning from ear-to-ear over the violent deaths of FOURTEEN STUDENTS AND THREE TEACHERS on Valentine’s Day. Add this to his double standard treatment of Gold Star father, Mr. Khan, and the widow of one of our own military members (Black) whose remains were not even looked for for two weeks. Then the young widow, pregnant with their child, was refused the right to view her husband’s body because they didn’t find all of it to return for burial.

    His public support of a wife-beater comes between the news of his – or his attorney’s – $130,000 payoff to cover up his affair with a porn star and now the release of his affair with a Playmate; both of which said to occur during his marriage to Melania. How will SHE deal with this latest public embarrassment by the leader of this country? I won’t ask again, what will it take for Congress to take action, because we all know the answer to that is NOTHING. They have their own double standards to support. Their continuing payoffs supported by Citizens United; SCOTUS and themselves being the only united citizens supporting that law.

  6. I believe we’ll find that Trump, the mass murders, and all really extreme behaviors come from “Fundamentalist” personalities. It’s also called ‘authoritarian’, but we need to go back to the source of this, and it’s a heresy that usually comes out of religion. In our case, it’s Fundamentalismt Christianity :: people who support Trump because they know he’s really bad, and they welcome that because they believe it will bring the Rapture and the end of the world so Jesus can come again.
    The gun nuts and mass murderers? The believe they’ve got to have all this weaponry because the government is going to take their weapons away from them. And it should do it. First, stop selling these things, and then destroying them whenever they are found.
    When the leaders of the country begin to realize it’s not a 2nd amendment issue nor just a religious one, but rather a personality disorder that is promoted by the NRA, then we’ll see some changes. But, until that point comes, we’ll see more and more of these things.

  7. As I was perusing the evening msnbc gang – I have to say, I think there is hope. I am actually hearing people voice the word ‘treason’ – in relation to djt and his cronies. But what of the damage done so far by this ‘demon-possessed megalomaniac’ and his imps? If we bump the lot we have to rebuild soooo much, are we just going to ‘reset’ should the nuclear option on the pres come down? Does this make hrc the president by default?And what the hell are we going to do to find all the ‘worms’ in our woodwork?.. One wonders on these things.

  8. Steve Smith,

    ” ……but we need to go back to the source of this, and it’s a heresy that usually comes out of religion.”

    You’re right, but you have to prove it. Its called a ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS. Ella Baker, the African-American Civil Rights Leader, called for one over 50 years ago.

  9. After yesterday’s Rosenstein announcement, there are still people out there claiming there is no proof of Russian involvement in the election. Drumpf had premised his pronouncement of guilt for the Central Park 5 on their coerced/forced admissions of guilt. He still believes that coercion doesn’t change the outcome.

  10. There is some modicum of hope that the authoritarians can be overthrown by democracy despite the political entertainment industry, the Party, the Russians, and the Kochs. Some hope but that’s a powerful conspiracy aligned against us.

    We never thought that it was possible for us to get here and we cannot make the same mistake again of assuming what’s possible and impossible.

    The Ds are flawed too but they are on our on our side and listening to us. We cannot make the mistake that because we have allowed corporate campaign financing permiate our government both parties are equal for taking advantage of it. They may have some similar characteristics in understanding what we have allowed the gift of our forefathers to become because of media’s pursuit of make more money regardless of the impact on others but the things like the now unquestionable Russian influence prove that what we thought was thought by many others too.

    All Ds in ‘18 and ‘20. Not sophisticated, drastic, a large hammer. The only thing that can possibly be said good of that strategy is that it’s necessary.

  11. I have written that Trump is a sick man, but sick assumes a certain standard from which one must deviate, and this man is setting the standards, thus redefining sick, and that contorted process is in itself sick. What happened three days ago in the county contiguous to mine here in Florida is beyond depressing, but the indictments of Russians by Mueller we heard about yesterday gives me hope that we are returning to some sort of normalcy. Perhaps Trump’s double standard that sells so well among his base is about ready to be dismembered if our “blue wave” succeeds in sending more Republicans from the House and Senate home “to spend more time with their families.”

    Parenthetically, and off-topic, I note that Romney has announced that he is running for the senate seat Hatch is abandoning in Utah. Anybody who thinks that his primary goal is winning that seat is dreaming. He is running for president on the supposition that the Oval Office will be open or winnable due to Trump-Pence fatigue in 2020 (assuming we don’t have a President Ryan by then). Hopefully, I will be voting for Elizabeth Warren.

  12. “Now, there is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity. There is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election.”

    Isn’t it sad that all the FBI energy and money going into this investigation could have been used to do something useful… like following up on leads regarding potential school killers

  13. From Wikipedia:
    “The 2018 United States elections will mostly be held on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. These midterm elections will take place in the middle of Republican President Donald Trump’s first term. All 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives and 34 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate will be contested.”

    Pete –
    “All Democrats in ‘18 and ‘20. Not sophisticated, drastic, a large hammer.”
    That strategy is necessary.
    Turnout for Midterms is notoriously poor. Citizens will reverse that and turn out in record numbers.
    We will return to sanity starting in January, 2019 with a new Congress.

  14. Our problems are complex. We can paralyze ourselves by trying to unravel that complexity or we can can agree on a democratic revolution.

    All Ds is such a start.

    While there is always risk that extreme solutions lead to unmanageable extremism I think that we have to take the risk that all revolutions accept and assume that after ‘20 we will sort things out as the next step.

    I think we must.

  15. Pete,

    “Our problems are complex. We can paralyze ourselves by trying to unravel that complexity or we can agree on a democratic revolution.”

    Speak for yourself. Hopefully, not all of us are going to be paralyzed. Waiting for the 20’s? There won’t be anything to sort out by the 20’s. What democratic revolution are you talking about? The world is moving toward authoritarianism.

  16. The title says it all. But,Trump is just a symptom. The power in this country resides with the white and wealthy. That will not change anytime soon. Being white and wealthy certainly affords one the “benefit” of a doubt, but that’s not exclusive to Trump and the GOP. That’s an issue of class–an issue we are not allowed to talk about and elaborate upon in America. If we do,the bourgeoisie might lose some of their social capital in the process of change ,and we can’t have that. Trump’s rush to judgement wrt is reprehensible,however,99.9% of the white population most likely agreed with him at the time. That’s unfortunate,but it’s the truth.

    “cronyism, racism and misogyny”

    You bet it is. Not just from the likes of Trump,Biden’s treatment of Anita Hill can be described by those very same words. Of course, he’s a hero to those contributing here. I would add “classism” as well. Keep in mind,the Trump family and the Clintons were very,very good friends. If only we could have a genuine opposition party to the malfeasance going on in Washington DC. It’s too bad in the current environs most are not genuinely concerned with cronyism,racism and misogyny–but only as it applies to their use as a counter to those they oppose.

  17. Thank you SO MUCH for writing about this. “Due process” is not a term I’d ever heard from Donald Trump until someone wrote it into prepared remarks for him. He said reputations can be damaged without recovery by accusations without due process. Someone must have written that for him too.

    His campaign was littered – literally – with frequent name-calling which amounted to unsubstantiated accusations against others without due process (“crooked Hillary” and “lying Ted”). Among his other unsubstantiated attacks was that Ted Cruz’ father had some alleged involvement in JFK’s assassination. No due process for him either. (This sounds like something from the “National Enquirer” which Trump so admires.)

    Trump continued unsubstantiated attacks WITHOUT due process once in office such as his accusation that Obama had wiretapped Trump. His broad-brush accusations against whole nationalities are equally offensive. He believes most Mexicans are rapists and murderers, and all Muslims from some countries must be banned. Refugees are given 2 years of extensive, investigative ‘due process’ but none of it counts for those from the wrong country. (Noticeably Trump didn’t ban Muslims from the one oil-rich country which supplied most of the terrorists of 9/11.)

    It seems rich people, rich countries, dutiful subordinates – oh and Vladimir Putin – are due more due process than anyone else in Donald Trump’s world.

  18. Marv:” Hopefully, not all of us are going to be paralyzed. Waiting for the 20’s? There won’t be anything to sort out by the 20’s. What democratic revolution are you talking about? The world is moving toward authoritarianism.”

    Yes,the world is moving in that direction. The Democrats have moved more toward the right in the preceding decades to its detriment and now the chickens are coming home to roost. So many are no longer are buying the BS from the party any longer(and at a time when the stakes are high). Pete can remain sanguine wrt The Democratic Party,I’ve given up on them. I will not support the Republicans. They have always been a bigoted and hateful organization. I think I represent a lot of folks (at least on this we can all agree) when I say the country needs some grownups at the helm. Unfortunately both political organizations are lacking for said adults. Instead,we are inundated with what amounts to daily barrages consisting of both sides flinging pooh at one another,constructing weak arguments that can go both ways,complete outrage of semantics and the constant reaching for the fainting couch by both sides over things both tribes are guilty of doing. Meanwhile,the Democrats have vilified Trump–but given him the ok for expanded spying powers. We are in several military adventures. There are no marches protesting these adventures. Many folks are sliding down the path toward poverty. Corporatism is strengthening its grip, and some must wonder why so many have walked away from the political environment? If voting all D’s is the only option we have– then we’re screwed. I expect more folks will stay home and 2018 will be a record low. Of course,I could be wrong.

    Also,it’s pernicious how a genuine lack of real choice one has among the candidates and their respective parties. This is a feature and not a bug. The smaller the voting bloc, the less need for larger amounts of votes for your candidate. I think part of this tit for tat among both political organizations is kayfabe designed to disenfranchise many eligible voters. i.e. If the Democrats can disenfranchise members of the real left and have them stay home whilst suburban Republicans take up the slack and vote Democratic, ergo mission accomplished. Moreover,one can’t help but become all but totally disillusioned if one is an independant watching both teams from the sidelines.

    This is why semantics are being argued incessantly and vehemently. Issues? Not so much. And no one wants to admit it.


    “…all really extreme behaviors come from “Fundamentalist” personalities. It’s also called ‘authoritarian’, but we need to go back to the source of this, and it’s a heresy that usually comes out of religion.”

    I say it comes from an innate love of royalty, the charisma of state, the personality of preening leaders, the same love of royalty that moved the Royalists, also called Tories, also called Loyalists, to join the British side during the American Revolution. Loyalists differ from Authoritarians: Loyalists are not so moved by the authoritarian power to get things done as they are infatuated with Charisma of State and the easy payoff for those who fawn their way into King Charisma’s favor.

    My three novels in the Joseph’s Easel series deal with the latent Royalist syndrome as it nearly destroys a small community in Krugerrand County east of Indianapolis. The novels are meant to be predictive of–truly a warning about–the situation we face now as a country. The third novel, “Who the Hell is Johnny Pistolseed”, not quite finished yet, deals with the process of cleaning up after the Royalist disaster, described by one of the characters in the book as being like the near impossibility of nation building in a country that has lived under dictatorships for several generations. The first two books, published by Legacy Tree Books, are available on Search for them by name:”Joseph’s Easel, the Rise of an American Picasso” and “Joseph’s Easel, Don’t Mess with Culture”. Or by Author: Larry Kaiser.

  20. While I can understand how some of my fellow commentators are disillusioned with both major political parties, I do not understand that they will stay home come November. I think that many of us are expecting more out of a political party than it was ever designed to give. Political, like social, religious and other such institutions are human institutions subject to all the shortcomings humans have and cannot cater to each and every whim of its members. Perfection is a concept and not a reality and I for one, though striving for the perfect, am ready to live with good enough. As a citizen I am not going to take my toys and go home; I am going to stay in the sandbox with the Trumps of this world and make my positions so well known that they will go home.

    Yes, the Democratic Party, like any other human institution, has not lived up to all my hopes and expectations, and I can point to its mistakes and generalize from the particular (in non-Aristotelian fashion) to prove a point, but I will put its record up against that of Republican
    greed and corruption any day – and I do expect to show up this November to make a choice between the imperfect and the impossible.

  21. Gerald,

    No one can accuse you of not being a “fighter.”

    But, at the rate we’re declining, we’ll be lucky if we even have elections in November. Even if we do, FEAR will be a major issue as the TSUNAMI OF HATRED looms larger and larger. Voting for an IMPOTENT Democratic Party will have little attraction.

    The FACADE that America is a democracy is being washed away on a daily basis.

    “The Economist” in a recent issue didn’t even list the U.S. as a democracy, not even a weak one.

  22. *I understand my continued WARNINGS have little or no value as we humans, UNLIKE most in the animal world, have little or no capacity to handle FEAR. It is demonstrated in our total lack of CIVIC COURAGE in the face of the continued destruction of democratic values by Trump and the Republican Party.

  23. Noticeably Trump didn’t ban Muslims from the one oil-rich country which supplied most of the terrorists of 9/11.)

    If memory serves, Drumpf banned not a single Muslim from any Arab countries he has properties or property rights in. Even though several of them sponsored Muslim terrorists.

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