The “me too” revolution that began with the downfall of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and has taken us all across the nation ran into a dead end today at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
While Weinstein has been booted from his own firm and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Matt Lauer and Charlie Rose no longer are welcome at NBC and CBS, and even Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, has announced he will exit the Senate sometime in the coming weeks, the White House remains above it all, a testament to a time when men were men and women were kept barefoot and … well, just barefoot until they could think of something.
In Donald Trump’s White House, it appeared the prevailing view was a woman’s place was in the kitchen.
After today and what Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders just endured, a more apt statement would be a woman’s place is in the oven.
No doubt Sanders knew the heat from the White House Press Corps was coming. She had already been receiving questions about the sexual harassment accusations that have been leveled against the president, especially since his endorsement of Roy Moore for U. S. Senate in Alabama.
Each time the questions have been asked, Sanders responds that Trump has denied all of the allegations and the matter has been decided because the voters elected Trump.
Of course, the voters also elected Richard Nixon in 1972 after the Watergate break-in and we all know how that turned out.
The Alabama Senate race has brought the accusations against Trump to the forefront once more with three alleged victims calling today for Trump’s resignation and a Congressional investigation into all of the allegations.
Naturally, that was what the media wanted to ask Sanders about as this afternoon’s press briefing began.
Daily Mail correspondent Francesca Chambers noted that Sanders had previously said all of the accusations “had already been litigated,” but followed with a question specifically addressing the three women who appeared at the press conference and who earlier had been interviewed on NBC’s Today.
Having had the opportunity to practice on this type of question in previous press briefings, Sanders did not have to struggle for words.
“Look, the president has addressed these accusations directly and denied all of the allegations.”
At that point, Sanders was on autopilot.
“This took place long before he was elected president and the people of this country at a decisive election supported President Trump and we feel like these allegations have been answered through that process.”
Later during the press briefing as she continued to answer questions about the sexual harassment allegations, Sanders also pointed out “the president has first hand knowledge of what he did and didn’t do,” something that is hard to deny, though the question of whether any of the rest of us will ever hear what he actually knows is a bit harder to determine.
The most telling response Sanders gave was to a question from April Ryan, Washington bureau chief for Urban Radio Networks, who asked if Sanders herself believed the president’s denials.
“I speak on behalf of the president.”
Those seven words seem to tell us more about how Sanders feels about Trump than anything else she has said since she began addressing press briefings.
Just as telling was the response from U. N. Ambassador Nikki Haley to a question about the president’s accusers Sunday on the CBS program Face the Nation.
“Women who accuse anyone should be heard,” Haley said.
“I know he was elected, but women should always be comfortable coming forward and we should always be willing to listen to them.”
More and more people are listening to women who accuse powerful men of sexual misconduct. The exception to that is living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue (when he’s not at Mar-a-Lago).
What must the president be thinking as he hears Sarah Huckabee Sanders make it clear that she is speaking the president’s version of the truth and not necessarily her own?
How will Donald Trump react at Nikki Haley’s powerful statement that we should always be willing to listen to the accusers – even when the man they are accusing is the President of the United States?
He must be wondering as he absorbs these messages on the cable news shows whatever happened to those wonderful days when women were seen and not heard.
Whatever happened to the days when money, fame and strategic use of Tic Tacs could get a man anything he wanted?