USA Today Editorial: Donald Trump ‘Is Not Fit for Office’

“Unfit to clean toilets in Obama’s presidential library or to shine George W. Bush’s shoes.”

USA Today eviscerated President Donald Trump as “not fit to clean the toilets in Obama’s presidential library or to shine George W. Bush’s shoes” in a scathing editorial that came snapping at the heels of Trump’s attack on Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, which many criticized as sexually suggestive and demeaning, though the White House denied there was anything suggestive about the post.

“With his latest tweet, clearly implying that a United States senator would trade sexual favors for campaign cash, President Trump has shown he is not fit for office,” the editorial board wrote. “Rock bottom is no impediment for a president who can always find room for a new low.”

Then the board went even further:

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Tuesday dismissed the president’s smear as a misunderstanding because he used similar language about men. Of course, words used about men and women are different. When candidate Trump said a journalist was bleeding from her “wherever,” he didn’t mean her nose.

And as is the case with all of Trump’s digital provocations, the president’s words were deliberate. He pours the gasoline of sexist language and lights the match gleefully knowing how it will burst into flame in a country reeling from the #MeToo moment.

A president who would all but call Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand a whore is not fit to clean the toilets in the Barack Obama Presidential Library or to shine the shoes of George W. Bush.

But Trump’s behavior, USA Today reminds its readers, is not out of character.

Donald Trump, the man, on the other hand, is uniquely awful. His sickening behavior is corrosive to the enterprise of a shared governance based on common values and the consent of the governed.

It should surprise no one how low he went with Gillibrand. When accused during the campaign of sexually harassing or molesting women in the past, Trump’s response was to belittle the looks of his accusers. Last October, Trump suggested that he never would have groped Jessica Leeds on an airplane decades ago: “Believe me, she would not be my first choice, that I can tell you.” Trump mocked another accuser, former People reporter Natasha Stoynoff, “Check out her Facebook, you’ll understand.”  Other celebrities and politicians have denied accusations, but none has stooped as low as suggesting that their accusers weren’t attractive enough to be honored with their gropes.

The editorial board also cites the following as examples that “the unique awfulness of the Trump era in U.S. politics is only going to get worse”:

  • His enthusiastic support for Alabama Republican Roy Moore for the U.S. Senate. Moore lost the election yesterday in a heated contest against Doug Jones, his Democrat opponent. Moore still secured more than 48 percent, however, despite multiple allegations of child molestation and sexual assault against women. (Earlier this morning, Trump tweeted that Moore “worked hard, but the deck was stacked against him!”)
  • Trump’s unabashed disregard for the truth. (“As of mid-November, he had made 1,628 misleading or false statements in 298 days in office. That’s 5.5 false claims per day, according to a count kept by The Washington Post’s fact-checkers,” the editorial board notes.)
  • His willingness to take “advantage of any situation,” including “Monday’s failed terrorist attack in New York — to stir racial, religious or ethnic strife.”
  •  Trump’s failure to fill “key government positions that require Senate confirmation.” USA Today notes that as of last week, “Trump had failed to nominate anyone for 60% of 1,200 key positions he can fill to keep the government running smoothly.”
  • His “contempt for ethical strictures that have bound every president in recent memory.” The editorial board cites Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns (he has continued to claim he cannot do so because he’s under audit), and his unwillingness to divest himself from his many businesses.

Then the reactions poured in––and they were overwhelmingly positive.

USA Today is not known for its opinion pieces, but this isn’t the first time it’s issued a blistering rebuke of the president or his policies.

To read more, please continue to page 2.

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