It seems that a certain segment of the Republican base is shocked, shocked to discover that GOP frontrunner Donald Trump is a crass, misogynistic blowhard. They are so terribly shocked by the discovery that RedState founder Erick Erickson even felt compelled to announce that Trump, the frontrunner for the GOP nomination, had been disinvited to the RedState Gathering here in Atlanta and would not be allowed to speak.
Trump's open disdain for those of the female gender hasn't exactly been a secret. But for Erickson, the "bridge too far" came when Trump took off after Fox anchor Megyn Kelly in retaliation for her hard questioning in Thursday night's debate. In a CNN interview afterward, Trump called Kelly a "lightweight" and "overrated" and claimed that "you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her ... wherever."
"I just don't want someone on stage who gets a hostile question from a lady and his first inclination is to imply it was hormonal," Erickson said Friday. "It just was wrong."
You have to wonder how much of that outrage is honest, and how much is motivated by hopes of shoving the embarrassment that is Trump off the Republican stage. And what would be the reaction on the right if, say, former CNN reporter Candy Crowley had asked the exact same tough questions of Trump as Kelly? Based on the responses to Erickson's decision posted at RedState, a lot of conservatives are still of the opinion that the &*#@&* Kelly deserved what she got from Trump. They see Trump as the victim here.
And then there's the irony of Erickson, who has his own history of highly inflammatory statements, rushing to the defense of Kelly. A couple of years ago, Kelly called Erickson on the carpet for statements lamenting the fact that a woman is now the primary breadwinner in some 40 percent of American households. The relentlessly anti-feminist Erickson had argued that the growing economic independence of women runs counter to science and is the root of a lot of the nation's social problems.
“When you look at biology, when you look at the natural world – the roles of a male and a female in society and in other animals, the male typically is the dominant role. The female, it’s not antithesis, or it’s not competing, it’s a complementary role,” he said.
Kelly was not amused:
Somehow -- and I'm just guessing here -- I'd bet that Kelly is less than impressed with Erickson gallantly riding to her defense. I'd also bet that a lot of American women are watching all this and seeing confirmation that on gender issues, the conservative movement is still stuck in the mindset of a previous century.
And I don't mean the 20th.