The least convincing Republican defense of Donald Trump’s attack on Mika Brzezinski surely belongs to White House principal deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who declared that Americans “knew what they were getting” when they elected him. The implication is that because Americans understood that Trump was a vulgar misogynist during the campaign, there’s nothing wrong with his vulgar misogyny today.
Put aside the fact that a majority of Americans voted against Trump. Put aside the fact that even those Americans who did vote for him largely did so in spite of, rather than because of, his crude, sexist outbursts: Exit polls showed that among Americans who prioritized “good judgment,” Clinton beat Trump by 40 points.
The true idiocy of Sanders’s statement is the implication that because a president said or did something during the campaign, he shouldn’t be criticized for saying or doing it while president. By that standard, Republicans had no right to criticize Obamacare. After all, Obama ran on health-care reform in 2008. Sanders seems unable to grasp the distinction between democracy and morality. The people can vote for something and it can still be wrong.
By contrast, the least convincing criticism of Trump’s attack on Brzezinski came from Fox News’ Tucker Carlson. “The real tragedy of today’s tweets,” Carlson said, is that “they were a diversion.”