The wave of discontent over Trump - Must Read Alaska
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Monday, December 9, 2019
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The wave of discontent over Trump

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Reason enough: U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, with his wife, Julie Fate Sullivan and their daughters.

PARENTS ARE IN RETREAT: THEY HAVE TO ANSWER TO THEIR CHILDREN

In a tsunami, the water recedes as it builds a powerful wave that is going to do some unknown damage once it rushes in.

Today, that wave started hurling itself toward Donald Trump. How bad it will be is anyone’s guess.

It’s Trump’s tsunami weekend: Bad habits caught on tape, badly managed apology, and a debate with Hillary on Sunday night. What else could go wrong? Lots.

Over the past 12 hours, U.S. Senators Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski both withdrew their support from Trump after revelations of crude and demeaning remarks about women came to light.

Sullivan spent years working on domestic violence issues as a member of the Parnell Administration. As a father of three daughters, he has helped lead the fight to change the culture and the thinking in Alaska about how women are treated. It’s not lost on the senator that this is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and his office even put out a statement about that yesterday.

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Choose Respect Initiative was one of the first efforts of Gov. Sean Parnell’s Administration. Dan Sullivan was his DNR commissioner and before that, his attorney general.

And although Sullivan had accepted the Republican Party’s nominee because change is so desperately needed in this country, the senator is also man who, as a father, as a Marine, and as a leader of the Choose Respect initiative, had just heard enough.

Trump’s statements about how, because he’s a star, he was able to get away with groping, kissing and fondling women, was caught on tape back in 2005.

“I’ve got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her. You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait,” he continued. That was just the beginning.

“Grab them by the p—y,” Trump said. “You can do anything.”

Here’s another thing you can bet happens when you’re a star: You’re being recorded all the time. Did he not know that this material was out there?

Bring on the crisis communications team: “I’ve never said I’m a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that I’m not. I’ve said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more than a decade-old video are one of them. Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am,” Trump has explained in a video statement last night.

Apology accepted and we’d like to move on, if we could. After all, the candidate he is opposing, Hillary Clinton, is married to someone just as sexually boorish as Trump, who has done things every bit as bad, maybe worse. Bill Clinton is the kind of predator you wouldn’t want your daughter anywhere near.

But whether or not America can “unhear” those crude Trump words is another matter. They will be played for us in anti-Trump ads for one exact month until the Nov. 8 General Election. That’s how this works in campaigning.

Sens. Sullivan and Murkowski are not alone in rebuking Trump. His own vice presidential nominee, Mike Pence, had to distance himself. And also pulling their support were Senators John Thune, Mike Lee, Mark Kirk and other conservatives. All are up for re-election except Sullivan. House Speaker Paul Ryan cancelled an event with Trump. Sen. John McCain has said he’s done, too.

Sen. Murkowski has long been on the fence about Trump. Her wait-and-see mode has ended and now she’s taking a stand: “I have always supported the Republican presidential nominee and I had hoped to do the same in 2016,” Murkowski said in a brief written statement. “The video that surfaced yesterday further revealed his true character. He not only objectified women, he bragged about preying upon them. I cannot and will not support Donald Trump for president — he has forfeited the right to be our party’s nominee. He must step aside.”

As for Rep. Don Young, he issued a statement saying he thinks the comments are terrible and demeaning: “Nobody deserves to be treated that way.”

But Young, who has always spoken bluntly and has been criticized for it, says we have to focus on Alaska right now. And what the alternatives are.

The reason? Benghazi. Obamacare. Hillary Clinton sold us downriver to the likes of ISIS. The nation is now $20 trillion in debt. And Obama has cleaved America into two with more Americans dependent on entitlement programs than at any time in U.S. history.

The RNC has ordered its contractors to stop all production of materials for Trump. And the RNC does have a rule that allows them to remove a candidate. But ballots have been printed and have been already sent out to members of the military.

As of this morning, there has been no comment from Alaska Republican Party Chairman Tuckerman Babcock. But the party is a rule-bound entity that doesn’t allow a chairman to make a unilateral decision about withdrawing support for a candidate. He did say he had heard there are emergency meetings being held at the national level, but he had no details about those meetings.

Babcock said he would be polling members of the state party’s executive committee to determine if there’s a need to meet to discuss the situation.

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Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

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