But it is here that the Always-Trumpers miss the point: The issue for me is not the president being nice.
To be sure, I appreciate it when he acts "presidentially," while I cringe at his words at their ugliest.
But the issue for me is the larger strategy, the issue of winning the bigger war.
Without a doubt, if Prof. Ford is lying, that is terribly ugly, and she deserves to pay the price. She has committed a punishable crime and she has participated in a heinous act.
But by doing what he did in his speech, the president alienated many on the fence, thereby making it more difficult for them to vote for candidates in swing states, thereby shooting himself in the foot.
He could have said something like this, "Let me tell you what. We are going to get to the bottom of this story, and if this professor is lying, I will personally see to it that she suffers the full effects of the law. We will not allow a good man to be destroyed. All we want is the truth."
His base would have been just as rallied, and there would have been little to argue with. If she's guilty, there will be consequences.
But that's only part of the picture.
What if she is not lying? What if, to the best of her memory, she's telling the truth? More pointedly, what if she is telling the truth? (To the Always- Trumpers, are you 100 percent sure Ford is not telling the truth? She may not have a credible case in your eyes, but are you 100 percent confident she is worthy of mockery?)
In that case, the president of the United States would have been guilty of mocking a victim of sexual assault. What possible good could that do? What worthy purpose could that possibly serve? And how on earth could followers of Jesus cheer him on—if, in fact, she was a victim?
In my new book, I strongly urge supporters of Trump (especially evangelicals) to continue to support him, but in a nuanced way, appreciating the good and rejecting the bad. As Ben Shapiro tweeted in January, 2017, it's not that hard to do this. "Basic decency is not tough."
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