If you’re a conservative, or even merely a Republican, there’s very little to be happy about these days. But at least Election 2016 has tricked our moral, ethical, and intellectual betters into admitting that attacking Mitt Romney for saying “binders full of women” was stupid and nonsensical.
Remember this, during the second 2012 presidential debate?
Romney was talking about hiring women to work for him. He was talking about treating women as equals, and searching for qualified candidates. So many qualified candidates, in fact, that their files filled entire binders.
And yet somehow that phrase, “binders full of women,” was turned into a negative. It became a joke. But nobody could ever explain what was so funny about it, or how it reflected badly on Romney. Unless you thought he literally had actual women trapped in giant binders, or was claiming as much, the whole panic over that phrase was moronic and dishonest.
They made Romney’s gesture of respect for women into some sort of slur, because it was the only thing that fit their narrative.
Four years later, the GOP has nominated a candidate who brags about how he can “grab ’em by the pussy” because he’s famous. Now there’s an actual misogynist running against the Democrat. (A Democrat whose husband is a notorious lecher and an accused rapist, and she’s been enabling him for decades, in case you didn’t know.) Now the liberal caricature of The Typical Republican is reality. Never mind that Trump is one of their own. Never mind that they pushed him during the primaries as hard as they could. They don’t care.
But at least they’re showing a bit of self-awareness. Here’s former Daily Show producer Baratunde Thurston:
I would kill for "binders full of women right now." To have a candidate bragging about the search for competent women, not assaulting them.
— Baratunde (@baratunde) October 15, 2016
Philip Bump of the Washington Post:
Had a bit of nostalgia just now for “binders full of women,” a phrase that was about as bad as it got for Mitt Romney.
— Philip Bump (@pbump) October 7, 2016
Ben Dreyfuss from Mother Jones:
“Binders full of women” was a silly thing to attack Romney for. Like it was dumb wording, but that was it.
— Ben Dreyfuss (@bendreyfuss) October 6, 2016
The Daily Beast’s Tim Mak:
Four years ago Romney attacked for using phrase "binders full of women." Was actually talking about his desire to bring women into cabinet!
— Tim Mak (@timkmak) October 8, 2016
Josh Marshall, head scumbag at TPM:
So 2016s version of ' binders full of women' turned out to be considerably more disturbing.
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) October 8, 2016
Parker Molloy, SJW at Upworthy:
You guys remember "Binders full of women?" Ah, simpler times. #Debate
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) October 10, 2016
Daniel Dale at the Toronto Star:
If Trump talked tonight about "binders full of women," it would be major progress. https://t.co/cVO0mkGGeg
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) October 9, 2016
Wow, check out all that #StrangeNewRespect for Romney.
And I don’t know who this last one is, but she asks a good question:
Remember in 2012 when we all clutched our pearls over "binders full of women"? Haha good times.
— shauna (@goldengateblond) October 14, 2016
Yes, haha, we do remember that. We’re also wondering, haha, why you did so. Was there any reason, haha, other than desperately trying to keep the Republican out of the White House, no matter how honest and decent he was?
Lefties spent 2012 freaking out over binders full of women, and Big Bird, and dogs on top of cars, and many other vital issues. Meanwhile, righties were freaking out over irrelevancies like… Obamacare. And Syria. And Russia.
But hey, getting the issues right doesn’t win elections. So now we have our current debacle. Good work, America.
I don’t expect these guys and gals to learn anything from this. To them, the only good Republican is the previous Republican. Whoever the GOP ends up nominating in 2020 — assuming the GOP still exists — will be met with the same wistful head-shaking. “Don’t you miss the more innocent days of the Trump campaign, you guys?”
They did everything they could to promote Trump, because they figured it would be easy for even the almost-universally despised Hillary Clinton to beat him. Now they’re expressing regrets about how they treated the last guy.
What a bind.