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Est. April 5, 2002
February 15, 2018 - Issue 729

Democrats’ Pluses
Trump’s RASAH Gang
and the
2018 Races

"Rapists, Abusers, Sexual Assaulters and Harassers (RASAH)
have played central roles in the Trump administration. 
RASAH is a tight knit group of White House staff, outside
advisers and sounding boards, and other white males, bound
by abusive acts against women and girls."

Democrats have several pluses as they head into the 2018 midterms. Foremost among them is the outing of President Trump’s gang of Rapists, Abusers, Sexual Assaulters and Harassers (RASAH) who have played central roles in his administration. RASAH is a tight knit group of White House staff, outside advisers and sounding boards, and other white males, bound by abusive acts against women and girls. Like the MS-13 gang, that originated in Los Angeles (that Trump continually excoriates), and whose initiation rites require its inductees to commit violent murders, beatings, mutilations, and extortion of U.S. residents, RASAH’s induction/employment rites apparently require past or current violent acts against females— rape, abuse, sexual assault, and harassment. Having met this requirement, RASAH members can count on being supported and vigorously defended by Trump when their egregious acts become public. After committing one or more of these heinous acts they were “made men” in Trump’s eyes and part of his devoted team.

Included among this infamous crowd are: the late Roger Ailes and still living Bill O’Reilly, former Fox News executives (for whom the Network paid out tens of millions of dollars to women whom they had sexually assaulted and harassed); former Heavyweight Champion, Mike Tyson (who served a prison term for rape); Judge Roy Moore (a 2017 Alabama U.S. Senate candidate, whose campaign was derailed by allegations of pedophilia and sexual assault); Corey Lewandowski (Trump’s former presidential campaign manager who physically assaulted a female reporter while on camera during the campaign); Andrew Puzder, former Carl Jr.’s and Hardee Corp. CEO and Trump’s former nominee for Secretary of Labor, who withdrew after it was revealed that his former wife had accused him of domestic abuse on the Oprah Winfrey show); Steve Wynn (who recently resigned his positions as Finance Chair of the Republican National Committee and as CEO of Wynn resorts after it was discovered that he had raped and sexually abused dozens of his female employees over three decades); Rob Porter (a serial perpetrator of domestic violence) and Don Sorensen, White House Staff Secretary and Speechwriter, respectively (whose wives and girlfriends told the FBI that these two amigos were physically and emotionally violent during their relationships). It is ironic that Sorensen oversaw domestic abuse policy during his tenure as an aide to Maine Governor Paul LePage prior to joining Trump’s White House staff. In addition, Trump’s first wife, Ivanna Trump, alleged in a divorce deposition that he physically assaulted and raped her during their marriage only to retract the statement after immense pressure from Trump, and his second wife, Marla Maples, was on the verge of releasing scurrilous information on their marriage until Trump threatened her with a loss of financial support.

Furthermore, the White House Chief of Staff Gen. John Kelly engaged in torture of Guantanamo prisoners in contradiction to directives from the Obama administration to refrain from doing so. Thus, Kelly’s actions are in concert with the abusive behaviors of the RASAH gang. He also publicly smeared African American Congresswoman Frederica Wilson when he claimed that she took credit for funding the construction of an FBI building in her district although she was not in Congress at that time. Kelly has never apologized for his lie which cemented his status in Trump’s inner circle.

Trump’s has assembled this brotherhood of scoundrels who loyally endorse anything he does, and it is defended and enabled by a fierce protectorate of Republican female staffers who will figuratively “assassinate other women” on RASAH’s behalf: Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House Press Secretary, who lies, denies, and obfuscates to shield Trump and RASAH; Kellyanne Conway, White House Counselor to the President, who uses “alternative facts” to excuse and refute rape and harassment charges against Trump and his RASAH underlings; and Hope Hicks, White House Communications Director, who crafted Chief of Staff General John Kelly’s initial statement in support of her boyfriend, Rob Porter, and was in a sexual relationship with another RASAH gang member, the married Cory Lewandowski, during the presidential race and with whom she brawled on the streets of New York City before the liaison ended. She had earlier defended him against his physical assault of a female reporter that we all saw on TV with our own lying eyes. Trump’s domestic abuse crisis has been the most significant since the termination of John Fedders as the Reagan Administration’s chief of enforcement for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 1985 for beating his wife.

Given Trump’s falling poll numbers overall, his less than fifty percent approval among white women who gave him the majority of their votes in 2016, the Republicans’ loss of state legislative seats that he carried that year, the growing national disenchantment with Trump’s policies, his refusal to condemn domestic violence, and Trump’s persistence in publicly and loudly protecting domestic abusers, Democrats are perched for victory in the 2018 midterms. However, they must be careful not to solely depend on the RASAH catastrophe to ensure their victories. Trump has shown in the past that, like Houdini, he can get away from situations deemed to be impossible to escape. As noted in previous columns, Democrats must unite behind a message that brings together their base and pulls in disaffected Republicans and Independents.

Next, they would be wise to keep Hillary Clinton off the campaign trail, even in the districts that she won in states Trump carried. She still servers as a poignant reminder of a facilitator of sexual harassment and abuse (like Huckabee, Conway, and Hicks) in the way she aggressively attacked women with whom President Clinton had non-consensual encounters. The recent revelation that she refused to fire her so-called faith adviser, Burns Strider, who sexually harassed a young female staffer during her 2008 campaign although her most senior female campaign operatives insisted that she do so is another reminder of her submissive stance on RASAH. But even more puzzling is that she brought Strider back to work in one of the political organizations backing her in 2016, and he was subsequently fired for committing the same act.

Although Hillary prides herself on being able to turn out African American and Hispanic voters, she remains unpopular among a sizeable number of black males whom she referred to as super predators during the 1990s. Although Hillary received the overwhelming percentage of the African American votes cast in 2016, she did not get the Obama-level turnout (except at rallies where he and Michelle spoke) that would have put her over the top in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin and guaranteed her victory in the Electoral College. Moreover, she also refused to invest substantial GOTV (Get-Out-the-Vote) funds in minority communities in those states. Democrats need to throw out the old political playback and get back to the basics as they have done recently in Alabama, New Jersey, Virginia, Florida, Wisconsin, and other states where they have flipped more than 35 seats from Republican to Democrat since 2017. Trump’s current rise in the polls on his handling of health care, taxes, and security has to be frequently monitored so as to not assume he is reviled by America’s voters and that Democrats are closer to victory than they are.

Finally, Democrats must mobilize teachers, who are predominantly female, to hone in indirectly on the RASAH calamity. Teachers represent the vanguard for taking back or democracy. Hopefully, Democrats will not squander this opportunity as they did in 2016.

links to all 20 parts of the opening series Columnist, Dr. Walter C. Farrell, Jr., PhD, MSPH, is a Fellow of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) at the University of Colorado-Boulder and has written widely on vouchers, charter schools, and public school privatization. He has served as Professor of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and as Professor of Educational Policy and Community Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Contact Dr. Farrell. 




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