Trump’s excuses

Early on in Thursday’s prime time debate, Donald Trump told Megyn Kelly, “I’ve been very nice to you, although I could probably not be based on the way you have treated me. But I wouldn’t do that.” It was a good call, that final sentence.

Unfortunately, having had time to think it over, Trump reconsidered. He decided to indulge himself and “do that.”

Thus, Trump said of Kelly to CNN: “She gets out and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions. You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”

Trump now claims that by Kelly’s “wherever,” he meant her nose. “Only a deviant would think anything else,” he (or his handlers) insist.

Actually, it’s implausible to think that Donald Trump doesn’t know how to say “nose” when that’s what he means. “Wherever” very probably meant a body part too private to state publicly by name.

I’ll stipulate that Kelly went after Trump hard when she asked him about past comments in which he used the words “pig,” “slob” and “unattractive” to describe women he doesn’t like. But it’s not a ridiculous question.

Republican primary voters need to know whether Trump can avoid insulting women, who make up a majority of the electorate. Now we know. He can’t.

Trump’s answer to Kelly during the debate is that “I don’t have time for political correctness and neither does this country.” He used the same excuse in trying to talk his way out of the new flap regarding Kelly.

Trump thus fails to distinguish between political correctness and ordinary decency. Calling women as a class “victims” is political correctness. Not calling a woman a pig is ordinary decency.

How does Trump save time in his alleged crusade to save the country by calling a woman a pig” or a “slob,” or by insulting Megyn Kelly? Are we closer to defeating ISIS or eliminating the debt by virtue of this sort of incorrectness? Ronald Reagan managed to play the lead role in ending the Cold War without calling any of his countrymen pigs.

If anything, we don’t have time for would-be leaders who, due to lack of decency and restraint, become embroiled in these kinds of disputes.

After Thursday’s debate I wrote: “I doubt that [Trump] did anything that will cause many of the 20 to 25 percent that support him to reconsider just now.” Let’s hope that “just now” ended with Trump’s ugly attack on Megyn Kelly.