2022 Republican primaries: Rogues Gallery of Misogynists

Josh Hawley, Eric Greitens, J.D. Vance, Herschel Walker and Sean Parnell (Photo illustration by Salon/Getty Images)

During the 2016 presidential campaign, the Republican Party was embarrassed when a tape of Donald Trump was released in which the then-GOP nominee saw heard bragging about sexual assault with the memorable lines “grab ’em by the pussy” and “when you’re a star, they let you do it.” In 2021, however, what was once a cringe moment for the GOP has now become an ethos, and not just because of Sen. Josh “Make Me a Sandwich” Hawley of Missouri’s pre-campaign sermonizing on a delusional gospel of masculinity. With a heavy assist from Trump himself, the candidate field for the 2022 GOP primaries is thick with devotees of the Church of Pussy Grabbing.

Trump actually did win in 2016 — albeit through the antiquated mechanism of the Electoral College — despite the “grab ’em by the pussy” moment. So it’s unsurprising that misogyny isn’t much of an obstacle for Republican candidates, and may even represent value added. (Vance sure hopes so!) But as the Women’s March that directly followed Trump’s inauguration showed, as did the 2018 midterms, that stuff can also fire up angry resistance among women, especially those who might otherwise tune out of politics in this post-Trump era. Trump’s Bam Bam Caucus might drive the dirtbag turnout he craves — he’s undeniably good at that. But it might also motivate Democratic women who believe that the number of violent misogynists in the Senate should be reduced as close to zero as possible, rather than increased.


Source: Complete Commentary in Salon