Allegations that he is a serial sex offender are piling up against Donald Trump. He finally has an actual breathtaking skyline-darkening tower with his name on it.
This might be less of a concern for his party were these allegations not piling up upon an actual taped admission, gleefully given by Mr. Trump, that he is in fact a serial sex offender.
What's a party to do with that? Where do you go? Is it as simple as blithely changing one's campaign slogan to "Hey, America, Donald Trump really wants to take you furniture shopping"?
It's been interesting to watch the American right – those willing to admit that Mr. Trump's run for president poses a problem for every reasonable, compassionate, informed person on the planet, and we think possibly some dolphins – grapple with their current situation.
On the one hand, there have been what would be touching displays of loyalty, were they directed toward someone who'd never advocated banning all Muslims from entering his country and who had never been recorded staking a sexual claim on an elementary schoolgirl. On the other hand there have been vicious and very public attacks within the ranks.
I will admit I have been enjoying the Republican Party's amateur stage production of the film Heathers, and yet there are moments in these turbulent days when I catch myself feeling a knee-jerk sympathy for Republicans. Watching many of them hopelessly trying to avoid being associated with almost everything Donald Trump has ever said or done without actually suggesting their candidate shouldn't be president of the United States is like a watching a turtle lying on its back, waving its little legs in the air.
Sure, it's a snapping turtle and it tried to bite your finger off, and it has made it clear, in its own snapping-turtley way, that, were it in charge of such matters, it would radically curtail your reproductive freedom. But, come on, look at the little guy, rocking back and forth; how can you not want to flip him back over again?
And so, in the spirit of "even cold-blooded reptiles don't deserve to be left lying in the middle of the freeway," I'd like to offer the American right some guidance. Let me start by saying that the problem is primarily psychological: It's all inside your head; that much is plain to see. The answer is easy if you take it logically. I'd like to help you in your struggle to be free. There must be 50 ways to run for cover.
I'll begin by addressing some common pitfalls that many beginner disavowers are falling into but which can be avoided with a few simple steps:
1) In an effort to give the impression that you have some semblance of control over your own party and can therefore be trusted to govern a nation, try not to imply that your opponents are actually the ones responsible for your party's nominee selection.
The "You, with your liberal ways, have caused us to carefully stoke a fire for many years, cover ourselves with gasoline and jump straight into it" defence does not inspire the confidence you seem to think it does.
It doesn't matter how liberal, or non-white or "politically correct" their very popular candidate may be, your own party could still have chosen to nominate literally anyone other than an an angry bag of orange Jell-O who, far from being a successful businessman is America's astoundingly uncharming answer to Bertie Wooster – if Jeeves ran Breitbart News and Bertie allegedly sexually assaults women at 39,000 feet.
He is your nominee, you picked him, then you backed him. He didn't pull a sword from a stone.
2) When you are disavowing a candidate this polarizing, you are going to lose some, possibly most, of his hard-core supporters. In the long run, this is a good thing. If you keep those particular supporters around, they will just continue to nominate Trumps.
Should you start feeling sentimental about their support, take a long hard look at the pro-Trump memes posted under every Hillary Clinton tweet.
So much clearly enjoyed effort is put into these vile creations. Maybe Americans need to start quilting more. Seriously, it's like Nazi Etsy down there.
3) Saying "I denounce his comments and the behaviour that it incites. I believe that Mike Pence would be the best nominee for the Republican Party" is a pretty good example of disavowal.
I'd say, "Share your work with the whole class," Representative Scott Garrett of New Jersey, had you not had your people follow your statement up by promising that you will, however, of course, be voting for Donald Trump. That's a fail.
4) Calling Mr. Trump's actions "indefensible" is more of a conversational gambit than a disavowal, if you do it while you're still endorsing the man for president, Paul Ryan.
Try practising disavowing in front of your mirror. Just stand up straight, look yourself in the eye and say: "I don't think Trump should be President. I saw the last debate. I am seriously starting to worry that Donald Trump is just running for office as a really roundabout way of getting people to explain the news to him."
5) Also, while I understand, given the circumstances, wanting to be both a heartbeat away from the presidency and a million miles away from the actual president, disavowing your candidate is not the same as pretending your candidate doesn't exist, Mike Pence.
Lonely children often invent imaginary friends and this can be quite healthy. But when you're an adult and you're nominated for vice-president and you find yourself onstage in a nationally televised debate introducing the American people to your invisible running-mate, Harvey, the Fiscally Responsible Rabbit Who is Not Best Friends with a Russian Bear, it might be time to think about spending more time with your family.
6) Leave Beyoncé out of it. I really shouldn't have to explain this to you. Whatever it is (unless it's a playlist), just leave her out of it.
We've reached the point in the American election where it's possible to entertain, at least for a split second, the notion that Mr. Trump's campaign team planted The New York Times story that broke late Wednesday alleging that Mr. Trump sexually assaulted two adult women (many more allegations followed). Their motive? To bury the stories from that morning, which reported that he routinely "waltzed in" on naked and almost naked beauty-pageant contestants.
Because he owned the Miss America and the Miss Teen America pageants, some of these Misses were as young as 15.
Who knows? It's conceivable that, in a campaign this unhinged, someone thought introducing some adult victims might be step one toward their candidate's rehabilitation.
Last week, when the "pussy tape"story broke, it crossed my mind that, Mr. Trump's support among what he prefers to frame as "inner-city Americans" being low, someone on his team was hoping to bury the story about how he had just doubled-down on the guilt of the thoroughly exonerated Central Park Five – just some innocent black men he tried very hard to get executed back in the 1990s.
If there was ever a time to disavow, it is now, Republicans.
Look, it's really not my habit to intrude. Furthermore, I hope my meaning won't be lost or misconstrued. But I'll repeat myself at the risk of being crude:
There must be 50 ways to lose that bugger.
You got nothing to lose, Cruz.
He just keeps lyin', Ryan.
Unstitch those lips, Mitch, and get yourself free.
Come on, Chris Christie, do you get sick of being shifty?
Send his bags to Mar-a-Lago, Marco, and set the GOP free.