The headline brought a smile.
It was on a New York Times online story Saturday afternoon: "G.O.P. Squirms as Trump Veers Off Script With Abuse Remarks."
But it was the bulleted high points of the story that were destined to make readers — women, in particular — laugh out loud.
» Tax cuts and economic growth appear to be improving the party's political position.
» But President Trump can't seem to stop antagonizing voters, especially women, which Republicans fear could smother their momentum going into the midterm campaign."
The story pointed up the fact that Trump on Friday offered sympathy for a former aide accused of spousal abuse not once, but twice. He made no mention of the victims. In fact, he made no mention of the fact that spouse abuse or domestic violence of any kind is even — like — bad.
Then on Saturday, Trump in a tweet appeared to raise doubts about the entire #MeToo movement.
"Peoples lives are being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation," the president wrote on Twitter, adding: "There is no recovery for someone falsely accused - life and career are gone. Is there no such thing any longer as Due Process?"
How about due process for a black eye?
But back to the "GOP squirms" analysis that Trump can't seem to stop antagonizing voters:
"[E]specially women, which Republicans fear could smother their momentum going into the midterm campaign."
Well, just get ready, folks. If the Trumper men of the world found it irritating that women by the millions put off cooking dinner on the day after Trump was inaugurated to protest in the streets in cat-earred hats — a symbol of what women thought of Trump's hot-mic comment about groping female private body parts — they've seen nothing yet.
You might remember when Bill Clinton's unofficial campaign phrase became, "It's the economy, stupid."
Well, now the GOP — and Democrats, too — need to understand, "It's the women, stupid."
It's already started. Since Trump was elected a Blue Wave has swept 35 Democrats into office, even one in Alabama who defeated Roy Moore with huge support from awakened Democratic women. Harvard University research shows that progressive-leaning Indivisible groups are roughly 70 percent female. What's more, many of the new Democrat candidates are women.
As of November 2017, Emily's List, which works to get pro-choice Democratic women elected to office, has heard from more than 20,000 women interested in running since the November before. In the entire 2015-16 election cycle, that number had been just over 900.
Women also are showing up with their wallets. Time magazine says Democratic fundraising platform ActBlue raised $523 million for candidates over the course of 2017 —more than double the amount that came in during 2015 — and 62 percent of the donors were women.
The key question for GOP leaders is why they didn't squirm when Donald Trump came slithering down the escalator of Trump Tower to announce his candidacy. And why the GOP didn't squirm when Trump began using middle-school labels on fellow candidates.
Why didn't the GOP squirm when more than a dozen women came forward to accuse him — credibly — or harassment and assault? Why didn't the GOP squirm when it became obvious that Trump has an inability to tell the truth even when truth is a better defense?
Why doesn't the GOP squirm now when it seems quite clear that Trump hasn't just obstructed justice in the Russia probe but also has determinedly been supplying quid to Russia's pro quo of hacking and brain-washing-via-social-media-help?
Why didn't the GOP squirm when Trump fired FBI director Jim Comey and owned up to the fact that it was over the Russia probe? Why didn't the GOP squirm when Special Counsel Robert Mueller — in short order — found enough evidence to indict four members of Trump's campaign staff and early presidential advisers? Why didn't the GOP squirm when Mueller obtained two guilty pleas from those advisers right out of the gate?
Somebody needs to ask this: Might Russia have blackmail material on the GOP leadership and far-right leaders, as well as Trump?
Russia will ultimately take Trump down.
But it will be women — "especially women" — who will remember that the GOP (and not just the leadership but the majority of the party) looked the other way when Donald Trump said women (and certainly all voters and politicians, too) let him get away with groping them because he was a star.
Women already understand that Trump and his GOP enablers have in reality let Trump figuratively grope all of us. Tell us you don't recall him saying — in a rare moment of unconscious candor — "I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and not lose any votes, OK?"
Well, that was then. Now, "especially women" think the whole Trump ride is coming to a close.