Donald Trump's Sexist Insults Toward Hillary Clinton Preview How Awful The General Election Could Be

On Monday night, Donald Trump did what Donald Trump does: hurl some juvenile insults at a high-profile woman. But while Trump's barbs and vulgarities is nothing new, his target this time makes for a grim harbinger of things to come. His sexist insults toward Hillary Clinton are a preview of what the general election will look like in 2016, unless the Republican Party can find some way to stop him.

Make no mistake: However many of Trump's supporters in the GOP might get a thrill from his act, the Republican establishment would love nothing more than to snuff out his candidacy completely. But there's perilously little evidence right now that they have the first clue how to do so, with the billionaire claiming big double-digit polling leads both nationally and in crucial early battleground states.

Which means it's probably time to start seriously considering what the 2016 general election will look like if it shapes up the way that it seems like it will, with Trump and Clinton as the standard-bearers for their respective parties. In that case, it's high time to start preparing and bracing for just how awfully sexist a Trump campaign against Clinton would be. The man himself has laid that bare.

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There was never any doubt about this, obviously. If you make Donald Trump run against one of the most widely-recognized, most powerful women in the world, the misogyny is going to flow. But considering how he still hasn't even made it out of his own party's primaries, you might've assumed he'd hold off for now. But you'd be wrong. at a rally in Michigan Monday, Trump derided Clinton for being late in returning to the stage after a commercial break during the recent Democratic debate, repeatedly calling her bathroom visit "disgusting." He also stated that she'd been "schlonged" — a strange use of the Yiddish slang for "penis" — in the 2008 Democratic primaries

I'm watching the debate, she just disappeared! Where did she go? ... I know where she went. It's disgusting, I don't wanna talk about it. No, it's too disgusting, don't say anything, it's disgusting.
... Even a race to Obama! She was gonna beat Obama. I don't know who'd be worse. I don't know. How does it get worse? But, she was gonna beat, she was favored to win, and she got schlonged, she lost, I mean, she lost.

Clinton's campaign responded — or rather, didn't directly respond — on Twitter Tuesday, by way of communications director Jennifer Palmieri.

Trump, for the record, has been here before. Indeed, it's basically where he lives. He is, without a doubt, the most overtly sexist candidate in the 2016 presidential race, boorish and mocking in the extreme. Since the start of his campaign, many of his verbal attacks against women through the years have received major public scrutiny. For example:

  • In the midst of a back-and-forth feud which played out in the national media in 2006, Trump called comedian and TV host Rosie O'Donnell a "real loser," a "fat pig," a "slob," an "animal," "disgusting," and a "disaster."
  • According to attorney Elizabeth Beck, who deposed Trump for a real estate-related lawsuit in 2007, Trump called her questions "stupid," and when Beck requested a medical break to pump breast milk (she had an infant child at the time), Trump called her "disgusting" and stormed out.
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  • According to The New York Times' Gail Collins, Trump once sent her a copy of a critical article she'd written, with her picture circled and the words "the face of a dog" next to it.

And that's a summary list, not a comprehensive one. The endless insults Trump pumps out on social media, both gendered and generic, are simply too much for an average person to keep up with. But this much is obviously clear: If he gets to campaign against Hillary Clinton next summer, the question isn't if he'll will show his oozing misogyny, but when.