Saturday, October 22, 2016

Useful advice and wishful thinking


WORDS FAIL, n'est–ce pas? And since they have, let me instead share some useful advise about dealing with sexual harassment and assault from another of my heroes, the stellar attorney and champion of the abused and oppressed, Roxanne Conlin, reposted from her Facebook page.

"One of the things I always tell people who are experiencing discrimination or harassment is document document document. If you use your home computer, it will record the date you enter the material. You may need, at some point, to be able to prove when things happened and when you recorded it. It is also advisable to tell someone outside of your employment who you can trust and ask that person to write it down too. The reason should be clear, if you have been watching tv recently Trump's victim at People told people at the time what had happened but didnt want to have her life ruined by him.He is still trying to ruin her, but the fact that she told colleagues and friends is important to prove it is not just a recent invention because he is running for President. Most predators dont do what they do in public, so this is often the only proof of what happened. Vote now for Hillary. We dont want a sexual predator in the WH."

And now to cheer us all up, let's indulge in a little wishful thinking. Thank you Terry Tate!!! He delivers the kind of 'locker room talk' . . . well, not so much talk as purposeful action . . . I enthusiastically support.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

News shorts + Madeleine and me

“I have to tell you, my seven-year-old granddaughter said to my daughter, her mother, 'So what's the big deal about Grandma Maddy having been Secretary of State? Only girls are Secretaries of State.' Most of her lifetime, it's true. But at the time it really was a big deal.” — Madeleine Albright, former United State Secretary of State

I NEVER imagined I would have the opportunity to sit eight feet away from Madeleine Albright, shake her hand and get my picture taken with her. I'll be honest, I was a complete fan-girl in the process. 

Madeleine is genuinely one of my heroes and has been since her days as Secretary of State. She spoke in Ames earlier this afternoon and then came to the Democratic field office in Ankeny about a mile from our house. How could I miss that?!

The headline on a story today by Nate Silver on his FiveThirtyEight website . . . he's the founder of the remarkably accurate polling engine by the same name . . . reads: Clinton Probably Finished Off Trump Last Night. He's referring of course to last night's third and final debate between Donny Trump and Hillary Clinton

While Hillary was pillorying Don, Paul was playing his usual Wednesday night gig at Noce. There's a front room where the band plays and a back room that can be used simultaneously for other events, and last night there was a debate-watch party in the back for 30 or 40 people. When the debate wrapped up, most of them filtered in to listen to the band. Paul overheard one woman say, "Yup, Hillary ripped his dick off and then slapped him around with it."

Last but not least, another woman — the tenth — has come forward with assertions of being accosted by Don. To those who discount these (multiple) women's accounts by accusing them of making things up in order to garner, as Trump called it, "their 15 minutes of fame," I can only say that clearly they've never had anything like that happen to them. 

I have. And if they had, they'd know how debasing it is and how mute it makes you feel because you can't 'prove' what happened. That was even more true 18 . . . or 20 . . . or 30 years ago. We kept our humiliations to ourselves because no one was going to believe us anyway or think that it mattered. But we don't forget, and eventually we get mad enough and brave enough to start talking.

Karena Virginia Becomes 10th Woman to Accuse Trump of Sexual Misconduct

By Elizabeth Chuck at NBC News

October 20, 2016

A yoga instructor and lifestyle coach came forward Thursday with claims that Donald Trump had inappropriate sexual contact with her, becoming at least the 10th woman to make such allegations against the GOP nominee.

Flanked by women's rights attorney Gloria Allred, a Hillary Clinton supporter who has represented other women with sexual misconduct claims against Trump, Karena Virginia shared her story, tears streaming down her cheeks.

She said she first encountered Donald Trump in 1998, as she was waiting for a car service to pick her up after the U.S. Open tennis tournament in Queens, New York.

"I knew who he was, but I had never met him. He was with a few other men," she said at a press conference in New York Thursday. "I was quite surprised when I overheard him talking to the other men about me. He said, 'Hey, look at this one, we haven't seen her before. Look at those legs.' As though I was an object, rather than a person."

"He then walked up to me and reached his right arm and grabbed my right arm, then his hand touched the right inside of my breast. I was in shock. I flinched," she continued.

Trump then asked her, "Don't you know who I am? Don't you know who I am?" she said.

After she got into her car, the "shock turned to shame," Virginia said. She said that for years she felt she was to blame for the incident because she was wearing a short dress and high heels at the time.

"I have been fearful of bringing unwanted attention to my loving family and me," Virginia said. "But in the end, I feel that it is my duty as a woman, as a mother, a human being and as an American citizen to speak out and tell the truth."

Virginia is "not considering a lawsuit at this time," Allred said, but wanted to speak out in response to Trump's "ludicrous" denial of the allegations against him. Allred served as an elected delegate during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia for Clinton in July.

"About five years ago, I saw Mr. Trump once again. This time, we were at a business setting and there were many people around. He looked me up and down a few times. This time, mixed in with the feelings of shame, I felt disgust," she said.

Her claim is the latest in a string from accusers against Trump. Trump has fervently denied the accusations, in some cases going so far as to joke that the women accusing him aren't attractive enough for his taste.

Many Republicans have distanced themselves from the candidate amid the allegations, particularly following the unearthing of a 2005 tape in which Trump used lewd language to describe grabbing women.

Virginia said many people had advised her not to come forward, fearing she would be attacked by the Republican nominee. But she said Trump revealed "his true character in his own words" on the tape.

"I now understand that I was not to blame. Mr. Trump, perhaps you do not remember me or what you did to me so many years ago, but I can assure you that I remember you and what you did to me as though it was yesterday," she said. "Your random moment of sexual pleasure came at my expense and affected me greatly." 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

No, he should not

“The question is no longer whether Donald Trump should be President. The question is whether he should be free to roam among us.” — Andy Borowitz

DID YOU hear what Donny said tonight in the "debate"? He's not sure if he'll accept the results of the election. 

And people thought we (you and I and anyone with any sense) were engaging in hyperbole when we said Don has an affinity for fascism. What is he proposing? A splinter government? A coup d'etat? 

Here are two takes on tonight's rout from a pair of New York Times opinion writers.

Election? We Don't Need No Stinking Election

By Andrew Rosenthal
October 19, 2016

Remember when people, including me, thought that Donald Trump’s invitation for Russian hackers to invade Hillary Clinton’s emails was one of the most breathtakingly undemocratic things ever said by a presidential candidate? We were so na├»ve.

On the debate stage in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Donald Trump flatly refused, twice, to say that he would accept the results of the election.

Asked by the moderator, Chris Wallace of Fox News, whether he would make the same commitment to respect democracy made by his running mate, Mike Pence, and his daughter Ivanka, Trump gave us one of smug looks. “I will look at it at the time,” he said.

I don’t take much of what Trump says seriously. He’s not going to build a wall on the Mexican border, just for starters, unless his own company gets the contracts. But there is nothing more precious to American democracy than the peaceful transfer of power according to the will of the voters. It’s the founding principle of our country.

Not, apparently, to Donald Trump, who earlier in the debate claimed to be a great champion of judges who applied the Constitution literally as it was written. (Which, of course, would mean that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton could never have voted, never mind become president.)

He blamed Hillary Clinton personally for inciting violence at his rallies. (A lie.) And said that the news media are colluding with the Democratic nominee to poison the minds of voters, which is also untrue unless quoting his own words counts as poisoning. Trump then went on to talk about the “millions” of people who are falsely registered to vote. Another lie.

Wallace asked Trump again to simply say he would honor the election results. Trump’s reply: “What I am saying is that I will tell you at the time. I will keep you in suspense.”

Clinton responded with a huge understatement. “That’s horrifying,” she said.

Trump won’t commit to honoring the election results. He is encouraging people to go to voting places to “monitor” voter fraud — a dog whistle for intimidating minority voters. And now he says he won’t stand by the American people’s judgment.

I don’t believe Trump is going to lead a popular uprising after Election Day. He’s not the leader of a movement, as he says. He’s a narcissist. If he loses, he’ll probably go back where he came from, to the haze of reality TV and shady business dealings.

But it was still terrifying to see someone in an American presidential debate implying that he did not respect the democratic system.

Donald Trump's Civics Class

By Mark Schmitt
October 19, 2016

Donald Trump “denigrates democracy,” as Hillary Clinton said, when he suggests that the election is rigged, or will be rigged, or that his opponent “shouldn’t have been allowed to run.” But he also shows a bizarre disregard for the idea that democracy is a collaborative enterprise, that it’s not a system in which a single individual exercises total power. That’s evident in his repeated claims that Clinton, as a senator, could have “changed the law” on, for example, the tax breaks he’s taken. It’s evident on his own side as well, with the idea that he can build a wall or single-handedly impose tariffs or taxes on companies that move jobs abroad.

Trump doesn’t understand the basics about how American government works, but beyond all the technicalities, he also shows a staggering lack of regard — or even acknowledgment of — democracy as a joint enterprise rather than a sole proprietorship.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Iowa Law Enforcement Academy helps DV survivors

“Recently a former client brought us three new pairs of pajamas. She told us that for her the most precious thing was the pair of pajamas she got that first night here at New Beginnings. She has put that pair in her drawer and wears them only one week a year because she doesn’t want them to wear out too quickly. She wears them on the anniversary of what she calls, ‘my first dream.’ We would never have stumbled on such a good thing for those we serve if it hadn’t been for Helen’s Pajama Party. Please party on!” — Sister Charla, retired Executive Director of New Beginnings shelter in Dubuque, Iowa

SOME OF you know that in addition to writing Hey Look Something Shiny and, with Paul, managing Turner Center Jazz Orchestra and owning Brainstorm Iowa, I started a charitable non-profit ten years ago called Helen's Pajama Party that collects and distributes new pajamas to domestic violence shelters.

More than 10 million women (and men) are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States every year, and on average more than 20,000 phone calls are placed to domestic violence hotlines each day!

Those who escape an abusive household are often literally running for their lives and have nothing but the clothes on their backs when they flee. The goal of Helen's Pajama Party is to have a pair of new pajamas ready and waiting for every survivor who seeks refuge at a domestic violence shelter.

Since its inception, Helen's has provided thousands of pajamas to shelters in Iowa; I've also held drives for shelters in Arkansas, North Dakota and Nevada.

But it's really not me. Granted, it wasn't a bad middle-of-the-night idea, but it's the collective effort of everyone who has given pajamas or money, hosted a pajama party, donated goods or services, wrapped pajama packages at Christmas, made deliveries to shelters or helped me in any other way — as well as the media coverage local newspapers, radio and TV stations have provided — who in actuality supply the pajamas.

October 11 was an example of diverse community resources coming together to provide for domestic violence survivors in Iowa. Tiffany Allison, founder of Soaring Hearts and survivor-advocate extraordinaire, mentioned Helen's Pajama Party to I
owa Law Enforcement Academy instructor Molly Jansen and chaplain Judy Wadding who then proposed that two current classes, #270 and #271, engage in a competition to see which class can collect the most pajamas, and that the classes also help sort, tag and pack pajamas for Helen's.

Eighty officers-in-training made for a lot of able-bodied help. Previous places we've held Helen's Pajama Party working events were too small or impractical for other reasons, so I asked for help from Professor Ronn Newby at DMACC, and he arranged for us to use space in a brand new building on the Ankeny campus. Ronn also provided student volunteers from Phi Theta Kappa honor society to help unload the truck that Paul rented to cart all the stored pajamas to the event for processing, and assist in other ways.

Ronn also happens to be the deserving 2016 Helen's Pajama Party Volunteer of the Year award for organizing Phi Theta Kappa pajama drives the last two years that yielded more than 600 pairs of new pajamas.

Karl Schilling, president of the Iowa Organization for Victim Assistancegraciously attended to take the pictures you see. But please note that none of this would have happened without Paul. We had a crew to unload the pajamas from the truck, to sort, tag and pack them and reload the truck, but Paul loaded the truck to begin with all by himself, and spent many days beforehand helping me plan and organize and redesign the Helen's Pajama Party website.

So as usual, Paul is my hero.

We're still short 60 women's size 1X, 210 2X, 67 3X and probably 100 kids pajamas needed to complete the orders for all the Iowa shelters, but we were able to completely fill Council Bluff's Phoenix House needs just in time for Iowa Senate Majority Leader, Michael Gronstal to deliver them October 18. 

Senator Gronstal and me at our office before he and Paul somehow managed to get all of these boxes and at least one more into his Prius!

And as a reminder as to why Paul and I do this, here's another letter from Sister Charla who has always been, and remains, an inspiration to me.

"The first night a woman comes to stay with us, we invite her upstairs to what we call Pajama Dreamland to browse and choose a pair of pajamas that fit her best. We explain that by 'fit' we aren't just talking about the size. We mean her dreams and hopes for a new life.

​Today I took a newly arrived victim upstairs to pick out her pair. With eyes sparkling for the first time since walking through our door, she told me that if it were just the fit in terms of size, it would be easy, but considering what we asked she said, 'Suddenly I have so many possibilities. Pajamas with flowers — I can plant my own, and no one will stomp them dead. Pajamas with soft colors — I can dream and know my dreams have a chance. Pajamas with puppies — I've always wanted my own dog, and now I could have one. Pajamas with lace and bows — I'm a woman and maybe I can learn to be proud of that. Pajamas with clouds — I can go to sleep and not be afraid.'

With so many choices, I asked her if one pair would be enough. She said, 'To have one sweet dream is more than anything I have ever known. One is enough.'"

Sister Charla

Executive Director of New Beginnings, Dubuque.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Michelle Obama stands up to a misogynist

"This is not normal. This is not politics as usual. This is disgraceful. It is intolerable. And it doesn't matter what party you belong to — Democrat, Republican, independent — no woman deserves to be treated this way. None of us deserves this kind of abuse." — Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States of America, October 13, 2016

EVEN Glenn Beck, who's never been known for being unbiased, reasonable or even rational at times, called the speech Michelle Obama gave October 13 in New Hampshire, "the most effective political speech I have heard since Ronald Reagan."

Below is an opinion piece from CNN by Errol Louis.

Photo from the Concord Monitor and the AP.
Michelle Obama's devastating speech

By Errol Louis
October 14, 2016

In the course of attacking Donald Trump on the campaign trail Thursday, first lady Michelle Obama created a watershed moment in the national conversation about gender equality -- one with effects that will surely last long after the votes are counted on November 8.

Michelle Obama, stumping for Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, launched a devastating attack on the brazen, scandalous words and behavior of Donald Trump, especially his foul-mouthed boasts about sexually attacking women.

The speech will be remembered for its powerful condemnation of the abuse and harassment that women endure on streets and in the workplace -- in a speech delivered, fittingly, almost exactly 25 years from the date another talented black attorney, Anita Hill, testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee about having been harassed by Clarence Thomas, who had been nominated for the Supreme Court.

"This is not normal. This is not politics as usual," Michelle Obama said, her voice breaking with emotion. "This is disgraceful. It is intolerable. And it doesn't matter what party you belong to -- Democrat, Republican, independent -- no woman deserves to be treated this way. None of us deserves this kind of abuse." She implored the crowd to "stop this madness" by voting for Hillary Clinton.

Madness is an apt term for the torrent of insults, lies, conspiracy theories and hopeless rage that Trump bellows from every podium as his campaign implodes.

But Obama went beyond the politics of the moment. "I know it's a campaign, but this isn't about politics. It's about basic human decency. It's about right and wrong," she said. "And we simply cannot endure this, or expose our children to this any longer -- not for another minute, and let alone for four years. Now is the time for all of us to stand up and say enough is enough."

Something similar happened in 1991, when Hill, a law professor, told a panel of white, male senators about allegedly being subjected to lewd comments and behavior by Thomas -- only to encounter hostile, skeptical questioning. Hill endured the ordeal with grace... and Thomas got confirmed. But the nation was never the same.

The spectacle of disbelieving male senators badgering Hill galvanized the country. Congress swiftly passed a law making it easier for women to sue for damages in harassment cases, and the 1992 elections saw 24 women elected to Congress and four to the Senate -- including the first-ever black woman senator, Carol Moseley-Braun, one of several freshman lawmakers who cited the Hill hearings as their inspiration for running.

Women everywhere became less reluctant to speak up about harassment: in the year after Hill testified, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which tracks claims of sexual harassment, got 10,578 such complaints -- a 72% increase from the 6,126 received the year before Hill testified.

Fast-forward 25 years. In an op-ed in the Boston Globe, Hill reflected on Trump's coarse and vulgar taped remarks and concluded: "Trump's language, which he and others have tried to minimize as "locker room banter," is predatory and hostile. To excuse it as that or as youthful indiscretion or overzealous romantic interest normalizes male sexual violence."

It's safe to predict that in the months and years to come, young girls and women leaders in politics, business, science and the arts will cite Michelle Obama's speech as a touchstone that inspired them to reject abuse and demand respect. That will rank among the best outcomes of a campaign that has been petty, disappointing and increasingly bitter.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Willfully blind, woefully uninformed

“Pro-Trump evangelicals, in future elections don’t try to argue that character matters. Just don’t.” — David French, conservative writer 

BELOW, find a piece by veteran Washington Post opinion writer, E.J. Dionne Jr., however I believe he forgot to include the woefully ignorant in the title. Here's a word-for-word quote from a Hey Look Something Shiny reader:

“You would be best IF YOU WATCHED FOX NEWS THE BALANCED NEWS. THEY have proven themselves to be #1. SOMETIMES Educators are the worst as they believe what they want to believe. I doubt if you even know Trump's Bio. Do you have it? If I can find it I will send it. I have a Life. I don't spend time on the Internet reading all of the False Left. they fear Trump because he is the Smarter and most Healthy of the 2, not to mention his very well Educated children. Hillary has MS but that will be the LAST THING to come out. THAT IS PROBABLY her worst diagnosis that has been buried with the missing emails. She has alot hidden even The Real Father OF Chelsea.” 

From The Washington Post:

Only the willfully blind are shocked by Trump

By E.J. Dionne Jr.

October 8, 2016

Debate weekend turned into jump-off-the-sinking-ship weekend as scores of Republicans decided they couldn’t stomach Donald Trump anymore.

The question for all of them: What business did they have being so shocked?

True, Trump’s comments in the 2005 video made public Friday by The Post are shockingly vile, astonishingly disgusting and disgracefully open about the freedom Trump felt (because he was a “star”) to grope and, let’s face it, assault women.

All investigative reporters deserve our thanks for fully exposing Trump. But no one needed to rely on their work to know who he is. Only political opportunism allowed leading Republicans — from House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus on down — to pretend that Trump was an acceptable presidential nominee.

Indeed, it should offend and enrage Mexican Americans, African Americans, American Muslims and everyone else Trump has attacked that none of these prior offenses had turned the Republican establishment away.

Birtherism? No problem. The verbal assaults on the Gold Star Khan family? Bad, but not enough to justify rescinding endorsements. Mexicans as “rapists”? This was just “that Mexican thing,” explained Mike Pence. The trashing of a former Miss Universe for gaining weight? We can get by that, too, they decided.

But now there’s audio catching Trump describing women in the most vulgar and obscene language. For Trump to try to justify this as “locker-room banter” is an insult to the athletes who populate locker rooms. And his later apology sounded more angry than sincere.

Maybe the Republicans who are now oh-so-outraged and are pulling their endorsements have done their political calculations. They figured that they could write off African Americans, Muslims and Latinos, but could not possibly offend all women, too. Perhaps they remembered the things they have said about “family values” and the importance of “character” and realized they just couldn’t roll with this one.

But if they cared about “character” and “family values,” Trump had already made clear that these meant nothing to him. This is a guy who bragged about sleeping with (terribly Victorian of me, I know, to use that term) married women.

As for character, the brave and good Republicans of the Never Trump movement have been citing chapter and verse about what a horrific man this is — someone who walked away from his debts, often failed to pay the people who worked for him, demeaned Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) because he was a prisoner of war and gleefully gave his opponents belittling nicknames.

Sadly, sickeningly, even those whom Trump had besmirched fell into line. McCain, who has so much to be proud of, endorsed Trump. He is now reduced to saying that Trump “alone” should pay the price for this episode. His meaning: Please don’t punish the party that enabled and nominated Trump or the candidates who have carried his water. (McCain finally disendorsed Trump on Saturday.) Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) — a.k.a. Lyin’ Ted — caved in and supported the man who had defamed Cruz’s father and wife.

And what about the devout conservative Christians (Pence, for example) who claimed to care about how people live their lives and then embraced this despicable man? The conservative writer David French put it well Friday evening. “Honestly,” he tweeted, “pro-Trump evangelicals, in future elections don’t try to argue that character matters. Just don’t.”

Even when Ryan was rebuking Trump, he seemed to be looking for an escape hatch. “I hope Mr. Trump treats this situation with the seriousness it deserves and works to demonstrate to the country that he has greater respect for women than this clip suggests.”

Really, Mr. Speaker? Do you honestly think that Trump can now demonstrate his “respect for women” and that the video you blandly sanitized as “this clip” is somehow an aberration? Then again, Ryan should have distanced himself from Trump long ago, so maybe this isn’t so surprising.

There must be accountability here for an entire party that was complicit in the rise of Trump and tried desperately to pretend that he was fit for our nation’s highest office.

The Never Trump movement tried to block Trump, but its champions were resisted by the GOP hierarchy. Priebus actively pushed back against efforts to derail Trump at the national convention. The supply-siders were bought off with his tax cuts. The congressional leadership just wanted to hold the House and Senate and was willing to prop Trump up to minimize the damage he could cause.

This is the most shameful episode in the history of the party that gave our nation Abraham Lincoln. A steep electoral price must be paid to jolt Republicans into a period of reform, renewal and, yes, repentance.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Why is anyone surprised

“The question is no longer whether Donald Trump should be President. The question is whether he should be free to roam among us.” — Andy Borowitz, Sept. 9, 2016

ANDY BOROWITZ wrote the above quote before the video was released that exposes Donald Trump to be the foul predator we all . . . at least those of us with functional brains and souls . . . have known him to be all along. 

I have too much to say about the deeply-rooted misogynistic culture capable of producing a Trump (and so many others like him in essential ingredients) to be able to coalesce my thoughts just now, so for the present I'm sharing with you an update from The New York Times on the fallout from this latest Trump revelation. And by revelation, I mean quite simply, Trump being exposed to be exactly who he always has been. God almighty, I live in a stupid country.

NYT photo of Trump today.

Lewd Donald Trump Tape Is a Breaking Point for Many in the G.O.P.

By Jonathan Martin, Maggie Haberman and Alexander Burns
October 8, 2016

WASHINGTON — Republican leaders began to abandon Donald J. Trump by the dozens on Saturday after the release of a video showing him speaking of women in vulgar sexual terms, delivering a punishing blow to his campaign and plunging the party into crisis a month before the election.

Fearing that his candidacy was on the verge of undermining the entire Republican ticket next month, a group of senators and House members withdrew support for him, with some demanding that he step aside. Mr. Trump, however, vowed to stay in the race.

The list of party figures publicly rejecting Mr. Trump included a host of prominent elected officials, perhaps most notably Senator John McCain of Arizona, the 2008 nominee.

“I thought it important I respect the fact that Donald Trump won a majority of the delegates by the rules our party set,” Mr. McCain said in a statement. “But Donald Trump’s behavior this week, concluding with the disclosure of his demeaning comments about women and his boasts about sexual assaults, make it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy.”

And in an unheard-of rebuke by a running mate, Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, the Republican vice-presidential candidate, declined to appear on Mr. Trump’s behalf at a party gathering in Wisconsin and offered him something of an ultimatum on Saturday afternoon.

Mr. Pence said in a statement he was “offended by the words and actions described by Donald Trump” in the video, and cast Mr. Trump’s second debate with Hillary Clinton, on Sunday, as an urgent moment to turn around the campaign.

“I do not condone his remarks and cannot defend them,” Mr. Pence said, adding, “We pray for his family and look forward to the opportunity he has to show what is in his heart when he goes before the nation tomorrow night.”

By early evening, no fewer than 35 Republican members of Congress and governors who had not previously ruled out supporting Mr. Trump disavowed his candidacy, an unprecedented desertion by the institutional Republican Party of its own standard-bearer.

The growing wall of opposition recalled the determination of the party establishment this year to deny Mr. Trump the nomination in the first place. But while he easily swatted away that effort to derail his candidacy, Mr. Trump now finds himself in a far more precarious state. Facing a more vast and diverse electorate, his underfunded and lightly organized campaign was already listing before the videotape was released.

Aides described Mr. Trump as shaken, watching news coverage of the video with a mix of disbelief and horror. Shortly after midnight, he had released a videotaped statement, saying, “I’ve said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more than a decade-old video are one of them.”

In a brief telephone interview on Saturday, he shrugged off the calls to leave the presidential race, saying he would “never drop out of this race in a million years.”

“I haven’t heard from anyone saying I should drop out, and that would never happen, never happen,” Mr. Trump said. “That’s not the kind of person I am. I am in this until the end.”

Far from sounding rattled, Mr. Trump insisted that he could still prevail in November.

“Oh, yeah, we can win — we will win,” he said. “We have tremendous support. I think a lot of people underestimate how loyal my supporters are.”

A couple of hours later, the campaign released a statement from his wife, Melania. “The words my husband used are unacceptable and offensive to me,” she said. “This does not represent the man that I know.”

“I hope people will accept his apology, as I have, and focus on the important issues facing our nation and the world,” she said.

But the situation had grown so dire that many in the party were all but pleading with him to withdraw and let Mr. Pence serve as the presidential nominee. On Saturday afternoon, Senator John Thune of South Dakota, the chairman of the Republican Conference, became the most senior Republican to call on Mr. Trump to end his bid and make way for Mr. Pence.

The exodus began late Friday night when a handful of Utah Republicans who said they would support Mr. Trump indicated that they could no longer tolerate their nominee. Mr. Trump has long faced bitter resistance in the Mountain West, in large part because he is deeply disliked by Mormon voters.

But it was not until a pair of conservative women, Representatives Barbara Comstock of Virginia and Martha Roby of Alabama, implored Mr. Trump to withdraw that previously hesitant Republicans stepped forward to reject Mr. Trump’s candidacy.

Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire was the first Republican facing a competitive re-election to say she would no longer back Mr. Trump, announcing in a statement that she would write in Mr. Pence for president instead.

“I’m a mom and an American first, and I cannot and will not support a candidate for president who brags about degrading and assaulting women,” she wrote on Twitter.

Ms. Ayotte was joined just hours later by Mr. McCain, who is also running for re-election, and Representative Joe Heck of Nevada, one of the party’s prized Senate candidates and until recently a favorite to win the seat now held by Senator Harry Reid, the Democratic minority leader, who is retiring.

It was an admission that Mr. Trump now posed an immediate threat to their own candidacies and that, to have any chance to survive, they had to risk angering his ardent supporters. At a party gathering on Saturday in Wisconsin, Speaker Paul D. Ryan, who had disinvited Mr. Trump and said he was “sickened” by the video, was greeted with a few boos, and Mr. Heck was both jeered and applauded when he announced to a crowd in Nevada that he was not backing the presidential nominee.

Mr. Ryan told his crowd he would not be discussing “the elephant in the room,” the 2005 video showing a bus that had Mr. Trump aboard, and included an audio recording of him privately bantering with other men.

Mr. Trump, then newly married to Ms. Trump, crassly boasted about groping women’s genitals, vulgarly commented on their bodies and generally described women as sex objects who could not resist his advances.

In his video statement released early Saturday, Mr. Trump said: “Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize.”

“I pledge to be a better man tomorrow and will never, ever let you down,” he added, before ending the message with a promise to bring up the sex scandals of Bill Clinton’s presidency and Hillary Clinton’s response to them.

Inside Trump Tower, though, Mr. Trump’s defiant public responses belied the reality of a 24-hour period in which he was alternately angry and distressed, according to two people with direct knowledge of his behavior who were granted anonymity to discuss private conversations.

Mr. Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, initially expressed skepticism upon hearing word that such an audiotape existed, saying those comments did not sound like him. When Mr. Trump heard the tape played, he acknowledged it was him, but he believed the fallout would not be dramatic.

Mr. Pence, however, was dismayed, and called into Trump headquarters on Friday night to urge Mr. Trump to apologize.

On Saturday morning, Mr. Pence called Mr. Trump and told him he had to handle the next 48 hours alone because he did not think he would be an effective surrogate.

Mr. Trump, after monitoring cable television coverage, realized he was becoming isolated by his party.

Mr. Trump’s aides did not explicitly ask top advisers and allies to do their usual defense of Mr. Trump’s comments, according to one person briefed on the discussions, but they did ask people to stand strong by his side. A few supporters did, including Ben Carson; the conservative radio host Laura Ingraham; and Robert and Rebekah Mercer, the wealthy father and daughter who are perhaps Mr. Trump’s most important backers, and who said in a statement that they considered the video “locker room braggadocio.”

“America is finally fed up and disgusted with its political elite,” they said. “Trump is channeling this disgust, and those among the political elite who quake before the boombox of media blather do not appreciate the apocalyptic choice that America faces on Nov. 8.”

Two of Mr. Trump’s most prominent supporters — Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey and former Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York — went to Trump Tower around noon to huddle with Mr. Trump and try to get in some debate preparation.

Just before 5 p.m., Mr. Trump emerged, briskly striding through his gilded lobby to a waiting crowd of supporters on the sidewalk. He pumped his right fist in the air as his fans surrounded him.

“Hundred percent,” Mr. Trump told reporters who yelled questions about whether he would stay in the race. He ignored questions about the defections by Republicans and went back inside after about five minutes.

Meanwhile, leading Republicans were demanding that the Republican National Committee, which has been helping the Trump campaign financially and organizationally, abandon Mr. Trump and turn its attention to salvaging other candidates down the ballot.

Representative Charlie Dent, Republican of Pennsylvania, said the committee should no longer “defend the indefensible.”

He called on Reince Priebus, the party chairman, to force Mr. Trump off the ticket — or face the consequences.

“The chairman of the R.N.C. must look out for the good of the party as a whole, so he should be working to get him to step down,” Mr. Dent said. “If he can’t, then he should step down.”

The committee remained silent on Saturday as members of Congress began fleeing from Mr. Trump, not responding to news media inquiries and, senior Republican officials said, not coordinating with other campaign organizations. However, one senior Republican official said Mr. Priebus was deeply distressed. He went to Trump Tower early in the afternoon to talk to Mr. Trump.

Powerful donors and business interests signaled that they would redirect their attention to down-ballot candidates. Republican power brokers had hoped until recently that Mr. Trump might make a credible showing in the presidential election, aiding the party in its other crucial races.

But Republicans now say that their worst fears have come to pass, as Mr. Trump has unraveled in a series of staggering missteps after his first debate with Mrs. Clinton.

Even before Mr. Trump’s 2005 comments came to light, internal Republican polling showed him rapidly losing ground among three groups that had long been wary of his candidacy: independents, women, and voters with college degrees.

That slide is likely to accelerate now, Republicans said, potentially sending voters fleeing toward Democrats or convincing them that they should stay home on Nov. 8. Either outcome would be ruinous for Republican candidates beyond the presidential race.

Fred Malek, an influential Republican donor who is the finance chairman of the Republican Governors Association, said Mr. Trump’s comments were “beyond disgusting” and were likely to harm other Republicans. Mr. Malek said candidates and lawmakers should be free to repudiate Mr. Trump if they believed it was necessary.

“It will be difficult in the extreme for him to recover from this, but the biggest impact is likely to be its effect on all the down-ballot races,” Mr. Malek said. “If they pull the plug on support for Trump, the vast majority of voters will certainly understand that and most will respect it.”