No one doubts Ryan Lochte is a jerk. But last week, some liberals took it upon themselves to compare him to Donald Trump … because, of course, no one would ever associate Hillary Clinton with scandal.
In an article published by The Huffington Post, civil rights lawyer and former state senator Cynthia Dill wrote: “How much do you want to bet that Ryan Lochte is a Donald Trump supporter?” Comparing the two men’s hair, “bro-ness” and winning attitude, Dill went on to suggest that Lochte would be an excellent addition to the Trump campaign. “And is it me, or does shirtless Lochte in the pool resemble shirtless … Putin, Trump’s idol, on a horse?” she opined.
Dill also attacked the presidential nominee’s political inexperience by suggesting that Lochte’s similar greenness in that area “is sure to catch the eye of Trump’s new chief executive, Stephen Bannon.” With palpable disdain, she penned: “Maybe Lochte can get a job working at Breitbart News, Bannon’s right-wing media shop.” (I point out, somewhat bemused, that Dill’s piece appeared in Hillary’s left-wing media shop.) She concluded: “On Team Trump, there’s no limit to how low the bros can go.”
Lance Gould, Huffington Post Executive Special Projects Editor, also made the Trump connection. In a tweet posted after the news of Lochte’s prevarication broke, he declared: “#LochteLied ... And that guarantees him a position on Trump's communications team.” Right! ‘Cause Hillary and her staff have never lied about a mess and then tried to cover it up. Never.
#LochteLied ... And that guarantees him a position on Trump's communications team— lancegould (@lancegould) August 20, 2016
Around the same time, The Washington Post ran an AP article highlighting Trump and Lochte’s “delicate politics of contrition.” Nancy Benac, who wrote the piece, critiqued the two apologies by pointing out that neither “fully owned up to exactly what he’d done wrong.” Both men, she argued, attempted to aggrandize their achievements before admitting their errors.
On The Late Show, Stephen Colbert declared: "Now the whole world thinks that Ryan Lochte is that crazy American with the weird hair who keeps making stuff up and causing an international incident, which is not how an Olympian acts," Colbert said. "That is how a presidential candidate acts."
Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir tied Lochte and Trump to the “steep decline of American democracy,” calling the men “two clowns” who “epitomize the disordered state of the American psyche, circa 2016, almost too perfectly.” O’Hehir scathingly continued: “Lochte and Trump are a pair of arrogant, ignorant jerks who believe that neither conduct nor character actually matters, and who feel entitled to rescue themselves from any sticky situation through the strategic application of lies and money.”
Again, this kind of behavior has never been displayed by Hillary Clinton.