by Shelton Bumgarner
Someone recently quipped on Twitter that Margot Robbie is set to get her Oscar win playing Stormy Daniels in one of the many movies that will be generated by the Trump Administration. Meanwhile, one of my favorite nattering nabobs on Twitter, Benjamin Wittes gave Ms. Daniels a little shade calling her a “sex worker” employing legal tactics barely above blackmail. He did say she was weirdly one of the more honorable characters being spit out by the Trump Administration clusterfuck.
So that makes me wonder — is Ms. Daniels kind of an icon of this surreal Trump era that we now find ourselves in? When the history of the Trump Administration is written, will we look back upon Ms. Daniels as an icon of the hole we dug ourselves into when we elected Trump?
Now, for me, the interesting thing is the Stormy Daniels Affair has garnered far more traction than any of the other many, many, many scandals produced by the Trump Administration. I just don’t get it. I just don’t understand why this, of all the scandals, is actually taking its toll on the Trump Administration. There are now three different women suing the president for various sexually related screw ups. Add to that the whole #TrumpRussia imbroglio and it does appear as though we’re headed for a perfect storm of epic proportions.
The difference between Stormy Daniels and the “bimbo eruptions” of 20 years ago is Ms. Daniels seems to have her own sexual agency. She isn’t some young woman being exploited by powers beyond her control. She is a self-avowed “slut” who claims the only thing she won’t do for money is “toilets and dishes.” As such, it’s difficult for people on the Right to slutshame her out of the public eye. As anyone who follows her on Twitter can attest, she is quick with a retort and can hold her own when it comes to the numerous MAGA haters who want to rain down sexual shame on her.
I, for one, see Ms. Daniels as the hero we deserve at this moment in time. She has managed to turn the tables on Trump and beat him at his own game. Maybe nothing will happen because of all of this, but it is definitely delicious to watch.
What the ultimate outcome of all of this will be is anyone’s guess. But it is within the realm of possibility that it could be Ms. Daniels, not Bob Mueller, who ultimately brings down Trump. What gets me the most is it’s possible we’ll see Trump’s junk at some point and that still won’t be enough to bring him down. I mean, Trump has already legally admitted that he had an affair with Ms. Daniels and the Religious Right is completely silent on the issue.
I’m old enough to remember the Monica Lewinsky Affair and how people on the Right were so quick to tell me that “character counts.” Now that the roles are reversed, the Right is employing the same moral relativism that they claimed I was using to defend then President Bill Clinton. The perspective of having been politically aware 20 years ago makes the current Trump situation makes me head spin. At the center of all of this is Ms. Daniels. If she does manage to bring down Trump rather than Mueller, it will be rather appropriate.
What makes all of this different is all of Trump’s other sexual peccadilloes were “baked in” to people’s views of Trump when they voted for him. Ms. Daniels, however, has brought with her some accusations that risk overturning some assumptions people have about Trump. That her lawyer would claim that she was physically threatened by someone in the Trump circle is difficult for even the most harden Trump cult member to defend.
Of course, they won’t defend it, they’ll just bob and weave and shadowbox like they always do. But it’s all very interesting. Ms. Daniels may push things to the breaking point. Things could very well get much, much, much more surreal before it is all over with. It may be so surreal that 20 years from now people will still be processing what happened.
I know I will.