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Saturday, May 25, 2024
Lifestyle

Let’s thank Stormy Daniels for her service

Stormy Daniels
“Stormy Daniels – Caricature” by DonkeyHotey is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

At a campaign rally in Iowa on January 23, 2016, Donald Trump boasted that his voting base was so loyal to him that he “could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters, ok? It’s like, incredible.”

Well, I guess we will soon find out, won’t we?

A grand jury convened by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has voted to indict the former president on what some outlets claim are 34 charges stemming from $130,000 in hush money paid to Stormy Daniels, a pornographic film star, director, and entertainer, whose birth name — which she prefers not to use — is Stephanie Clifford.

As recently as six days ago, at his Waco rally, Trump denied ever having had sex with Clifford, who he referred to as “Horseface.” So obviously, he is willing to lose the sex worker vote. But Trump and the nitwit chorus line of GOP politicians also characterize the indictment as “political persecution.”

Yet Bragg must have evidence, not just testimony, that the payoff took place, so it will be interesting to see how Trump’s lawyers explain what the money was actually for.

Presumably, the Trump campaign believed the Former Guy’s candidacy could withstand one sex scandal, but not two. But the tragedy in all of this may have been that they may have been wrong.

In early October 2016, the release of the Access Hollywood tape, in which Trump boasted that he could “grab [women] by the pussy” and get away with it, became a survivable scandal.

By contrast, when Trump’s consigliere and fixer, Michael Cohen, paid Daniels for her silence, we had known for decades that Trump was a serial adulterer. Would one infidelity more or less have changed the equation?

I don’t think so.

But I do have to wonder if what Trump was potentially embarrassed about, given that he sought to project an image of being universally irresistible to beautiful women, was the implication that he had paid for sex.

While many news outlets characterize the $130,000 payout as covering up an “affair,” what Trump and Daniels allegedly did was not what most of us would think of as an affair.

Instead, it was a series of phone conversations (I am guessing phone sex) and sexual encounters over two years. The relationship, which may have had a commercial dimension from the get-go, began with a dinner invitation in 2006, culminating in, as Daniels deadpanned at the Stand Up NY comedy club in Manhattan in 2019, “The worst 90 seconds of my life.”

It was a terrible job, girlfriend, but someone had to do it. And I bet Melania would say the same thing if she were being honest.

Besides the fact that our legal system is not yet broken, there are three lessons in this.

First, you should probably never try to shame a successful sex entrepreneur into silence. By definition, a woman who has exposed everything she has to reveal and made a small fortune from it is not subject to convention.

Second, when you have paid off said woman, don’t

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