Part 4—Confessore's warning: On Tuesday morning, the New York Times published three letters about Stephanie Clifford, who says she engaged in various rolls in the hay with our president, Donald J. Trump, back in 2006.
It's hard to imagine why any sane person could possibly care about that. It's hard to imagine why anyone would care if Donald J. Trump paid money to Clifford to keep her trap shut about that.
That said, people care about these matters a very great deal, even the liberal Digby. Digby published a very large photo of Clifford's very large body parts this Monday. Also, a leering speculation about what Donald J. Trump may have done with this transfixing specimen, back in 2006.
As we've noted in the past, it's all anthropology now! It's silly to think that we the people are going to extricate ourselves from our current deeply dangerous mess.
As has become abundantly clear, we don't have the smarts to do it. All that's left is the scientific explanation of how we managed to get ourselves into this dangerous mess.
(We may extricate ourselves, of course. But it's silly to assume that we will.)
We managed to get here, in large part, because of the small tiny btains of people like even the liberal Digby. Also, because of the small tiny minds of people like one of those New York Times letter-writers, the one who seems to think that Stephanie Clifford is some sort of freedom fighter.
The New York Times published its letters under this stirring headline:
"The Pressure to Silence Stormy Daniels"Various buttons were pushed! That said, it's hard to imagine why any sane person should actually care if Donald J. Trump is trying to "silence" Stephanie Clifford about their wholly consensual interactions back in 2006.
That said, how gullible can we the prehumans be? We can be extremely gullible! The person who wrote the third letter in the Times presented Clifford like this:
Hooray for Stormy Daniels. She has more guts than any of the cowards, traitors and fools who are destroying this country.How do we manage to get that dumb? Alas! As the past years have shown quite well, it's easy for us prehumans!
H— S—, BROOKLYN
The letter writer seems to think that Clifford is bravely—well, that she's bravely doing something! As published, his letter doesn't exactly say what she's doing so well.
That said, she apparently isn't one of "the cowards, traitors and fools who are destroying this country." She's trying to keep from being "silenced" in the story the Times chose to tell.
Or is she? increasingly, we in the liberal world are portraying Clifford as an heroic role model. We would suggest the she, like Putin and Gennifer Flowers, may be one of the many people who have been"attacking" our elections in deeply destructive ways.
Flowers interrupted the 1992 election, made tons of dough in the process. Clifford's history seems to go something like this:
Clifford's history as a freedom fighter:Is Stephanie Clifford a freedom fighter? Or is she chasing the cash?
In 2006, she had a consensual sexual relationship with Donald J. Trump. She knew that he was recently married and that his wife had just had a child. "So what?" she fearlessly said.
As of 2016, Donald J. Trump was running for president. For unknown reasons, Clifford decided she wanted to blab about her interactions with this fellow—but when she was offered a big sack of cash, she decided to take that instead.
Her acceptance of this big bag of cash, like her previous acts, was consensual.
Now, in 2018, Clifford has decided once again that she wants to share her truth about Donald Trump's sex acts. In the process, she is becoming one of the most famous people in the world. Much larger sacks of cash may lie in her future.
We can't answer your question, but she is injecting herself into our discourse, like Gennifer Flowers before her. In so doing, she seeks to continue a cultural norm which has existed since 1987:
As part of this new cultural norm, we talk about politicians' sex lives. We love to talk about such drivel. In the end, when all the faking is done, it almost seems that our small tiny brains want to discuss nothing else.
Politicians have died in these culture storms—mainly Democratic politicians.
Gary Hart was the first to go. Bill Clinton got impeached.
Al Gore then died, as did Hillary Clinton. We haven't mentioned Henry Cisneros and Elliot Spitzer; these fellows were taken out too. Unless you don't yet understand that Al Gore died for Bill Clinton's sins, we'd say that Democrats may have lost three presidential campaigns thanks to our love for this topic.
How many races have Republicans lost? They've lost exactly none, but birdbrains like even the liberal Josh and Digby want to continue this culture. They're weirdly drawn to those large body parts. Prehuman, they can't help but look.
Why would anyone want to discuss what Donald J. Trump did, or may have done, with Stephanie Clifford? What he may have don with Clifford twelve years ago, back in 2006?
Don't worry! Our small tiny brains will generate answers which make us heroic too! For ourselves, we think of the famous lines from Howl, a poem we didn't write:
I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,Ginsberg was describing the need for a fix in the face of an addiction. We're describing the longing to which many others have now been lost—the extremely deep, prehuman desire to discuss other people's "sex lives."
dragging themselves through the [NAME WITHHELD] streets at dawn looking for an angry fix...
The floodgates opened on this practice in 1987. One week later, Hart went down. In the years since then, this longing has harmed progressive interests again and again.
Despite this fact, we liberals are eager to stampede down that trail once again. Consider the way MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace has been sliding beneath the waves.
Wallace, of course, made her name pimping for President George W. Bush. Today, we liberals are so desperate for glory that we make seers of the people who sold Bush back in the torture days.
Good God! CNN and MSNBC crawl with the advice of Richard Painter, the S. Walter Richey Professor of Corporate Law at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.
From 2005 to 2007, Painter was also "the chief White House ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush administration." Today, though, he's NeverTrump, so we've made him a cable news star.
Have you ever seen anyone ask him what his ethics advice was concerning all that torture? We haven't seen that either! Also, we never will! Just as long as he's NeverTrump, we'll thrill to the slightly animatronic sound of his bold NeverTrump voice.
(Note: If Painter had sex with Stephanie Clifford, we'd almost surely want to hear all about that too. Anthropologically speaking, that's who and what we are.)
Wallace sold torture right down the line. Today, she's a liberal favorite. Last Friday, we watched her spend the bulk of her hour-long show clucking about Donald J. Trump's sex life with Stephanie Clifford.
There was plenty of laughter, good solid fun and healthy tribal enjoyment. Various cable stars took their turns saying how much they disapproved of what Donald J. Trump had done with Stephanie Clifford. Their high moral values were clears.
Something else was evident. It was obvious that the cable stars were hoping and praying that Stephanie Clifford's freedom-fighting might end up taking Trump down. At one point, Wallace made this point quite clear:
WALLACE (3/9/18): It's a tired story, but we should never normalize it.We should never normalize the fact that Donald J. Trump had sex with someone without seeking Nicolle's permission! Fellow liberals, let's keep that in mind!
Do you think a sustained sex scandal, like this could become, if Stormy Daniels' case goes forward and it continues to get the kind of attention that every other sex scandal—MSNBC's airing a doc on Gary Hart—
Literally every other politician that has engaged in any sort of conduct, even in this category, has had their career ended.
[Trump] has had none of that treatment, and some of it's on us, we ignore it because we're so used to it, and some of it's on his evangelical base that has made perfectly clear they don't care.
It was clear that Wallace, and everyone else, was hoping that this would be a "sex scandal ex machina"—that a "sustained sex scandal" might do what we're too inept to do ourselves, that it might bring Donald Trump down.
This was the obvious tone of the rollicking hour-long program, which featured lots of moral preening along with a whole lot of laughs. But uh-oh! At 31 minutes past the hour, one of the pundits, an actual journalist, offered some good sound advice.
The voice belonged to Nicholas Confessore, he of the New York Times. Like Nestor the seasoned charioteer who talked the headstrong Diomedes on down, he frequently offers the best advice.
On this day, he offered a buzzkill. Oof! Here's what he said:
CONFESSORE: I will point out, though—the Clinton example, how did that end?To watch that segment, click here.
He was impeached, and most of the country came to conclude the whole thing was a terrible waste of time and money and effort, and [that] it was a bad thing to have gone after him on sex.
It's not impossible to imagine that the country comes to the same conclusion on this in the end: "Why are we going after this guy for an affair? We know he's sleazy, it's not the most important thing. It seems over-aggressive."
I'm not saying that will happen, but history shows that it can happen.
Watching the previous half hour, it had already occurred to us that pundits like these might actually save Donald J. Trump, the most disordered person ever to serve in the White House.
Their big long noses had actually made us feel sorry for Trump. It had already entered our heads that people might feel so repelled by their stupid behavior that some could even end up supporting Trump.
We'll likely experience Donald Trump's war before votes have to be cast. Congressional elections are coming up, and in the tradition of the president Wallace and Painter proudly served, a war is now the proven way to manage an off-year election.
That said, Confessore offered the chimps some good advice. He remembered what happened the last time they started—the sympathy their big long noses generated for that earlier target.
Five years after Hart succumbed, Bill Clinton survived that stampede. In the longer run, Al Gore and then Hillary didn't.
Now, Josh and Digby are hoping and praying that we'll decide to sit around ogling Clifford's body parts and thinking how bad Donald is. It's all anthropology now, dear friends—and Cassandra has come to us very late in the night to say that we're all going down.
Tomorrow: What Norman O. Brown—"Nobby"—said
Wishin' and hopin': The liberal stars were wishin' and hopin' all through Wallace's hour.
If you click here, then use the "any date" search, you can watch segments with these titles:
Segments from the March 9 Wallace show:The various pundits were wishin' and hopin', standing behind our new leader.
Alleged Stormy affair now a "full scale sex scandal"
Could payment to Stormy Daniels be a campaign finance violation?
"Stormy" could pose more immediate trouble for Trump than Mueller
Can the Trump base ignore the Stormy scandal?
Why the "Stormy" lawsuit could spell more trouble for Trump
Stephanie Clifford mustn't be silenced! "Why not?" our analysts sadly asked. They all thought that Confessore had offered some good sound advice.