Stormy

If we learned that George W. Bush or Barack Obama had extramarital sex with a porn star and caused hush money to be paid to her, the news would be a big deal. Why? Because it would overturn the view many of us hold of an aspect of their character.

Reports that Donald Trump had extramarital sex with porn star Stormy Daniels and caused hush money to be paid to her is (assuming Trump broke no law) nothing approaching a big deal. It scarcely registers.

Why? Because the reports add nothing to our knowledge of Trump’s character. His alleged behavior is completely in-character. It’s just what we would expect from him. If Trump abstained from sex with Stormy Daniels or, having had sex, did not pay for her silence, that would be news to anyone who has been paying attention these last few years.

What if Daniels ends up breaking her non-disclosure agreement? Is there anything she could say about Trump that would harm his image? Yes, one can imagine alleged details of their encounter that would, if believed, embarrass him.

But Trump presumably would deny any shocking or out-of-character details. Those who hate Trump would believe Daniels. Those who back him mindlessly would believe Trump. The rest of us would, absent evidence that tilts the case decisively in one direction, scratch our heads, shrug our shoulders, and wait for the next episode of this reality-TV presidency.

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