I hope fans of President Trump are disillusioned by what they're hearing about his sex life -- but they're unlikely to be upset with Trump if they believe Rush Limbaugh's version of events.
Here's what Limbaugh said on the radio yesterday:
... I’m gonna do this in what I think is the voice of your average Trump voter, okay? .... “Okay. So Trump had affairs with really beautiful women. Right? And maybe they were porn stars and Playboy models. So what!
“Good for him! Trump was a playboy himself. Everybody knows that, and what’s wrong with liking really incredibly good-looking, exotic women? Where’s the crime in that? Hell, Trump’s married three of them. What in the world is wrong with this? So what?” Is what I think the average Trump voter will say....
But let me tell you how this differs totally from Bill Clinton — and it matters. All of this sex, all these affairs with Trump and Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, whoever they are? All consensual, right? Yes, it was. It was all consensual. None of them are alleging any abuse. They’re mad they signed the NDA, but they’re complaining that they were mistreated, are they? Nope! You can’t say that about Clinton. Clinton’s sex was, in a lot of these women’s cases, unwanted.
And I gotta be very careful here, folks, but in the voice, again, of your average Trump voter, these women with whom Clinton was involved were, shall we say — you wouldn’t call ’em exotic....
Nobody knew who they were beforehand. They were not women putting it all out there. They weren’t in porn movies. They weren’t posing for Playboy. I think some of them tried in the Clinton aftermath, but they were not that beforehand. They were middle income working women that Bill Clinton attacked, in some cases stalked, harassed.
... Trump does not do this! Trump does not harass, he does not stalk, he does not abuse or any of that, like Clinton did. And it’s a big difference! Okay, so your average Trump voter, “Okay, so he paid them to be quiet. I can understand that. That’s just the price that Trump is willing to pay and that they were willing to accept to do the deal. So what? It was a transaction.”
That’s what I think the average Trump voter’s reaction to this is and is gonna be.
Is this what Trump supporters believe -- that every extramarital Clinton encounter was abuse or harassment, and none of Trump's encounters were? It's certainly what Limbaugh wants his audience to believe. This ignores Summer Zervos, the former Apprentice contestant who's suing Trump for defamation after he said that harassment and assault allegations against him, including her claim that he forcibly kissed and groped her, were a "hoax." It ignores eighteen other women who've accused Trump of sexual misconduct, including assaults and unexpected appearances in beauty pageant dressing rooms.
Many of Trump's accusers aren't "exotic" -- a word that's doing a lot of work in Limbaugh's monologue. On the one hand, Limbaugh seems to be using it as a code word for "slut." On the other hand, he seems to be suggesting that Trump was a glamorous high-end player and the women he's been with are the kinds of women who inevitably hook up with glamorous high-end players, whereas Bill Clinton sullied virtuous women just like you or your daughters.
This monologue suggests two reasons why right-wingers don't care about the Trump sex scandals. First, they're enjoying them vicariously -- they'd shag porn stars and Playboy models if they were rich. Second, as long as they think everything was voluntary, it's no concern of theirs, because nobody got hurt, right? (The names Melania and Barron never appear in Limbaugh's monologue.)
I'm happy that these stories finally broke. I'm pleased to see that they're making Trump nervous. But I'm sorry that we're hearing more about Stormy Daniels and than we are about Summer Zervos, and all the other women he pawed and peeped at without their consent.
Crossposted at No More Mr. Nice Blog