[Ed. – Times setting its sights low.]
Let’s take a moment for Stormy Daniels.
On Tuesday, Michael D. Cohen pleaded guilty to breaking campaign finance laws, charges stemming from payments he made to two women, one of them Ms. Daniels, with whom Donald Trump is said to have had an affair. Mr. Cohen, a former lawyer for Mr. Trump, says he made the payments at the direction of the president, in an effort to influence the 2016 election.
It’s an extraordinary admission, and an extraordinary political moment — not just because of what it means for Mr. Trump. It marks an unanticipated feminist turning point. Ms. Daniels is an adult film star and, like the president, an unapologetic self-promoter. Hers is not a female archetype that has historically garnered much respect, trust or sympathy. Yet here she is, an imperfect, entirely self-possessed woman telling her story with clarity and without shame. And here we are, actually listening to her.
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… [U]nder the usual rules, a woman who so thoroughly breaks norms of female decorum and political propriety would be shamed into silence.
Which is why there is so much power in the fact that Ms. Daniels does not believe her job or her involvement with Mr. Trump or the payoff is her shame to carry.