A grifter president has inspired a swamp-draining by elites

Some of these scandals might have come out under any president, and Clinton was overdue for a feminist reassessment. But Trump has clearly been a catalyst: The sense of moral crisis created by his ascent, the sense of moral outrage felt by women, especially, and the finger-pointing within a divided, freaked-out establishment has made it easier to acknowledge rot in meritocracy, and to purge the grossest examples from our entitled class.

The danger is that once the sense of crisis is past the elite will go back to protecting their own (the insider anger at Kirsten Gillibrand for participating in Al Franken’s defenestration is an example of how that impulse still endures), while the memory of all these revelations confirms the populist belief that Trump’s gang of cronies is just normal for D.C.

In fact our elite is rotten and deserves judgment, yet Trump’s mix of kleptocracy and kakistocracy is worse. So the question of how you replace a bad elite with a better one, not just with something more corrupt, is what both left and right should be pondering while this particular purgation runs its course.