Imagine the Stormy Daniels scandal in any other presidency

“Horseface,” attached to a woman who’d described having sex with the president shortly after his third wife had given birth to their son, came with its own baggage. Misogynistic in a casual, high-school-yearbook kind of way, it spoke volumes about Trump’s id. The nickname crystallized the president’s inability to perceive women as anything other than physical objects to be displayed or discarded. It revealed, again, Trump’s uncontrollable impulse to attack anyone who threatens him, however self-defeating such an attack might be. And it made plain how vulnerable the president is when it comes to his ego—as easily bruised as a petal, or a peach.

Even in the Charybdis-like vortex of the Trump news cycle, l’affaire Stormy Daniels was the scandal that couldn’t quit. That was partly because the president himself stoked it, although whether out of simple fury or the urge to have his sexual exploits be known is anyone’s guess. Hence an odd truth: “Horseface” is an epithet that says more about Trump than anyone he might attach it to.

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