When I was a kid I loved to play on the teeter-totter during recess. This toy, which is simply a plank resting atop a fulcrum, allowed you to teeter high up into the air and then totter all the way back to earth1. It worked great and was good for hours of fun as long as the person at the opposite end of the plank was of comparable weight. But put someone way too heavy on one end—someone like a big fat golden headed tubby-tub named Donald—and not only were you stuck up in the air, but the fun quickly ended. You’d passed the tipping point, which was a good and early life lesson in the reality that all of us teeter until eventually we totter.2
As the Stormy Daniels affair (…) continues to unfold, it’s curious to consider where the tipping point of Melania Trump is located. What we as a public know all too publicly about her hubby Donald is known exponentially more intimately and indisputably by Melania. To wit: she choose to marry a twice-divorced, incontestably-renowned creep 24-years older than her; she didn’t raise a peep when he prattled lasciviously to Howard Stern and other shock jocks about the licenses he took with women; she chose to say nothing in response to Ivana Trump’s claims of being assaulted and raped by her then-husband Donald; she didn’t publicly bat a single styled eyelash when the Access Hollywood tapes came out and ol’Billy Bush giggled along to Donald’s pussy-grabbing prowess; she’s never taken a public position on the multitude of women who have accused DT of sexual harassment, a string of accusations whose threads first began to unspool in the 80’s. (We’re not going to dwell on the fact that she also chooses to have sex with the man, which is just… ugh.)
But the forecast for Melania these days is so tempestuous we’re capitalizing it, and the least sensational thing about the Stormy Daniels situation, as far as the general public is concerned, is likely going to be the most undeniable fact for Melania when confronted by that very public—DT’s been running around mangy and flea-ridden as an alley cat. Which leaves me wondering, Mrs. Trump, where is your tipping point?
[I realize a lot of the above may read like anticipatory, lip-licking schadenfreude. I suppose in a way part of it is—we all like to see someone answer the inevitable—but the more substantive feelings I have are that this is sad. I am sad for Melania, as I would be for any person whose partner breaks their trust and shames and humiliates them (extra points for doing it so publicly). It’s downright shitty, albeit not surprising, and any sadness I feel for her is mixed with a forehead-slapping cry of, What the hell did you expect lady?!]
Let’s presume that this storm front delivers the dire weather being forecast—this won’t be like the Clinton trials of ’98. No woman whose surname isn’t Falwell or Graham is going to storm forward to decry the credibility of Ms. Daniels or Karen McDougal or any other woman poised to levy such allegations. And so, Mrs. Trump, we are likely looking at public confirmation of the oft-spoken un-secret that all of us already know: your husband’s a dog who didn’t simply cheat on you, but did it while you were nursing his child.
At what point is enough enough? Where, if it exists at all, is your tipping point?3
To answer my own question I’m going to stick with the theme and invoke another favorite childhood—the Weeble. You’re not that much older than I am, Mrs. Trump, perhaps you remember the quasi-life-size inflatable dolls that you could punch and kick and shove, and true to their tagline they’d wobble but wouldn’t fall down? (I suppose it’s possible the Weebles never made it to Slovenia, which would be a shame of enormous geopolitical proportions, and if you never played with one you missed out.) With that in mind, Mrs. Trump, here’s my best guess about your tipping point. My answer is based on the above paragraphs as well as everything we know about Republicans currently in politics—this still isn’t enough. Your tipping point is much, much further away.
The terrible thing, for you as well as the rest of us, is that you’re married to a man who seems temperamentally obsessed with trying to surpass it.
- That’s simply my assessment of the verbs; their directional imperatives remain open to debate. If one insisted that the upward motion was in fact the tottering, while the lowering deserved to be called teetering, I don’t suppose I’d have any ground (…) to argue from. [↩]
- I’m now switching those directional imperatives because it sounds better to me this way; if any burgeoning linguists out there want to quibble, may I recommend you contact an authority much higher than I. [↩]
- I’d say that this question should also be asked of the roughly 40% of us who still approve of Trump’s Presidency, and not because I’m so naive as to believe an affair renders one incapable of governing. Specifically, I’d say that this question should be asked to Evangelical Christians, whose near-monolithic support under the banner of Family Values and other such claptrap helped Trump get elected. And I’d stop using this weird tensile construction of “I’d say…” if only Tony Perkins, the head of the conservative evangelical Family Research Council, hadn’t recently decided to give Trump a “mulligan” on the Stormy Daniels affair, an act that has more or less rendered anything I’d say on this subject pointless.
Yes, Mr. Perkins honestly employed a golf metaphor to nullify charges of a(nother) sexual affair that involved—at the least—$130K in hush-monies, which raises the question of What type of spine-less sycophant is ready to give Trump yet-another do-over? (Answer: Tony Perkins and an ark-load of Evangelicals) The reasons for this—Neil Gorsuch comes quickly to mind, as does unfettered worship of material mammon (WWJD?—Work for Goldman Sachs, obviously…)—do not actually address the most pertinent question, which appears to be, Of all people on this planet, why the hell does Donald Trump deserve another chance at anything? His entire life has been one bankrupted mulligan after another—how many more freebies does this guy need?! [↩]