It’s easy enough to understand how any husband might not be thrilled with having pictures of his wife, nearly nude and in provocative and silly poses, used in campaign ads. But then the pictures wouldn’t be out there if wifey (then girlfriend) hadn’t willingly posed for them and made them available for anyone with Google or the price of a copy of British GQ. Actions have consequences, including naked ones. Especially naked ones.
Any woman who does not want the world to see her exciting the male impulse in return for money should simply not do it. (And these photos would appear to appeal most effectively to the 15-year-old male impulse.) Nothing complicated about this. To pose, cash the check, and then whine when people see the results is tackier than the photos themselves (which is saying something).
There’s no evidence that boyfriend Donald tried to dissuade Melania from posing for the cameras on his private plane back in the day, making his indignation now the more hollow. And as adolescent as the photos are, the Donald was hardly an adolescent when he enabled this nonsense. He was in his fifties. It goes, as the lawyers say, to character, which when Bill Clinton was president, Republicans used to say mattered. Is that now inoperative? Ron Ziegler, call your office.
The folks at a PAC called Make America Awesome, apart, PAC officials say, from any input from Ted Cruz, decided the voters of Utah might like to speculate on whether the immodest Melania Trump is really who they would want to see as First Lady, and put the skin pics into an ad in Utah, where the Donald lost big last Tuesday. OK, consenting adults have every right to be trashy. But the ad asks do we really have to install such adults at 1600. It’s a reasonable question, on which inquiring minds can differ. But there’s nothing wrong with asking the question, along with Prosecution Exhibit A.
Predictably, Donald blew a fuse over the ad, refusing to believe, or claiming to refuse to believe, that Cruz did not inspire it. And as nothing succeeds like excess for the Donald, he’s spent time calling Cruz a liar (again) and threatening to “spill the beans” on Ted Cruz’s wife. Which beans he refers to he hasn’t made clear, but then the Donald makes very few things clear. And now he’s including threatening to include gossip about an opponent’s wife as part of his campaign strategy. Cruz called him a coward for behavior that is even tackier than the photos.
If the Donald knows something that Heidi Cruz has done that voters might consider disqualifying to be First Lady, as many voters would consider engaging in soft porn to be, he should just hold the vague threats and say what it is. Many Americans, including those who might enjoy a center-fold privately, would balk at having one living in the White House, there being a place for everything. This is what keeps the use of the photos from being a political dirty trick, and puts most of the blame in this engagement in Trump’s court.
Reasonable Republicans who support the Donald for president, and there are many of these, are constantly faced with challenges to overcome in justifying that support, to themselves or to others. And the Donald doesn’t help them very much in this regard, does he? He really keeps the pressure on.
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