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Opinion | Stormy Daniels and the Comeuppance of Donald Trump

Opinion | Stormy Daniels and the Comeuppance of Donald Trump

I’ve never gotten the sense that Joe Biden or Adam Schiff or Jeb Bush or another man ever got in Mr. Trump’s head the way Ms. Daniels, Ms. Carroll, Ms. James and the other women do. It’s not that men aren’t on his hit list: Alvin Bragg, the Manhattan district attorney, is up there, as are the two male judges in Mr. Trump’s criminal and civil cases in Manhattan, one of whom he recently sued, in yet another (failed) effort to delay his trial.

But it’s the women whose behavior — call it bravery and moxie, as I do, or impertinence and temerity, as Mr. Trump might — gets him spinning like a top, as when the judgment in Ms. James’s case against him threatened Mr. Trump’s real estate assets — or in his words, “my ‘babies.’”

Imagine being called to account by people — by a gender, I’d argue — that you consider beneath you.

There is a certain karmic justice here. After Mr. Trump talked about grabbing women in the “Access Hollywood” tape, women talked about grabbing him back by defeating him at the ballot box in 2016. They didn’t. Maybe what we are seeing now is the grab-back moment, albeit more of a slow and steady pinch. After years of demonizing women who refuse to do his bidding, he is getting a measure of comeuppance at their hands.

Exhibit A for how much these women are in Mr. Trump’s head is the level of vitriol he spews at them. Some of it is comical, like a preschooler grasping for insults. Some is more sinister: Mrs. Clinton and Kamala Harris as “nasty”; Nancy Pelosi as “crazy” and “very sick.”

And the women journalists who will question him during the news conferences during the hush money trial and on the campaign trail? He goes for the jugular in ways far more vicious, and public, than he does with their white, male colleagues. Ms. Twohey: a “disgusting human being.” Yamiche Alcindor, now of NBC News: “threatening.” During a press briefing back in 2018, he accosted Abby Phillip, of CNN, by stating to the crowd that she asks “a lot of stupid questions,” a comment that drew condemnation from the National Association of Black Journalists.

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