Opinion: The horseface chronicles

So, Donald Trump called Stormy Daniels “Horseface.” Truly, I thought that after the first two or three or 12 incidents of comparing women to animals, he’d have figured out it was a bad plan.

Nah. One of the things we have learned about our president over the last few years is that he never recognizes a bad plan.

Trump once sent me a marked-up copy of a column I’d written about him, with an arrow pointing to my picture and the inscription “face of a pig.” There was also a note about my being “a dog and a liar.”

At the time, I found it weirdly fascinating. That was way back in his real estate days, when no one had any idea he would one day become the first president of the United States who had a long record of saying demeaning things in public about women’s looks.

Do you think it’s all a plot? Maybe whenever the White House desperately needs to distract the public from a new presidential mess, somebody says, “Hey, can you get the Big Guy to call somebody a dog?”

Until now, “dog” seemed to be one of the things Trump particularly liked calling women who ticked him off. I am pretty sure that’s because he hates dogs. He’s never had a pet of his own and he tried to evict the poodle his first wife brought into their marriage.

But there is a horse connection. Back in the ‘80s, Trump acquired a 2-year-old racer named Alibi, which he cruelly renamed D.J. Trump.

According to a former Trump casino official, the future president demanded that the colt be worked out despite the trainer’s concerns that he might be sick. The trainer was right, the horse had to have part of his hooves amputated, and then Trump announced he was not going to pay for a defective horse. So Alibi/D.J. hobbled off into history.

Stormy Daniels has certainly given Trump a lot of trouble. There was her story of their sleepover while Melania was recovering from childbirth; the $130,000 payoff, which may have come from campaign contributions; and a couple of lawsuits, one of which a judge dismissed this week, handing Trump a minor victory.

Republicans who are trying to get elected in a year when women are the party’s big problem were obviously not thrilled when the president reminded everyone of his animal-name-calling habit. Trump lost the women’s vote in the last election, although he did win a narrow majority of white women. That was nearly two years and a lot of insults ago. We’ll have to see how many of them have noticed that he reminds them of that kid in grade school who used to call girls “Fatso” or “Bowlegs.”

And this time, he picked on a woman who’s both decidedly hard to insult and eager to promote her new memoir, which includes disparaging descriptions of the presidential private parts.

Naturally there was a Stormy response. (“In addition to his … umm … shortcomings, he has demonstrated his incompetence, hatred of women and lack of self control on Twitter AGAIN! And perhaps a penchant for bestiality. Game on, Tiny.”)

On the plus side, our current president is so inept at insulting that his third-grade sexism is almost liberating. I have to admit, I’ve always enjoyed writing about the face-of-a-pig message he sent me. At the time Trump was in serious financial difficulties, I referred to him in a column as a well-known “thousandaire.”

Clearly I hurt him more than he did me.

Writes for the Washington Post

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