The city of West Hollywood this week declared May 23 “Stormy Daniels Day” and presented the porn star with a key to the city, calling her a “national figure in the resistance to the Trump Administration.”
The city’s media advisory hails Daniels as courageous, saying, “In these politically tumultuous times, Daniels has proven herself to be a profile in courage by speaking truth to power even under threats to her safety and extreme intimidation.”
Daniels is the porn star who claims she had a consensual affair with the president in 2006. If that is, in fact, true, there is nothing courageous about her. There is nothing to be applauded for having an affair with a married man. If that did happen, she’s every bit as guilty as him.
Being a woman isn’t enough to make her a victim. Being a woman who has suddenly decided she doesn’t like President Trump isn’t enough to make her a hero.
Perhaps in California, this warped sense of reality is perfectly understandable. There, they play by different rules: adultery is celebrated and President Trump is despised, but not for the rest of the country.
But when former President Bill Clinton had an affair in the Oval Office with Monica Lewinsky, a White House intern, Lewinsky wasn’t considered courageous or lauded as a heroine. West Hollywood didn’t declare a “Monica Lewinsky Day” or give her a key to the city.
In fact, Lewinsky has had her fair share of shame and embarrassment for her bad choices, which follow her to this day. Even after earning a Master’s Degree, she has struggled to find work, and at one point even moved out of the country to gain more anonymity. One organization told Lewiski they’d need a Letter of Indemnification from the Clintons in order to hire her.
Here’s a question: Why, in 1998, was the Lewinsky/Clinton affair so embarrassing and life-altering for Monica, but there seems to be no sense of embarrassment whatsoever for Daniels following her alleged affair with President Trump?
It’s doubtful she’ll have to move out of the country or even have a difficult time finding a job. On the contrary, she’s actually being praised.
Is the embarrassment gone because the lines between right and wrong have become so blurred and our country’s moral compass has been twisted into a pretzel?
On a larger scale culturally, it can’t be denied that we’re existing in a world of flexible morality, largely determined by our comfort level where right and wrong are interchangeable.
Daniels is suing President Trump and his lawyer, Michael Cohen, claiming defamation for denying the affair with her. Cohen paid her $130,000 as part of a nondisclosure agreement.
Not only did she sign a nondisclosure agreement, which she’s now trying to get out of, but in January, she also signed a letter that said, “I am not denying this affair because I was paid ‘hush money’, as has been reported in overseas-owned tabloids. I am denying this affair because it never happened.”
She’s either lying about having the affair now or she was lying about not having it then. Either way, it makes no difference to the city of West Hollywood. They see her publicly battling the president, and that’s enough to earn their praise.
To say they have an agenda is an understatement. Last year, the city council in West Hollywood passed a resolution urging the U.S. House of Representatives to impeach President Trump. Among their reasons were Trump’s lack of action on releasing tax returns and collusion with the Russians.
We now know that there is no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. In fact, it appears as though any collusion that may have happened may have been on the part of President Obama’s law enforcement and intelligence officials to help elect Hillary Clinton.
If Hillary were president, would West Hollywood be passing a resolution to impeach her because of collusion? Try not to laugh too hard.
It’s no secret that the moral bar for California’s politics is so low, it got buried several earthquakes ago. Maybe one day, West Hollywood will give Monica Lewinsky a key to their city, too. Better yet, maybe one day, they’ll take all the keys away and not reward anyone with celebrity status for bad behavior.
Or maybe one day, even in this politically charged world, instead of always trying to be right, we can start to be more concerned with doing what’s right.
Lauren DeBellis Appell is a freelance writer in Fairfax, Va., was deputy press secretary for Sen. Rick Santorum, and was an assistant communications director for the Senate Republican Policy Committee.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.