Floggers

Donald Trump Is A Professional Dominatrix and the GOP Can’t Get Enough Of His Humiliation

From Mitt Romney to Little Marco, Trump’s former detractors and rivals are submitting themselves to public degradation, scraping and bowing for his favor—and they seem to kinda like it.

12.10.16 5:13 AM ET

The image stains and intrudes like a telltale bite mark after a wild night. Mitt Romney, former Donald Trump detractor, breaking bread (or crab cakes, which is what billionaires must eat instead of bread) with a man he once called a phony and a fraud.

In the photo, Romney is a human wince. Next to him, his former nemesis grins impishly. They are lit from below, as though they are in hell. Donald Trump is really enjoying this.

Everything from the hyperbolic to the glib has been used to attempt to explain Donald Trump. He's America's Mussolini. He's a cult leader. He's a bully. He's still on a reality show in his mind. He's the Ringling Brother who gave the other Ringling Brothers purple nurples on picture day. He's Hitler.

But Trump's behavior with his enemies since his surprise electoral victory on November 8 lends a new descriptor to the president-elect. He's a dominatrix. A shitty one.

In sex, humiliation play depends entirely on the enthusiastic consent of both parties. Professional dominatrixes tell The Daily Beast that they take this point incredibly seriously: the only way that sadomasochistic erotica is satisfying for either party is if both are completely into it. Pro-dommes enforce chastity, degrade the genitalia of their partners, force male partners to wear women’s underwear, inflict pain that tests the limits of a person’s tolerance, or engage in other manners of degradation depending on the particular arc of their and their partner’s kink— but they always stop when the submissive party calls for it. Without consent, sadomasochism is just sadism. And it would probably get a person arrested.

And despite his pussy-grabbing brag, when it comes to political interactions, Trump’s sadism isn’t non-consensual. One by one, Trump has publicly subjected his former enemies to all manner of indignity, with the humiliation seeming like something both parties tolerate.

Let’s start with Chris Christie. Governor of New Jersey. Straight talker, teacher-sasser, brave enough to stand up to the unions and wear baseball pants in public. Once it was clear that his chances at winning the presidency were slimming, this avatar of masculine braggadocio joined Donald Trump’s cause. And the allegiance never stopped making Christie seem pathetic. Christie tried to mask his humiliation behind a swaggering veneer, but even his years-long adherence to his particular brand of asshole didn’t prepare him to hide. After months of Sunday-show surrogacy, all but abandoning his duties as governor of New Jersey, his tell-all face being turned into a meme at his expense at every turn, Chris Christie was excluded from Trump’s transition team. Apparently “Bridgegate” was his safe word.

Donald Trump relentlessly needled Ted Cruz during the campaign. He insulted Cruz’s wife and implied Cruz’s father had a role in the Kennedy assassination (untrue), giving the blowhard Texan senator a brief opportunity to defend his kin in front of millions, thus living out what one might suspect is a long-held fantasy of being a character in the 1987 film The Princess Bride. Then, like none of that had happened, Cruz flipped. In September, he endorsed Donald Trump for President. By early October, he was phone banking for his formal blood rival. In one particular photo of Cruz, he seems to be in immense pain and experiencing immense pleasure at once.

Marco Rubio, christened “Little Marco” by Trump, ended up endorsing the now-president, too, even after a valiant effort to make jokes at Trump’s expense. Little Marco is responsible for making Donald Trump’s penis fodder in a primary debate. Little Marco helped revive “short-fingered vulgarian.” Little Marco ended up capitulating. Even though he had to know how wimpy and craven it made him look.

Corey Lewandowski, former Trump campaign head, remained a loyal footstool despite being fired in a way that invited public shame. Even after his ouster, there was Lewandowski, a CNN contributor, still loyally boarding and deboarding from Trump’s plane during the campaign. Still spouting easily disprovable talking points.

Even Rudy Giuliani, circling Trump like a stray dog hungry for ham scraps, has paid with his dignity for his position. In the days after Trump’s comments surfaced about non-consensually humiliating women by grabbing them by the pussy, it was Giuliani who faced the punditry, who defended his endorsement. It was Giuliani who sputtered on Sunday shows, whose floundering went viral.

Trump’s adherence to a sadistic retribution playbook is so predictable at this point that speculators have wondered if his public consideration of Mitt Romney as Secretary of State is a ruse. Just this week, his campaign insisted to the press that no, Romney’s not being strung along as part of a drawn-out and cruel retribution scheme. But this could also be a long con; the campaign isn’t exactly known for being straightforward. And a man cannot be fully humiliated until he’s elevated to an elevation from which a fall would be painful. There’s nothing more humiliating than dashed hope. Nothing more humbling than putting oneself on the line for something only to be disappointed. Seeing Mitt Romney at dinner with Trump was like seeing a stream of face-painted fans trudging from a stadium and into the night with their faces painted after their team lost.

A professional dominatrix would never subject her clients to non-consensual pain. But in his political foes-cum-sycophants, Trump seems to have found willing subs, political masochists who keep coming back for more.

Thank you, sir. May I have a cabinet post?