The bombshell news Tuesday afternoon: Donald Trump lost a $5 million civil case filed by E. Jean Carroll, who accused him of rape. We're glad to hear the longtime Elle journalist is getting restitution for the damage the former president caused. But aside from that, this should be the nail in the coffin of Trump's 2024 reelection campaign, no? This is all anyone will be talking about or focused on from now until November 2024; it's that big of a deal, right? Right?
Reality check: In the blazing fecal comet that is Trump's legacy—the many scandals and potential reputation killers—this one might be barely a blip. In just a few hours after the stunning news that Trump was liable for sexual abuse and defamation as determined by a jury, it wasn't even the top story on CNN any longer (new winner: George Santos).
The heart of the matter might be what a Republican strategist told Reuters in their version of the story; it's the truest thing you'll probably read about the civil-case victory amid more than a dozen allegations of sexual misconduct from other women.
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Pennsylvania strategist Charlie Gerow said, "The folks that are anti-Trump are going to remain that way, the core pro-Trump voters are not going to change, and the ambivalent ones I just don’t think are going to be moved by this type of thing." Gerow added that only suburban women and moderate Republicans might be swayed by the news; everybody else is pretty much immovable on their opinion of Trump.
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Damn. Based on everything we've seen for the past seven or eight years, that sounds pretty accurate, right? For his part, Trump didn't even show up to testify in the case or defend himself, and has in fact leaned into the scandal, posting about it on his (failing) Truth Social platform, calling Carroll's case a hoax and a lie. The posts he wrote made up $3 million of the $5 million verdict; they were considered by the jury to constitute defamation.
Will any of that sway anyone who's undecided about Trump? Sadly, there's no one to sway; nobody like that seems to exist at this point.