Leftists Finally Throw Bill Under the Bus
Now that the Clintons are political has-beens, it's time to pretend to hold him accountable.
The recent effort to upend the Senate candidacy of Alabama Judge Roy Moore is dominating headlines these days. The charges against Moore are troubling, serious and credible, while his denials are less than persuasive. But the speed with which Democrats and Republicans alike have demanded Moore’s exit from the race presents a high ethical standard that never seems to apply to Democrats.
Just yesterday, in fact, Minnesota Democrat Sen. Al Franken was accused of committing sexual assault against a woman in 2006, and it looks like other victims might be coming forward. But the outrage toward Franken, a sitting U.S. senator, has been timid compared with the treatment that candidate Moore has had to endure. And buried beneath the Franken headlines was the news that a hung jury had spared another sitting senator, New Jersey Democrat Robert Menendez, from a deserved corruption conviction.
We’ve been down this road before. Republicans are always quick to destroy their own (deserved or not), while Democrats circle the wagons around the sleaziest politicians and public figures. This hypocrisy has paved the way for sexual predators on the Left to assume vast amounts of power and wealth without ever having to face their accusers, while those on the Right are cut off at the knees.
Case in point: Bill Clinton. For years Americans have waited for the convincing allegations of sexual abuse and even rape by Clinton to get the attention they deserve. Sure, Clinton was impeached (along party lines), paid a fine, and lost his law license, but Democrats never stopped embracing him or his enabling wife. Indeed, once he escaped conviction in the Senate (nearly along party lines), even Republicans seemed to forgive and forget.
Ironically, the person who broke the radio silence on Bill Clinton was none other than Donald Trump.
After the notorious “Access Hollywood” tape nearly derailed his bid for the White House, Trump held a press conference in which the women who claimed to be Clinton’s victims were given the collective attention they deserved. And then, in a brilliant move, Trump seated the women at the presidential debate right near Clinton himself. Trump did more to hold Bill Clinton accountable for his actions than any Republican had done since the former Arkansas governor moved into the White House in 1993.
When Trump put the spotlight on Clinton, Democrats had a perfect opportunity to make things right and condemn Bill’s predatory behavior. After all, they were poised to take down Trump over alleged groping, not rape. But those on the Left couldn’t bring themselves to be critical of a man they’d forgiven for actually engaging in behavior that was far worse than what Trump was only caught describing.
Now, nearly 20 years after Juanita Broaddrick went public with her credible accusation of Bill Clinton raping her, and with the Clintons having failed in their party’s most urgent mission — defeating Trump — the Left is suddenly emboldened. Indeed, some are even opportunistically admitting that Clinton should have resigned from office 20 years ago.
Too little, too late. The societal damage has long since been done.
Caitlin Flanagan writes in The Atlantic, “It was a pattern of behavior; it included an alleged violent assault; the women involved had far more credible evidence than many of the most notorious accusations that have come to light in the past five weeks. But Clinton was not left to the swift and pitiless justice that today’s accused men have experienced. Rather, he was rescued by a surprising force: machine feminism. The movement had by then ossified into a partisan operation, and it was willing — eager — to let this friend of the sisterhood enjoy a little droit de seigneur.”
Perhaps the parade of “progressive” sexual predators in the past year made it difficult to continue ignoring Clinton’s past — difficult to self-righteously condemn the likes of Weiner and Weinstein and Franken while continuing to dismiss Clinton’s decades of depravity.
But don’t take this as a sign that progressives are suddenly holding their own accountable. They just couldn’t keep their dirty little secret any longer. There have been plenty of moments when Democrats could have taken a stand to end sexual abuse post-Clinton.
Matthew Yglesias contends, “The United States, and perhaps the broader English-speaking world, is currently undergoing a much-needed accountability moment in which each wave of stories emboldens more people to come forward and more institutions to rethink their practices. Looking back, the 1998 revelation that the president of the United States carried on an affair with an intern could have been that moment.”
If only leftists like Yglesias had shown the courage of their convictions when it really mattered.
Yes, the feminist movement could have become legitimate instead of selectively allowing the very behavior that it proclaims to detest. It could have been a pivotal moment in which the nation reasserted its values and principles, and took a stand against the moral degradation of the past. It could have been the moment for us to enforce the ethical standards that we have long expected of our public figures, and the moment for the media to put the plain truth ahead of its agenda.
It could have been, but it wasn’t. And they’re now reaping what they sowed.
One of the more troubling aspects of the 1998 Clinton-Lewinsky affair is that mainstream media outlets had all the information they needed in 1998 but chose largely to ignore the very serious accusations of Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey and especially Juanita Broaddrick.
As David Harsanyi writes, “However reluctant editors might have been in moving forward with these stories, the fact is that most of them were ultimately brought to the public’s attention by established news organizations, not shady right-wing outlets. Still, Democrats weren’t merely skeptical of these women, they often treated them with disdain and smeared them for political expediency.”
Yes, they were smeared by just about everyone on the Left including Hillary Clinton. Remember her vicious and dismissive “bimbo eruptions” comment? That a female politician was willing to shame and degrade other women in order to advance her career mirrored the soullessness of the Democrat Party.
Sadly, the cover-ups from the Kennedys to Clinton to Harvey Weinstein allowed scores of women to be abused by powerful men — so long as these monsters were publicly supporting leftist causes.
Since the 1960s, Democrats have pushed a culture of unbridled sexuality on American society while at the same time calling for men to respect women. It’s not possible to have both.
Had Bill Clinton and others been held accountable, perhaps we could have saved a lot of women some serious pain and suffering. Perhaps we could have prevented another generation of sexual perverts from preying on innocent victims. And perhaps we could have emerged as a nation dedicated to ethical and moral behavior in personal and public life.