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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

Bill Clinton Is Not An Example Nor An Excuse

Category: Society
Posted: 11/15/17 05:59, Edited: 11/15/17 06:01

by Dave Mindeman

The most used defense by Republican apologists for Roy Moore, Donald Trump, etc....is that Bill Clinton was a sexual predator that liberals defended and that he (Clinton) may have been worse than those accused now.

This is the only tactic left in any kind of defense of sexual harassment and abuse that Republicans have perpetrated and which they seem compelled to defend.

So, let's look at the case of Bill Clinton. Yes, Bill Clinton made some horrible mistakes. And there is no defense for his actions. None.

But Republicans, in their zeal to make political hay, focused on the politics rather than what he did wrong. And, as usual, when the GOP does that, they overplayed their hand.

When the Bill Clinton scandal happened, the Republicans couldn't just focus on Bill himself. No they couldn't help but add the women involved into their methods of destruction.

Monica Lewinsky was ostracized, humiliated, and victimized. Even though the sexual encounter was consensual, Bill Clinton abused the relationship with his position of power. That should have been more of the story, but Republicans had to turn it into a moral issue only - maybe they have forgotten, but all three of the Republican House speakers that shared the same tenure as Clinton had to step down for adultery accusations - Newt Gingrich, Bob Livingston, and Dennis Hastert. In the case of Hastert, there was a monster lurking there that only years later could be revealed.

So the "morality" of it all soon began to loom as a hypocritical political stunt because of that.

And let's not forget Hillary Clinton. The Republicans could not resist taking her pain and humiliation and turning that into blaming her as complicit. That ridiculous notion was made to follow her for the rest of her career. The flaw that was Bill's alone became one for the whole family. Hillary was vilified for the difficult decision to stay in the marriage and Chelsea's pain was simply ignored.

Many Democrats joined the condemnation of what Bill did (including me), but when the politics became the focal point, it became a referendum on the policy and not the man. Republicans can't seem to resist that - a sex scandal is meaningless to them unless you can gain political advantage with it. Evidence of that is right here in the Minnesota Capitol. The Democrat Schoen was condemned in a bipartisan manner, while Cornish has never been officially condemned by the State GOP.

Comparing Roy Moore to Bill Clinton is hard to allow as well. Moore has a pattern of preying on underage girls, while Bill Clinton was just stupid. Clinton and Trump have a somewhat similar pattern of sexual casualness towards women - but Clinton's legacy became tarnished and it has taken years to become as popular as he is now....despite all of it. Trump's tendency is to relegate his misogyny as unimportant and acceptable for his view of society.

And as we see in all of these cases, the women who are the real victims have to endure ridiculous scrutiny and have to defend themselves in regards to every detail.

This is a bipartisan problem, but Republicans are in denial about the sexual problem itself. The POLITICS of the moment is all they wish to deal with.
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