Not many years separate sexual predators Harvey Weinstein, Roy Moore and Bill Clinton, but it was the activities of the former POTUS that justified — symbolically and metaphorically — the despicable behavior of the other two, not to mention an escalating number of repellent individuals from entertainment to politics and beyond.
President Clinton established an atmosphere of permissiveness in this country that allowed many things to slip by — straight and gay — without criticism, essentially changing our culture.
The Democratic Party — with the notable exception of Joe Lieberman — gave Clinton a pass for having sexual relations with a 22-year-old intern in the Oval Office and in so doing gave a subliminal message to America. If you had the right politics, if you were sufficiently “progressive” (whatever that means), everything was okay, especially if you were “cool,” played the sax, and wore shades.
Well, you might lose the right to practice law in Arkansas, but who needs that? When it comes to separating the public from the private, we could out-French the French. How sophisticated could you get!
Not very, as we now know, unless you consider masturbating in a flower pot the height of sophistication. Meanwhile, Bill Clinton’s, shall we say, lifestyle was essentially encouraged (enabled is insufficient) by his ambitious wife Hillary, the putative feminist, the same woman who was going to “break the glass ceiling” on the presidency. She attacked his accusers as liars even as she blamed her husband’s serial adulteries and even rape allegations on the “vast right-wing conspiracy.” Can you imagine Golda Meir or Margaret Tatcher, women who really did break that ceiling, having so little self-respect that they would put up with behavior like Bill’s even for a second?
That all this could have been overlooked by the hundreds of thousands of women who signed up for Facebook’s “Pantsuit Nation” in support of Hillary or later marched in the streets with those absurd hats is close to a mass cognitive disorder. They turned feminism into farce, disrespecting, most of all, women.
Now I don’t mean Weinstein or Moore or Kevin Spacey or Louis C.K. or… or… would not have done what they did if Bill was never born. I’m just saying the climate was set. Entitlement was in the air.
The New York Times, apparently, is finally waking up to this reality for which that paper has significant culpability. In an oped entitled “I Believe Juanita” — Broaddrick, obviously — Michelle Goldberg wrote:
Yet despite the right’s evident bad faith [in trying to distract from Moore], I agree with [MSNBC host] Hayes. In this #MeToo moment, when we’re reassessing decades of male misbehavior and turning open secrets into exposes, we should look clearly at the credible evidence that Juanita Broaddrick told the truth when she accused Clinton of raping her.
But the right’s “bad faith”? Not so fast, Michelle. To the extent there was mauvaise foi, that was two days ago (Nov. 13) when the article appeared. Now the right is virtually unanimous in it’s condemnation of the wretched Moore. It took the left years, actually decades, to face up to Clinton.
And therein lies the problem. In the midst of this pandemic of sexual predation, whom do you trust? Most of this behavior is not governed by politics of the right or left but by far more primal forces than mere ideology. It’s closer to cave man (and woman) behavior. But following that great Roman principle falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus — false in one thing, false in everything — it’s hard not to make a connection when a Harvey Weinstein claims to espouse every liberal cause on the planet while acting out like, well, a caveman attempting a series of very temporary “marriages by capture.” This is moral narcissism and virtue signaling written on a billboard in neon. Who really believes what the say they believe? Maybe it’s all about power and aggression, after all.
I wonder what James Carville thinks now about his famous remark “Drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you’ll find.” People thought he was referring to Paula Jones, but Carville insisted it was Gennifer Flowers. Maybe Michelle Goldberg can sort it out for us in her next column.
SOME FINAL POINTS: I am well aware Roy Moore is not as bad as, say, Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey or even Bubba, assuming the rape charge to be true, as Goldberg does. But Moore is running for Senate and would be making decisions affecting all our lives. Ironically, his excuses about an ever-increasing number of women, most of whom seem to be Republicans, mirror Hillary Clinton’s, but this time it’s a “vast left-wing conspiracy” out to get him. Yet, the bizarre allegations continue to come in. When, as a thirty-year-old, Moore called one of the teenage girls at school, she had to be taken out of trigonometry class to speak with him. Later he was banned from a mall, allegedly for chasing teens. What normal adult gets banned from a mall? This sounds like one sick puppy to me and Ivanka Trump’s analysis seems spot on. Let’s hope her father does the right thing and completely cuts the man off. My guess is, behind the scenes, they’re trying to get Moore to withdraw voluntarily. As they say, good luck with that.
But the best you could say of Moore is he’s no Jerry Lee Lewis. Jerry Lee had the honor to marry the girl — and he’s a million miles more talented than Moore. You see, I’m a hypocrite and there are some people whose sins I will excuse. Take it…