Yesterday, the Hill posted my column on the hypocritical responses by both Democrats and Republicans to sexual harassment and assault allegations against figures ranging from Harvey Weinstein to Al Franken to Roy Moore. In the last 24 hours, CBS anchor Charlie Rose and Rep. John Conyers have been added to the list. However, the most glaring disconnect in the response to such allegations remains Bill Clinton, who was just accused of additional incidents of sexual harassment and assault after his presidency. Putting aside the veracity of such new claims (which remain based on anonymous sources), Clinton has a long and well-documented history of affairs and allegations ranging from sexual harassment to rape. However, Democrats gathered in Little Rock, Arkansas to hold an adoring tribute to Clinton on the 25th anniversary of his election as president. The event, headed by James Carville, failed to mention a single allegation of his assaulting women even as Democratic politicians and commentators have begun to acknowledge that these women should have been believed and Clinton held more accountable. Indeed, opening the Clinton fest with Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop” was rather ominous given the allegations of ongoing misconduct.
I will readily admit that, while I voted for Clinton in his first presidential run, I became one of his most vocal critics and testified at the impeachment hearings on why his perjury was clearly an impeachable offense. However, it remains astonishing to see so many Democrats, particularly women, flocking to Clinton events to heap praise on a man with such disturbing and extensive allegations of the abuse of women, including young girls and interns.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York recently declared publicly that she thought Mr. Clinton should have resigned over his affair with Monica S. Lewinsky. However, there remains a open hypocrisy in the Clinton crowd of people demanding the withdrawal of Roy Moore while dismissing any allegations against Bill Clinton. Jean Carter Wilson, a Tennessean who worked in presidential personnel for Mr. Clinton insisted “I think it’s baloney.”
Denise Ryan who lobbies for the Girl Scouts in Washington has the most Clintonesque of responses in saying “It’s good that we’re having this conversation but I don’t think it’s fair to relitigate this on President Clinton again. Enough of that; we did it.” So we can have the “conversation” but not go over the allegations again? Of course, there was no conversation at the event, just a celebration of Bill Clinton. It would seem that someone who represents the Girl Scouts might want to take a strong stand against someone who was shown to have had an affair with a young intern and then trashing “that woman” in false denials in the media.
Likewise, CNN commentator Paul Begala is quoted as brushing aside the allegations by saying that the accusations were heard back in the day “and the country decided they loved Bill Clinton.”
There are new allegations however being reported since Bill Clinton left office. Attorneys for four women are reportedly preparing lawsuits against the 71-year-old former president. The allegations reportedly concern trips with one of Clinton’s more sleazy friends. Clinton has been repeatedly associated with extremely wealthy men accused of maintaining virtual harems of young women and private airplanes with notorious sex parties. One is billionaire investor Ron Burkle. Women have come forward to say that they were hired in their late teens and subjected to sexual assaults. Clinton worked for Burkle after being president to generate business and flew around in his private jet, which was given a vulgar nickname due to alleged orgies.
In fairness to Clinton, he has not been able to respond to the allegations and the lawsuit has yet to be filed. However, there are striking similarities to Clinton’s close association with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein whose private jet was dubbed the “Lolita Express,” for its use by Epstein and friends for sex with underage girls. Clinton reportedly dropped his secret service team for these flights and visits. His private island is known to have been used for additional sexual escapades and was widely called “Orgy Island.” Clinton flew repeatedly on the plane to the island. The flight logs simply listed the girls by their first names.
Epstein was given a sweet-heart deal by the Justice Department in 2008 and allowed to simply plead guilty to soliciting sex from underage girls as young as 14. He was then allowed to return to his island.
We now have three current and former presidents accused of sexual misconduct (Trump, Bush, and Clinton). In addition, we have an expanding list of public figures. It will be harder for people to maintain willful blindness to those accused on their side of the aisle.
All of this returns us to the love fest in Little Rock. The complete avoidance of the extensive allegations against Clinton from before, during, and after his presidency is a telling reminder of the hypocrisy of our politics. Some of the nation’s leading feminists continue to support the Clintons and ignored all of the accounts of these women to help secure power for the Clintons. Nevertheless, figures like Begala and others will have a difficult challenge in joining the (legitimate) calls for Moore’s withdrawal while remaining conspicuously silent on the torrid record of Bill Clinton.
Why not think about times to come?
And not about the things that you’ve done?
If your life was bad to you
Just think what tomorrow will do
Don’t stop thinking about tomorrow
Don’t stop, it’ll soon be here
It’ll be here better than before
Yesterday’s gone, yesterday’s gone