Hillary Clinton isn’t letting go of her loss to Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.
That’s not necessarily unexpected.
What’s somewhat unexpected is the new battleground on which she wants this contest fought: sexual misconduct allegations.
You’ve probably already guessed why this is problematic, given that her husband spent the vast majority of the 1990s racking up allegations of rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment and inappropriate relationships with subordinates, to say nothing of his record of adultery. (At least that was consensual, after all.)
Meanwhile, Trump has the “Access Hollywood” tape and a bunch of accusations that mostly disappeared like the morning fog the moment he was elected. That’s not to say that all of them were baseless, mind you, but considering Juanita Broaddrick has been consistently telling the same story about Bill Clinton for nigh on 20 years now to any reporter who will listen — and there aren’t a whole lot — it casts at least some doubt upon Trump’s accusers.
But according to Hillary Clinton, that’s just because Trump hasn’t been subject to the inquisition of the vast right-wing conspiracy.
That’s a reductionist version of the argument she gave Christiane Amanpour during an interview with CNN, clips of which were released Tuesday. It’s not that far off, however.
In the interview, she rejected any comparison between her husband’s alleged behavior and Trump’s, arguing that Bill came out better by comparison.
“There’s a very significant difference, and that is the intense, long-lasting, partisan investigation that was conducted in the ’90s,” Clinton said.
“If the Republicans, starting with President Trump on down, want a comparison, they should welcome such an investigation themselves,” she said.
She also praised her husband’s resilience.
“Bill had to be incredibly strong,” Hillary said. “First to get elected, then to get re-elected, and to survive.
“And it was not easy, by any means, obviously. But he really believes that Democrats had to be tougher and stand up to the bullying and the intimidation.”
Clinton doesn’t just play the world’s tiniest violin for herself, her husband and their collective legacy; she has a collection of microscopic Stradivariuses perfectly tuned for each possible occasion — and when it arises, she produces that precise instrument and Itzhak Perlmans that bad boy until even I almost feel sorry for her.
To her credit, Amanpour wasn’t bowled over by Clinton’s playing or that she glossed over why he had “to survive” an impeachment attempt and numerous accusations of sexual misconduct. That’s what prompted the question that led to Clinton saying the “intense, long-lasting, partisan investigation” against her husband that Trump apparently hasn’t endured.
The proper riposte to that would simply have been to mention the network on which this interview will be aired: CNN. Democrats may not be in a position of power in either house of Congress (although they certainly managed to guarantee Robert Mueller steady employment), but the those in the fourth estate — in particular the folks at CNN — have been all-too-eager to run their own “intense, long-lasting, partisan investigation” into anything Trump-related, including his ice cream habits. During the 1990s, meanwhile, the press was so servile that CNN earned the backronym “Clinton News Network.”
This response also assiduously avoids any mention of the validity of the claims made against the former president. One can certainly postulate the reasoning behind this, particularly since even ardent liberals are re-evaluating whether actively, continuously undermining women who made credible, corroborated sexual misconduct allegations may have hamstrung them in the long run. (The subtext of the debate seems to lack any ethical concerns about this strategy, but this ought not surprise anyone familiar with Democrat politicos.)
And then there’s the disturbing subtext here. When it comes to conservatives like Trump or Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, all women are to be believed. After all, what reason do they have to be lying? When it comes to her husband, however, they’re all just prevaricating floozies, likely put up to it by some member of the vast right-wing conspiracy who’s no doubt out there somewhere twirling his mustache and smoking a cigar he lit with a T-Bond.
Clinton said her husband was “standing up to bullying and intimidation” when he fought allegations by Broaddrick, Paula Jones and Kathleen Willey. And she said this just days after she declaimed Kavanaugh “deserved laughter” for even intimating the accusations against him might have been out of vengeance.
You can’t fault Hillary for trying to efface her husband’s sordid legacy. Everything else in her response, however, is profoundly blameworthy.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.