Time to quit Bill Clinton, Democrats. Give him up. Chuck him under the wheels of the nearest Greyhound. Stop making him the guest of honor at your parties and fundraisers. Stop treating him as an amusing celebrity instead of a despicable human being on your talk shows, stop giving to his foundation, stop attending his speeches, stop being deferential. Denounce him publicly and without equivocation. Exile him. You’ve exiled actors and newsreaders and comedians for doing less than he did. I picture them all commiserating somewhere together, on an Island of Misfit Boys — Matt Lauer and Garrison Keillor and Kevin Spacey and Charlie Rose and Al Franken and Louis C.K. Meanwhile the Big He is still everyone’s darling. All this time, liberals and the media, you’ve been applying a lower standard of character to a former president than you apply to chat-show hosts and jesters.
Yet the party and its media arm continue to treat him ever so delicately.
After Clinton’s disastrous appearance on Today Monday morning — during which he (yet again) told random lies, tried to change the subject to unrelated matters (such as the increase in the number of female members of the Arkansas bar when he was governor), lashed out at his interviewer Craig Melvin, and sought sympathy for the massive legal bills he incurred by lying to the country for seven months — Stephen Colbert on Tuesday offered him a mulligan.
— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) June 5, 2018
“I noticed you didn’t enjoy that entire interview. I want you to enjoy this one,” Colbert said to Clinton. In the most sycophantic manner imaginable, he asked:
Do you understand why some people thought that was a tone-deaf response to his questions about the #MeToo movement and how you might reflect on your behavior 20 years ago, and how that reflection may change based on what you’ve learned through the #MeToo movement?
As if Clinton or anyone else didn’t know until the last year that it is not okay to have state police bring a woman to your hotel room, then drop your pants and command her to “kiss it.” Or to grope a grieving woman in the White House. Or to commit rape. Or to take advantage of a 22-year-old intern.
Only Lewinsky — never Juanita Broaddrick — gets brought up around Clinton, and even then, only in deferential, euphemistic and non-antagonistic terms.
When Bill Clinton is in the room, the media gently acknowledge only this last matter (if any of them), and only because what happened between Clinton and Lewinsky is so utterly beyond dispute. But the Colberts and Todays of the world continue to shy away from even asking Clinton about the credible and detailed rape allegation made by Juanita Broaddrick — much less subject him to sustained questioning about it. Given what we know about Bill Clinton, how likely is it that Broaddrick is lying? Why is she the one woman on earth whose rape allegation is simply dismissed out of hand by feminists? Why are feminists so lacking in curiosity about her charge that they express no interest whatsoever in even getting Clinton to answer questions about it? Only Lewinsky gets brought up around Clinton, and even then, only in deferential, euphemistic, and non-antagonistic terms.
The essence of the Democratic-party/Democratic-media approach to Bill Clinton has changed very little since 1998, when onetime Time correspondent Nina Burleigh indelibly said: “I would be happy to give him a blowjob just to thank him for keeping abortion legal. I think American women should be lining up with their Presidential kneepads on to show their gratitude for keeping the theocracy off our backs.” This was a nonsensical, if immensely clarifying, remark at the time, given that if Clinton had been removed from office after his impeachment, he simply would have been replaced by Al Gore, another abortion cheerleader.
Burleigh’s remark illuminated the moral peril of blindly supporting the chief of your tribe regardless of how reprehensible his behavior may be, and those who make excuses for the often vile acts and comments of President Trump should reflect on that. But now that Clinton is no longer in the position of “keeping abortion legal” (not to mention that we’ve had five Republican presidents since Roe v. Wade, and abortion remains much easier to obtain in the U.S. than in Europe), what possible reason can there be for continuing to treat him with soft murmurs of sympathy?
Take off the kneepads, media. Stand up straight and tall. Barack Obama proved that there is such a thing as a Democratic president who doesn’t abuse women in his personal life. If you don’t want to look absurd when attacking the failings of President Trump, apologize for making excuses for President Clinton. See him clearly as the sleaze he is and always has been. Redefine him for future generations as a loathsome, lying hack.
And when you’re done with that, I’ve got another assignment for you: John F. Kennedy.