Hillary Clinton insisted that the sexual-assault allegations against her husband are nothing like the accusations that have been levied against Brett Kavanaugh — suggesting that Bill’s accusers are not examples of victims who must be believed as part of the #MeToo movement.
“There’s a very significant difference,” Clinton told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. “And that is the intense, long-lasting partisan investigation that was conducted in the 90s.”
Clinton’s attitude is wrong here, for many reasons. For one thing, according to the doctrine preached by many #MeToo activists themselves, the fact that Clinton’s probe did not result in criminal charges means absolutely nothing. According to many of these people, the fact that a woman levies a charge of sexual misconduct against a man is evidence enough that that man has done something wrong. Accusers are to be believed, always, regardless of evidence or of the existence of criminal charges. By the movement’s own standards, Bill Clinton should be a pariah, forced to hide from the public eye, not a celebrated figure who is being featured at an event with $745 tickets.
So why does Bill get a pass? Truly, it’s something that never has made sense to me. After all, the first difference between his and Kavanaugh’s allegations that comes to my mind is not the investigation that Clinton underwent, but rather the difference in the number of accusers. For Kavanaugh, we have a total of three women who have made accusations about sexually inappropriate behavior — and some of them with credibility problems. For example: I saw Christine Ford’s testimony and found it to be emotionally compelling for sure, but it was a problem for many people that she didn’t have anything to corroborate her story beyond statements made to her husband and some statements to her therapist that did not use Kavanaugh’s name. The FBI looked into it and was not able to find any other corroboration, nor was it able to find corroboration for the allegations made by the second accuser, Deborah Ramirez. Finally, Julie Swetnick — who claimed that Kavanaugh had taken part in brutal gang rapings — turned out to be completely and totally incredible after changing her own story repeatedly. I’m not saying that I know that Kavanaugh didn’t do anything wrong, because I don’t. I have never claimed to know either way, and unless more evidence one way or the other comes out, I am never going to claim to know.
With Bill Clinton, however, I can confidently say that I believe this man has been guilty of sexual misconduct. It’s not a partisan difference — I have spoken out in defense of the accusers of Republicans including Roy Moore and Donald Trump in the past — but an evidence-based one. Compared to Kavanaugh’s three, Bill Clinton has been accused of sexual abuse by more than 10 women throughout the years. Juanita Broaddrick accused him of rape in 1978. Eileen Wellstone claims he sexually assaulted her in 1969. Carolyn Moffet accused him of sexually assaulting her in 1979. Elizabeth Ward Gracen reportedly privately told friends that he had sexually assaulted her in 1982 (although she has claimed publicly that their tryst was consensual). Christy Zercher, who was a flight attendant on Clinton’s plane in 1992, claimed that he had grabbed her breasts and exposed himself to her. Sandra Allen James claims that he sexually assaulted her during a campaign trip in 1991. A former Democratic activist, Kathleen Willey, accused him of sexually assaulting her in 1993. Paula Jones claimed that he exposed himself to her and asked her to “kiss it.” An unnamed 22-year-old woman accused him of sexual assault in 1972. A University of Arkansas professor claimed that he had “allegedly sexually attacked a female student, groped her and tried to physically trap her in his office.” A piece written by Teresa Hampton and Daniel J. Harris alleges that “former Arkansas students confirmed that Clinton had tried to force himself on them when he was a professor.” In Partners in Power, Roger Morris wrote that a “young woman lawyer in Little Rock claimed that she was accosted by Clinton while he was attorney general and that when she recoiled he forced himself on her, biting and bruising her.” In Uncovering Clinton, another unnamed woman — “the wife of a prominent Democrat” — accused him of sexual assault in 1996, saying he “started getting physical, trying to kiss her, touching her breasts.” Finally, Lieutenant Colonel Robert “Buzz” Patterson wrote in his book, Dereliction of Duty, that a female stewardess on Air Force One had claimed that he had “sexually molested” and “cornered her.”
That makes a total of 14 women. Yes . . . fourteen. Now, I’m not saying that I know for sure that every single one of these allegations is true, but I am saying that I’m no sooner about to believe that fourteen women are lying than I am to believe that Bill Clinton has committed at least some kind of sexual misconduct against at least some woman at some point in time.
As popular as #MeToo is among Democrats now, there is absolutely no possible way for Hillary Clinton to be considered a supporter of it while she is still married to Bill. In fact, when all of these accusations were coming out about her husband, she didn’t just fail to believe them, as #MeToo demands — but she actually went after these women. She attacked them. As I wrote in a piece on the subject back in 2015:
When allegations of sexual misconduct emerged during Bill’s 1992 presidential run, she’s reported to have said “Who is going to find out? These women are trash. Nobody’s going to believe them.” Multiple people also report that she called the women “sluts” and “whores” — you know, for daring to be raped. A private investigator named Ivan Duda claims that, after Bill lost his second governor’s race, Hillary told him: “I want you to get rid of all these b****** he’s seeing . . . I want you to give me the names and addresses and phone numbers, and we can get them under control.”
And there are multiple reports of her and her detectives doing just that. Kathleen Willey — whom Bill allegedly sexually assaulted in 1993 — claims that detectives hired by Hillary threatened her and her children and even killed her cat. Juanita Broaddrick, who accused Bill of raping her in 1978, reports that she was also threatened by Hillary.
Oh, and let’s not forget — she had no problem blaming the (very true) allegations that Bill was having an affair with Lewinsky on a “vast right-wing conspiracy.”
If you want to consider yourself to be a feminist and a champion of women, then I think that that’s a noble goal. You absolutely cannot claim to be one, however, and still celebrate Bill Clinton. The allegations against him are serious and many — and it’s time for Hillary, and all progressives, to get real about that fact.