The Corner

Feminist Cheap Dates

If there’s one thing elite feminist groups agree on these days is that they are ready for Hillary. It would be interesting, therefore, to see if any feminist groups — or female politicians for that matter — have anything to say about the fact that Hillary Clinton apparently had no problem working with Bob Packwood. For those of you who don’t remember, Bob Packwood was a liberal Republican senator who was an alleged sexual predator. The unfortunately named senator was a huge issue for feminist groups in the mid 1990s and he was eventually run out of Washington for his (alleged) behavior. The backdrop of feminist absolutism with regard to Packwood(and Clarence Thomas, whose alleged crimes against women boiled down to making a joke and asking a woman out for a date) was a major reason why Democrats seemed so hypocritical defending Bill Clinton. So it’s interesting to know that Hillary considered the feminist groups nothing but “whiney women” who couldn’t appreciate that Packwood would be useful to Hillary on her healthcare agenda (this from the WFB’s Hillary papers story).

Now, of course, everyone understands the double, triple, perhaps infinite standards at work here. Republicans, particularly male Republicans, can never call any women whiney, but especially professional feminists. Packwood was different than Clinton because he was a Republican and, well, he just was. Hillary can say whatever she wants about feminists because she isn’t merely a Democrat and a woman, she’s Hillary. Republicans who shrug off harassment are eeeevil because — if I understand the argument correctly — Mitt Romney said “Binders full of women!!!!1111!!!”

Still, you would think some serious feminist somewhere would at least blog her or his dismay over the fact the supposed standard-bearer of feminism, waved off the feminist establishment as a bunch of whiney and naive women.

Jonah Goldberg, a senior editor of National Review and the author of Suicide of the West, holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute.

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