What a difference a year makes.
Hillary Clinton botched the 2016 presidential election, leaving her family’s political influence in shambles.
But losing favor with the Democratic base and party bosses may not be the most surprising development since Election Day. The real surprise may be that some in media are saying it's time we give serious consideration to the many allegations of sexual misconduct that have been brought against Bill Clinton.
"The Democratic Party needs to make its own reckoning of the way it protected Bill Clinton,” writes the Atlantic's Caitlin Flanagan. "The party needs to come to terms with the fact that it was so enraptured by their brilliant, Big Dog president and his stunning string of progressive accomplishments that it abandoned some of its central principles.”
The allegations against Clinton vary, depending on which alleged victim is doing the talking, but the stories of Kathleen Willey, Paula Jones, Juanita Broaddrick and others are eerily similar.
"It was a pattern of behavior; it included an alleged violent assault; the women involved had far more credible evidence than many of the most notorious accusations that have come to light in the past five weeks," said Flanagan, referring to the recent allegations that Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore sought sexual encounters with teens and minors in the 1970s.
Over at the New York Times, columnist Michelle Goldberg authored an op-ed titled simply, “I Believe Juanita.”
Though the article is mostly weak-kneed throat-clearing and attacks on conservatives, it does at least end with these lines:
It’s fair to conclude that because of Broaddrick’s allegations, Bill Clinton no longer has a place in decent society. But we should remember that it’s not simply partisan tribalism that led liberals to doubt her. Discerning what might be true in a blizzard of lies isn’t easy, and the people who spread those lies don’t get to claim the moral high ground. We should err on the side of believing women, but sometimes, that belief will be used against us.
The so-called explainer website vox.com published a blog post Wednesday titled, “Bill Clinton should have resigned.”
Curiously enough, the blog’s author, Matthew Yglesias, believes Clinton should’ve resigned over the Monica Lewisnky scandal, which involved consensual sex acts, and not the multiple allegations of rape.
These op-eds didn’t appear out of nowhere. They come as major players in the entertainment and news industries, including Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, access journalist Mark Halperin and director Brett Ratner, have been ousted from their lofty perches after several women have come forward to accuse them of sexual assault and abuse. These op-eds also come after several women accused President Trump during the 2016 election of sexual misconduct.
Scandals involving Trump, Weinstein, Halperin and other high-profile public figures have led to an increased awareness regarding sexual harassment and claims of sexual misconduct, which has naturally led back to Clinton and the many women who’ve accused him of abuse.
On Twitter, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes announced last week he also believes it’s time we talk seriously about Bill Clinton’s alleged sex scandals.
“As gross and cynical and [hypocritical] as the right's ‘what about Bill Clinton’ stuff is, it's also true that Democrats and the center left are overdue for a real reckoning with the allegations against him,” he tweeted Friday as he linked to a 2016 BuzzFeed article titled, “Juanita Broaddrick Wants To Be Believed."
At Politico, columnist Jeff Greenfield wrote Tuesday that Clinton’s, “public policies cannot erase the serious doubts about whether a sexual predator occupied the White House for eight years.”
“For many of us, it is easy to look at of Weinstein, Trump and [Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore] as case studies in pathological behavior. Looking closer to home is a lot more painful; it is also compulsory. Unless and until partisans across the board stop justifying unconscionable behavior out of political self-interest, the more likely it is that the pervasive cynicism about the process, and everyone involved in it, will fester and grow,” he added.
Interestingly enough, the headline to Greenfield’s column bears the subtitle, “Years of excusing Bill Clinton’s sexual misconduct suddenly seems morally indefensible.”
"Suddenly" indeed. What a difference 12 months make.