The culture wars raged for 30 years. What had begun in the Robert Bork hearings grew during the Clarence Thomas-Anita Hill hearings and then into the Clinton era. Now they have reached their much-longed-for end in the Harvey Weinstein fiasco, which has made crystal-clear that everyone on all sides was a fraud and a liar and should never be trusted again.
Enraged at the fact that Thomas was seated on the Supreme Court, Democrats developed a mantra of female empowerment, electing en route four feminist senators, along with Bill and Hillary Clinton as the brand-new first couple. In 1992, which was billed "The Year of the Woman," they promised a sort of a New Deal for women, with many new seats in the federal government and no unwanted attention at all.
Few knew at the time that Bill Clinton was being sued by a state employee for exposing himself to her in a hotel room in Arkansas in the late 1980s or that he had a long record of bimbo eruptions. But when he was caught out in an affair with an intern just slightly older than his daughter, the whistle, along with his cover, was blown.
Did feminists rise up as one and insist he be punished? Not quite. The women who covered up for Bob Packwood until he outlived his usefulness suddenly discovered loopholes existed that they had never suspected. Gloria Steinem made the case that "one free grope" be permitted for liberal presidents. Choking with rage, conservatives added hypocrisy to the long list of sins they assigned to the Democrats, telling themselves that in those situations they would have done better. But is anyone shocked they were wrong?
Fast-forward to 2016, and the GOP found itself with its very own Clinton — lecherous, coarse, and in most ways impious. The Christian conservatives, who in the '90s could barely wait to scrub us clean of the many stains left by the couple from Arkansas, flung themselves down at Trump's feet. Franklin Graham endorsed him, saying he was a great man and patriot, because King David had his faults also, as had Thomas Jefferson, FDR, JFK, etc., etc. "Values Voters" also endorsed him, but Trump's Gloria Steinem would be none less than Bill Bennett, famed "Virtues Czar" of the mid-1990s, author of a very long string of best-sellers lamenting the coarsening trends of the moment and the appalling ascendance of sin.
With an "R" in the race, sin suddenly became less important, creating the astonishing scene in the second debate on Oct. 9, 2016, when Trump, reeling from the "Access Hollywood" tapes released two days earlier, faced off against Hillary Clinton. Her husband Bill had to try to avoid looking at Paula Jones, Juanita Broaddrick, and Kathleen Willey, three of the five women who accused him of offenses ranging from rape to groping to indecent exposure, whom Trump's people had cannily placed in the stands.
After this, nothing could shock except the implosion of megaczar Weinstein, fan of and donor to Hillary Clinton. He spent his working days supporting and bankrolling feminists and his downtime terrorizing, abusing, and now and then raping females, who for a long time were too frightened to speak.
If he had just been a pro-life Republican, this would have made a great movie and he would have made it. But he's not, so it won't be made at all. But it can serve as the final, fitting, ultimate end of this limited series, the last act of a farce that should never have started – or at least should have closed on the road.
Noemie Emery, a Washington Examiner columnist, is a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard and author of "Great Expectations: The Troubled Lives of Political Families."