The recent revelations about Bill Cosby have turned the nation’s decades-long love-affair with the actor into one of disgust, even repulsion. This begs the question: How long before the nation’s decades-long love-affair with the nation’s 40th president will come to an equally abrupt end?
The sordid stories of the sexual escapades of Bill Cosby and Bill Clinton are strikingly similar:
- Both men held powerful positions in their respective fields which they abused again and again with no accountability.
- Both men were surrounded by staff at various levels who were willing to coverup, if not facilitate, their encounters with vulnerable women.
- Both men were protected by the media that (for the most part) failed to adequately investigate the charges from their many victims who came forward. Reporters wanted access and, in the case of Clinton, many shared his political objectives.
- Both men have long-term marriages with wives who were aware of their husband’s unfaithfulness but were willing to keep up the charade (provided their spouses did not embarrass them) for various reasons: One was his business manager. The other managed her husband’s political career with an eye toward her own. In addition, both husbands provided a lavish lifestyle to which their wives had become accustomed and did not wish to lose.
- These women also were, at the very least, aware that their husbands may have crossed the line from philanderer to sexual assault, but they chose to look the other way. In Hillary’s case, there is evidence that she actively managed Bill’s affairs by hiring investigators to intimidate the women her husband abused into silence.
Though Cosby has not been convicted of a crime, he has been indicted due to testimony that was recently unsealed in a case that was settled out of court. In that testimony Cosby admitted giving unlawful drugs to some of his young alleged victims which may have incapacitated them before the alleged rapes. Therefore, it appears that the networks that pulled his shows and the universities that rescinded the honors they had bestowed on Cosby were right to treat him as a pariah.
How long must we wait before the nation falls out of love with Bill Clinton and gives him the cold shoulder? Donald Trump aims to find out. He rightly suggested that once Hillary played the “war on women” card, her husband’s sexual transgressions were fair game.
Some pundits agree that it’s fair but politically dangerous since the former president is extremely popular and has the ability to excite a crowd like no other.
In the words of Shakespeare, “Me thinks they do protest too much.”
It should be noted that Bill Clinton’s popularity has increased as his distance from the Lewinsky affair has increased.
Also, let us not forget that of the two dozen or so women who have admitted to either having affairs with or having been sexually harassed by Bill Clinton, many are credible. Some are life-long Democrats. The last thing these women want to see is this team back in the White House. They are willing to tell their stories over and over again, if necessary, until they sink into the public’s consciousness.
Things have changed since the public first heard of Paula Jones, Juanita Broaddrick and Kathleen Willey. In the 1990s these women were easily marginalized and dismissed by a complicit media. In 2016, we have a new generation that is not only curious, it has a world of information at its fingertips.
By far, the two most compelling stories are those of Broaddrick and Lewinsky. Both were unwillingly thrust into the spotlight.
No one who reads the transcript of Broaddrick’s interview with Lisa Myers for NBC’s Dateline on February 24, 1999, can ever look at the former president in the same way again. Clearly, the network researched all the facts of the alleged rape before presenting them to the public.
And what about Monica Lewinsky? Although she is not the most sympathetic figure, and her relationship with the president was consensual, she was just an intern in the White House, an easy mark for a man with power!
There are laws and rules of conduct that govern the actions of people with power with those under their control: doctor-patient, attorney-client, teacher-student. A sexual affair between the president of the United States and a White House intern was not illegal, because who could have imagined such a law would be necessary?
Perhaps revisiting the sins of this former president finally will cause the nation to shake its head in disgust.