Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens excoriated a conservative Trump supporter today for supporting a reprobate.
“Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council brushed aside the controversy by insisting his support for Mr. Trump rested on “shared concerns” not “shared values,” Stephens wrote. “That marks a milestone: The president of an organization ostensibly devoted to the preservation of family values has endorsed a man who wants to sleep with other men’s wives.”
A milestone? Hardly.
How about a little history here for those who didn’t live through the mess.
When Bill Clinton’s tawdry exploitation of Monica Lewinsky, a 21-year-old White House intern, became public, one of the oddest reactions was that of some liberal women and their organizations.
“President Clinton’s sordid entanglements with Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, and now Monica Lewinsky have drawn barely a squeak of protest from the powerful writers, lawyers, activists, politicians, and academics who call themselves feminists,” Marjorie Williams wrote in Vanity Fair in 2007. Nor did Bill Clinton’s “… routine use of staff members, lawyers, and private investigators to tar the reputation of any woman who tries to call him to account for his actions.”
The chorus of women who had supported Anita Hill in her charges of sexual harassment by Clarence Thomas was silent or contemptuous when it came to Bill Clinton’s transgressions.
Susan Faludi, the author of Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women, said of Monica Lewinsky, “If anything, it sounds like she put the moves on him.”
“We’re trying to think of the bigger picture, think about what’s best for women,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority Foundation, defending the organizations silence.
And then there was Senator Carol Moseley-Braun (D- IL) who declared on Meet the Press, “Not so many years ago, a woman couldn’t be a White House intern.”
There was a reason some liberal women excused Bill Clinton. Clinton was on their side on most issues they cared about, like abortion, equal pay and affirmative action. It was more important that they keep an ally in the White House then that they be consistent in their public condemnation of reckless, inappropriate behavior towards women.
In January 1998, The Observer gathered 10 Manhatten women in a private room at Le Bernardin, an expensive French restaurant in New York City, to talk about the Clinton imbroglio. Their issues weren’t with Clinton’s abuse of a 21-year-old intern, which they casually dismissed, but about things like “a virile President…suddenly fulfilling this forbidden fantasy” and why Clinton had sex with a young woman, who might talk about it, rather than a mature woman who would have been discreet.
Then there was this exchange:
Nancy Friday, author of The Power of Beauty – “Don’t we all think that he could have chosen a better place? I mean, come on, I mean in the end, oral sex in the Oval Office … so many O’s-oral sex in the Oval Office is just bad timing, bad placing-
Elizabeth Benedict, author of The Joy of Writing Sex – “But what fun!”
I guess politics trumps morality.