Clinton Karma

Screen Shot 2016-08-20 at 9.22.21 AMThe collapse of communism presented America with an opportunity. Unfortunately, by 1998 our inattention had left us adrift. Financial crises were shaking the new Russian Republic. Yugoslavia was continuing its bloody disintegration. Framed by these daunting challenges, The Leader of the Free World took the podium beside the inspirational and iconic Czech President, Vaclav Havel, to take control of the narrative.

That plan didn’t survive three minutes. Once the preliminaries were out of the way, the press began to explore the most pressing question in the room – could President Clinton still lead the country. At this moment when the world looked to its lone superpower for a path toward a new global order, that superpower was otherwise engaged, hopelessly distracted by the sordid politics of a banana republic.

By the summer of 1998, the Clinton Administration had lost its capacity to govern. President Clinton, the Bill Cosby of politics, had sexually harassed one woman too many. In an effort to conceal a mind-bogglingly stupid tryst with a subordinate less than half his age, Clinton had perjured himself in a deposition. That deposition had risen from yet another episode of workplace harassment. For the final three years of his Administration, Bill Clinton was little more than a professional defendant. The Clinton Administration devolved into a drama that could have been co-written by Mike Judge and William Faulkner.

There was no reason for the country to be hostage to Clinton’s demons. A capable Vice-President could have stepped up at any moment to take charge without compromising any of the Administration’s political goals. There is no evidence that Bill or Hillary Clinton ever considered putting the needs of the country above their own vaulting ambitions. America would continue on auto-pilot while the Clintons borrowed its resources to protect and promote themselves. Hillary Clinton, “feminist” and “advocate for women’s rights” stood shoulder to shoulder with her husband the serial harasser in defense of nothing more noble than her own ambitions.

Bill and Hillary Clinton’s decision to insulate themselves from the consequences of his actions put the 2000 Democratic nominee in a nearly impossible situation. Their choices practically handed that race to one of the most catastrophically inept men ever to hold the office.

For all they took from the country, for all they dragged us through, the Clintons have never yet expressed any sentiment on the matter beyond their own narcissistic sense of persecution. To this day, we are all supposed to pretend that they were the victims.

I was disgusted by the Clintons for their blithe willingness to place ambition ahead of duty. I have despised them for their smug, self-serving politics, smothered beneath a treacly, sanctimonious veneer. Through naked self-interest and shameless abuse of power they have managed to convert a string of government jobs in to a nine-figure fortune.

After years of loathing, I am about to cast a vote to send a Clinton to the White House. Not only will I be voting for Hillary Clinton, I will do it in gratitude for her leadership. A Clinton is now all that stands between the country I love and a dangerous megalomaniac nominated by my former partisans. I am counting on Hillary Clinton to save us all.

As the sickness in the Republican Party has deepened, we can look back and see a far more complex moral portrait of the Clinton Administration. Clinton was not unique in his actions or attitudes. The stunningly hypocritical, self-serving, partisan prosecution of the President by ambitious Congressmen did more harm to the country than Bill Clinton’s abuses.

While Clinton was on trial for lying about employee sexual harassment, Republican Congressman pressing for his impeachment included the following seedy creeps:

Newt Gingrich

While Gingrich was orchestrating Clinton’s impeachment he was cheating on his cancer-stricken wife with a pretty, young Congressional staffer. He later divorced his wife and married the object of his affair. Among the endlessly clanging ironies of their skeevy existence, the two of them now make a handsome living producing documentaries and children’s books (!!!) about character.

Gingrich hasn’t been as financially successful as the Clinton’s but not because scruples have stood in his way. He performed lobbying for Freddie Mac in the run-up to the financial crisis and built a dubious “think tank” that covered many of his expenses. He now has a (reported) net worth in excess of $6m.

Bob Livingston

When Gingrich’s scandals forced him to step down in the middle of the impeachment campaign, Livingston tried to succeed him. He failed after his own extra-marital affairs were exposed. On his resignation, he was succeeded by hard-core Christian Conservative David Vitter, who would later be exposed for his relationships with prostitutes. Livingston now enjoys a successful career as a lobbyist.

Mark Foley

One of Mark Foley’s signature issues in office, apart from the Clinton prosecution, was an effort to ban the commercial photography of children. He claimed that child modeling was little more than “a fix for pedophiles.” Perhaps instead of mocking his bizarre fixation we should have taken more seriously the man’s veiled cry for help.

Foley would resign over his sexual harassment of male, teenaged Congressional pages. He had been asking them for explicit photos in online chat sessions. He would go on to open a charming consignment shop in West Palm Beach while building a successful lobbying career.

Larry Craig

After his years of noisy anti-Clinton, anti-gay, “pro-family” grandstanding, Rep. Craig would be arrested for soliciting gay sex in the Minneapolis airport bathroom. He refused to resign his Senate seat after his arrest and subsequent guilty plea were made public. In a now-legendary interview with Matt Lauer Senator Craig awkwardly denied the gayness while Lauer ran through a laundry list of previous accusations. Craig’s wife managed to hold a tense smile through the whole, super-hetero exercise.

Here’s what Larry Craig had to say about Bill Clinton in 1999. Let me emphasize that this is not satire and I am not making this up: “The American people already know that Bill Clinton is a bad boy – a naughty boy. I’m going to speak out for the citizens of my state, who in the majority think that Bill Clinton is probably even a nasty, bad, naughty boy.” Oh, that nasty, naughty boy…

Craig is now a lobbyist for the coal industry.

Vito Fossella

Rep. Fossella had this to say about his vote for the Clinton Impeachment, “People are so turned off, so disgusted, so nervous about their children reading or learning about this salacious stuff that they may want it over and done with and fast.”

Fossella, who reportedly refuses to attend family events if they involve his gay sister, has a child through an adulterous relationship. It is likely no one would have discovered the relationship if Fossella hadn’t been arrest for DUI. Again, I’m not making this up, his DUI followed his attendance that day of a welcome ceremony for the Irish Prime Minister. Seriously.

And of course, Fossella now enjoys a successful lobbying career.

Dennis Hastert

Do you like wrestling? Maybe you do, but I bet you don’t like wrestling as much as former Republican Speaker of the House Denny Hastert does!

While voting to impeach Bill Clinton, Hastert was working to conceal evidence that he had raped boys he had coached on his wrestling team. Over the years he spent almost a million dollars in hush money to keep the allegations quiet. His actions only surfaced after financial irregularities related to the payments were discovered. A substantial portion of his legal defense was paid with funds from a PAC he had established.

Hastert of course, was a successful lobbyist. And a serial child molester. Now he is in prison.

Ken Starr

As the Special Prosecutor assigned to harry the Clinton Administration, Starr was relentless in pursuit of allegations against the President. On the narrowest of legal grounds he pressed the country into a Constitutional crisis over claims that Bill Clinton was covering up infidelity.

Over time he seems to have mellowed on the subject of sexual misconduct and even rape. In 2010 he became President of Baylor University and launched an aggressive campaign to build a lucrative football powerhouse. When students who had been raped by Baylor football players appealed to the school for help, their accusations were suppressed, investigations were mishandled, and the school aggressively protected its prized football program.

When victims began to press the matter Waco police moved into action and the cases were pursued. Two players in question are now serving prison sentences for rape. A damning independent investigation solicited by the school led to Starr’s resignation and the firing of the football coach.

As recently as June, Starr described the coach as “an iconic father figure who is a genius.” After all, nothing says “father figure” like helping to cover up a young man’s rapes.

Starr reportedly plans to continue his spirited legal activism in support of religious liberty.

There is not enough room in a blog post to reference all of the affairs, out of wedlock children, arrests, convictions, and other shenanigans of the Republican Congressmen who rode their high horses into battle against the Clintons. Names include Henry Hyde, Dan Burton, Tom DeLay, Duke Cunningham, Strom Thurmond, Pete Dominici, Helen Chenowith and on and on and on. In case you’re wondering, almost all of them who are still alive and not in prison are now successful lobbyists.

If anything at all distinguishes Bill Clinton from his prosecutors, it’s their hypocrisy and the Clintons’ subsequent record of service. Fast forward twenty years and the Clintons have existed under almost universal public scrutiny without a single subsequent instance of wrongdoing. Hillary Clinton has had years of her email communications turned over to her frothing enemies on Capitol Hill and they uncovered nothing worth pursuing.

Would I and other Americans prefer to see a man or woman of untarnished character in the White House? Absolutely, but we aren’t going to get that opportunity in 2016. And on a more unsettling note, we’ve had almost sixteen years under the leadership of Presidents who were paragons of personal virtue and family values. On further reflection that kind of moral character, as a qualification for running the free world, might be just a bit over-rated.

Having mercilessly derided the Clintons for decades, I am now counting on one of them to rescue America. While many of Clinton’s prosecutors have ended their careers in disgrace, Hillary Clinton is on her way to the highest office in the land. If she can defend us as doggedly and capably as she defended her husband and herself, we will all be in very good capable hands.

Karma is a bitch…in a pantsuit.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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257 comments on “Clinton Karma
  1. Sir Magpie De Crow says:

    I beginning to believe that the amazing truth of our current president (though many conservatives would be loath to admit it) is that President Obama is actually what a rational/reality based moderate Republican president would look like.

    That is not the arch-liberal radical Muslim secret immigrant racial provocateur that a number of conservatives have said for many years.

    Why would I say this?

    I say it whenever I see Republicans either ‘appropriate” his ideas or approaches to the issues of the day… and never gets one sliver of credit.

    Nothing he does seems good enough until they promise to do it later once they are in power.

    “Trump Floats Obama-Like Deportation Plan, and Fans Don’t Mind”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-08-23/trump-floats-obama-like-deportation-plan-and-fans-don-t-mind

    • RobA says:

      That is exactly why the GOP is dying and why the “Trump beat a field of 16, ergo, he must be legit” is wrong.

      How many smart, sane, reasonable ppl that SHOULD be in the GOP are in the Dem party? That sort of brain drain is inevitable when the party is clearly becoming the white supremicist party. All the smart, talented ones left. All that remains are the unintelligent, the craven, or the power hungry.

      Beating a field of 16, when those 16 are picked from a field of the low talent remainders is not impressive.

      • 1mime says:

        I think there were some strong GOP candidates running for President, especially Jeb Bush. They failed to make their case, allowed themselves to be bullied, and didn’t understand the mood of the country. In addition, the GOP institution didn’t work to help the traditional candidates and eliminate Trump. The perfect storm of missed opportunities…

  2. Griffin says:

    I know young college Republicans were supposed to be the “new hope” for the GOP so I decided to look up some of the Republican clubs on various college campuses in California.

    The UCLA Republicans are a bunch of Breitbart loving, Milo Yiannopoulos worshiping wingnuts who recently hit the news when some of their board members held up signs that called transgenderism a “mental disorder”.

    https://www.facebook.com/BruinRepublicans/

    http://abc7.com/news/controversy-swirls-at-ucla-over-anti-transgender-restroom-signs/1334380/

    The California State University Long Beach Republicans seem to be just some nativists and anti-Muslim fanatics (it might just be one guy).

    https://www.facebook.com/Long-Beach-State-College-Republicans-303799209635608/

    The UCSD (San Diego) Republicans are the most “respectable” of the bunch so there’s that.

    https://www.facebook.com/CollegeRepublicansAtUCSD/

    It’s curious that the “Alt-Right” just seems to be the far-right for younger people. It seems to be more readily “offensive” (in that it drops the dog whistles in favor of a bullhorn) in the name of combating political correctness, apparently unaware that being a petty jerk doesn’t usually mean you’re being brave and standing up to the libs, but that often it just makes you a petty jerk. It also seems to more readily abandon the traditional American far-rights support for decentralization in favor of more overtly authoritarian nativist/nationalist or quasi-fascist views.

    It’s kind of funny but often their complaints of “liberal bias” is a sort of right-wing version of the same PC culture they complain about in which views they disagree with are viewed as an unacceptable bias.

    Anyways is this what many GOP organizations are doomed to become in Blue states? Just a hangout for fringe crackpots and oddballs, not unlike many third-parties, until some alternative center to center right party comes along to finish off its support among normal people?

    • 1mime says:

      I think this mindset has been brewing for a very long time, Griffin. You don’t know these college students’ family history so can’t accurately say if this is their own “morph” or simply an extension of their family environment. Example is a powerful predictor.

      This is an interesting interview with Tim Wise, one of the United States’ leading anti-racism activists and author of numerous books, that looks at the history of racism and nationalism through the lens of white privilege and a phenomena entitled “cocaine politics”.

      “…we always knew that there was a market for white resentment, and a quarter century later I think that market has become much more lucrative in the sense that the kinds of things Duke was saying a quarter century ago are now sort of mainstream.

      It’s a formula that they’ve been playing for a very, very long time and which I think the Democratic Party has not taken seriously enough.”

      http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/tim-wise-white-privilege-and-resentment-2016?akid=14562.2546932.0vruEs&rd=1&src=newsletter1062382&t=7

    • 1mime says:

      Here’s another study that millennials might pay attention to instead of the alt-right stuff that is occupying their attention….First time I’ve seen a study that directly correlates age/climate/earning power. Interesting…..

      Click to access NGC-Report-The-Price-Tag-of-Being-Young-2016-0820-single-pages-1-1.pdf

  3. Sir Magpie De Crow says:

    So Bill O’Reilly,
    Please tell me of the sexual depravity of secular progressive society. Please tell me of the low state of African-American communities, the sexual promiscuity and infidelity. Please tell me about the misdeeds of Bill Clinton and the lies of his “wife”.

    I imagine you have a higher moral standing… right?

    From the Hollywood Reporter:

    “Andrea Tantaros Lawsuit Targets Five Executives at Fox News for Retaliation”

    “The former Fox News host claims she was subjected to harassment by Bill O’Reilly and, especially, Roger Ailes, and that others bullied and humiliated her.”

    “For example, although the lawsuit doesn’t name Bill O’Reilly as a defendant, Tantaros’ complaint asserts in February 2016, he started sexually harassing her by “(a) asking her to come to stay with him on Long Island where it would be ‘very private,’ and (b) telling her on more than one occasion that he could ‘see [her] as a wild girl,’ and that he believed that she had a ‘wild side.'”

    “After complaints and allegedly because of O’Reilly’s “rumored prior sexual harassment issues,” according to the lawsuit, Brandi told Tantaros’ former attorney that she would no longer be appearing on The O’Reilly Factor.”

    That really sounds… “not awesome”.

    • 1mime says:

      It certainly appears that FOX is having its “moment of truth”. AFter so many years of scathing, hurtful attacks on others, the pendulum is finally swinging back. Hopefully, other media outlets are watching and learning that opinion doesn’t substitute for news, nor does hate substitute for fair and balanced.

  4. 1mime says:

    55% of 414 NABE National Association of Business Executives believe that HR Clinton will do the best job as president for managing the economy. 15% felt Gary Johnson would, with Donald Trump garnering 14% and 15% said “they don’t know”. There are other interesting survey results worthy of your time, including what they feel the fiscal, monetary and other economic priorities should be going forward.

    I wonder if the 55% group are making their views public beyond this trade report?

    Click to access 5ac72447-7e42-4a38-90d7-baf2872d0755.pdf

  5. tuttabellamia says:

    Chris, when I type goplifer.com or click on the home page it takes me to your July 23 blog entry titled “What Happens to the Lifer Blog.” In order to get to the current blog entry (Clinton Karma) I have to go to the August archives.

    Is this your way of creating a semi-private blog?

    • goplifer says:

      Not exactly, but sorta. I pinned that post to the top of the blog. If you scroll down past that one you’ll see the most recent post.

      That move is meant to clarify the short-term nature of the GOPLifer concept. Working on a successor, but it may take a few months.

  6. Sir Magpie De Crow says:

    Well I have everyone’s stocking stuffer gift picked out for December. You are all very welcome.

    • Archetrix says:

      It’s getting harder and harder to tell whether Ann Coulter is on the level or just engaging in some sort of political theater that’s more akin to Andy Kaufman’s Tony Clifton character.

      • 1mime says:

        Ann Coulter is abusing her intelligence and ours. She works any situation for her own personal gain to the extent that the relevance and value of her commentary is de-legitimized.

      • Sir Magpie De Crow says:

        That’s a good one Ryan Ashfyre!

        As a fellow fan of animation in general (in addition to being a political news junkie) I believe the current state of American politics allows us to respond to the rampant inanity with any number of cartoon clips on Youtube.

        Sad but true.

    • vikinghou says:

      Is it just my imagination or is she looking more and more like a drag queen?

      • 1mime says:

        Viking, Here is an interesting piece in the Atlantic Magazine about women in politics (Ann Coulter is nowhere to be found). It raises several interesting points, such as: are women more capable than men in getting things done in the political arena? It also points out that the number of Republican females in Congress is declining, whereas, in the Democratic Party Congressional ranks, the number of women is rising. The article cited a study (2001) that offered a simple explanation for the motivations and thus differences between male and female members of Congress (one with which I am in agreement both through direct personal experience and years of observation):

        ” In an oft-cited 2001 survey of American members of Congress, the number one reason to run for office, according to female legislators, is the ability to effect change in society. The number one reason for men? They always wanted to be a politician.

        “Women just want to get things done,” Dittmar said. “They’re not in it for the show.”

        http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/08/would-electing-more-women-fix-congress/495989/

  7. Creigh says:

    The Clintons need to turn their foundation over to a trustee for the duration.

    When it comes to email servers and conflicts of interest with donors, yes, the rules do apply to you, Mrs. Clinton. (Full disclosure: I was a low level Executive Branch employee for 22 years. It was made very clear to us that emails were public records, and were to be treated as such.)

    • 1mime says:

      Agree, but also for the record, at least the Clintons have set up a foundation to help others. Where is Trump’s foundation? Under Trump Tower? But, you are correct. While we’re making suggestions (good ones) that apply to the Clinton’s, it has been reported that Trump plans to turn his business operation over to his children to run.

      Hardly arm’s length. But, then, why would we expect a different code of ethics from Trump?

    • Stephen says:

      I worked as an public employee for over 40 years. I would use email to protect myself from managers that were not completely honest. Of course this is a double edge sword as goverment emails are forever. The news reported one employee suggested to Clinton by email not to use a private server. This was an act of loyalty and covering your backside.

  8. 1mime says:

    This Politico piece is too good to not share….”this election is no longer about all Americans. It is about white Americans. The United States of America is essentially undergoing a white identity crisis.”

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/08/trump-race-white-america-identity-crisis-214178

  9. 1mime says:

    We can thank Trump for:

    “Trump’s most enduring legacy, and it is an oddly beneficent one, is that he taught America how bigoted it still is, and that many among us who are not intentionally bigoted are willing to tolerate racism anyway, given the right circumstances and stakes.”

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/08/trump-race-white-america-identity-crisis-214178#ixzz4I6jkPg61
    Follow us: @politico on Twitter | Politico on Facebook

  10. RobA says:

    Chris Collins on CNN, talking about a “rhetorical deportation” which entails encouraging illegal immigrants to “come out of the shadows” and get processed, get legal working papers, so they can then work “out of the shadows” and become functioning members of society (although to be clear, he said not as citizens). He said this was a “rhetorical deportarion” because these immigrants have been “deported” out of the shadows.

    Man, the amount of logical gymnastics Trump supporters (at least ones that need to worry about reelecetion) have to do to justify their support is becoming increasingly bizarre and surreal. He was clear that he doesn’t speak for Trump, but jeez, the cognitive dissonance within the GOP is insane. They literally are devolving into gibberish word salad. “Rhetorical deportation”? Seriously?

    And of course I probably don’t need to point out that ” rhetorical deportation ” seems to be more or less identical to other decidedly more loaded terms such as “legalization” or “amnesty”.

    Of course, Trumps alt right base will lose their minds if they thinkhe’ll waver on anything but The Wall and a deportation force. And that’s his future TV audience, so theres no way he’ll risk losing them.

    By Thursday (the time he’s scheduled to give his immigration speech) he will fully disavow this potential pivot. It’ll be all walls and deportation forces, with an explicit guarantee against amnesty.

  11. Ahem. “There [remains to this day] no evidence that Bill or Hillary Clinton [have] ever considered putting the needs of the country above their own vaulting ambitions.”

    Just a little copy edit help for you there, Chris. 😉

    BTW, I’m a kinda busy guy. Going by the 500-750 word per column standard, you’ve got enough content here for *three* posts. I, for one, wouldn’t mind seeing your good work doled out in smaller, more digestible chunks.

    • 1mime says:

      Are you certain it wasn’t the topic vs the length of the post that was tiresome for you?

    • goplifer says:

      Can’t help it. I keep having 1500 word thoughts. You should see the stuff I edited out.

      Going all the way back to high school teachers complained about my treatment of tenses. You’re right I’m afraid. However, I’m gonna keep that language in place a sort of personal brand.

      • 1mime says:

        You’re doing fine, Lifer. Sometimes big thoughts require more words. When as well articulated as yours are, it’s like a fine book that you can’t stop put down because it’s so good, but hate to see it end either! The tenses can be challenging, but run on sentences is something I have to constantly watch. My brain gets ahead of my typing and there you have it! I’m amazed that you provide the quality of posts you do while holding down a full time job AND being a dad and husband. Keep on keeping on, my friend!

      • 1mime says:

        (-: Run on sentences “are” (-; (I’d like to have you think I did that on purpose but I wasn’t paying attention is the real truth!)

      • Stephen says:

        I do not how many books I have read in my life time. It runs into the thousands. You are one of the best writers I have read. If you get tired of programming you could do well as an author.

      • 1mime says:

        Lifer IS an author, Stephen! “The Politics of Crazy” is his entree to the world of writing books. As for writing novels, I am sure he could pen some doozies based upon his involvement in the inner circles of GOPdom….real life can be more interesting than fiction!

  12. Sir Magpie De Crow says:

    Okay.

    Trump and his father once were sued by federal government for racial discriminating against blacks and Latino tenants… back when they were effectively slum lords in New York City.

    They settled eventually. Unfortunately Trump’s 1980’s friend, mentor and former hatchet man for Joseph “Red Scare” McCarthy did not save the day.

    Now Trump who has said blacks love him, even though he is polling in the low single digits with African-Americans in many states (as in 1%) that after he is president for 4 years he will get 95% of the black vote.

    He promises.

    And the latest move on his part to solidify his “growing” support with minorities (in this summer of police shooting outrages) is that he will back the continuation of military gear for police agencies and be the “law and order” candidate.

    In a recent speech he said black people should vote for him because “What in the hell do you have to lose?”

    Frankly after all of that, when I hear (even today) embittered Trump enamored conservatives propose black people/racial minorities should get off the Democratic “plantation” and vote for their nominee.

    Their brilliant argument is that only someone like Trump will improve their lives more than foreign born Obama and “Bigot Hillary”.

    This frankly makes me kinda upset.

    I wish almost the facts of his loathsome history and grotesque comments on race was a bucket of liquid, so I could promptly use it to drown them in the reality of their inherent idiocy.

    In expressing this desire I am of course speaking metaphorically.

    I promise.

    • flypusher says:

      “Trump and his father once were sued by federal government for racial discriminating against blacks and Latino tenants… back when they were effectively slum lords in New York City.”

      Karma operates on its own, sometimes incomprehensible schedule. Recall the most loathsome Donald Sterling, former owner of the LA Clippers? He also got busted for discriminatory housing practices. But was that the final straw that made the NBA conclude that he was tainting their brand? We all know that wasn’t it; only when his mistress, errr, personal assistant got him on tape saying bad things about Black people some years later, did the hammer finally fall on him. Better late than never, I suppose.

  13. 1mime says:

    In reading your post again, Lifer, I wonder if the Democratic Party has an equivalent cast of characters to those you listed on the right? Admittedly, I may have forgotten some of the players, but I do not recall any of them being so hypocritical in their judgement of other people’s sexual activities while justifying their own. Am I incorrect?

  14. tuttabellamia says:

    I’m late to the party. I just now read the current blog entry and was wondering if it was written by a guest blogger. It has a bitter, mean-spirited tone that I would not expect of Chris Ladd.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      Nor am I used to seeing a list of politicians’ sexual transgressions and hypocrisy make up the major part of the blog entry.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        WASHINGTON BABYLON

      • 1mime says:

        I believe Lifer is unloading decades of repressed frustration with Republican hypocrisy on many fronts, Tutta. Lifer is not mean-spirited. I do think that in making his decision to leave the Republican Party, he is going to experience some painful exorcism from people and actions that he saw and knew were wrong but, like many in his party, didn’t speak about publicly. To his very great credit, he is now and truthfully, has been moving in that direction for years. It’s just that now, having resigned his GOP precinct responsibility, he is “free” to speak out.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      Your explanation makes sense and I understand this is continuing frustration over the Republican Party. My first impression was that he was like an idealistic little kid who was crushed to find out that politicians are human and have affairs and are often hypocritical. He comes down just as hard on President Clinton.

      I’m just not used to Lifer being so witchy.

  15. Sir Magpie De Crow says:

    A Republican guy running for Congress in Florida talks to a reporter, and the conversation is recorded.

    Spoiler alert!:
    It does not go well.

    One of the topics we discuss on this site is how the GOP will reform (or rise up phoenix like) in the wake of a likely Trump loss this November.That topic and this incident between a GOP prospect and a reporter has forced me to ask a question…

    What kind of a deep bench of talent, rational thinkers and publicly appealing individuals is the Republican Party going to have after 2016 if it is still chock full of alpha dog men like Dan Bongino?

    • Sir Magpie De Crow says:

      Oh, one more thing…

      Dan Bongino is also Trump campaign surrogate who has appeared on Alex Jones Channel on youtube.

      Shocking.

    • 1mime says:

      FWIW, I believe that the Republican Party has completely ignored the warning lights and is doubling down on winning the election. They still believe they will do so, or at the very least, hold the Senate which is where the large donors/PACs are focusing their $$. If they hold the Senate – a big “if” but evidently a bet the GOP is willing to believe – they can lose the Presidency because they know exactly how to block a Democratic president from getting anything accomplished….witness 8 years of practiced obstruction.

      Republicans have learned nothing, they are not making any changes, and their “bench” is still going by the old playbook. In football metaphors, they are heading for defeat but hoping for a hail Mary win, thus delaying once again, the lessons from their behavior, which I personally find reprehensible.

  16. Tom Merrittt says:

    This conversation regarding sexual harassment particularly in regard to senior officials having affairs with younger women troubles me. To me people should always follow professional standards in the workplace. There is always an element of a senior person taking advantage of a younger person, even though an affair may be totally consensual. Generally, I am of the opinion that if a supervisor maintains a professional standard of conduct that there will not be a problem. However, the circumstances certainly do have an influence. There can be an ethical dilemma. I’d like to contrast three examples.

    GENERAL EISENHOWER AND KAY SUMMERSBY

    It is well known that during WWII General Eisenhower had a close relationship with his driver and secretary, Kay Summersby. Most likely the relationship was never consummated sexually, though they apparently came close one or two times. They were apparently very close friends. They were discrete and very careful and maintained a professional relationship while on duty. Ms. Summersby did write that she was in love with Eisenhower. Rumors did reach the US and Mamie Eisenhower was very concerned and upset. There were reports that Eisenhower actually asked General Marshall for permission to divorce his wife and marry Summersby. However, other reports are that he actually asked for permission to bring Mamie to Europe. In any event there are no confirmed records and permission was denied.

    This sort of relationship could easily result in an officer being court-martialed and if it had become public knowledge, could have resulted in Eisenhower being relieved of command. His being relieved of command would definitely have disrupted the war effort. We know that Eisenhower was a very decent human being and in general quite ethical. He was overseas from June of 1942 to November of 1945 and was in a very demanding and stressful position. He did not have any close feminine companionship and his wife was not with him. Both were most likely lonely. Summersby had been divorced in 1939 and shortly thereafter joined the UK Mechanized Transport Corps. Accordingly, getting involved in a relationship that could easily be judged to be inappropriate with a willing companion was quite easy. The record indicates that Ms. Summersby was able to become an American citizen and a Captain in the US Army Women’s Army Corps with Eisenhower’s help. Eisenhower terminated the relationship when he returned to the US in November 1945. Following the war, Summersby immigrated to the US, but did not have an easy life.

    My question is how should this relationship be judged? They were discrete and behaved in a professional manor and no real harm was done, yet by a strict definition of military rules, it was a very inappropriate relationship. Ms. Summersby most likely did benefit from favoritism. Eisenhower no doubt welcomed the relaxation and companionship Ms. Summersby provided even though he could likely have stopped the relationship from developing. Some might say he took advantage of her though not in a sexual way, yet he also did help her. There was certainly no harassment.

    BILL CLINTON AND MONICA LEWINSKY

    This has been discussed extensively in this conversation. My problem with this affair was that it resulted in non-professional conduct in the workplace. They did have trysts in the non-private areas of the White House. Bill Clinton did abuse his powers as President and to my way of thinking took advantage of Monica, even though she did pursue him. I honestly feel that he could have avoided the entire affair easily. If they had kept the affair private, avoided having trysts in the workplace and had more discretion, I would have more sympathy towards Bill Clinton. Nevertheless, I believe that the Republicans politicized the situation unnecessarily and pushed an impeachment process that was not justified. I do not believe that the charges of perjury fall under the category of “high crimes and misdemeanors”, although Congressional censure was certainly justified.

    GENERAL PETRAEUS AND PAULA BROADWELL

    Again this is a situation that should have been avoided. My feeling is that Paula pursued him to obtain information for her book. Petraeus on the other hand allowed the relationship to move from a professional relationship to an affair and trysts were conducted in the workplace. They were not very discrete about the relationship. He did violate security requirements. In so far as I am concerned being forced out of the CIA was fully justified and having criminal charges brought was also justified.

    CONCLUSION

    In all three of these cases there was really not any harassment. The younger woman most likely pursued the older official, who could have stopped the relationship from developing as it did. The relationships were consensual. Yet they were inappropriate and definite harm was done in two of the relationships. The first has been regarded as minor indiscretion and the other two resulted in major governmental actions. Yet they happened and are similar in several ways. They raise moral quandaries. My general guidance is that the latter two cases crossed the lines between professional conduct and non-professional conduct, whereas in the Eisenhower case there was a great deal of caution and discretion. Of course that was a completely different time and place. The press was far more discrete. Nevertheless, there were similarities. Due to the caution, discretion and care to maintain professional standards of conduct, to me the Eisenhower case is incidental, even though it was clearly beyond the guidelines of ethical military conduct, whereas in the other two cases I feel the man must take a great deal of the responsibility, though truly speaking he did not initiate the affair. I will be interested to follow any comments that this community may have.

    • flypusher says:

      I think it’s a very bad idea for someone in a position of power to allow themselves to be seduced by an underling. But unless you want to institute official rules against it with some clearly defined sanctions, there’s not going to be much you can do with those who get caught, other than point to finger of shame.

      In academia, there are prohibitions against teachers having flings with the students, but that still doesn’t totally stop the practice (there are a few loopholes).

      • flypusher says:

        To eliborate a little further, the military does have those rules/sanctions, but the civilian offices in the gov’t do not. Do you institute such rules for a President and his/her Administration and for members of Congress? If fooling around with interns was a removal from office offense, we’d certainly change that issue of very low turnover/entrenched incumbents. OTOH you could also lose some vital leadership at a critical time- would you want to remove FDR in 1943 if an extramarital affair was exposed?

        Like it or not, lots of very effective male leaders also liked to spread their affections amongst the ladies. I don’t approve of such things, but I am also a realist. When you elect someone, you get the good with the bad.

      • vikinghou says:

        Actually, FDR did have an affair but it was early in his political career.

        Franklin Delano Roosevelt loved Lucy Mercer, his wife’s social secretary. Mercer was young, beautiful, flirtatious and completely smitten with then-assistant secretary of the Navy Roosevelt. From 1916 to 1919, their relationship grew, especially during the summers when Eleanor Roosevelt took the five children away from Washington to the family’s Campobello retreat on the Maine coast.

        It was not a clandestine tryst. Although FDR tried to provide suitable escorts for Mercer in public, he rarely fooled any of his friends, who teased him good-humoredly. It is their stories that form the basis for the allegations of an affair.

        While the record is a clear one of affection, there is no proven record of adultery. Despite the best efforts of historians, biographers and family members to uncover the paper trail of a sexual relationship, none exists. Eleanor Roosevelt burned the young woman’s letters to FDR when she discovered them in 1919 as she unpacked her pneumonia-stricken husband’s luggage. FDR’s letters to Mercer have never been found. All that remains are titillating stories, anecdotes and sly comments — the most famous being Alice Roosevelt Longworth’s acerbic remark, “Of course, he deserved a good time. He was married to Eleanor.”

        In 1919, Eleanor Roosevelt offered her husband a divorce. Louis Howe, FDR’s closest political adviser, and Sara Delano Roosevelt, his mother, strongly opposed it. Mercer’s reaction is unknown, and the records of it conflict. What we do know is that Mercer was a devout Catholic, who well knew the church’s sanctions against marrying a divorced man with five children. FDR promised his wife that he would never see Mercer again. Less than a year later, Mercer married Winthrop Rutherfurd, a 56-year-old widower with five children of his own.

      • vikinghou says:

        I forgot to attribute the FDR info to a Washington Post article.

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/clinton/stories/fdr030198.htm

      • johngalt says:

        After Rutherford’s death, Mercer again resumed spending time with FDR, usually at his retreat in Hot Springs, GA, in meetings arranged by one of FDR’s daughters. She was present when he died in April 1945, so I’d say they didn’t entirely break it off.

        And then there was JFK, the Michael Phelps of presidential philandering.

  17. johngalt says:

    Why on earth should Bill Clinton have resigned over diddling an intern in his office? That would just have set a precedent that political opponents could be hounded out of office over minor scandals that had nothing to do with their performance on the job. Was two years of lackluster leadership (at a time when most things domestically, at least, were moving along marvelously) worth decades of precedent?

    Clinton never should have been asked those questions (once they were, though, he should have answered them without torturing the English language). Clinton’s escapades in office were minor league compared to some of his predecessors. I think it is the nature of the animal – politicians spend their lives trying to seduce the electorate to vote for them and I don’t think they know how to turn this instinct off. I think the list of presidents who had NOT had affairs would be far shorter than those who had.

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      ‘diddling an intern’ is offensive to me.

      That intern is a person, a young woman. Your choice of terms reduces the activity and the woman to an object apparently not worthy of a proper name.

      FWIW, I found the behavior of both parties reprehensible. And impeachment — a political, not a legal approach to addressing the issue — as good as any other action for getting back to governing.

      However, our exclusively two-party system makes getting back to governing impossible, so that was more wish than reality.

      • tmerritt15 says:

        Impeachment and removal from office is a semi-legal approach. Though it does not carry any criminal injunctions, the US Constitution clearly makes it an approach for very serious transgressions, i.e. “treason, bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors”. I consider that a Congressional Resolution of Censure, would have been clearly political and would have enabled getting back to governing easier. See my comment above. The impeachment and failure to convict, helped set the stage for our current dis-functionality.

      • 1mime says:

        It’s not the details nor the lack of legal specificity that are at work here Tmerrit15, it’s all about politics….Lifer’s point was that the charges were perjury based, a point which some here have challenged…..I’m not an attorney but frankly have so much cynicism about nefarious Republican tactics from decades of political watching, that this is what I believe:

        You determine the outcome you want – get rid of Bill Clinton who’s too popular and has achieved something no republican presidents in recent times has with a balanced budget plus a surplus. Then you figure out what you can do to bring this guy down….it might be the undercover, totally bogus filming (like at ACORN, and Planned Parenthood in TX) or it might be emails (HRC), or Benghazi (to name two recent charges) or Swift Boat, or, or….Then you apply the FOX 6-step process for a mass of people who apparently lack the ability to “reason”, and pretty soon the desired outcome, by whatever means, becomes justified.

      • johngalt says:

        I’m sorry if you were offended. The wording was chosen specifically to trivialize the entire incident. Whatever Bill Clinton was doing with Ms. Lewinsky, or other individuals present in the White House, had no political ramifications. There was no hint of a crime being committed. It was not admirable, to say the least, but neither was it unique nor particularly reprehensible, except perhaps to his wife. Lewinsky’s motivations were never entirely clear, but she was under no obligation to divulge them. That makes it a personal matter and it would have stayed that way had a prosecutor desperate to salvage a years-long investigation not started dredging up unrelated and entirely irrelevant behavior.

        Go back through presidential history and the number who had extramarital affairs is huge. If this becomes a reason for impeachment, then virtually any scandal could become grounds for impeachment. That is not democracy.

  18. Armchair Philosopher says:

    “There is no evidence that Bill or Hillary Clinton ever considered putting the needs of the country above their own vaulting ambitions.”

    While I think you are referring to your wish that Bill had resigned, what are you suggesting Hillary should have done? Left him? One could make a very compelling argument that Hillary very much DID put the needs of the country ahead of her own ambitions. Would a divorce in the Oval Office have made things better or worse for the country?

    Even if we think that Hillary made a calculated decision to stay with Bill to further her own ambitions, why are we scrutinizing her behavior? If the pronoun in the last sentence were replaced with “he”, we would not be having this conversation.

    I was never much of a feminist but this election is making me more of one by the day. As a country whose national shame is racism, we seem more ready to elect a black man than a woman. And Gawd Forbid if that woman wears a pantsuit.

    • 1mime says:

      Every now and then, the hard right peeks through in Lifer….I do not believe he is in any way sexist but I do think it’s difficult to erase decades of “red wall” indoctrination, but at least he’s trying (-;

  19. rulezero says:

    Governor Rauner of Illinois has signed a repeal of the “tampon tax” on hygiene products. Indiana, Utah, and Tennessee are apparently okay with it.

    http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2016/08/19/gov-rauner-signs-repeal-of-tampon-tax-in-illinois/

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      He’s also vetoed automatic voter registration. Nice guy. Could have added up to 2 million new voters, said some observers.

      Fear of voter fraud, he said, the scourge of all elections in which any Republican might run, the problem so big it’s seldom found.

      • 1mime says:

        I understand that the Governor objected to particular aspects of the bill. It was unclear in the initial article I read whether he would sign it if adjustments (??) were made. However, the bill passed with such an overwhelming vote that the Legislature can over ride Rauner’s veto. I am certain Lifer has more info which maybe he’ll share as he is a fan of Rauner. I’d like to know if the Governor objected more broadly to automatic voter registration as opposed to any specific language within the bill itself.

        Lifer? Is this a principled stand on Rauner’s part, or conservative defense?

      • Tired as I am of hearing Republicans’ self-serving crap on voter fraud, Gov. Rauner’s real complaint, IMO, that the current version of the bill would be in violating of federal law seems to have merit. Doesn’t seem like anything that a little tweaking wouldn’t be able to fix.

        http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-bruce-rauner-veto-automatic-voter-registration-met-0813-20160812-story.html

  20. unarmedandunafraid says:

    This is really off topic. In my lifetime, I remember when big city police departments dreaded the dog days of summer. When it got hot, people gathered on stoops in front of the house, children played in the streets, and more to the point young men gathered on the corners. Violence rose in several ways, from frazzled nerves when it got too hot to sleep or young men shot each other and innocent bystanders in turf wars. This scenario played out in one large Northeast City, and I assume in others.

    I have said before that game consoles (xbox, wii, psX) and inexpensive room air conditioners (from China) have contributed to our falling crime rate.

    So, anyway, Ross Douthat says something similar in this article.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/21/opinion/sunday/the-virtues-of-reality.html

  21. Griffin says:

    ha. hahaha. bahAHAHAHAHA

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/giuliani-hillary-clinton-illness-videos-000000972.html

    Seriously what’s the deal with Rudy? Over a decade ago I thought he was considered a “moderate” Republican now he’s one of the craziest.

    Also too little too late from Charlie Sykes, but it’s still shocking to see one of the right-wing, err, shock jocks fess up to their screw-ups.

    http://www.alternet.org/election-2016/conservative-radio-host-admits-right-wing-media-created-monster-doesnt-believe-facts

  22. 1mime says:

    Not to change the subject (but, let’s), but here’s a look at how HRC is approaching the possibility of being elected POTUS. She, more than Obama, knows how critical the honeymoon period is, and that she will likely face the same or worse obstruction that he did. She intends to be organized and make the most of the time and opportunity she has to work with. Republicans intend to deny her the chance to demonstrate her capabilities. Let us hope that she has the chance to deliver.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/with-a-comfortable-lead-clinton-begins-laying-plans-for-her-white-house-agenda/2016/08/20/4f21cef4-65ce-11e6-96c0-37533479f3f5_story.html?wpisrc=nl_wemost&wpmm=1

    • flypusher says:

      Van Jones has doubts about any honeymoon:

      http://www.vox.com/2016/8/18/12524012/van-jones-interview-hillary-clinton

      But if anyone ought to hit the ground running, it’s HRC. No excuses. Hopefully she’ll at least have a Senate majority to work with.

      • 1mime says:

        Insightful, however, I disagree with Van Jones on this statement: “The Republican Party will probably be a little bit healthier because it will be in touch with both the reality of the anger and the reality of the politics.”

        I don’t think the Repub Party has gotten the message from Trumpism. They may “see” the anger” and worry about what could happen politically, but I have not seen any evidence that they have learned one thing or changed anything from this experience. Whereas, Hillary had to fight like hell to win the nomination from a candidate that forced her to not only shift left in her agenda, but to confront the fact that she not only has to deal with enemies on the right, but very vocal,newly energized voters on the left. To her credit, (which point VJ in a postscript acknowledged), she does seem able to do.

        Men are not used to seeing women govern. They don’t understand that women are more collegial in their style. I think if HRC wins, she’s going to surprise a lot of people with her skills. I hope she gets the chance.

      • flypusher says:

        “I don’t think the Repub Party has gotten the message from Trumpism.”

        We won’t be able to see until after the election, but I suspect you and Chris are right on that one. This is their last wake up call.

      • 1mime says:

        And, if some way Trump wins, and Repubs hold the Senate, they will delay that awakening by another four years…….

    • 1mime says:

      And, here is what appears to be a growing consensus from Wall Street about the impact of the election: https://city.wsj.com/stories/7c1e33e9-f066-4f31-adf0-b2f6b359a37a.html

      “Investors are too complacent about the outcome of the US presidential election, which could lead to ‘considerable volatility’ in global markets, one of the biggest investment banks said on Monday.

      Citigroup’s political analysts, led by Tina Fordham, said stock, bond and currency markets could re-price “significantly” if the result of the vote surprises investors.”

      “What a Trump Win Could Mean, According to Citi


      A 3% to 5% correction in the S&P 500

      A ‘significant’ rally in the dollar in the short-term as fiscal expansion boosts growth and possibly inflation

      But there could be ‘major downside risks to growth, if a Trump victory is followed by a major rise in protectionism

      Higher long- and short-term interest rates. Trump has criticised the Fed for overly easy monetary policy. He might appoint more hawkish members and not reappoint Yellen/ Fischer in 2018

      A negative macro environment for emerging market assets

      What a Clinton Win Could Mean
      According to Citi


      Status quo for equities, although financial services, healthcare and other industries could be affected negatively

      Dollar moves sideways to slightly lower, with no new net stimulus

      Continued middling US growth or a slight lift

      Yellen to continue as Fed chairwoman. Credit continues to offer decent volatility-adjusted returns.

      Status quo for the emerging markets.

      While the polls and the betting markets have been volatile, sentiment appears to be “fairly entrenched,” Citi said.
      “This is a recipe for a shock to market pricing.”

  23. Creigh says:

    You say “There was no reason for the country to be hostage to Clinton’s demons. A capable Vice President could have stepped up at any moment to take charge at any moment to take charge without compromising any of the Administration goals.”

    But what, aside from giving the Republicans a scalp, would have been different? Clinton’s accomplishments, such as they were, were Republican agenda items: NAFTA and welfare reform (read: reduce government’s role in trade and welfare.) Would a President Gore have been able to get a climate change agenda, for example, through a Republican house?

    Much has been said about Republicans’ hatred of President Obama, and their resulting efforts to make him an unsuccessful President. But down deep and with a few exceptions, like defense spending and incarcerating criminals, Republicans hate government and are determined to make it unsuccessful, giving “proof” that government can’t do anything right. That was true for most of Clinton’s administration, Obama’s administration, will be true for HRC’s, and was even true for some of W’s.

    That being said, the post was an interesting take on B. Clinton’s extramarital activities, and I loved all the comments pro and con below.

  24. RobA says:

    So getting back to the current election, Trump continues to act unpredictably, only this time in a way that (unfortunately) may help him. We all thought with therecent shakeup that Trumpnwas doubkinh down on the insanity. But everything he’s done since then looks like the “pivot” we all thought was supposed to happen a long time ago. Especially weird because it wasn’t even a week ago that Trump explicitly said he would never pivot.

    Now he’s talking about what sounds like amnesty?

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2016/08/21/trump_campaign_manager_says_plans_for_deportation_force_to_be_determined.html

    I’ve got to admit, this kind of talk makes me a little nervous. Trump DOES have a powerful populist message (even though I disagree with pretty much all of it, from the diagnosis to the treatment). The one thing that kept me confident was that he’s such a buffoon, and such a narcissist, that his message would continuously be overshadowed by his enourmous personal flaws. If his new campaign manager has figured out a way to make him appear (relatively) reasonable, that could spell trouble.

    Of course, it’s likely too late, and there’s the chance that even his most ardent supporters could be turned off if he goes as far as amnesty. But still, an interesting turn of events.

  25. lomamonster says:

    Chris, I don’t think that I have evidenced a more tragic love letter to America than yours. But you did succeed in arming us with hope once again, so many thanks for that!

  26. Grace Q says:

    I’ve been reading your site for a while, but I feel a need to respond to this article.

    I would have been your mirror image, a DemLifer perhaps? I voted for every Democratic candidate for president, except one. Bill Clinton. I could not vote for the man. I left the party over him. I am completely open to any and all criticism of Bill you want to put forward. I find Broaddrick’s claims of rape entirely plausible. And I agree that Democrats are far too casual in dismissing the charges and claims against him. In fact, the only thing that made me dislike him even slightly less was the quality of the men who impeached him.

    I frequently find myself saying the following to my left-leaning friends who don’t want to vote for Hillary: “I understand. I didn’t vote for Clinton. I don’t blame you. But the alternatives to Clinton were two decent, capable men who understood the Constitution and would, at absolute worst, do very little harm. You cannot say that about Trump.”

    Watching Trump, I cannot understand anyone not willing to vote for whoever the opposition party puts up against him. If he had been nominated by the Democrats, I would vote for the Republican, no matter who they were. And that includes W or Nixon. Or Bill Clinton.

    So, what I’m saying is, I largely agree with what you say here. And where I don’t agree, I at least understand and see the strength of your position and arguments. I respect them.

    But, I have to ask, did you have to conclude your article with “Karma is a bitch…in a pantsuit”?

    That just seems so unfortunate. Okay, you didn’t hang a neon sign and say “I just called Hillary the B word!” but that’s what it amounts to. Please don’t do that again.

    • Creigh says:

      Hmm, I thought he called Hillary karma, which seems appropriate after listing Bill C’s persecutors and their legacies. “Karma’s a bitch” is a saying, perhaps unfortunate if you’re pointing to a female as an agent of karma.

      Other opinions?

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        Bitch is a shape-shifting word. Primarily though, it is a female word and an insult.

        For example, to be a male and to be called another male’s bitch ties the second male to the degrading status of womanhood.

        Bitch is frequently heard in that video that collects what Trump supporters say at various rallies. It’s an insult there, too.

        I get that many men call a powerful woman a bitch, but it’s a weakness on the user’s part.

        It’s one word they can hurl when their status in life has failed them and they may have to give in to that powerful woman.

      • goplifer says:

        That’s why I think it’s about to be appropriated into the language. When used against a woman it has always had this connotation of “uppity,” an example of a woman who was assertive and powerful in an unmannerly way. Well, I can see that evolving into a badge.

      • 1mime says:

        Speaking for myself, here’s to “uppity” women! May they grow in number and influence.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        I’m thinking women have to claim it first.

      • goplifer says:

        True. Have they?

      • flypusher says:

        If HRC has a successful term, I could see the claiming happening: “Karma’s a bitch and so am I!”

        Along with the evolution of the language, there’s the history of this blog. So I took no insult here.

      • 1mime says:

        I likewise took no umbrage primarily because of who made the comment. I do, however, object to the pejorative use of “bitch” by anyone about women they find offensive for whatever reason. Surely they can improve upon their language choices.

        I had a wonderful sociology teacher who opened her semester class by asking us (mixed genders/ages) this question: “What terms do you use to describe a young woman who is sexually active vs a young male?” Of course, the responses went something like this: Sexually active young women – sluts, whores, prostitutes, promiscuous. Sexually active young men – studs, fooling around, macho….

        Hell of an icebreaker, you have to admit!

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        Can’t really say.

        I can say that a quite some time ago, I was in a group of women who were discussing their work situations.

        One woman told us how she overcame a nasty co-worker, an entertaining story.

        A member of the group exclaimed — in admiration, I thought — “Bee-itch”, two syllables, big smile.

        The rest of us were stunned into silence.

        Truly, this was a couple of decades ago. Sluggard us, we could have been ahead of our times.

      • RobA says:

        Bitch is rapidly evolving, but the feeling I get anecdotally is its evolving similar to, say, the N word for black ppl, or “fag” for gay ppl, not in scale but in kind.

        That is, it’s often adopted by the group in question, sometimes casually, sometimes as a way to “claim” it. But if you aren’t in the group in question, it’s probably best not to say it. But all that said, I don’t think it’s nearly as bad for a guy tobsay “bitch” then a white person to say the N word.

        It is noticably more “loaded” then it was, say, 10 years ago. Interestingly, one word that seems to be going he opposite way is the C word, which was all but verbotten 10 years ago, but which is now said (anecdotally) fairly casually by men and women with not nearly as much weight as it used to carry.

    • goplifer says:

      I thought about that. Still thinking, really. My wife insisted that I keep it and the conversation about it was brief.

      English is a funny language. That’s a word that’s about to experience a lengthy re-evaluation. It might be chased out of the vernacular entirely or it might be fully appropriated and semi-legitimized. I’m betting on the latter. My guess is that it’s going to become a kind of edgier “badass.”

      Point taken.

      • Grace Q says:

        Thank you. I didn’t take offense at it, but it seemed, as I said, unfortunate.

        I agree that the use is changing, and sometimes women use it to mean strong, decisive, powerful. But it’s still loaded enough that it should be used with caution. If you had said it at the end of an article of unqualified praise, it would have felt like you were calling her a ‘badass bitch’ and been more acceptable. I think it was because your feelings are more nuanced, and you criticized her rather sharply at time, it jarred. Not that the criticism was inappropriate, it just made the pejorative meaning more likely.

        Not to dwell on it, though. I truly did find this an engaging article, as I do most of your posts.

    • vikinghou says:

      This reminds me of a hilarious line uttered by Joan Crawford in the classic film “The Women” (1939).

      “There’s a name for you ladies, but it isn’t used in high society… outside of a kennel.”

      • Creigh says:

        This whole conversation brings to mind coverage of the Westminster Kennel Club show a few years ago, when a female spaniel of some kind won best in show. The expert commentator, a VERY proper English woman, referred to the winner as “a magnificent bitch.” I thought “I want a job where I get to say bitch!”

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        I was thinking about taking my dog to one of those agility training places.

        I looked up the outfit online. All over their website was the mandatory requirement that bitches in heat wear britches.

        The language was rigid and scolding, in red text, and re-stated in as many ways possible.

        I decided my dog and I couldn’t possibly have much fun in a place run by somebody who writes like that. 🙂

      • johngalt says:

        A friend who is into showing her dogs posted on social media her pride at winning “Best Bitch” at a recent show. I thought, “What a magnificent title.”

      • 1mime says:

        “Best Bitch”….totally appropriate and laudatory. The problem arises when the term is used in a pejorative manner….which, I know you understand.

  27. Sir Magpie De Crow says:

    Here is posting I made here on this site in the past. Made a couple of edits.

    History, I like studying it. Particularly the history of modern American politics. Not to get off topic from the focus on the passing of a music legend but our political history of late would be worthy of many songs, ballads or at least a triple album from Weird Al Yankovic.

    Consider the revelations and the impending final judgement of former Speaker of the House (Republican) Dennis Hastert. Second in line to the presidency, longest serving Republican Speaker of the House in history.

    ….And lastly he was a serial rapist/pedophile in his previous public life as a high school teacher/wrestling coach who was willing to lie to federal authorities/law enforcement in an effort to hide his inglorious personal history of unspeakable crimes.

    But at least Bill Clinton got impeached over sexual acts with a consenting adult.

    Here is a little flashback:

    President Clinton got oral sex from an intern. He then was getting impeached over lying about said affair in a legal deposition. Newt Gingrich was pushing for his impeachment or resignation. Turns out he was cheating on his second wife with a twenty-something congressional aide (kinda like Bill).

    The impeachment effort failed. A disappointing midterm election for Republicans cause Gingrich to fall. Rising star Bob Livingston was going take over. He didn’t because Larry Flint of Hustler fame/infamy helped spill the beans on Bob’s sexual exploits.

    He effectively resigns and calls on Bill Clinton to do the same even before he takes over. Republicans are shocked as hell and cry like little girls in the halls of the Capital.

    The resulting power vacuum in the house empowers a first class a**hole named Tom Delay, The Republican majority leader, who essentially hand picks the little known congressman Dennis Hastert to be the next Speaker of The House.

    Tom Delay would in turn fall in part because of his collective b*llshit that was arguable the result of his odious affiliation with Jack “Casino Jack” Abramoff. Abramoff goes to prison and later gets work making pizzas. Delay avoids it. So much for their master plan of an enduring Republican Permanent Majority.

    Lasted about as long as the Third Reich if you ask me.

    Bob Livingston departure leaves a power vacuum in Louisiana. Of all people, family values politician David Vitter fills the void, becomes a senator while screwing prostitutes while wearing allegedly diapers. A black book of a DC Madam revealed this stunning hypocrisy. He survived the scandal only to lose the governorship years later.

    The DC Madam killed herself after being convicted of money laundering.

    Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert who ran a relatively tight ship in the house for the GOP until he lost the speakership because of his disinterest and dereliction of duty in disciplining Republican congressmen like Mark Foley, who was sexting to teenage male pages.

    Foley becomes an overnight internet gross-sation when his texted attempts at wooing young boys gets readings by edgy comedians.

    Now we know why Hastert failed in punishing Foley, cause he was a big old pedophile too who has destroyed the lives of heaven knows how many boys and young men.

    Hastert in turn would be prosecuted by an administration of Barack Obama who was aided in his rise to power in Illinois when his would be opponent Jack Ryan on the Republican side lost his shot at running for senator when it turned out he had tried to force his actress wife (now ex-wife) Jeri Ryan (Star Trek’s Seven of Nine) to have sex in public at kinky sex clubs. Including one in Paris, France.

    Here is a snippet of Mrs. Ryan’s testimony at what happened in the city of lights:

    “People were having sex everywhere. I cried. I was physically ill. [He] became very upset with me and said it was not a ‘turn on’ for me to cry.”

    It’s too bad some divorces don’t sometimes end with the newly minted ex-husband being hanged for being a colossal dick.

    Moving right along…

    Obama’s G-Men were using provisions of the Patriot Act that passed under Hastert’s watch when he was still Speaker.

    Irony alert!

    Despite all this absurd collection of horrific s**t and compromised political titans the GOP base seems on the cusp of choosing a pure shameless misogynist… who is completely morally bankrupt and occasional financially bankrupt… who likes to play coy on the question of whether any of the married women he had affairs with in the past had abortions.

    So what does this all mean?
    Clinton isn’t the only offender in the sexual bad behavior department. Not by a long shot.

    • RobA says:

      I’d add to your conclusion that of all those mentioned, Clintons sexual misdeeds surely ranks at or near the bottom of the list.

      • Sir Magpie De Crow says:

        I just found this little piece of the past I never knew regarding the grotesque Jack Ryan (Obama’s would be Senatorial opponent) and the eternally odious Dennis Hastert.

        “In a written statement, Ryan blamed the news media for the controversy, saying its interest in his personal life had gotten “out of control.”

        “It’s clear to me that a vigorous debate on the issues most likely could not take place if I remain in the race,” Ryan said. “What would take place, rather, is a brutal, scorched-earth campaign — the kind of campaign that has turned off so many voters, the kind of politics I refuse to play.”

        “Accordingly, I am today withdrawing from the race. ”

        “Ryan, 44, a wealthy former investment banker, had been running against Democrat Barack Obama for the seat being vacated by retiring GOP Sen. Peter Fitzgerald — a potentially key contest in the battle for control of the evenly divided Senate.”

        “Even before the lurid allegations, Obama held a lead over Ryan in various polls.”

        “Republican officials acknowledged Friday that any Republican who jumps into the race now would face an uphill battle.”

        “Names being floated include State Senate Chairwoman Judy Baar Topinka and State Sen. Steve Rauschenberger.”

        “In Washington, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Illinois, released a statement, saying the state GOP party would find a replacement for Ryan.”

        “Jack Ryan made the right decision,” Hastert said. “I know it must have been a difficult one.”

        Jack Ryan bemoaning his victimization by the big bad media. Dennis Hastert playing the concerned party leader showing false concern for a politician who treated his wife horribly, but still did not commit the scale of crimes Hastert committed.

        It is almost laughable the moral decrepitude of these two characters in retrospect.

        Hastert could have also made “the right decision” and left politics.

        But he didn’t. Admitted child molesters don’t get to become high profile lobbyists I guess.

  28. RobA says:

    “Congress impeached President Clinton for perjury. His workplace sexual harassment was the subject matter of the perjury,”

    I’m gonna quiblle with this a bit Chris.

    1. His perjury was about a subject that was arguably none of anyone’s business (depending on if you believe the POTUS is entitled to ANY privacy, or if you believe every second of their administration belongs to The People). I don’t believe personally anyone was entitled to that information, and I also know that the vast majority of ppl in similar situations do the same (I.e. asked about an affair, chooses to deny it). I’m having a hard time making this an impeachable offense.

    I liken it to the situations where someone is wrongly arrested because they “match the description” of a suspect. Even if they later get cleared of the original suspected crime, they get slapped with a resisting arrest charge. Some may disagree, but I think that you CANNOT “resist” an unlawful arrest. If the entire REASON for the arrest is invalid (I.e. mistaken identity), then resisting it can be no crime. Similarly, if the question posed to Bill was fundamentally invalid, then lying about it can be no crime.

    2. More importantly, I don’t like the assumption that because Bill was the one with the power, that any sexual interaction between the two must inherently be harrasment. If I remember correctly, Monica was a very, very willing participant, and indeed the relationship progressed too slowly for her liking. I remember as a teenager reading the Starr report (mostly for the lurid details. I was a teenaged boy, after all). One passage I remember clearly was that Bill didn’t ejaculate for the first few oral sex sessions, and Monica was very disappointed about this. He told her it was because they needed to build up trust before they could cross that bridge.

    To me, that anecdote is entirely at odds with the sexual predator you describe him as. A true sexual predator cares only about their own gratification. They don’t hold off on “release” until they trust each other more.

    More broadly, while workplace harrasment is absolutely a thing and we should be aware of it whenever we make judgements about workplace affairs, it is completely patriarchal and sexist (albeit well meaning sexism) to assume that ALL sexual relationships between powerful men and less powerful women are inherently harrasment. To make that leap is to completely strip away the agency of the woman involved. Yours basically saying “there there dear. I know you think you wanted this affair to happen, but trust me, I know better then you do what you want”.

    Many women are attracted to powerful men (and vice versa, of course) and will happily enter into sexual relationships with them, and it is more then a little patronizing to assume that they don’t have the capacity to enter into any such relationship consensually.

    • Griffin says:

      1) There will never be enough to bleach to scrub what you wrote out of my brain so thanks for that.

      2) “Many women are attracted to powerful men (and vice versa, of course) and will happily enter into sexual relationships with them, and it is more then a little patronizing to assume that they don’t have the capacity to enter into any such relationship consensually.”

      You could build a bridge with that much straw. I think the main reason people are suspicious is not because he’s powerful and they’re not but because they actually accused him of harassment, something you didn’t bring up once.

      • RobA says:

        Monica Lewinsky never once accused him of harrasment, and I was replying to Chris point that his perjury was related to a case of harrasment.

    • flypusher says:

      That’s a big problem I also have with this sordid business- what relevance does an affair between two consenting adults have in a harassment case, where by definition, one of the parties is unwilling? Maybe someone reading this has legal knowledge and can enlighten us, but isn’t that the sort of evidence that would get tossed in an actual trial because it’s not pertinent? I do wish Clinton had refused to answer on those grounds if he wasn’t going to be completely truthful.

      From the stories I heard, not only was Lewinsky very willing, but she was the one who initially pursued Clinton Other rumors were that this wasn’t her first rodeo with a married man either. It was sleazy, but it wasn’t harassment.

    • goplifer says:

      1) Subject matter is not a defense to perjury.

      2) What you seem to have a problem with is the definition of workplace sexual harassment. That’s OK, I guess, but that’s what you’re wrestling with there.

      Clinton doesn’t seem to have exhibited such scruple with the women he is accused of raping (there are at least two). Look, he’s a nasty character who left well over a dozen of these allegations behind him in a trail from Arkansas to the White House. The only real difference between him and Bill Cosby was far less powerful and he drugged his victims.

      It is what it is. And I’m voting to send the two of them (we’re sending both of them) back to the White House. I’m just doing it with my eyes wide open.

  29. Tom Merritt says:

    Sorry to revert to the previous post on the future of the GOP, but I wish to congratulate Lifer on his lucid and thought provoking post. Sadly, I find that I must agree. At one time, I tended to lean towards the Republican party and was inclined to become a Republican. The election of 1968 was the first presidential election in which I could vote and I ended up voting for Humphrey because I realized that he had been against the Vietnam Conflict and I did not believe Nixon’s rhetoric. At that point I was a Vietnam veteran, had realized that it was a big mistake and that there was a big difference between the rhetoric in the US and what was actually happening. Of course, I was a university student at the time. Nixon’s use of the southern strategy and his lies on Vietnam essentially solidified my turn to the Democratic Party. Then the purging of the Rockefeller Republicans in 1976 and 1980, finished the process. With that back ground and since I feel a moderate, center right commercially based Republican party would be very beneficial to the US, I have been hoping that a sound Trump defeat might result in the GOP reforming itself.
    Chris’ article has made me rethink that. I find that there is no one in a leadership position in the Republican Party that might lead a reform effort. Certainly, there is no one in the Congressional wing of the party. McConnell is too interested in maintaining his leadership position. Once he loses his majority, possibly this year, he will likely just serve out the remainder of his term and then retire, particularly if the opportunities are limited for regaining the majority in 2018, which I believe they may well be. Paul Ryan is too heavily addicted to the Ayn Rand philosophy to ever develop and pursue an economic policy that will limit inequity and result in a fair shake for the 99%. Many of the GOP majority in the House are also of that inclination. Donald Trump will be poison after the defeat that is very likely to happen in November. There has been discussion that “Trumpism” will lead to a conservative (GOP) workers party, I believe that is just wishful thinking. There will be no one to lead such an effort and there will be no institutional or monetary support. Such a party would also be too heavily influenced by “White Nationalism”. The other possibility is that there might be a GOP governor who could lead such a reform effort. However, almost all the GOP governors are also very heavily influenced by both “Ayn Randism” and White Nationalism. So sadly, I agree with Chris that all the feedback mechanisms in the party have been destroyed.
    That means the party will continue the present policies of increasing the economic inequity in the US by attempting to lower taxes on the wealthy, maintaining the current effective moderate to high taxation of the working and middle classes, restricting the opportunities for unionization, limiting investment in education and infrastructure and other essential government services. “White Nationalism” will continue to be one of the essential features of the GOP. They will continue the policies of total obstructionism. Eventually the GOP will implode. The rebound in 2018 will be limited, since many of the minority voters will no longer be idle. The implosion may happen in 2020 or the GOP may hang on until 2024. Out of the wreckage, I am sure that a very conservative, wealth oriented party dedicated to Ayn Randism will emerge. That will probably be the GOP purged of the “White Nationalists” and restrictive social mores. Many of the major monetary contributors will certainly follow that route. Where the other key elements of the party end up, who knows. The Trump group may have shrunk to irrelevance or they may move elsewhere. I do not believe the Libertarian Party will want them. Maybe a rump party will be formed. The Evangelicals are already beginning to move away from full scale political activism, so they may not have that much influence. The neoconservative wing of the party, may well stay with the core GOP. But they may also switch back to the Democrats. The neoconservative philosophy originated with the Democrats, but they switched to the Republicans during the 70’s and 80’s. But they will not fit in with the Sanders wing of the party.
    Regardless of what happens, the next few years will certainly be interesting. The long anticipated political realignment seems to be nearing. This is all without considering the ramifications of various international crisis that may emerge. As some of my previous posts indicate, I am very concerned about the geopolitical situation at this time. I kind of think this period has some similarities to the 1930’s.

    • 1mime says:

      I have dual concerns for America: domestic and global. We certainly have many serious problems to resolve at home and a great “unknown” looming with regard to terrorism and the aggression of Russian and China.

      Given these concerns, the election in November is even more important. The leader who becomes our president in 2017 will face a difficult tenure. God help us if that person is a Donald Trump. With all of her faults, given all of her skills, I hope that Hillary Clinton can survive whatever the Republicans throw at her in the coming weeks, because they are desperate.

      • There’s plenty worthy of legitimate concern in 2016. Clinton bowing under Republican pressure is most certainly not one of them. Whatever you think of her personally, she’s about as tough and persistent as you’ll find in politics. She doesn’t know the meaning of giving up.

      • 1mime says:

        Yes sir, that is correct. HR Clinton is tough. She is also knows her way around governing at the federal level and the nation’s business has been blocked for too long. I”ll happily take my chances with her as POTUS and remain open at the end of her first term (should she win) to supporting her again or a better candidate. The madness has to stop with the Republican Party and it will not if they get a mandate through the election of a Trump. And, that doesn’t even touch upon my serious concerns about his leadership.

      • Tom Merritt says:

        Mime,

        You and I seem to have a very similar thought process. I too feel that both domestic and global concerns present great challenges. These challenges may well come to a head during the next presidency and the US may face an existential crisis. That is particularly true if the problems are left to fester. With the domestic and global challenges, the next presidency will be particularly difficult. I hope and believe that Hillary has the skill set and experience to tackle these problems. Trump certainly does not. The Republicans will fight with every weapon in their arsenal, because as you say they are desperate. Lifer seems to have reached a similar conclusion.

        I also have a further concern and that is that the Vice President is capable and fully able to take on the Presidency, in the event that Hillary is incapacitated or dies in office. Tim Kaine, I believe fits that criteria. I am not suggesting that Hillary is in poor health. Her doctor’s statement is clear that she is in good health, but she is approaching 70 and is about to take on a very difficult and stressful job, probably the most difficult job in the world at a perilous time. It will take a toll. I actually suspect that she is in better health than Trump. As in all things, Trump refuses to disclose the state of his health; rather he relies on bluster as opposed to substantive information. The doctor’s statement is essentially meaningless.

        An illuminating article recently appeared in Politico Magazine regarding how Truman came to be selected as Vice President in 1944. The article is “The Year the Veepstakes Really Mattered”, by Jeff Greenfield on July 10, 2016. The address is: “http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/07/veepstakes-history-vice-president-fdr-roosevelt-harry-truman-henry-wallace-james-byrnes-1944-democratic-convention-214012”.

        I don’t mean to imply that we have a situation similar to 1944; I’m just saying that we need to be cognizant that we are in a difficult time and that we need to be prepared.

        I will be doing every thing I can for Hillary to be elected, despite her flaws. Every human being has flaws. In my judgement hers are much less than Trump’s and she is certainly better qualified. She may well be faced with the task of saving the United States.

      • 1mime says:

        How would a President Trump or Clinton deal with the “war on terror”? This New Republic sobering analysis goes back to the G.W. Bush years, through the Obama administration, and looks ahead to America’s role in the war on terror under the next POTUS. Elections have consequences as do actions, but can these dark forces be changed? Will the actions that were set in motion under G.W. Bush, continued to a lesser degree under Obama, offer any possibility of new direction under either of the current presidential nominees? Is it too late?

        https://newrepublic.com/article/135724/fog-unknowing?utm_source=New+Republic&utm_campaign=aee0c05aa4-Daily_Newsletter_8_23_168_23_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c4ad0aba7e-aee0c05aa4-59579285

  30. duncancairncross says:

    Hi Chris

    You complain about Bill Clinton indulging in “workplace harassment”

    That has never been proven – or even credibly accused!!

    Clinton was apparently a very charismatic man with a huge amount of political power
    That is a very heady cocktail!

    From what I can see he was far too busy fighting off surplus female attention to even think of harassing anybody!

    There should always be questions asked when there is a large disparity in power between two sexual parties – but that does NOT mean that every time there is such disparity that harassment has occurred

    The fact that somebody sued and court cases happened is
    (from the POV of a non American)
    just what happens in the USA – like Baseball it’s an American sport

    • tmerritt15 says:

      I personally believe that there is never an excuse for a man in a position of power to take advantage of a young woman. In all cases, there should be a professional ethic in the workplace. I know it happens, but that does not excuse it. Bluntly, stated Bill Clinton did take advantage of Monica and it appears he also took advantage of other women.

      • duncancairncross says:

        And by that you remove all possible choice or ability to choose from the young woman?

        IMHO that is a very very sexist stance to take –

        Treating a person as if they were some sort of pet that had to be protected – even against their own free choice

      • tmerritt15 says:

        It takes two to tango(le). Bill Clinton was not forced to participate.

      • flypusher says:

        Clinton and Lewinsky were equally wrong.

        As for Jones, I buy her story. IIRC, her case got settled.

      • tmerritt15 says:

        Flypusher, I will concur that both Clinton and Lewinsky were wrong. As the more powerful individual (older and supposedly wiser individual) Clinton had a greater responsibility, however.

      • RobA says:

        While Bill was definitely “wrong” the only party he wronged was his wife and family.

        Lewinsky was an adult. Full stop. She is fully capable of making her own sexual decisions, and to suggest that she was “wronged” by entering into a fully consensual sexual relationship, that didn’t even include the tiniest bit of persuasion by Bill Clinton (the opposite on fact. She was the persuer) is obsolete thinking of the type that has no place on 2016. Women have the right to enter into whatever sexual relationship in whatever capacity they wish without being slut shamed for it.

        She wanted to hook up with the President. He wanted to hook up with a young attractive woman. Assuming both happily and enthusiastically entered into this relationship (of which all evidence suggest they did), no “wrong” occurred in any way, outside of the betrayal of his wife. And even THATS dicey because frankly, none of us have any clue what their marriage arrangements were. Many, many ppl have arrangements OTHER then traditional monogamy with their spouse, and unless we know the private details of their marroage, we can’t really judge them for it.

        TL:DR Women aren’t delicate little flowers who need the patriarchal protection (however well meaning) of anybody. They are entitled to make whatever sexual choices they want, regardless of you or I or anyone else feels about them.

      • goplifer says:

        You need to go back and look at the contents of the Paula Jones case. I mean, actually look at what he did and how he used his office (which belongs to us) to stop a private citizen from gaining action to justice.

    • goplifer says:

      You know who else has never had a case of sexual harassment proven against him? Bill Cosby.

      Probably all seventeen of these women were lying, right? http://heavy.com/news/2016/05/bill-clinton-sexual-sex-assault-misconduct-rape-allegations-accusers-affairs-names-list-women-mistresses-scandals-photos-pictures/

      Or…go ahead…you know you want to go there…

      They were asking for it!

      • unarmedandunafraid says:

        Oh, how I hate to be reminded of and relive the Bill Clinton years. The heyday of Rush Limbaugh, the Scaiffe muckraker squad, Whitewater, travelgate, Vince Foster, filegate ……

        As I use to say then, the right has not allowed us to form an opinion of Bill Clinton because we are always defending him from some outlandish accusation coming from the lower reaches of the human mind.

        The one thing I assume is that Bill had a runaway sexual appetite. He may have sexually harassed and even crossed the line to rape. I know that is possible. I also know that those that say they were harassed and/or raped could be Clinton haters.

        I sincerely apologize to all of the 17 that were truly adversely affected even though not all claim harassment or rape. No, I apologize to all 17 and women in general. But, because of the proven level of “scuminess” and the level of some of the attacks on the Clintons, for me, If you don’t have video, it didn’t happen. No, if you say any Clinton did anything even if you have video, I need to see the complete unedited version. Certified by experts. And DNA evidence.

      • RobA says:

        To play devil’s advocate a bit, Bill Cosby hasn’t had decades spent as political public enemy #1 to an entire cottage industry backed by one of the two.major parties trying desperately to discredit him by any means necessary.

        If he DID have that kind of decades long political witch hunt deployed against him, I would be much more skeptical of the claims against him.

        Which isn’t to say Bill didn’t do those things. But the rigt wing witch hunt against the Clintons since the 90’s has completely undermines the credibility of any claim against them. Which is exactly why this type of behavior is counter productive. The American ppl have a right to know if Bill Clinton is a sexual predator, but the unending cascade of political hatchet jobs make such a finding impossible.

      • flypusher says:

        “Which isn’t to say Bill didn’t do those things. But the rigt wing witch hunt against the Clintons since the 90’s has completely undermines the credibility of any claim against them.”

        How many BS investigations were there? Whitewater, travelgate, filegate, etc. Definitely a boy who cried wolf syndrome here. How much time will the House spend on the e-mail issue during a Cinton II Administration?? It’s like they are desperate to find a Dem scandal the scale and scope of Warergate so that then things will be “even”.

      • 1mime says:

        Repubs perform these bogus witch hunts because they work. Say something often enough and it seeps into one’s mind and becomes the “truth”…….poison doesn’t always work fast…

      • 1mime says:

        Mr. Cosby will be going to trial (if not already begun) on charges one lady filed. I will be following it to see how it ends. I hope that any inducement to “settle” for financial satisfaction is waived in favor of going through the entire process. We will then see, Lifer, if Mr. Cosby has to pay for his “drug for sex” crimes…which is only topped by rapes through force, in my book.

    • vikinghou says:

      Let’s not forget about Monica’s “confidantes” Lucianne Goldberg (Jonah’s mama) and Linda Tripp who spilled the beans. They definitely qualify for the B word epithet.

      • flypusher says:

        Yeah, what pieces of work those two were. I have no sympathy for the humiliation that Tripp got. John Goodman in drag playing you on SNL, ouch!

  31. duncancairncross says:

    Hi Chris

    To your point about perjury – IMHO Clinton should simply have said “none of your business” and invited his questioners to go away in short jerky motions

    He didn’t – he tried to be too clever – the overall conversation said
    “What do you mean by sex?” –
    A reasonable question as I have seen some idiots talking about a simple kiss as “adultery”

    The GOP said penetration
    So Bill said – NO – no sex
    By that definition he was telling the truth

    That is NOT NOT NOT perjury – he told the truth, the exact truth

    Unfortunately that seems to have been too clever for the US media and a lot of the population
    Including to my surprise Chris Ladd

    • goplifer says:

      Here’s the lens you need to apply to determine whether this argument holds up – would you say the same thing if the object in the sentence was Donald Trump or George W. Bush, or Marco Rubio? Something tells me the answer would be no. That’s how the bullshit detector works.

      • 1mime says:

        Personally, I think we all have more important things to discuss regarding the General Election. What’s done is done. I want to hear more about whether Republicans can hold the Senate if they take NV, hold FL, etc. IF Clinton is elected and Republicans hold the Senate, she will be shut.down. Think we have problems now?

      • I’ll eat my shoe if Republicans hold the Senate this November, mime. Barring a political earthquake, it’s not going to happen.

        WI and IL are gone. Hassan in NH has pulled ahead in three of the last polls and McGinty in PA (which is looking increasingly like a blowout for Clinton right now) has pulled ahead in four of the last polls. With a Clinton victory and without losing any seats elsewhere, that’s the Senate right there.

        And just for fun, let’s take a quick look at the rest:

        Despite Trump’s best efforts, Portman’s looking pretty solid in OH, so we’ll give him a win.

        NV is neck-and-neck, but Reid and the Democratic machine will go all in there, so let’s say they eke out a close win right now.

        Burr’s in trouble in NC if Trump keeps tanking there, so give Dems one more.

        Arizona hasn’t had any recent polling, but McCain only led by two points in the last PPP poll. For an incumbent, those are awful numbers. If Trump keeps weighing like an albatross around him and Hispanics are engaged in Nov, that seat will flip. Another Dem.

        FL… ugh. I really don’t know. Murphy is just such a cookie cutter candidate, there’s no way he pulls ahead of Rubio on his own. He either rides Clinton’s coattails or he flops. Neutral on this one for now.

        And then there’s where things could get weird…

        If David Duke somehow pulls off an upset in the huge Louisiana primary this year, all bets are off there.

        Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky and Georgia are going to be test cases as to whether Dems can pull it out under the most favorable circumstances.

        All that said, my safe bet would be for Democrats to go into next year with at least 54 seats, but probably no more than 58 at the very most. If they do get there though, they’ll hold on through 2018.

      • duncancairncross says:

        “Here’s the lens you need to apply to determine whether this argument holds up – would you say the same thing if the object in the sentence was Donald Trump or George W. Bush, or Marco Rubio? Something tells me the answer would be no. That’s how the bullshit detector works.”

        Well I do have my answer to that
        I don’t think my feelings towards any of those individuals would be changed in the minutest detail
        But I think they are all despicable anyway

        What you mean is what would my attitude change to another non despicable but right wing politician if he was caught in the same situation?

        I really don’t know but I don’t think an incident of that nature would change my opinion

        Now if said politician had campaigned on a “family values” ticket then YES I would – but that would be because of the hypocrisy NOT the affair

        If you mean do I think Bill was being “too clever” by asking for a definition and then answering from that definition?
        Then NO I have had to do that numerous times in my career

        If you mean do I think Bill was being “too clever” for the press and the American people then I would have to answer YES – as a consummate politician he misread that situation

      • Fair Economist says:

        It wasn’t perjury because it was a perjury trap:
        “Perjury trap doctrine refers to a principle that a perjury indictment against a person must be dismissed if the prosecution secures it by calling that person as a grand-jury witness in an effort to obtain evidence for a perjury charge”
        http://definitions.uslegal.com/p/perjury-trap-doctrine/

      • 1mime says:

        Perjury Trap…now, that’s interesting! What say you, Lifer?

      • TheMeansAreTheEnd says:

        Chis, you asked: “would you say the same thing if the object in the sentence was Donald Trump or George W. Bush, or Marco Rubio?”

        Here’s my answer: what I found particularly disgusting about Gingrich was that he not only committed adultery while traveling around preaching “family values” — he reportedly defended himself on the grounds that his message was important & he needed the adultery in order to be able to travel around telling people about family values!

        So no, I wouldn’t attack even Cruz for saying he didn’t have sex when the context was penetration. I reserve my bile for explicit hypocrisy, which is a hallmark of the Republicans you commented on. It doesn’t seem to apply to Bill’s “perjury”. And no, I’m not a fan of either Clinton, but I also don’t think he should have stopped being President over that attack.

        Now, would YOU say that any Republican should have stopped acting as President if he had been the subject of hypocritical & blatantly political impeachment proceedings? At the time, I thought (and I still think) that Bill did wrong. But I think torture and drone warfare that targets civilians are much more serious crimes — and that none of them are impeachable offenses.

        Note, I’m with you on one important thing: it’s wrong for anyone to date, much less be sexually intimate with, anyone who is under their authority. That is NOT because the woman can’t consent in such a case, but because it’s way too easy for such a situation to be nonconsensual — and a woman who says at the time that she’s consenting might feel that she doesn’t dare give any other answer. It’s like walking near a cliff edge: it’s stupid to do it and risks serious consequences. And if you do it & fall off the edge, the blame is entirely yours.

      • RobA says:

        I can honestly say, if Trump or Bush were asked about an affair with a young woman that had nothing to do with official business and sis not compromise national security in any way, and he lied about it, I would not crucify either one of them for that.

        I don’t think it’s anyone’s business what they do in the privacy of their own bedrooms.

        Now, that isn’t to say that could (and possibly should) have POLITICAL consequences. As in, of it caused them to lose an election, that would not be an illegitimate outcome. But they should not face official sanction , such as impeachment.

      • goplifer says:

        This is not about an “affair.” Not even a little bit. Not even around the margins. This is about sexual harassment and abuse of power to cover up sexual harassment.

      • Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

        Ryan…I’ll eat your shoe if the Democrats have 54 seats…51 on a good day, and I’ll take 50 with Kain as the tie-breaker.

      • flypusher says:

        “This is not about an “affair.” Not even a little bit. Not even around the margins. This is about sexual harassment and abuse of power to cover up sexual harassment.”

        But then why should a consensual affair be relevant? And why not both?? There was a whole lot of pearl clutching going on in the GOP base over certain acts occurring in the Oval Office!! But all irrelevant to Jones’ lawsuit.

    • For a genuinely innocent person, “none of your business” doesn’t exactly spark confidence. Just sayin’

  32. Stephen says:

    You summed up the dilemma we the voters face. There are no angels as politicians. Just us flawed human beings. My life experience tells me you have to be a little ruthless and cunning to gain power. You also have to be willing to work with people you do not like to actually achieve any worthwhile political goal. I think Hillary will be competent and not harm the country I also love. The progressive wing of her party will push her to do something to fixed our tax system, regulation of banking and investment. But they will be solutions that actually make the country better not dismantle those industries. Her economic plan does not add to our deficit or national debt but raises taxes on those able to bare it and that money will be used to rebuild our infrastructure. This will make the country richer over all and kick start our economy. Also I think she might be able to start fixing the ACA. She knows where the skeletons are and I think have no trouble twisting arms. Also something is going to have to be done to rein in the cost of college making it open to all qualify people. She I think will make that happen. She is a pragmatic technician type of personality. Bernie Bros might rough out what we need to do but she will figure out the details and politics of making it happen. Despite the B.S. of propaganda, she is no liberal and will govern from the center and is actually more conservative than president Obama. Who actually is not nearly progressive enough for the Bernie wing of the Democratic party. When you hire anyone you decide if the person can do the required job, can work with your present team and add value to your organization. Hillary checks out on all points. Trump fails on all points. You are merely one out of millions who will hold your nose voting for her.

  33. flypusher says:

    Very nicely written Chris. I remember that time well. I was very disappointed with Bill Clinton, but in no way surprised. He had a long history of philandering. That was why I voted for Paul Tsongas in the 92 Dem primary- equally smart, similar on policy, not as much charisma, but far fewer skeletons in the closet. I was very pissed at Clinton for all the lying and evasion over these affairs- he could have ‘fessed up at the beginning and the uproar would have faded pretty quickly. He weakened his Presidency badly, it was all “wag the dog” for the last few years. I too wish he would have resigned in ’98, as we would have been spared the epic fail that was W; Gore as an imcubment probably has enough advantage.

    I was just as pissed at Lewinsky, as she was equally guilty of this affair. But she paid for that error far, far more than Clinton did. I gained some respect for her for her speaking out about cyber-bullying, although I still don’t get a sense that she’s fully admitted the wrongness of what she did (maybe I’ve missed it).

    I honestly could not get all that worked up over the reasons for impeachment, not after witnessing Watergate and Iran-Contra, which I considered to be actual dangers to our system of government. That’s not to say I think there should have been no punishment for Clinton, but rather impeachment was too severe IMO.

    This indcident, and Hillary’s e-mail snafus, remind me that even incredibly smart people can have blind spots. With both Clintons there’s this problem with accountability. But despite those flaws, Hillary’s far and away the better choice. Even if every conspiracy about the Clintons were 100% true, a narcissistic, willfully ignorant, thin-skinned man-child is not an option.

    • >] “I was very pissed at Clinton for all the lying and evasion over these affairs- he could have ‘fessed up at the beginning and the uproar would have faded pretty quickly. He weakened his Presidency badly.

      Maybe so, but for a “weakened” president, he went into 1999 with approval ratings that any modern POTUS would kill for. When push comes to shove, the public’s willing to overlook a lot if they feel the world’s working for them.

      • flypusher says:

        What might have been if he had either A) kept his pants zipped, or B) owned up to the affair? High approval ratings are good, but they aren’t everything.

        As I’ve said, I was disappointed but not shocked. Well, maybe shocked that he could overlook the fact that the President of the USA has a much bigger spotlight on him than the Governor of a small state, so that hiding hankypanky has a much higher degree of difficulty.

      • Fair point, but let’s not overestimate Clinton either. He would still have had to deal with a Republican Congress that wasn’t going to let him get ahead of himself. For those thinking he could’ve brokered some huge policy victory, take off the rose-colored glasses.

      • 1mime says:

        I think what saved Bill Clinton was the economy which he luckily presided over. T U tech!
        Personally, getting rid of Glass-Steagall and the welfare changes were big disappointments for me because the first had no back up plan and the second was not well thought out. (I do not object to work requirement for welfare just don’t believe it’s always possible. Those who get hurt the most are women with children…jobs without safe/responsible childcare is not an improvement for society.)

    • 1mime says:

      Fly, you might appreciate hearing Monica Lewinsky’s TED talk. It’s humble, honest, and apologetic for her role in the Clinton affair.

      • flypusher says:

        I’ve heard/read parts of it, but they only covered the cyber bullying aspect. So I’ll see if I can find the whole thing.

      • 1mime says:

        It’s only about 22 min. long, and I actually thought Lewinsky did a very good job. She’s an excellent speaker and obviously a smart young woman…..

      • Lewinsky’s a very smart woman. I feel very sorry for her that her name is known primarily as the receptacle for a particular sex act. She deserves far better.

  34. Griffin says:

    Wow great post. Though it would be fun to watch you systematically dismantle Strom Thurmond I suppose it’s already bee done several times over. Though from what I’ve read I’m pretty shocked that his possibly even crazier “northern” counterpart, Jesse Helms, was never caught in an affair. That guy seemed like an oddball.

    In other news, I’m pretty disappointed in the UMC right now: http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/news/nation-world/national/article96851452.html

    • TheMeansAreTheEnd says:

      Griffin, not that it helps that Pastor in Florida, but the New England UM Conference voted this year to reject those parts of the social discipline that condemn homosexuality, and some other conferences followed our lead. Of course it will be ruled that we can’t do that. But the US UMC has agreed to reconsider all of those rules & hold a special meeting in two years to consider changes — not waiting for the regular four-year meeting. So we’re closer to reconsideration than we’ve ever been before.

      For those who have no idea why a Christian Church would reconsider something that is “obviously” condemned in the Bible, I’ll just say here that all Christian churches ignore lots of things in the Old Testament, and the meaning of the New Testament verses on the subject not as clear cut as some claim. Not to mention that no one can quote Jesus on the subject.

      • Griffin says:

        True but it seems the more mainline protestant/modernist wing of the UMC (which seems to be based in the Northern US, Canada, and Western Europe) keeps putting it off to delay an already inevitable split with the conservative/literalist wing (which seems to be based in third-world countries and the American South).

      • TheMeansAreTheEnd says:

        The good news here: there’s a commitment to study the issue (far beyond just homosexuality) & recommend specific changes to the Discpline. Not to just hold more votes at the every four year meetings — in fact that vote won’t be part of one of the fourth-year meetings.

        As for breaking up the church, I consider the action by several conferences to reject the Social Discipline on this issue to be the first step toward splitting, if the church as a whole won’t agree. Oh, well, the UMC broke up during the Civil War, too.

      • 1mime says:

        UMC – Religious hypocrisy is what I call it. Where’s the love? Where’s the forgiveness? (not that I think homosexuality needs to be “forgiven”, but, really!) We have friends in downtown Houston who are Methodist and their church is breaking away on this issue. This is a phobia…ex. I overheard a discussion between two friends (Methodist) and they were discussing their concerns about the male music teacher for their grandson…”better keep an eye out”….With children, you always are vigilant but Christian people should not pre-judge. This behavior in the name of their faith denigrates their faith and their religious preference with me.

      • TheMeansAreTheEnd says:

        1mime: “Where’s the love?”

        Precisely my question, and precisely why this change is long overdue. But the issue *is* now being seriously pushed, and there is a group called the Reconciling Movement that is about getting individual UM churches to accept LGBT (and all the other letters). I tried to make that happen at my own church, but I live in a conservative area of Massachusetts. A lot of members (and all of our recent pastors) have wanted to be accepting but a number of members are both religiously & politically conservative. One nice elder lady told me that she thought welfare was like slavery! Anyway, now our whole conference has officially rejected exclusion — and by more than a 2/3rds majority. There’s no going back from that.

      • goplifer says:

        I’m a member of a reconciling church here in suburban Chicago. The process was interesting. In the end it cost us one family of members (out of about 300 families).

      • 1mime says:

        Good riddance and good for your congregation.

      • 1mime says:

        I understood your point, Means, but my personal, recent experience in south TX demonstrates that resolution is spotty. Great for you that you live in a more enlightened part of the U.S. I guess it’s better that it come out and not remain part of the hidden beliefs of many people – especially in the Republican Party. I wonder if the reason it is seeing the light of day is not due to changed minds and hearts of those who think homosexuality is a sin; rather, it results from the societal shift that has encouraged people to speak out – both those from the LGBT sector and their friends and family. How much more hurt can we as Americans dish out at those we consider lessor people for whatever reason – be it sexual orientation, race, or income status.

        Indeed, I wonder how much longer the Republican Party would have pretended racism was not deeply rooted in the majority of its membership if Barack Obama hadn’t been elected and they couldn’t hide their feelings anymore. Many of these same people occupy our churches and lead law-abiding lives, yet they harbor deeply rooted resentment and fear of those who are different.

      • Griffin says:

        Interesting news Means that’s good to hear, I’ll make sure to keep up on news related to the UMC.

        Yes I remember you telling me that Lifer, it was nice to hear I hadn’t even heard of the “reconciling movement” (as in, a movement with a name). You might be surprised to hear your churches position is actually more openly liberal than the one I grew up with despite it being based in the suburbs of Santa Monica. Openly accepting would probably cost them more than one family and they’re not doing great as is, especially since the old pastor died who was really popular. BTW if you’d like maybe you should post some old stories your pastor told you from when he knew MLK that would be very interesting.

      • TheMeansAreTheEnd says:

        Lifer, Griffin,

        Alas, my own church is small & would lose people we couldn’t survive without if we even try to become a Reconciling Church. OTOH, a key objector said she refused to accept this because she refused to go against the Discipline. If we can get the Discipline changed, that family might come around. Hence my enthusiasm that our conference officially (and overwhelmingly) rejected that part of the Discipline.

  35. Sterling Minor says:

    Chris,

    Perhaps you will send this as a column to the Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News, etc.? NY Times?

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  36. I have followed your blog regularly, with great respect for your integrity. You are a beacon of reason on the right. Please tell me that you don’t still believe that a bunch of philadendering hypocrites should be allowed to use impeachment to disrupt a Presidency due to the President’s purely personal sexual indiscretions. The Clintons are far from faultless, but we can’t let such a precedent be set. Bill Clinton had a duty to the Constitutional order to resist an illegitimate encroachment on the independence and dignity of his office; no matter how much he had sullied it with his shabby sexual antics, he could not let a partisan witchhunt weaken the office. The impeachment power was meant to curb abuses of office that arise to criminal behavior threatening the Constitutional order, not a pitiful and desperate attempt to avoid the embarrassment of a sexual peccadillo.

    • goplifer says:

      Let’s get this out of the way, as it was one of the central distractions of the whole incident.

      Congress impeached President Clinton for perjury. His workplace sexual harassment was the subject matter of the perjury, but in legal and Constitutional terms the salacious sexual details were nothing but a distraction from the point.

      The President of the United States, as part of a concerted, organized effort to thwart a (thoroughly valid) civil case against him by women (plural) whom he had sexually harassed using his official influence, perjured himself in a deposition. And by the way, that case was ultimately settled for almost a million dollars. What he did to those women was disgusting and lurid. The ways he used his office to obstruct the civil justice system created a genuine Constitutional crisis.

      Put Nixon or Reagan in the chair in that deposition, and everybody’s positions on this subject would flip. And perhaps more importantly, if a major political figure today, in our current climate around rape and sexual harassment, was caught doing what Bill Clinton did and they would be finished overnight.

      Our tolerance for that kind of rapey behavior has, thankfully, almost disappeared. We know about roughy 17 women who have come forward with rape or harassment allegations against Clinton. We also know, looking back, that in the climate existing in previous decades it was extremely risky for victims to step forward. If there were 17 who’ve spoken, then you have to wonder how many there really are. http://heavy.com/news/2016/05/bill-clinton-sexual-sex-assault-misconduct-rape-allegations-accusers-affairs-names-list-women-mistresses-scandals-photos-pictures/

      Clinton apologists are the left’s nearest thing to climate denial – a determined partisan blind spot. Was the impeachment campaign by Republicans a good idea? I don’t know, was the Vietnam War a good idea? It’s easy to say no now, but it was a very difficult call at the time. Should Clinton have resigned when the rape and harassment allegations against him came to light. If you believe that the President has some obligations to the American people that are higher than his own self-preservation, then I can’t see how you arrive at any answer but yes.

      Clinton threw the whole f’g country under the bus for his and his wife’s ambitions. Period. She lined up beside him to throw shade at a dozen plus women he’d raped or molested across decades in order to preserve her own ambitions. Those are some pretty solid, unavoidable realities. I’m going to vote for her, but I don’t have to pretend I like her or him. I find them reptilian and scary. They are dark, disturbing people.

      • Griffin says:

        You know, after seeing it all layed out like that, I’m starting to get a knot in my stomach for voting for her in the primary. I didn’t care for her to start with but yeah, the allegations of actual harassment don’t get brought up a lot (at least not in my lifetime) except on far-right stations that I and many others have become automatically dismissive of (the “Boy Who Cried Wolf” effect?). The only part that really seems to get talked about is the “cheating on his wife” part of it, which I honestly never really cared about TBH. The actual rape accusations are far more serious to me.

        For reference of how little my generation hears about it even the most fanatical Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein fans who fill my Facebook feed don’t bring it up despite how easy it would be to do so. Obviously my personal experiences aren’t “data” but it’s still odd.

      • goplifer says:

        One of the awkward wrinkles of this whole mess is the way Clinton’s enemies missed the point. Basically (as displayed by Ken Starr’s later hijinks) they don’t even *see* the sexual harassment/rape angle. For them it all started and ended at “sex.” To this day they are still unable to describe this case in those terms because they can’t see it. To them, sexual harassment is just another phony complaint used to trip up good, powerful men. Boys will be boys after all.

        If they had ever connected those wires Hillary Clinton’s career would be over in a flash of lightning.

      • RobA says:

        Some food for thought here.

        Hypothetical queation: would you rather a president who is morally suspect in their personal life but is competent, knowledgeable, and ethical (insofar as official duties are concerned) or an inspirational, upright, high character role model who has no f’n clue what their doing?

        I’m asking legitimately, as a thought experiment, and I’m not saying I even know exactly how I would answer either.

        Obviously, in a perfect world, we would all want an aspirational president. The office of POTUS is about more then just making decisions, they’re also held up as a moral standard.

        OTOH how much do we care about personal lives? Do we prioritize that over competence?

        Personally, I think since the office of POTUS is such a public position, whose decisions have huge repercussions for millions (even billions) of ppl, the vast majority of weighting should be given to public skills/traits: I.e. how good they are at running the country, as judged by objective, public metrics.

        Obviously, there needs to be a balance. A convicted felon, clearly, should be disqualified. I’d be willing to put up with a lot of rumour or innuendo assuming the Prez was good at his job.

        I mean…..the nature of politics at that level is so cut throat, it’s not all that crazy to ignore some pretty serious allegations if there are no proof.

      • RobA says:

        “For reference of how little my generation hears about it even the most fanatical Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein”

        Likely more evidence that over the top, strong arm political tactics very often backfire.

        Sanders and Stein likely would have brought it up, if that entire line of questioning had been beaten to death by the GOP for so long that it became entrenched in right wing identity.

        Sanders and Stein likely have an inherent repulsion to that angle, so correlated to conservatism it has become.

      • goplifer says:

        It’s a tough question. The poster child for that dilemma isn’t Clinton, but Nixon. That guy was so paranoid, ambitious, and ruthless as to be almost nuts, but he was also, on most counts, a phenomenal President. If he had succeeded in suppressing the prosecution against him we would be living in a very different, much darker and more dangerous country.

        It takes a person of unusual talent and lofty ambition to be any good at running this country. Very few of the people with the best of those qualities are even remotely decent human beings. Our best hope is to rely on the legal system and our political culture to curb their ambitions. That isn’t always enough.

        In general, I think it’s worth accepting someone who’s not quite ruthlessness enough to do the job at the highest levels (perhaps Eisenhower, Obama or Carter) over someone who’s really, really good at it (Nixon & Clinton 2). That said, this year we get a choice between a frighteningly ruthless character and the 4th Horse of the Apocalypse. So, here’s one guy who will be voting for Clinton while wincing in pain.

      • flypusher says:

        “Very few of the people with the best of those qualities are even remotely decent human beings.”

        The problem with Trump is that he is the worst of both worlds. He is not a good person, and he does not have the skill set and temperament needed to run this country.

      • 1mime says:

        “Our tolerance for rapey behavior has, thankfully, almost disappeared.”

        Lifer, I have no idea what your contemporary rape case exposure is, but those who are raped (men, women, children) still face a very harsh, judgmental system. Have circumstances improved? Yes, but we have a long way to go yet in a number of ways. How rape victims are treated if they go to the hospital, the interrogation process, and, of course, the trial process should they forge ahead with charges – especially – if the named attacker is prominent.

    • 1mime says:

      Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone………..

      As for your argument that Clinton’s poor judgement was personal rather than a constitutional threat, I completely agree. Politics is such an ugly sport.

  37. Houston-Stay-At-Homer says:

    Ex-lifer

    I couple of big quibbles:

    “There is no evidence that Bill or Hillary Clinton ever considered putting the needs of the country above their own vaulting ambitions. America would continue on auto-pilot while the Clintons borrowed its resources to protect and promote themselves. Hillary Clinton, “feminist” and “advocate for women’s rights” stood shoulder to shoulder with her husband the serial harasser in defense of nothing more noble than her own ambitions.

    Bill and Hillary Clinton’s decision to insulate themselves from the consequences of his actions put the 2000 Democratic nominee in a nearly impossible situation. Their choices practically handed that race to one of the most catastrophically inept men ever to hold the office.”

    ***************************************

    So, Bill gets a blow job from an intern, and folks quickly pull Hillary into the blame for damaging the country? Come on. We don’t normally (or at least shouldn’t) hold the wife responsible for the fall out of a husbands incredibly poor decision making.

    Always best to not try to diagnose the inner-workings of anyone else’s marriage, and having your personal life on CNN while managing a family with a teenage daughter might be beyond our comprehension.

    I guess if we go that route, maybe we should wonder why Newt’s cancer stricken wife or Hastert’s wife didn’t put a stop to their husband’s political and personal shenanigans.

    ***************
    Regarding the 2000 election, Clinton was enjoying sky-high approval ratings going into that election, and while Clinton’s issues led Gore to make the decision not have to Clinton campaign for him, that was a poor decision by a very poor candidate.

    Near the height of the blow job nonsense, the 1998 mid-terms saw the Democrats pick up seats in the House and break even in the Senate, marking the first time since the 1930s that the out-of-Presidency party failed to gain congressional seats in a mid-term election, and the first time since before the Civil war that the party not in control of the White House failed to gain seats in the mid-term election of a President’s second term.

    The electorate certainly wasn’t in the mood to hold things against the Democrats because of Clinton.

    I think Gore would have been a fine President (certainly better than the one we got), but laying the 2000 loss on Clinton rather than at the incredibly boring and uncharasmatic feet of Gore feels like mis-remembering history.

    • austinadmissionsexperts says:

      Completely agree! Bill’s sins weren’t Hillary’s, and the 2000 election was the one of the most hotly contested in history. Bill’s actions didn’t “hand” the election to Bush. The Supreme Court did!!

    • RobA says:

      Is go even further: if Gore HAD embraced Bill and Bill had campaigned for him, he would’ve been president in 2000.

      • True enough, Chris is wrong on this one. Love him or hate him, Clinton was a popular president at the time and if Gore had put him out there, he would’ve won.

        For chrissakes, he could’ve at least sent him to Arkansas. Bush only won the state by five points, hardly insurmountable. >__>

    • RobA says:

      Is go even further: if Gore HAD embraced Bill and Bill had campaigned for him, he would’ve been president in 2000.

  38. RobA says:

    No, I dont.

    The FBI said she didn’t lie to them. Yet a bunch of partisan GOP hacks is going to say “yes she did” based on a bunch of handwritten, redacted interview notes?

    You can’t get blood from a stone. The GOP has gotten as much mileage out of this as they can, and frankly, they risk hurting themselves. They overplayed their hand against Bill in the 90’s and it hurt them then too.

    • RobA says:

      If anything, the GOP risks damaging their relationship with the FBI.

      If they oush this, they are saying (not even subtly) that the FBI is either crooked or incompetent. That’s the only two judgements you could come too if the FBI says “she didn’t commit a crime” and then Congress says “yes she did”

    • 1mime says:

      Once again, Republicans believe they can still turn this thing around. Anything – anything, that will shave votes from Clinton no matter where they go, is a plus. What I wonder is how Clinton can soldier on. As Chris pointed out, even as fair-minded as he is, for years he bought into the GOP Clinton is a terrible person, etc etc. Now that he’s looking through (I think) slightly larger lens, he is beginning to appreciate just how maligned the Clintons have been by the GOP. He may not like their politics, but he knows in his heart and gut that they have been treated far more badly than they deserved by a bunch of hypocritical bunch of sons of witches who were guilty of worse transgressions.

      Will the perjury witch hunt take her down (because that’s what it is) – who knows. Will there be an October surprise from Wikileaks? Knowing how bitterly Assange is over his sleights by Obama and Hillary, maybe. There is simply no way for a sane person to anticipate the lengths to which the Republican Party will do to bring Hillary down – even if it means someone as despicable as DJ Trump would win the election.

  39. formdib says:

    “Anyone here worried this will drag her down, albeit even if a little bit?”

    Not worried, certain.

    Literal meme shared by my progressive friends over the past few months: “If Clinton hasn’t done anything wrong, why does she have so many scandals?”

    The poison pill tactic works. The question is how much, where placed, and whether it sticks. Hence the ‘October surprise’ from Wikileaks probably is more threatening than the ‘perjury’ concept now.

    It is slightly good timing, in that Trump is on remake number three or four and has the guidance of Ailes to help keep on message, giving him a slight bump in the polls and allowing time for people who just tuned in to start going, “Cool so maybe we’ll see a different side of him in the meantime what’s up with Clinton right now?”

  40. RobA says:

    Despite Clintons flaws, I see a vast chasm in terms of scale, if not in kind, vs the flaws in the GOP side.

    I was very young then, but was Ken Starr not APPOINTED as an independent prosecutor by Clinton, and served at his pleasure? Obviously, one could argue he had to appoint an independent investigator for the sake of credibility, but he didn’t have to pick THAT one, someone who clearly had a personal (or at least very professional) vendetta. I just cannot picture any Republican from the current crop of “leaders” appointing such a partisan opponent to investigate themselves.

    There’s also the very valid argument that the most important traits in a president is competency and skill. Frankly, besides the abstract of “well he LIED!!” (as if every other human doesn’t lie fairly regularly) his flaws are none of the nation’s business (as far as the consenting adults Lewinsky stuff. As it’s yet to be proven of his illegal harrasment, I’m ignoring that). Some ppl might think that ANY lie a president tells disqualifies them. Those ppl are either partisan hacks or intensely naieve. Every single president (and every single human) has and continues to lie from time to time. I think the reasonable, responsible thing to do is consider WHAT the lie was, and WHAT it was supposed to cover up before deciding if a lie is disqaukifying or not.

    Is the lie a cover up of something that tangibly damages the country? That’s fair game. Is the lie a cover up of something that is not really the business of the nation in the first place? That should be left alone.

    Clinton should be judged on how the country fared when he was in charge. And by that metric, he was a smashing success, a fact echoed by his high popularity both durng his administration and since.

    • Kenneth Devaney says:

      The issue was/is he perjured himself and was impeached. He wasn’t removed from office because the public had no appetite for that given that the activity he was attempting to cover up wasn’t itself a crime. Even that Congress knew that was a step too far. Had Starr and the worst possible cast of characters in Congress possible for the moment had kept a laser like focus on the perjury and not spent every vapor of oxygen advertising their true aim was to force the President from office over a BJ they might have forced a resignation. In the end the public made their judgement clear as best stated by Robin Williams “Bill found the only Jewish girl who didn’t know how to get a stain out”.

      I have a lot of sympathy for HRC as I can’t imagine what you do/say when your spouse’s indiscretion(s) get played out on an international stage while raising a teenager and trying to be taken seriously in your own right as First Lady and possibly a future candidate for office. Regardless of what judgements we get to make, we had it easy. She lived it and went on. As we say here in Hell’s Kitchen….” that girl is tough as nails and she didn’t get that from her father”.

    • 1mime says:

      Rob, Clinton didn’t appoint Ken Starr, he was appointed in August 1994, pursuant to the newly reauthorized Ethics in Government Act (28 U.S.C. § 593(b)), Starr was appointed by a special three-judge division of the D.C. Circuit to continue the Whitewater investigation.” (Wiki)

  41. irapmup says:

    Hammering Bill Clinton strikes me as justifiable although a bit like flogging a dead horse.

    The rest of the male cast in your short bio of them still reek. However………

    I do not concur with the use of the plural “Clintons”

    Hillary Clinton as I am sure you know spoke her mind early on at Wellesley and followed her mouth with both mind and body well before Mr Clinton fell for her. The fact that she stuck with him should, if nothing else, indicate she never lost sight of a prize that may have been hiding in the back if not the front of her mind. Where would she be now if she had chosen to leave him. After she is elected Madame President she’ll keep his playpen out of the Oval Office.

    I don’t really have much of a squawk with her and suspect he is an “ex” in more ways than one.

    She is clearly intelligent with a very good sense of humor and has as much or more experience in the ups and downs of world affairs than any man on the planet. On top of all that she is a woman and if the world needs anything more than electing our first Black President it is to see us elect our First Female President.

    At this point I can only trust she will be elected and, along with her, many others who will replace the deadwood and render the leeches you cited useless.

    It may be the politicians who we elect enter the arena with high hopes and aspirations, but I think those illusions are soon dashed through frustration and/or concupiscence. Term limits for all offices except perhaps our courts might solve much of the problem although my sense is we have to and will move to a world government before we (men) destroy the world.

    Bernie Sanders uncovered a strong American heart which beats as strong in her as any of us and I think she will surprise most of us who are used to the bait and switch too many politicos practice once in office.

    She is a good choice, may prove to be a great one and at this point there just isn’t any better.

    • RobA says:

      I’m.not sure why Hillary’s ambition is deemed to be so evil and insidious, when the same ambition in men is generally applauded (oh wait, yes I do).

      Ppl are threatened by ambitious women. This isn’t new.

      Does anybody think HRC’s ambition is in anyway different by scope or scale then any other Washington politicians? I sure dont.

      • RobA says:

        I should add, what exactly is Hilarys crimes? That she didn’t leave her husband? That she didn’t denounce him? That she didn’t throw her e tire life away?

        And sure ambition likely played a role. Is it that crazy to think that maybe she also loves her husband? That she didn’t want to break up her family?

        That’s absurd. Even the law recognizes the inherent conflict and complex dynamics of testifying against ones spouse, and thus exempts them from testifying even in, for example, a murder case.

        And yet we expect Hillary to do that which literally almost none of us would ourselves do?

      • flypusher says:

        “I should add, what exactly is Hilarys crimes? That she didn’t leave her husband? ”

        Didn’t leave him while being a Democrat.

        I have my opinion on what I would do in such a situation (high probability it’s kick him to the curb), but it’s not my right, or anyone else’s, to demand that Hillary do that. It’s her life, her marriage, her call. For whatever reasons she wants to use. She’s far from the first wife of a powerful politician to stay with her husband after an affair was exposed, and she won’t be the last.

      • Setting aside partisan rancor and sexism, Hillary’s “crime” is that she swept aside the legitimate grievances of numerous women likely abused by her husband because of her own personal ambitions.

        Even if that and everything that Chris said is true though, as it pertains to the decision I and everyone else has to make in November, that is of no consequence whatsoever. Any sane-minded individual knows that you can’t weigh the lives of a few people, rightly or wrongly, against the well-being of an entire nation. It’s insanity.

        Still, we shouldn’t settle for that just being the way things are in Washington. We always have to strive for better, even if we have to make compromises in the meantime that stray from the ideal.

      • 1mime says:

        We as a nation surely don’t seem to recognize quality when we have it. (Barach Obama) Therefore, why would his treatment be seen as encouragement to other “good” people to seek high offices? Most wouldn’t put their families through what the Obama’s have experienced.

      • flypusher says:

        “Setting aside partisan rancor and sexism, Hillary’s “crime” is that she swept aside the legitimate grievances of numerous women likely abused by her husband because of her own personal ambitions.”

        It reminds me of the Packwood dilemma. For those too young to remember, Packwood was a Senator from Oregon who had a reputation for harassment. He also had a record of backing legislation favored by feminists. So if you’re a liberal female in Oregon, do you reelect the perv who will vote for the bills you want? Another one of those holding your nose while voting deals.

      • Armchair Philosopher says:

        Excellent point.

    • 1mime says:

      Hillary Clinton had the audacity to be born very intelligent and to decide to use that intelligence to further her career. If she were a man, this would be considered a positive. If anything, Bill Clinton has good political instincts, is a very fine orator, but cannot touch Hillary in sheer intelligence. I do not judge nor fault her for staying with Bill despite his poor judgement with women. That is neither my business nor her “fault” for keeping her vows. Yet in today’s hyper-critical world, “she” not “he” is adjudged poorly simply because she stayed in her marriage.

  42. Ken Rhodes says:

    I am very willing to make separate judgments about Bill and Hillary in regard to the scandal(s) of Bill.

    As a lifelong Dem, I despise Bill for being personally responsible for the loss of the advantage the party held. Irrespective of what we may later have come to think about globalization and deregulation of financial institutions, they had established an enviable economic record at the time. The economy was booming, taxes were low, and (drum roll, please) the government was IN THE BLACK. All over the world, communism was retreating, capitalism was advancing, and we were the unquestioned King of the Hill. With a capable and relatively young VP, eight more years of Democratic control was virtually assured. During that time the Clinton initiative for better health insurance, unburdened by the collateral duties of the Presidency, could perhaps have resurfaced with some good success. Civil rights could have advanced.

    And best of all, perhaps the devolution of the Loyal Opposition into the Party of No could have been reversed. Perhaps with elder statesmen like Robert Dole leading the way, the Republican Party could have recognized that their responsibility was to advance real, productive, sound conservative policies that would have given all of us a real choice.

    Instead, Bill Clinton’s narcissistic lack of self-discipline, his inability to keep his fly zipped, threw it all in the dumpster. Don’t tell me about Florida, Nader, recounts, and SCOTUS. Without Bill Clinton’s ridiculous skirt-chasing, there would have been no contest; 2000 would have been a landslide. And what for? True love he couldn’t deny? No, just a moment’s gratification he could have gotten from his left hand in the men’s room between meetings. For that, he sold out his party and his wife.

    Hillary, OTOH…I don’t know what to charge her with. Standing by her husband?

    • formdib says:

      “Standing by her husband?”

      I don’t buy this argument against her at all.

      First off, relationships are complicated and it’s completely beyond scope for the country or any individual to determine what’s right or how they work out their differences in a situation of infidelity. It’s not surprising that people have opinions, but the wide diversity of conclusions in and of itself, balanced against the lack of significance as to actual credentials for the office, indicates that there is no perfect answer. And they may be public figures, but their private lives are nobody’s business.

      Secondly, calling her out for sticking with her husband for political capital reasons is somewhat tautological because of course you stick with your political capital, that’s what political capital IS. If personal relationships intervened with policy proposals nothing would ever get done. Short of conflict of interest issues, it’s not only perfectly fair for a politician couple to decide to put the interest of their jobs before their family life, I would argue it should be expected by the general public.

      As for Bill sleeping around:

      • formdib says:

        Man, it’s been a while since I listened to Carlos Mencia and in retrospect, bad example.

  43. Ken Rhodes says:

    Chris, this may be one of your best posts ever. I have only one little bone to pick:

    In re: Fosella, you wrote “his DUI followed his attendance that day of a welcome ceremony for the Irish Prime Minister.” Do you contend that one should attend a welcoming gala for the Irish PM (or any other prominent Irishman) without partaking of a few wee drams?

    Harsh, Chris, harsh.

  44. John Houser says:

    If Bill Clinton had not fought impeachment to a final acquittal and instead resigned, he would have set a precedent whereby the opposing party would as standard practice try to force the sitting president out of office with threats of impeachment. I think that in the long run, this precedent would be more damaging to our country than Clinton’s continuing in office. The last three years of Clinton’s administration were years of budget surplus; so I don’t think they were a complete loss.

    • goplifer says:

      On the other hand, if Congress had ignore the President’s direct, arguably criminal interference in civil actions against him it would have suggested that the President is untouchable, regardless what he does. It was a miserable situation with no good way out.

  45. formdib says:

    What’s the difference between Republicans and Democrats?

    When a Democrat gets caught cheating, it isn’t with a 12 year old boy.

  46. Jana Leland says:

    I love it! And, thank you, goplifer!! –sun antonio, tejas!! (C&p’g to my Facebook page…)

  47. I agree with almost everything you say here but I disagree with voting for Hillary. You don’t say why you aren’t voting for Gary Johnson but the argument against him that I hear the most from conservatives is that he can’t win which is a self-fulfilling prophesy. Hillary almost certainly will win and like you I will be relieved that it could have been much worse but my head, heart and conscience tells me that the candidates that would do the best job and that best align with my beliefs is Johnson/Weld and they will get my vote. I don’t buy the argument that voting 3rd party helps Trump one bit, we need a new party, and currently it seems to me that the best bet is the Libertarian party.

    • goplifer says:

      More on this in a later post, but here’s my brief advice. If you would like to see a Johnson/Weld Presidency, then join the Libertarian Party and start working to convert into an authentic political force. Because right now it’s social club for political hobbyists and outright weirdos.

      Even if Johnson could somehow win, and he can’t, he couldn’t govern without an infrastructure behind him. He’d be out of office in less than a year.

      We are approaching a time when real, serious, grown-up versions of “third parties” could emerge in our system and begin to be relevant. To do so, they will need participation from serious, competent adults. And they will need to forget about their stupid Presidential campaigns for about a decade and concentrate on winning seats on county boards, state legislatures and Congress. Only when they’ve done that can they matter nationally.

      • I look forward to reading your analysis on this, and please include a description of the process that would force Johnson from office within his first year, I know it’s just a theoretical discussion but it sounds fascinating.

      • 1mime says:

        IOW, bottoms up, my friends! Do it the hard way, but the sure way. It just takes longer and requires a lot of patience and steadfast leadership.

    • There should be no more fertile ground for a third-party candidate than right now and yet Gary Johnson can’t even qualify for the debates. He’s politically inept and his policies are a mishmash of conservative and liberal issues that make one question where his loyalties lie. My personal favorite is his stand on eliminating our deficits, which he’d do by taking a freakin’ meat cleaver to government spending, trying to do it all at once without raising even a penny in taxes.

      Bill Weld would’ve been a far better choice at the top of the ticket.

      It’s as futile placing your hopes in the Libertarian Party as it is the Green Party. They’re both roads to nowhere. If Libertarian values are to be a part of a third party, they’re going to have to be an entirely new one that actually knows what the hell it’s doing.

  48. People take for granted just how legitimately scandal-free the Obama Administration has been. We’re sure gonna miss that guy…

    • goplifer says:

      It is very rare for genuinely decent guy to reach that level of any field. Yes, I think we’re going to be kind of wistful about that guy in coming years.

      • 1mime says:

        I’m already wistful and ashamed by the contrast we see in the Republican Party, in particular. The Dems have many weak links but not the sordid, hurtful, vindictive focus that Republicans will take to their graves.

        There have not been many people like BArach Obama and I hope he finds peace in the things he was able to accomplish and doesn’t judge himself too critically for the things he couldn’t manage. That he accomplished anything is amazing given the obstruction and outright ugliness he faced every day he has served. I hope he gets to play a lot of golf, makes a million dollars giving speeches to the SOBs who wouldn’t help him when he was POTUS but lament his absence, and writes a few books. Whatever he decides to do, he will have earned my respect.

      • Greg Wellman says:

        Hi Chris, could you expand a little on how you feel about the presidency of this “genuinely decent guy”?

        In the main post you said “on a more unsettling note, we’ve had almost sixteen years under the leadership of Presidents who were paragons of personal virtue and family values. On further reflection that kind of moral character, as a qualification for running the free world, might be just a bit over-rated.” That implies you feel he didn’t do a good job. (Heck it almost implies his eight years are similar to the eight previous, and I think we all know that isn’t true!)

        I know I am really going to miss that guy.

      • 1mime says:

        Yes, the comparison of W. Bush with B. Obama as being “nice” guys did rather stand out. When I compare these two men, I look at more than their example of fidelity, admirable as that is. It is not the only measure by which we judge our leaders, which is fortunate, or so many would disappoint. Power and ego too often intertwine in those who aspire to high positions. The First Ladies have all been class acts – yes, even HRC.

    • antimule says:

      Seconded. Obama was very decent. Surprising that none of “family values” evangelicals noticed that.

  49. Sharon Autin says:

    Leonard..

    This.. Coming from the GOP & former Clinton hater.. Very surprising..

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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