“I think the norms have really changed in terms of, what you can do to somebody against their will, how much you can crowd their space, make them miserable at work. You don’t have to physically assault somebody to make them, you know, uncomfortable at work or at home or in their other — just walking around. That, I think, is good.”
—Former President Bill Clinton in a clip posted by RealClearPolitics.
No, Mr. President. It was never acceptable to do things to people in your power against their will that made them uncomfortable in the workplace. Never. It was just common and legal for a long, long time, and powerful men like yourself reveled in exploiting and abusing women because they could. And nothing has changed about what was legal and what was not since you were President. The major change in sexual harassment law occurred while you were President, in fact. You just didn’t think the rules and laws applied to you, that’s all. Based on your recent comments, you still don’t think they applied to you.
What an astounding thing for this man to say.
Like Jeff Goldblum in “Jurassic Park” when the T-Rex gets loose, I hate it when I’m right all the time. Twenty years ago, I endured waves of sneers and smug “oh, you’re just biased” brush-offs as I was telling anyone who would listen that Clinton’s escapades were not “personal, private misconduct” but workplace misconduct under the law, that there can be no mutual consent when there is such a massive imbalance between a superior and an inferior, that the workplace isn’t a man’s harem and dating bar no matter who he is, that Bill Clinton was a probably sociopath (the quote above eliminates the “probably”), and that it was a measure of the hypocrisy of feminists and Democrats that they denied this. All the evidence was there: I wasn’t brilliant or prescient. I just wasn’t corrupted and biased.
Well, I owe Bill: he inspired me to go into the ethics field.
Nonetheless, I have no respect for the sudden converts who are attacking him now. Now it’s easy and safe….not like when it mattered. Not like when a strong societal declaration that the President of the United States was encouraging a culture that would facilitate Harvey Weinstein’s rapes unless it was rejected, and hard.
I really don’t want to hear now from people like former MSNBC producer Matt Stoller, whose network sliced and diced reality and manipulated its audience’s perception of right and wrong to try to put Bill back in the White House with his Enabler in Chief. Stoller tweeted,
“Old Bill Clinton asserting in his own way ‘I’m a terrible person but you elected me twice’ is the most honest Bill Clinton.”
Oh, shut up.
Yes, he was and is a terrible person, and it was no less obvious when he was President that it is now.
If you want to know the reasons I stopped trusting progressives and began doubting their integrity and sincerity, Bill Clinton is the place to start.