This column by ACRU Senior Fellow Robert Knight was published February 21, 2014 on The Washington Times website.
It’s getting harder every day to be a liberal.
Having to defend Obamacare is enough to exhaust the hardiest soul. Trying to explain President Obama’s foreign policy would give anybody — even a creative globalist like John F. Kerry — a pounding headache.
There don’t appear to be any happy outcomes: Libya. Syria. Iran. Iraq. Afghanistan. Punched-in-the-gut Israel. Dennis Rodman’s homicidal North Korea. Creeping communism in Venezuela. The Ukrainians sullying the Olympics for Mr. Obama’s friend, Vladimir Putin.
Even the weather, with much of the Great Lakes freezing over and snowdrifts in Georgia, seems to have it in for liberals, especially the Chicken Littles who gasp in horror when you, your dog or some cows exhale. “Run for your lives — it’s carbon dioxide!”
As though it’s not enough to defend Mr. Obama and the collapsing case for global warming, liberals still carry the baggage of Bill Clinton’s sex scandals, even as Miss Hillary prepares for her own presidential run. Damage control to grease Mrs. Clinton’s skids is well underway.
A case in point is The Washington Post “Fact Checker” Glenn Kessler’s recent column giving Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, three Pinocchios (out of four) for describing Bill Clinton as a “sexual predator.”
Mr. Kessler, who often has the goods on prevaricating politicians in both parties, offers the Merriam-Webster definition of a sexual predator as “a person who has committed a sexually violent offense and especially one who is likely to commit more sexual offenses.”
Well, that narrow definition leaves out the perverts who call women and breathe heavily into the phone or tweet their own shocking selfies. It also leaves out Bubba, since, as Mr. Kessler points out, Monica Lewinsky, the intern who is 27 years younger than Bubba and with whom Mr. Clinton famously “did not have sex,” initiated the encounters.
What about those other “bimbo eruptions”? Mr. Kessler divides the known list into “consensual liaisons” and those who “alleged an unwanted sexual encounter.”
Gennifer Flowers leads the first tally, claiming a longtime affair. She almost derailed Mr. Clinton’s 1992 presidential run, and would probably have done so if the media had not suddenly stopped reporting on her case, saying in effect, “that’s old news. We need to re-examine Dan Quayle’s misspelling of the word ‘potato.'”
Mr. Kessler writes that “[Mr.] Clinton denied her claim at the time, but under oath in 1998, he acknowledged a sexual encounter with her.” OK, there’s nothing to see here, folks, so let’s move on to fellow consensual claimant Dolly Kyle Browning, who claimed an off-and-on, 22-year affair.
Then there’s Elizabeth Ward Gracen, a former Miss Arkansas and Miss America who claimed a one-night stand with the married governor. Mr. Kessler notes that Mr. Clinton was in a “position of executive authority” at the time of the Lewinsky and Gracen episodes, but concludes that it was, well, consensual.
On to the “unwanted” list, whose most famous name is Paula Jones, the Arkansas state employee who filed a sexual-harassment lawsuit alleging that Mr. Clinton exposed himself and propositioned her in a hotel room. In 1998, she settled for $850,000, “with no apology or admission of guilt,” Mr. Kessler notes.
A far more serious charge was made by nursing home administrator Juanita Broaddrick, who said in 1999 that Mr. Clinton had raped her 21 years before. Mr. Clinton “flatly denied the claim,” no charges were filed, and “there were inconsistencies in her story.”
Finally, there is the sad tale of former White House volunteer aide Kathleen Willey, who, on the same day her husband died in an apparent suicide, was allegedly groped by Mr. Clinton in his office.
Mr. Kessler notes that “her story,” part of which came out during depositions in the Paula Jones case, “changed over time.” Miss Willey, by the way, told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly in an interview that aired Wednesday that Hillary Clinton orchestrated smear campaigns against her and other women linked to her husband and that “Hillary Clinton is the real war on women.”
Mr. Kessler concludes that since “no court of law ever found Mr. Clinton guilty of the accusations,” and that Sen. Paul reduced an initial claim that “dozens” of women had come forward to “half a dozen,” that “sexual predator” is an overly “serious charge to make.”
Legally speaking, he might be right, which means Bubba gets off on a technicality. However, most Americans would not have a problem labeling a powerful politician who undeniably committed serial adultery with young women as a “sexual predator.”
Another tough task for liberals is having to defend double standards. Liberals routinely whack men who run afoul of the latest feminist dictates. Still, they give predatory politicians a pass if they deliver the left’s agenda on abortion, gun control, pansexual activism, environmentalism and income redistribution.
One thing I’d like to ask Mr. Kessler, who still built quite a fire here and left it to us to light, is whether he came across any Arkansas state troopers in the course of his research. They might have some arresting insights.