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Bill Clinton Should Have Resigned

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QMany    3,004

Yglesias is a good Twitter follow, and this is a good piece. 

 

I was 6 when Bill was elected, so I don't appreciate or care for the Whataboutisms that have propagated by those trying to deflect/defend Moore, Trump, et al. 

 

But I think this piece could have done a better job distinguishing Clinton's consensual relationship with Lewinsky from non-consensual advances. I won't argue that Clinton's relationship wasn't an inappropriate abuse of power, but that is different from sexual assault. In that regard, I'm surprised Yglesias didn't hit more on the Juanita Broaddrick angle. 

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knapplc    19,300

He's not wrong - Bill Clinton was (maybe still is) a creep and he should not have been president.

 

However, this article as an attempt to relitigate the past using today's morals and that's an inherently flawed premise.  Values change between eras and our responses to these kinds of scandals change as well.  The impeachment action taken against Clinton in the 1990s was, for the time, a strong step toward punishment of a sitting president. It was a shocking thing, and cast an appropriate amount of opprobrium on Clinton - again, for the time. 

 

 

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BigRedBuster    8,064
10 minutes ago, QMany said:

But I think this piece could have done a better job distinguishing Clinton's consensual relationship with Lewinsky from non-consensual advances.

 

There is an extremely thin line between a consensual and non-consensual advance.

 

The problem is, he made and advance on a woman who he was a superior to.  The only reason why this wasn't a "non-consensual" advance was Monica's response.  At that split second, the entire aspect of the action could change.

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BigRedBuster    8,064
Just now, knapplc said:

However, this article as an attempt to relitigate the past using today's morals and that's an inherently flawed premise. 

 

I have no desire to relitigate anything with Bill.  However, I think it's a valid example of how situations are viewed very differently simply by the response that was received by the creepy actions of the man.

 

Obviously, a big difference between Bill and Moore is the age of the woman involved.  That can not be lost in all of this.  No matter what the response was to the women involved with Moore, the actions were wrong simply because of the age.

 

 

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zoogs    6,367

"However, this article as an attempt to relitigate the past using today's morals and that's an inherently flawed premise.  Values change between eras and our responses to these kinds of scandals change as well"

 

I think that's the point -- if we were then where we are now, this should be the result. Rather than go back in time and say it's a travesty that Clinton didn't resign, he's making an argument about how we should look back at the era in retrospect. Our current interpretation ought to be that, for so many reasons, he should have been repudiated then and probably ought to be now.

Edited by zoogs

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knapplc    19,300

^^^ And to add to what BRB is saying, the degree of disparity between the two people very much comes into play in the analysis.  A Team Lead hitting on a Line Worker is gross, but likely he can't hire/fire her, and probably doesn't even perform her personnel evaluations.

 

A Vice President or CFO is going to have so much more authority over a Secretary or even middle management that the implication of that advance is in itself an inference of consequence if the advance is rebuffed.  Absolutely Clinton's advance toward Lewinsky qualifies as the latter. 

 

Although, I don't know if I remember that story well enough to know if she initiated it or he did.  Regardless of who initiated it, once that barrier was crossed he was 100% at fault.

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knapplc    19,300
1 minute ago, zoogs said:

"However, this article as an attempt to relitigate the past using today's morals and that's an inherently flawed premise.  Values change between eras and our responses to these kinds of scandals change as well"

 

I think that's the point -- if we were then where we are now, this should be the result. Rather than go back in time and say it's a travesty that Clinton did this, he's making an argument about how we should look back at the era in retrospect. 

 

It seems like the point is whataboutism. Yeah, Roy Moore is a creep and yeah he shouldn't be in the Senate, but what about Bill Clinton?

 

I mean... when's the last time anyone thought about Clinton/Lewinsky?  If Hillary hadn't ran in the last election, it would have left the collective conscience more than a decade ago. Why bring it up now?

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knapplc    19,300
5 minutes ago, BigRedBuster said:

 

I have no desire to relitigate anything with Bill.  However, I think it's a valid example of how situations are viewed very differently simply by the response that was received by the creepy actions of the man.

 

Obviously, a big difference between Bill and Moore is the age of the woman involved.  That can not be lost in all of this.  No matter what the response was to the women involved with Moore, the actions were wrong simply because of the age.

 

 

 

True about the age thing. Lewinsky was an adult, and unless I'm misremembering, she consented. Moore's victims were more obviously victims - but because of the disparity in authority, Lewinsky was a victim, too.

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BigRedBuster    8,064
1 minute ago, knapplc said:

True about the age thing. Lewinsky was an adult, and unless I'm misremembering, she consented. Moore's victims were more obviously victims - but because of the disparity in authority, Lewinsky was a victim, too.

 

I completely agree.  

 

What everyone needs to learn from the Clinton situation is exactly what you said.  When you have this big of disparity in authority, even consensual relationships can produce a victim.  But also, to my point, let's say Clinton was another intern and they were on the same level of authority.  Bill hitting on Lewinsky is a HUGE risk for any man because at that moment he makes his intentions known, it can go anywhere from her accepting his advances and them falling in love and living happily ever after all the way to her filing a complaint against him for an unwanted advance and he loses his job.

 

If I were single, I can't imagine, even with all the best intentions, trying to date a woman I work with.  Pretty high risk.

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knapplc    19,300

Yep. It's never a good idea to date a coworker.  Even if it works out in the initial stages, once the relationship ends it's going to get weird, and there's no separation. 

 

If you find your soulmate at work, fantastic. But one of you needs to get a new job. 

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TGHusker    1,335

Another thing that I think about in this whole issue is the change in our culture towards the victims.  Back 'in the day' there was a heavy stigma placed on the victim - 'she brought it on herself' or "she dressed inappropriately" (I remember part of the Lewinsky  issue was her underwear showing in a revealing way - that came up in one of the testimonies) or 'she made the first move' - the burden of proof was on the victim.     Regardless of the reason why is the "victim's fault" -  the power still belongs to the senior person (the Boss or in Moore's case - age) and they become liable once they don't stop the train on the tracks.  Ie, "Surely Uncle Billy Joe Bob didn't do that to his little granddaughter. He is a pillar in the community. She must have just mis-interpretted the whole situation." (Kinds of sounds like the post Knapp made on the Moore thread about GHWB)

 

Today, however, victims are typically believed first.  There isn't the sigma (not saying there isn't any) that there use to be. In fact, as I noted on the other tread, we risk going to the other degree of not allowing the accused their fair trial in court and also in the court of public opinion.  Sometimes there are false accusations.  We have an OKC area policeman who, it is now becoming apparent to many, was railroaded by trumped up charges.  However, that is the exception.  For too long victim's voices were silenced by intimidation, fear, power, reprisals.  It is good that more open access to media has allowed the voice of victims to tell their story. 

Of course politics still gets in the way - where were the Republicans when the Trump tape came out.  Yes, many thought it was vulgar and spoke out, but what real action was taken?  Crickets in that regard.

Edited by TGHusker

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zoogs    6,367

Rather than Whataboutism, I think there's just a desire for consistency here; for expressing and maintaining our own standards and holding ourselves to them. There's a good reason to bring up Bill now, because after having left office he still enjoys a relatively decent reputation and admiration for his work during and after his presidency. He's an eloquent speaker and still a prominent voice. It wouldn't do to simply move on and pretend it never happened. To bury the era there must be a reason.

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Dbqgolfer    173

If I recall correctly, Lewinksy allegedly initiated the "relationship" by pulling down the top of her pants to show off her thong and at the time she wasn't really seen as the victim.  The reason Clinton was impeached was not the action with Lewinsky but because he lied about it under oath while testifying about a sexual harassment suit filed by Paula Jones for something that occurred while Clinton was governor of Arkansas. Also, if I recall correctly, during that time, Juanita Broderick and Kathleen Wiley made sexual assault allegations against Clinton.  All of this came to light during a Special Prosecutor investigation of the Clinton's actions during a land deal in Arkansas.

 

Edited by Dbqgolfer

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knapplc    19,300

There were several women who accused Clinton of being a creepy dbag, I think beyond even the ones you mentioned, DBQ.  He just seemed smarmy and like the kind of guy who would pull stuff like that.  Always made me wonder why Hillary stayed with him when it was pretty clear he was philandering his way through Little Rock, and later Washington. 

 

Same reason Roy Moore's wife is defending him today, maybe. Just weird.

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TGHusker    1,335

Bill was Hillary's route to power - I think nothing more.  If she left Bill, she'd have to stand on her own.  He was the charismatic front door image that got her into the game.  Wtout him we got what we saw in the last election.   Unfortunately for her and others like her, her voice was dependent on the voice of her husband.  Back then there were few powerful women in politics.  Elizabeth Dole for example from around the same era was powerful because of her husband Bob - who not only ran for president but was also Senate majority leader.    Now there is greater opportunity for these women to carve their own path.  I think if Hillary has aspirations of her own, she had to 'stand by her man'. 

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knapplc    19,300

And that's why it's so weird to relitigate the Bill Clinton sex scandal(s).  Not long ago we were in a time where a woman almost had to stand on a man's shoulders to get a voice in politics. By today's standards absolutely we should have expected more of a punishment for Bill Clinton after the Lewinsky & (other women) scandals broke, but by 1990s standards he received a harsh punishment. 

 

We can say that Clinton should have resigned with 20/20 hindsight, but shouldn't we be that much more appalled that we have Bill Clinton 2.0, at least as it pertains to predatory behavior on women, in the White House RIGHT NOW?

 

This whole Bill Clinton boondoggle is just so weird to me.  Why are people running with this story as if it's relevant today? 

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BigRedBuster    8,064
11 minutes ago, knapplc said:

And that's why it's so weird to relitigate the Bill Clinton sex scandal(s).  Not long ago we were in a time where a woman almost had to stand on a man's shoulders to get a voice in politics. By today's standards absolutely we should have expected more of a punishment for Bill Clinton after the Lewinsky & (other women) scandals broke, but by 1990s standards he received a harsh punishment. 

 

We can say that Clinton should have resigned with 20/20 hindsight, but shouldn't we be that much more appalled that we have Bill Clinton 2.0, at least as it pertains to predatory behavior on women, in the White House RIGHT NOW?

 

This whole Bill Clinton boondoggle is just so weird to me.  Why are people running with this story as if it's relevant today? 

 

Because there is nothing wrong with and many times it's good to revisit historical events and see how they were viewed back then and how they would be viewed today.  Believe it or not, that can be done without "Whataboutism" or what ever anyone wants to label it.

 

Why does anyone ever talk about historical events and discuss them?

 

I, for one, appreciated a Democrat like Zoogs to post this claiming that he agrees that Bill should have resigned.

Edited by BigRedBuster

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knapplc    19,300

Bill Clinton is one of literally dozens of American Presidents who had sex scandals or who used their power to harass women.  Ronald Reagan, both Bushes, Johnson, Nixon, JFK, FDR, Eisenhower... they were all rumored to or known to have been untoward with women - some have been accused of outright rape.

 

So why Bill Clinton?  Why now?  Why not Reagan, why not Johnson, why not Nixon? 

 

There's a reason this story is gaining ground again, and it has everything to do with whataboutism. 

 

 

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teachercd    3,221
3 minutes ago, knapplc said:

Bill Clinton is one of literally dozens of American Presidents who had sex scandals or who used their power to harass women.  Ronald Reagan, both Bushes, Johnson, Nixon, JFK, FDR, Eisenhower... they were all rumored to or known to have been untoward with women - some have been accused of outright rape.

 

So why Bill Clinton?  Why now?  Why not Reagan, why not Johnson, why not Nixon? 

 

There's a reason this story is gaining ground again, and it has everything to do with whataboutism. 

 

 

Shoot...the Kennedy's could have had there own show on cable!  NC-17

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TGHusker    1,335
22 minutes ago, knapplc said:

And that's why it's so weird to relitigate the Bill Clinton sex scandal(s).  Not long ago we were in a time where a woman almost had to stand on a man's shoulders to get a voice in politics. By today's standards absolutely we should have expected more of a punishment for Bill Clinton after the Lewinsky & (other women) scandals broke, but by 1990s standards he received a harsh punishment. 

 

We can say that Clinton should have resigned with 20/20 hindsight, but shouldn't we be that much more appalled that we have Bill Clinton 2.0, at least as it pertains to predatory behavior on women, in the White House RIGHT NOW?

 

This whole Bill Clinton boondoggle is just so weird to me.  Why are people running with this story as if it's relevant today? 

Regarding the bold - you are very correct.  We should be appalled even more so.  I think this gives credence to the 'tribal power of politics'.  The tribe protects its own even if it means making outlandish, twisting, illogical statements in support of the power broker - in this case Trump.  (Also see that post from BRB on what Moore's attorney said in the other thread).  I was highly disappointed that Pence did not resign from the ticket when the 'tape' came out on Trump before the election. I can only think that the tribe got together and basically forced him to stay on the ticket if he wanted any future in politics.  He, the man who vows not to dine alone wt a female outside of his family, sticking wt an abuser -didn't make sense outside of the tribal context.  But even wt the power of the tribe, I think Pence violated his own code and that is when he started to loose me.  My hope was that he take a principled stand that would lead the party to dumping trump.  But the opportunity was lost and we have as you point out  Clinton 2.0. 

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TGHusker    1,335
6 minutes ago, knapplc said:

Bill Clinton is one of literally dozens of American Presidents who had sex scandals or who used their power to harass women.  Ronald Reagan, both Bushes, Johnson, Nixon, JFK, FDR, Eisenhower... they were all rumored to or known to have been untoward with women - some have been accused of outright rape.

 

So why Bill Clinton?  Why now?  Why not Reagan, why not Johnson, why not Nixon? 

 

There's a reason this story is gaining ground again, and it has everything to do with whataboutism. 

 

 

Ronald Reagan:o  You knew that would get my attention.  I guess you'll need to clue me in on that one. 

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knapplc    19,300

Reagan was famously accused of raping an actress in the 1950s when he was an actor.  Look up Selene Walters.

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TGHusker    1,335

From the Vox article - I thought this was a good take on where the repubs went wrong.   And while it is true, they should impeach for perjury, they lost the moral high ground by not

framing it from the perspective of workplace abuse. 

Quote:

We didn’t even have the right argument

In the midst of the very same public statement in which he confessed the error, Clinton also mounted the defense that would see him through to victory — portraying the issue as fundamentally a private family matter rather than a topic of urgent public concern.

"I intend to reclaim my family life for my family," he said. "It's nobody's business but ours. Even presidents have private lives. It is time to stop the pursuit of personal destruction and the prying into private lives and get on with our national life.”

To this line of argument, Republicans offered what was fundamentally the wrong countercharge. They argued that in the effort to spare himself from the personal and marital embarrassment entailed by having the affair exposed, Clinton committed perjury when testifying about the matter in a deposition related to Paula Jones’s lawsuit against him.

What they should have argued was something simpler: A president who uses the power of the Oval Office to seduce a 20-something subordinate is morally bankrupt and contributing, in a meaningful way, to a serious social problem that disadvantages millions of women throughout their lives.

But by and large, they didn’t. So Clinton countered with the now-famous defense: “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.” Ultimately, most Americans embraced the larger argument that perjury in a civil lawsuit unrelated to the president’s official duties did not constitute high crimes and misdemeanors.

But looking back through today’s lens, this whole argument was miscast. The wrongdoing at issue was never just a private matter for the Clinton family; it was a high-profile exemplar of a widespread social problem: men’s abuse of workplace power for sexual gain. It was and is a striking example of a genre of misconduct that society has a strong interest in stamping out. That alone should have been enough to have pressured Clinton out of office.

 

 

17 minutes ago, knapplc said:

Reagan was famously accused of raping an actress in the 1950s when he was an actor.  Look up Selene Walters.

gotcha - I'll take a look

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zoogs    6,367

Wow. I didn't know that about Reagan. I've probably heard of it, it sounds familiar enough. Then had the luxury of forgetting.

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TGHusker    1,335

From the Daily Kos

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2012/8/22/1123203/-Ronald-Reagan-Legitimate-Rapist

Speaking of St. Ronnie, let's step away from his abortion stance and look at a story that many of his devotees either refuse to believe or refuse to talk about it.

Granted, the original story came from author Kitty Kelley's 1991 biography of Nancy Reagan. When the book originally came out, the story was overshadowed by an alleged affair between the former First Lady and Frank Sinatra. But another story in the book claims that St. Ronnie had his way with forcible rape with a Hollywood starlet named Selene Walters:

Reagan met starlet Selene Walters in a Hollywood nightclub in the cart) 1950s. Although I was on a date," she quotes Walters as saying, "Ronnie kept whispering in my ear, 'I'd like to call you. How can I get in touch with you?' " Hoping that Reagan, then president of the Screen Actors Guild, could boost her career, Walters gave him her address and was surprised when he came calling at 3 A.M. "He pushed his way inside and said he just had to see me. He forced me on the couch...and said, 'Let's just get to know each other.' It was the most pitched battle I've ever had, and suddenly in a matter of seconds I lost.... They call it date rape today...."

Walters had her own take on the story:

Kelley's account of his late-night visit is essentially accurate, although he never forced his way into her apartment. "I opened the door. Then it was the battle of the couch. I was fighting him. I didn't want him to make love to me. He's a very big man, and he just had his way. Date rape? No, God, no, that's [Kelley's] phrase. I didn't have a chance to have a date with him."

Walters apparently didn't take it personally:

Walters says she bears Reagan no ill will, and has even voted for him: "I don't think he meant to harm me."

Say what you want about Kitty Kelley being a gossip monger, but if the GOP prays to the altar of Ronald Reagan for the so called "good things" he has done, then they have to look at the man they look up to. Perhaps Todd Akin's idol was the original poster boy for "legitimate rape." As a rape victim, rape is no laughing matter, but the hypocrisy from the right shows the ignorant thinking of one politician who, if you ask him will say his political idol is none other than former president Reagan. Maybe like this story, the GOP would like to sweep Akin under the rug. But it shouldn't be. As President Obama has said: "rape is rape."

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TGHusker    1,335
8 minutes ago, zoogs said:

Wow. I didn't know that about Reagan. I've probably heard of it, it sounds familiar enough. Then had the luxury of forgetting.

yes, I didn't know about it either. I guess it was in the Kitty Kelly book that came out in the early 90s that was a hit job on Nancy. 

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NM11046    2,042

I am saying this as a woman, who has been harrassed ... that is at the bottom of a very long list of what Ryan & McConnell should resign for.

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dudeguyy    3,488
4 hours ago, knapplc said:

 

It seems like the point is whataboutism. Yeah, Roy Moore is a creep and yeah he shouldn't be in the Senate, but what about Bill Clinton?

 

I mean... when's the last time anyone thought about Clinton/Lewinsky?  If Hillary hadn't ran in the last election, it would have left the collective conscience more than a decade ago. Why bring it up now?

 

Donald Trump, circa last year, for his own electoral purposes.

 

Broadly, I think the U.S. media gets sucked into stupid horserace narratives WAYYY too easily. Seems to me there's this innate desire to compare Person or Event A (generally related to politics) to Person/Event B (involving or of the other party) in order to achieve some type of duality, as if that makes the coverage inherently better. It's generally a good way to arrive at a lot of stupid false equivalencies and just convince people that all politicians are the same & they can choose whatever reality they want.

 

Seems there's a touch of this in Yglesias's piece, but he's also got a point to make. What I described is just absolutely RAMPANT in cable news punditry and analysis. From there, it just seeps into society as a whole... and it's a huge piece to why we're so polarized as a people right now.

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