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May 06, 2014

Talking Points Memo: Monica Lewinsky, Vanity Fair Now Part of the Vast Rightwing Conspiracy

Via Twitchy, a new idiocy is aborning:


Those darned Republicans. Such delusional fools, always conspiracy-theorizing.

Monica Lewinsky has broken her long silence. She says she's doing so to "take back [her] narrative" (reclaim her own past) and to fight internet bullying.

When Tyler Clementi, the 18-year-old Rutgers freshman who was secretly streamed via Webcam kissing another man, committed suicide in September 2010, Lewinsky writes, she was brought to tears, but her mother was especially distraught: “She was reliving 1998, when she wouldn’t let me out of her sight. She was replaying those weeks when she stayed by my bed, night after night, because I, too, was suicidal. The shame, the scorn, and the fear that had been thrown at her daughter left her afraid that I would take my own life—a fear that I would be literally humiliated to death.” Lewinsky clarifies that she has never actually attempted suicide, but had strong suicidal temptations several times during the investigations and during one or two periods after.

Lewinsky writes that following Clementi’s tragedy “my own suffering took on a different meaning. Perhaps by sharing my story, I reasoned, I might be able to help others in their darkest moments of humiliation. The question became: How do I find and give a purpose to my past?” She also says that, when news of her affair with Clinton broke in 1998, not only was she arguably the most humiliated person in the world, but, “thanks to the Drudge Report, I was also possibly the first person whose global humiliation was driven by the Internet.” Her current goal, she says, “is to get involved with efforts on behalf of victims of online humiliation and harassment and to start speaking on this topic in public forums.”

I suppose she's well-qualified for that, and it's not a bad thing.

I understand her upset at her "global humiliation," and certainly there's a very vicious human impulse to humiliate.

In her particular case, though, I'm not sure how exactly she would suggest we should have handled the revelations about the affair. It is not possible that she believes everyone should have studiously ignored the affair, as the media decided it would do before Drudge revealed the Michael Issikoff spiked story. Or does she?


She says of her "abuse:"

Maintaining that her affair with Clinton was one between two consenting adults, Lewinsky writes that it was the public humiliation she suffered in the wake of the scandal that permanently altered the direction of her life: “Sure, my boss took advantage of me, but I will always remain firm on this point: it was a consensual relationship. Any ‘abuse’ came in the aftermath, when I was made a scapegoat in order to protect his powerful position. . . . The Clinton administration, the special prosecutor’s minions, the political operatives on both sides of the aisle, and the media were able to brand me. And that brand stuck, in part because it was imbued with power.”

Certainly there was a great deal of mocking directed towards her, and almost certainly too much of it (inasmuch as people will readily mock others for embarrassing actions they themselves have committed).

But does she really think her affair with Clinton was strictly private, and the world should have silently agreed upon its private nature?

I don't know what else she'll say about it (Vanity Fair is only publishing excerpts at the moment; the full interview will be published May 8) but it does seem to me, as it seemed to me then, that a great deal of the explicitness of the Starr Report was dictated by Clinton's bizarre defense to his serial perjury and finger-wagging lying to the public: By claiming that actions involving sexual organs had occurred which were not actually "sexual relations" or "sexual contact," Clinton himself forced the argument to take place on the distasteful, privacy-invading grounds of whether highly specific sexual acts constituted "sexual relations."

Clinton's bizarre defense not only contributed to Lewinsky's humiliation (and hypothetically his own humiliation, were he capable of shame), but also Ken Starr's humiliation (I'm sure he didn't want to detail the exact nature of the sexual contacts) and the American public's humiliation as well -- who the hell really wanted to get into all this crap?

But instead he lied, and he lied when he was obviously lying, and he lied when it was tactically stupid to lie, and truth would have served him better.

As Obama is currently doing in regards to the Benghazi massacre and IRS targeting scandal.

And then that forces people to demand the truth, and the Democrats then follow the Clinton playbook, by claiming that anyone who seeks the truth is doing so "obsessively."

Monica Lewinsky was a good soldier on Clinton's behalf throughout the scandal, protecting him until she was credibly threatened with a perjury/obstruction of justice charge for telling lies to protect him. Since then she has remained largely silent.

And throughout this, the right has generally been kinder to Lewinsky than the progressive/Democratic press. Not because we're angels, mind you, but because of politics: Our target was Bill Clinton, not Monica Lewinsky.

But she was a threat to Bill Clinton, so Monica Lewinsky did in fact become a target for the progressive/Democratic press. As did all of Bill Clinton's previous sexual conquests -- the press routinely referred to women who spoke about their affairs with Clinton as "bimbo eruptions," as if they were the ones solely at fault, and they were the ones solely worthy of mockery and scorn.

These damned Jezebel Bimbos taking advantage of this poor, defenseless governor and then president.

The feminist left likes to discuss power imbalances in relationships. And there's some truth to their basic idea: We don't let teachers have sex with their students (even their 18 year old former students) because we understand that while such a liaison might be "consensual," consent is not being offered from a position of rough equality. An affair might be "consensual" as in non-coerced, at yet still be a situation of someone with more power taking sexual advantage of someone with far less.

I can't think of a more obvious case of this (outside of a teacher-student affair) than Bill Clinton's taking advantage of Monica Lewinsky. He was her boss, he was a much older and much more experienced man, and he was the President of the United States.

It was pretty obvious at the time that Monica Lewinsky was in love with him (or at least was "in love" as young people think they're in love).

And it was also pretty obvious that Bill Clinton thought about as much for her as he did his other side-pieces. He thought she was disposable, and, when the evidence began to grow that an affair had taken place, used his nastiest smear-peddler (Syd Blumenthal) to put out word that Lewinsky was a stalker.

As Christopher Hitchens declared in an affidavit, contradicting Blumenthal's testimony that he had never put out such a smear:

"During lunch on March 19, 1998, in the presence of myself and Carol Blue, Mr. Blumenthal stated that, Monica Lewinsky had been a 'stalker' and that the President was 'the victim' of a predatory and unstable sexually demanding young woman. Referring to Ms. Lewinsky, Mr. Blumenthal used the word 'stalker' several times. Mr. Blumenthal advised us that this version of the facts was not generally understood."

Despite all these things, the feminist left has never taken Clinton to task for abusing this woman. Every single complaint they make about power-imbalances in sexual relationships is present -- including an extremely powerful man using his power to smear an inconvenient young 22 year old woman -- and yet Clinton not only gets nothing but Free Passes from the feminist left, but in fact open-ended promises of sexual favors. (Nina Burleigh infamously declared: "I would be happy to give him [Clinton] a blow job just to thank him for keeping abortion legal. I think American women should be lining up with their presidential kneepads on to show their gratitude for keeping the theocracy off our backs.")

Nor, of course, have they ever questioned Feminist Icon Hillary Clinton and her own role in this.

The excerpts from the Monica Lewinsky interview suggest she'll be "balanced" in assigning blame for her own "global humiliation."

She might find it useful to contemplate whether she should be so "balanced."


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posted by Ace at 03:48 PM

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