Those of a certain age will recall the 1990s, the good old days when James Carville warned America that only “an abusive, privacy-invading, sex-obsessed” hypocrite could even think a president’s personal behavior toward women had anything to say about his fitness for public office.
Today it seems like ancient history, now that Donald Trump’s treatment of women has become a political issue. True enough, there was a day when Americans would have blanched at the thought of a candidate bragging about his adultery or using a presidential debate to boast about his genitalia. But in the 1990s we learned that only bluenoses care about these things.
We had it from no less than the Big Dawg himself. On Aug. 17, 1998, just hours after a grand jury session in which he’d tussled with prosecutors asking about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky, he delivered a defiant, nationally televised address admitting his earlier denials had been misleading. Still, he insisted, whatever he had done with that young intern was between him and his family.
“It’s nobody’s business but ours,” he said. “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.”
Even perjury didn’t matter in this case, because, as New York Congressman Jerrold Nadler put it, it was “perjury regarding sex.” All that mattered was that Mr. Clinton was good at his day job.
The American people seemed to agree, with a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll on the eve of the House vote to impeach showing only a third of the public in support.
Here’s the kicker: Donald Trump was on the Bill Clinton side of the argument.Read the rest of this WSJ op-ed HERE.
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