What if Ken Starr Was Right? by Ross Douthat

It’s about twenty years too late, but democrats and their media organs are getting around to admitting that there might have been something to all those women’s allegations against Bill Clinton. From Ross Douthat at nytimes.com:

In the longstanding liberal narrative about Bill Clinton and his scandals, the one pushed by Clinton courtiers and ratified in media coverage of his post-presidency, our 42nd president was only guilty of being a horndog, his affairs were nobody’s business but his family’s, and oral sex with Monica Lewinsky was a small thing that should never have put his presidency in peril.

That narrative could not survive the current wave of outrage over male sexual misconduct.

So now a new one may be forming for the age of Harvey Weinstein and Donald Trump. In this story, Kenneth Starr and the Republicans are still dismissed as partisan witch hunters. But liberals might be willing to concede that the Lewinsky affair was a pretty big deal morally, a clear abuse of sexual power, for which Clinton probably should have been pressured to resign.

This new narrative lines up with what’s often been my own assessment of the Clinton scandals. I have never been a Clinton hater; indeed, I’ve always been a little mystified by the scale of Republican dislike for the most centrist of recent Democratic leaders. So I’ve generally held what I’ve considered a sensible middle-ground position on his sins — that he should have stepped down when the Lewinsky affair came to light, but that the Republican effort to impeach him was a hopeless attempt to legislate against dishonor.

But a moment of reassessment is a good time to reassess things for yourself, so I spent this week reading about the lost world of the 1990s. I skimmed the Starr Report. I leafed through books by George Stephanopoulos and Joe Klein and Michael Isikoff. I dug into Troopergate and Whitewater and other first-term scandals. I reacquainted myself with Gennifer Flowers and Webb Hubbell, James Riady and Marc Rich.

After doing all this reading, I’m not sure my reasonable middle ground is actually reasonable. It may be that the conservatives of the 1990s were simply right about Clinton, that once he failed to resign he really deserved to be impeached.

To continue reading: What if Ken Starr Was Right?

 

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One response to “What if Ken Starr Was Right? by Ross Douthat

  1. I am so impressed how the author (one of many from the “progressive” element) is updating his morals after a few decades of hibernation. Here is one proposal where his self-deliverance meshes into the democrats Get-Trump Plan:

    “That sinking feeling Al Franken is experiencing is the realization that his career is now a pawn in the fanatical efforts of Democrats to get President Trump out of office. . . The logical steps for getting Trump are clear.

    Step one: Establish that sexual harassment before taking office is sufficient grounds to remove someone from office. This is the necessary predicate. Franken’s departure from office will establish the purported sincerity of the Democrats in establishing this brand-new principle. . .

    Step two: Apply this doctrine to Roy Moore if he should win the Senate seat for which he is running. If he loses, triumphantly announce that even the reddest of red states agrees that previous misbehavior is dispositive in removing an incumbent.

    Step three: Throw Bill Clinton under the bus. . . .

    Step four: As the hysteria mounts, following the blood sacrifices, demand that President Trump be impeached for actions before he took office. Failing that, tell voters that by hanging onto office, he is disgracing the nation and telling little boys to grope their little girl classmates in first grade.”
    http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2017/11/in_the_franken_scandal_be_careful_what_you_wish_for.html#ixzz4yu2tpjH2

    Like

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