Here’s the Thing –

November 14, 2017 By: El Jefe Category: Misogyny, Sumbitches

Roy Moore, candidate for the US Senate from Alabama, has now been accused by 5 women of sexually abusing them when they were young teenagers.  Others are now beginning to talk about Moore’s proclivity towards young girls and of even being known for preying on them at a local mall.  The guy is a weirdo.  He’s a creep and has no place in the Senate.  However, he’s not the only one, not by a long shot.  Recent revelations about Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and many others have rocked DC and Hollywood, and all of the country in between.  Such revelations are finally bringing this pervasive issue into a national light, and has spawned the #metoo movement, where millions of women have had the courage to talk about their own experience of abuse and harassment.

Perhaps, though, it’s time for us to look outside our own political leanings and how those leanings affect how we see sexual harassment.  Right now, conservative evangelicals and even party leaders are contorting themselves to justify their support of Moore despite his clearly disqualifying conduct.  They’re doing it now in ignoring and defending the abhorrent behavior of the current occupant of the White House.  They also did it years ago when they supported Clarence Thomas for the Supreme Court despite courageous testimony by Anita Hill who recounted years of sexual harassment at the hands of Thomas.  He was confirmed onto the Supreme Court anyway, and the damage he’s done to Constitutional law there for decades is clear.

But, here’s the thing; progressives and feminists have their own Roy Moore – and his name is, wait for it…Bill Clinton.  Yesterday, Caitlin Flanagan wrote about this issue in the Atlantic.  Clinton’s philandering and sexual harassment was also well known to all around him and exploded into the public several times with the Jennifer Flowers scandal, the Paula Jones case, and later the Monica Lewinsky affair which occurred IN THE WHITE HOUSE.  In the piece, she reminds us that feminists came to Clinton’s rescue, dismissing his behavior as not criminal, but mere “passes”.  Yes; “passes” where women claimed he them raped in their own hotel rooms and had sexual encounters in the Oval Office.  “Passes” where the evidence against him of serious conduct was much stronger and a hell of a lot more contemporary than what confronts Moore today.  She points to an op-ed piece written by Gloria Steinem in March of 1998, where she defended Clinton’s behavior and actually victim shamed for political gain.

Flanagan calls on feminists, progressives, and Democrats to face their own hypocrisy of supporting Clinton in the face of overwhelming evidence of his shocking conduct, yet condemning others on the other side of the aisle for behavior somewhat less egregious.  She calls for “a reckoning” with Clinton, but even more with themselves and how they contorted themselves to justify his behavior and protect their own political advantage.

It’s a thoughtful, but difficult read.  Perhaps it is time for Democrats to face this issue.  Perhaps we can deal with it more honestly that is being done on the other side.



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28 Comments to “Here’s the Thing –”

  1. El Jefe,
    Have you ever hear Bill Clinton speak in public? I despise him. His inability to keep his zipper up gave us the 8 years of Bush/Cheney. But stand in a hall with Clinton at the podium and by the end of the speech you adore him. Wanting to win elections combined with his charismatic effect convinced us all, me included, to give him a pass. Many believed Clinton and thought Flowers, et al were lying. I knew he was smarmy and still voted for him. how do we go about condemning Clinton’s acts and our own complicity without sounding like the hypocrites we are?

  2. Interesting that Wally thinks Clinton’s peccadillos led to the Bush/Cheney disasters. I have long believed Clinton’s actions with Lewinsky changed enough votes to toss the election. Many learned friends have disagreed with me through the years. But, it isn’t a stretch to imagine several thousand religious voters in Florida making their decision based upon sexual indiscretions. I have generally thought Clinton was a sex fiend, coupling with willing adults. Not a crime legally, but a difficult moral choice. And, not the same as having relations with a fourteen year old. That said, Jennifer Flowers and others seem strong in their condemnations – that the relation was not consensual. Maybe we do need to reflect more on our hypocrisy meter.

  3. Of course Bill Clinton has behaved immorally, but we’ve already been through that “reckoning” and as far as I know the statute of limitations has expired. Bringing it up now is merely another conservative’s attempt to excuse Moore and Trump.
    We have another sex fiend in the White House who has either bullied the women he abused or paid them off.
    Roy Moore’s abuse of teenagers is much more reprehensible and shouldn’t be rewarded with a Senate seat. I don’t accept the hypocrisy charge.

  4. @Wally
    2000 was another election wherein snacilbupeR snatched victory, via the Supremes, from certain defeat, even while AlGore and Lieberman polled a few thousand more popular votes than George W and Darth.

    Occasionally I daydream about what the world would have been like had Al Gore been president on 9/11/2001.

  5. Whoa, now just a minute. Are you all familiar withwho Caitlin Flanagan is? She is a self described” anti-feminist,”

    I suggesr you all do some follow up on her many disparaging comments about “working women” and her writings.

    She is the type of woman who condemns the very movement that fought to give her the opportunities she has. She blamed her mother going out to work as the cause of her teen unhappiness. Yet she is a “working mother” but disparages her own job as a writer.- not a real job. But she has millions of readers and a big contract.

    There seems to be a sick sort of desire to stir the women’s issues pot , especially by the media who benefit financially.

    Please read up and you will see yet another conservative woman undermining our progress.

    And The Atlantic, in my opinion has become more right leaning and controversial. Lauene Jobs is buying it and she is anti-union. God help the employees.

    Too bad we have these types of women who folliow in the footsteps of oppressors. Women who really do not like themselves nor other women.


  6. Though I did not touch on the actual issue of harassment, which is immoral no matter who does it, I wanted you to be aware of Caitlin.

    I too am a victim and do not know any women who haven’t been.

    It will be interesting to see what comes from this.

  7. I don’t have a problem with calling Clinton to answer to his “indiscretions” (a word that used to be popular for this sort of stuff), but Clarence Thomas and the dotard need to be called right up with him.

    I’m glad to see this stuff coming to light and men being shamed for it; I’m sick and tired of the shaming women have endured for centuries (being called “bitch” and “slut”–sorry mama–for being sexually active, while men were praised as “studs”; being shamed into continuing unwanted pregnancies because it’s “their fault” they got pregnant–or even raped), and it’s time men got their due.

    But I sort of feel as if bringing up Clinton and Thomas–who were both wrong but, as Maryelle said, have both already faced something of a reckoning–strikes me a little bit like going back to complain that Jefferson owned slaves as an excuse for racial injustice today.

    I appreciate what Louis CK said in his open apology to the women he offended (as far as I know, he didn’t rape any, but I haven’t read all the details): At the time, he didn’t realize that they were intimidated enough by his public persona not to be able to say no to him, and those “yeses” weren’t really “yeses” at all.

    But the difference is that a lot of us have changed our thinking in the years since Clinton and Thomas. We used to think it was all “normal”; we used to think “locker room talk” was okay. (Obviously, some of us still do.) We can’t go back and undo yesterday–although I’d be happy to undo a lot of what Thomas has done, and if Clinton’s behavior brought us Bush (which I consider a pretty big leap; Clinton couldn’t have been re-elected, anyway), I’d like to undo that.

    I know *my* thinking has changed a lot over the years, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. But we have to look at Moore through today’s lens, and we have to continue to let people know this *isn’t* what freedom is about.

  8. Jefe, what gets the gall of most people including me is the age of the victims. I’m also a teenage victim. The assailant was never charged but karma really smacked the hell out of him. He lost his business and died a lot sooner than he thought he would without once ever retrieving his reputation or fortune.

  9. I suppose this is pretty useless but…

    Each of Clinton’s accusers had severe problems with their stories. I won’t rehash the details here (plenty of web sites for that). These stories were thoroughly examined and in one case in the court of law.

    Monica was consensual and above the age of consent. Even most Clinton opponents don’t even bother to dispute that.

    This bears no resemblance whatever to Roy Moore’s case unless you are the type that when someone screams SEX SEX every other thought process comes to a halt. To be fair that’s how most media works.

    Prophylactic: rape accusers should be taken seriously and treated with sensitivity. Even after it has been shown that they have been lying. The person accused deserves some consideration as well and that includes even Roy Moore. However what is known doesn’t look goo.

  10. Yes – BC did some dastardly deeds. The Monica thing is the top of those. I am surprised that the wonderfully religious and moral Fundamentalists who adore the thing occupying the WH now haven’t brought up JFK who also had many affairs.

    None of the past should give a pass to the Orange Hoax, however. I am weary of all the distractions and diversions that are taking place now. It is no longer appropriate to do the “what abouts” with the current dogs that are infesting our politics claiming to be “holier than thou.”

  11. Ann Waldrum says:

    Ah, come on, El Jefe. Jennifer Flowers announced that she had a 12 year affair with BC, no coercion required. Paula Jones announced the she was willing to be his “girlfriend” particularly if there was any remuneration involved, like a job, no coercion necessary. And Ms Lewinsky was the aggressor what with snapping her thong in his face. All quite different from praying upon teenagers, wouldn’t you say?

  12. Moreover, Clinton is just the more recent philanderer-in-chief in the democrats’ closet. Don’t forget the objectification of women by men in power has been going on for centuries. In our own country’s recent history, there are many reported instances of such behavior by Kennedy and Johnson, to name a VERY small few [no pun intended].

    Back then, it was even well known by the media, but they had some effed up code that made reporting on it a matter of privacy for the president [setting aside the criminality and gender relegation issues].

    Lady Bird was interviewed some time after LBJ was no longer president and the subject of his unfaithfulness came up. Her reply was demure and succinct: “He’s a big man and he’s got big needs.”

    I imagine she was more relieved to not have to deal with him in bed than she was about how her husband treated other women…

    But it does serve to illustrate how the sexual exploitation of women has been regarded and treated, even relatively recently. I, for one, am thrilled to see that attitude shifting, and can only hope that THIS time the shift actually completes itself, instead of getting derailed by irrelevant talking points.

  13. In the interest of full disclosure, I wasn’t around when the Big Dawg became the “Come Back Kid.” That said, I am ready to ride my own heat and stand by my centrist position.

    To be fair, each individual should be examined through a prosecutorial lens. For example, Harvey Weinstein has a “statute of limitations” edge in some cases as does Roy Moore and others. We can debate the SoL laws which suck in the instances of child victims. Or, we can move forward with the cases that can be prosecuted, while legislating to fix the flaws in our judicial system.

    We can also educate to repair attitudes, cultural and economic advantages and disadvantages within our judicial system. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said it best, so I’ll spare you my words.

    Dr. King:

    Beyond racial injustice, there’s the economic inequality and abuse of power that is prevalent in nearly all of the sexual predator cases. Those barriers prevented many of the women who are speaking today from speaking at the time of their attack(s). It also often prevented their fathers or brothers from punching Roy Moore in the nose because of economic consequences similar to the economic threats women face in the Hollywood cases.

    Then there’s Donnie, current top grabby hands of the moment who is protected by his office and SoL laws. Or, so he thinks.

    But like Al Capone and others, Donnie could and should feel the economic justice that a prosecutor “following the money” can bring. Roy Moore can be brought down for his charity fraud. Thus I suggest we “get them” when and where we can. Begin with those active today, then work back prosecuting others as time and resources permit. No, “lack of resources” is not a permissible excuse. It only means we need to make more resources available.

    For those still angling for Bill Clinton and/or Pappy Bush, I recommend a twofer. Find out what happened to all the money raised for Haiti and why Haiti is such a colossal mess this many years later.

  14. The enormous difference between Bill Clinton and Roy Moore is this: Clinton’s girlfriends were ADULTS and consented. Moore’s were CHILDREN and didn’t consent.
    Should men be faithful? Sure, but many aren’t. And that is between the man and his wife. Pedophiles break the law. As a victim of assault by an older man, a priest, in a position of power, believe me the helplessness is overwhelming. So both men need therapy but only one broke the law. And BTW, the rest of the world laughed in our collective face about Clinton. Perhaps we need to grow up and face facts: humans are not a monogamous species in many cases. Get over the Victorian abhorance of sex. Of course the super pretend Christians are always ready to throw stones unless it’s one of their own. Then it’s “well Jesus forgives”. They seem to forget the go sin no more part. That’s real hypocrisy. Perhaps the spouses of serial adulterers just don’t care. They accept their spouse for themself and frankly so should we. It’s none of our business. But pedophilia certainly is.

  15. It is a wonderful thing that the young women are gonna put a stop to this chit.

    Years ago, while standing in line at the airport behind my daughter. A man on his way to Farmington started in on her. I stepped in between them and he lost interest. While discussing his behavior she told me all her friends just started picking their noses when some guy started hitting on them.

    I’m still mad at Hillary for sitting on 60 Minutes and telling the world their ‘problem’ was resolved.

    As far as the Clinton’s women are concerned, they were all fully grown women. We were at a political fund raiser when some woman came up to me gushing about how wonderful my husband was. We all know some of them. I’m afraid I put the women involved with Clinton in that category. Every one had a back story, was grown and had enough sense to not meet him in a private hotel room. Although I am still curious about who picked up the tab for Paula”s makeover, braces and nose job.

    IMO, Monica was sent in to set him up. Keeping the dress? Just happened to tell a friend who was a friend with Lucianne Goldberg? Worked out great for Jonah.

  16. After my too long screed, y’all deserve some SNL:

    However, in my failed attempt at brevity, I failed to address a significant point. The ladies who have spoken in the past and recently deserve a better venue and respect for their privacy than what our courts currently provide. Their attackers became “public property” by the nature of their misdeeds, whereas the ladies deserve the protection(s) of the law.

    We could use a joint Congressional Committee on Equal Justice with none of the usual suspects like Chuck Grassley or Trey Gowdy as members or chairs. They’ve said enough as in too much already. Maybe some civilian members, too. Certainly Gloria Allred, Ambassador Wendy Stevens and Donna Brazile could suggest many competent candidates to serve.

  17. Cheryl Ann says:

    Oh El Jefe, I see your obsession with Hillary also includes her husband.

    There will always be a certain group of women who want to be involved with a powerful man. Powerful men love that women hit on them, and they also love to flaunt their power and collect women.

    But that does not excuse unwanted advances.

    Wild Bill was outed and dealt with the mess he created. Of course, the best part of that story is Newt having an affair while he persecuting Clinton. Anthony Weiner – same story. Right now it is time for Roy Moore to deal with his mess. His mess includes children. I am relieved to see people like Mitch McConnell saying he believes the women.

    I am embarrassed each time a public figure I support falls off the pedestal I put them on. But cheating on your wife and molesting children are not comparable issues.

  18. Your Honor, I rest my case.

  19. “One of these things is not like the others,
    One of these things doesn’t belong,
    Can you tell which thing is not like the others
    By the time I finish my song?”

    Roy Moore trolled the local mall for 14 year old girls. Bill Clinton’s women were all adults.

    Roy Moore is currently running for Senate from Ala-damn-bama. Bill Clinton is a private citizen.

    Did you guess that Roy Moore doesn’t belong?

  20. Not so fast El Jefe, no resting yet, your case is not made.
    I thought you understood nuance. Or maybe you are as clueless about different kinds of women as my husband and son. I told son for years and years not to be bringing any Cosmo girls home. He couldn’t understand. Ask your wife the difference between Brown and Steinem’s take on feminism.

    Most women I know understand believing Tawana Brawley. We have all gotten fooled. And we all know women who will sleep their way to a promotion. This tells me we need to do a better job with our kids.

    I will not believe any story I hear about abuse. Nor will I condemn any woman’s story. At least 20% of females you know have been assaulted or molested.

    Maybe I’m partial to the stories from kids because as a child I was molested by several male relatives. Pervs know which ones to select.

    But you can bet your ass had Bill Clinton invited me as a full grown woman to his hotel room, I would have understood what that was about. No job or promotion is worth that.

  21. No, thank you. I dealt with it at the time: Censure and move on.
    And while we’re here, let’s acknowledge that (largely) men’s sexual harassment and abuse of (largely) women occurs across the political spectrum. But there’s one important difference: while Democrats screw some women as individuals, Republicans try to screw them all as a class.
    That’s a real low bar, though. Men should feel free to raise it any old time.

  22. Let’s not leave out Thomas Jefferson, who had an affair with his slave Sally Hemings. Consensual at the start? Maybe. Let’s hope so. But he wasn’t just her boss, he was her owner.

    Strom Thurmond carried on the tradition with his family’s teenage maid.

  23. Mother Jones' cat says:

    Monica Lewinsky was a 22 year old subordinate to her 49 year old boss, Bill Clinton. I don’t see much difference between his actions and Roy Moore hitting on 18 year olds when he was 38 years old. And, as a woman, I find the “Monica was the aggressor because of her sexually provocative clothing” disgusting and dated. Aren’t we past the the point where women deserve sexual harassment because of what they are wearing?

    I think it is also important to point out that Bill Clinton has been a frequent flyer on pedophile, Jeffrey Epstein’s “Lolita Express”.

    In fact Bill Clinton was so close to Epstein that he invited Epstein’s procurer, Ghislaine Maxwell, to Chelsea Clinton’s wedding:

    It is disgusting when Roy Moore and Donald Trump do it with women young enough to be their daughters but it is equally disgusting when John F. Kennedy took the virginity of 19 year old intern Mimi Alford in Jackie’s bed and when Bill Clinton had sex with 22 year old Monica Lewinsky multiple times in the Oval Office. And what the women were wearing has absolutely NOTHING to do with it. And if Bill Ciinton is such a saint why did he settle the lawsuit Paula Jones brought against him for sexual harassment to the tune of $850,000.

    We have to fess up to the foibles of our guys if we expect the Republicans to do the same.

  24. Bill Clinton has been beaten like a rented mule for YEARS – the only reason to mention his name AGAIN – NOW – is so that the Republicans and their apologists can “both-sides-the-hell-out-of-it”.
    The Repubs will NEVER “fess up” to the foibles of their guys – it about stopped my heart when McConnell said that he “believed the women” – which only means that McConnell calculated that politics required the statement, not that it made a difference to him.

  25. @ MJc
    22 is significantly different from 14. Of course, even though Lewinsky was an adult, Clinton’s affair with her was sexual harassment, as well as adultery.
    Nobody here has called him a saint.

  26. Looks like we are fixing to find out what has been happening in DC.

    The women are not talking. But I am wondering which congressman answered the door in a towel when he was expecting an aide bringing him some documents.

    We are gonna get caught up in sex scandals about the time Mueller’s done.

  27. if Bill Clinton were running for office, or currently held office, this might be relevant. he isn’t and doesn’t, so it’s not.

    call me when you have something relevant to opine on.

  28. Craig Waters says:

    I confess that I dismissed Bill Clinton’s accusers because I thought no one would really do that. I was wrong. The irony of Donald Trump is that he has helped me to believe Bill Clinton’s victims.