As Hillary Clinton took questions from the media about the personal email account she used as secretary of state, I felt a flashback coming on. She said she simply chose to use a personal account with a personal server “for convenience.” I felt I had traveled back in time to 1998. Washington was screaming across the aisle. First lady Hillary Clinton charged that a “vast right-wing conspiracy” was behind stories that her husband had an affair with Monica Lewinsky. President Bill Clinton denied that he ever had “sexual relations” with the former intern.
Deep down, everyone knew that Bubba was lying. And he was lying. Judge Susan Webber Wright eventually would fine Clinton for giving “intentionally false” testimony during depositions with attorneys representing plaintiff Paula Jones, whose sexual harassment lawsuit nonetheless tanked.
Up until the president was forced to admit that he had lied about Lewinsky, partisans who surely suspected otherwise vehemently argued that Clinton had been truthful. When that ruse crumbled, the knee-jerk defenders used cable news as a nonstop forum for odd debates meant to distract from the core issue.