Condemning Harvey, Still Clinging to Bill and Teddy

Amidst the flurry of demands that Harvey Weinstein be extinguished from the liberal memory, Democrats keep turning up at institutions and award ceremonies named after serial exploiters of women. The other day John Kerry took a break from the denunciations of the bloated mogul to pick up an honor from the “Edward Kennedy Institute.” Barack Obama sent his fraternal greetings to the august gathering. Needless to say, memories of Teddy Kennedy’s exploitation of waitresses and campaign volunteers didn’t figure into the high proceedings.

Teddy had the seduction techniques of Harvey Weinstein down pat, though perhaps he refrained from Weinstein’s practice of giving women the privilege of watching him bathe. And let’s not discount the impression JFK’s interactions with Marilyn Monroe may have had on a young Harvey. But don’t count on any liberal celebrities and pols, in solidarity with the memory of that ruined starlet, to cease their pilgrimages to the JFK presidential library, with its half-constructed Teddy wing.

John Kerry, reflecting on his career at the Edward Kennedy Institute’s awards ceremony, didn’t mention his old running mate John Edwards, whose zeal for the female empowerment of videographers and the like surely impressed Weinstein.

Before Hillary fell and broke her toe in England the other day, she had an even more unsteady moment on the topic of “women coming forward” — switching in seconds from extolling Weinstein’s accusers to shaming her husband’s, what with their “past” and “litigated” complaints. Her hypocritical gall reached new heights in the interviews. One moment, she was seconding the need to believe and revere accusers; in the next, she was dismissing her husband’s accusers as losers whining about ancient misconduct.

Proving that words matter more than criminal deeds for the Democrats, Hillary whipped herself into a state of towering indignation over the sexual predator who has tarnished the “oval office” — referring not to her husband, who treated the oval office as his casting couch, but to Donald Trump for his banter with Billy Bush, comments that don’t constitute an endorsement of sexual assault even if the worst construction is put on them. Trump was talking about consensual behavior; he used the word “letting.” No judge would ever allow such a remark to be presented to a jury as an admission of sexual assault, as Hillary, who considers herself such an expert on “litigated” matters, surely knows. No matter; she continues to cite it as irrefutable proof of wickedness.

Michelle Goldberg, writing for the New York Times, says “the movie business is corrupt and depraved,” but “Trump’s party is worse.” As if to punctuate that adherence to conservatism constitutes greater misconduct than sexual assault, she continues:

Now that Weinstein has been exposed, conservatives are jeering that Hollywood has lost the right to lecture anyone about sexism. “Liberals love to be so sanctimonious, holier than thou, but they’re really hypocrites,” said Fox’s Sean Hannity on October 10. Perhaps, but Trump supporters acting shocked by sexual harassment are in no position to complain about hypocrisy…. Betraying the principle of gender equality is bad. Rejecting it is worse.

In other words, the rapists of the Democratic Party are still superior to conservatives. Hence, according to the Times’ skewed scorecard, Mike Pence, who refuses to dine with women privately out of a sense of propriety, has a more defective character than Clinton’s.

Goldberg, desperate to absolve the Democrats of the taint of Weinstein, works hard to inflate the misdeeds of figures such as Roger Ailes and equate criticism of feminist policies with misogyny. Fox News was “like his personal sadomasochistic brothel,” she writes. (Ailes was accused of asking subordinates out and making leering comments, but he wasn’t accused of sexual assault. There is a long way from his asking Megyn Kelly to twirl to the “sadomasochistic brothel” of Goldberg’s imagination.)

All is better now on the liberal side, she declares, now that Weinstein’s “impunity has come to an end” and he has been stripped of all his power:

He has lost his job and been expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. France has taken steps to strip him of his Legion of Honor Award, the country’s highest civilian distinction. He is being repudiated for violating progressive ideals about sexual consent, workers’ rights and the fundamental equality of men and women.

Imagine her writing that last sentence about a long line of sexual goats in the Democratic Party. Or calling for the Edward Kennedy Institute to be renamed. Or demanding that Bill Clinton’s honorary doctorates be taken away from him. It would never happen. And it never will happen. The obituarists of Harvey Weinstein will keep the progressive memory of Bill and Teddy alive forever.

George Neumayr
George Neumayr
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George Neumayr, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is co-author of No Higher Power: Obama’s War on Religious Freedom.
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