“Donald, she has a name,” Hillary Clinton announced at Monday’s presidential debate. “Her name is Alicia Machado. And she has become a U.S. citizen and you can bet she is going to vote this November.”
Hillary, they have many names. Their names are Juanita Broaddrick, Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, Kathleen Willey, Eileen Wellstone, Sally Perdue, Elizabeth Gracen, Carolyn Moffet, Monica Lewinsky, and others too numerous to list. And although I can’t confirm if the foreign-born among them all hold citizenship, one bets that few cast votes for his enabler this November.
Bill Clinton merely harassed, assaulted, and raped numerous women over the years. Donald Trump allegedly called a beauty pageant winner who misinterpreted her Miss Universe title as a license to eat it “Miss Piggy.”
Fat shamer! Unclean! Unclean!
The pot calling the kettle black. People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Before you look at the splinter in your neighbor’s eye, take out the log in your own eye. Choose your cliché. I’ll pick mine: The emperor has no clothes.
Bill Clinton certainly lacked garments, save for an undershirt, when he allegedly pointed to his pointing member, instructed Ms. Moffet to pleasure it, and, after his guest refused to follow instructions, encouraged her to that end by attempting to shove her face into his crotch. Of course, this offense against Ms. Moffet (and Miss Manners) hardly qualifies as a sin against feminism. When a “D” follows your name and you follow the party line on abortion, immunity follows.
Though Mrs. Clinton appears more sinned against than sinning in Mr. Clinton’s extracurricular and, at times, extralegal escapades, she repeatedly attacked the victims as liars and worse. Monday’s shamer of the fat-shamer slut-shamed, and did so when the victims acted like ladies instead sluts.
Mrs. Clinton called Ms. Flowers “some failed cabaret singer who doesn’t even have much of a résumé to fall back on,” once promising to “crucify her” on the witness stand if ever the chance to cross-examine arose. “We have to destroy her story,” she told White House aides of Paula Jones. After the case of Ms. Lewinsky hit the Drudge Report, she famously blamed the allegations on the “vast right-wing conspiracy.”
The Washington Post revisited this unsavory history in the wake of Monday’s debate charges against Trump. But the media’s abdication of their investigative duties regarding the powerful generally allows Hillary Clinton to hubristically lob such bombs against Mr. Trump about his behavior in the 1990s on the debate stage without fear of repercussions regarding her conduct in the 1990s.
Did Lester Holt sleep through the decade?
She got it wrong about Flowers, Jones, Lewinsky, and so many others. But she righteously feigns indignation because the proprietor of a beauty contest hired a trainer to help the winner shed the nearly 60 pounds that CNN back then reported that she had gained. Rather than publicly disparage Machado, Trump went after the press going after her. “A lot of you folks have weight problems,” he told journalists standing in front of him and Machado at a press conference in 1997. “I hate to tell you.”
They hated him telling them, too. Hell hath no fury like a Fourth Estate scorned.
A Bill Cosby quality colors the allegations against Bill Clinton. Contrary to the feminist mantra, a woman does occasionally lie about rape. But women? Multiple women accuse Bill Clinton of forcing himself upon them. The public can dismiss one “bimbo eruption.” But despite the former First Lady’s best efforts, scores of such sordid stories make it terribly difficult to brush them all under the rug.
On Monday night, the Donald did worst when he took Hillary’s bait. He didn’t here, and people who second guess him for taking the bait second guess him for refraining. He can’t win, only in this instance he does. Just because the obvious rejoinder to Mrs. Clinton’s broadside didn’t cross his lips does not mean it was not on the tip of everybody else’s tongue. In music as in rhetoric, the unheard note sometimes rings louder than those struck.
Donald Trump wisely, and uncharacteristically, held his tongue. He didn’t need to tell Americans what they already knew. The House of Representatives impeaching a president over perjuring himself in a sexual harassment case does not normally occur even once in a lifetime. So that occurred to Americans. One of his victims responding to his daughter’s defense of him forced voters to contemplate again putting such a crowd in the White House. “I was 35 when Bill Clinton raped me,” Juanita Broaddrick tweeted, “and Hillary tried to silence me. I am now 73. It never goes away.”
It never goes away. That holds true for the rapist as surely as it does for the victim. And what never goes away needn’t be said.
Scoring a debating point sometimes comes at the cost of losing a debate.