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Jewish World Review/ March 3, 1999/ 15 Adar, 5759

Julia Gorin

Broaddrick and Bubba in happier times.
How many more
are out there?

(JWR) --- (http://www.jewishworldreview.com) MAYBE HE DID. Maybe he didn’t. That’s not my point.

Judging from the relief with which the country greeted the end of the impeachment trial, it’s a safe guess that few Americans are in any mood to ponder whether Juanita Broaddrick’s claim that Bill Clinton forced himself on her is true or false. Ultimately, the media and the public will pass on this one.

Given the woman’s compromised credibility, I probably shouldn’t be touching it either. After all, she let him in the room. Why else would she do that except to fool around? Perhaps she thought the private hotel-room chat would result in a flattering story she could tell family and friends: how the handsome, married governor-to-be had found her attractive enough to proposition her. What regular person with a modest life and modest dreams doesn’t live for this kind of compliment? She, of course, would say no, and after a pleasant talk about the campaign, she’d escort the attorney general to the door and possibly offer him a friendly farewell peck on the cheek.

But that’s not how it happened. If it happened.

So let’s not give her the benefit of the doubt. Let’s say the woman is full of bologna: she just had an unsatisfying fantasy about Arkansas’ cute then Attorney General Bill Clinton.

Still, it certainly would be surprising to me if what this lady dreamt up hadn’t at some point, somewhere, somehow happened to someone else. And someone else yet. Throughout the year-long Lewinsky mess, I kept thinking, "This guy seems to really like sex. I’d be downright shocked if he’d never had his way with some gal who might have been less than willing."

Besides, the fluidity with which this fantasy-gone-wrong seemed to have occurred—and the nonchalant attitude of the fantasy’s antagonist—as related to the Wall Street Journal by Mrs. Broaddrick, made the act seem like one which was rather routine to the gubernatorial candidate.

Let’s face it. The guy’s a philanderer. And god knows, he’s not alone. There are thousands of Bill Clintons dotting the country from coast to coast and, as I found out, they span the political spectrum.

I am acquainted with as many Republicans as I am Democrats. Most of the Republicans I know are men. During the past year, when I would worry out loud that the president might actually avoid removal from office, I expected to find a sympathetic ear in these people whom I thought were of like mind. Good Republicans, like any decent people, I thought, would condemn the President for perjuring himself and obstructing justice in order to conceal an affair. I thought they too hoped for a speedy trial which would end in conviction.

But my male Republican pals surprised me. For it was precisely on the sex thing that they merged with the President’s Democratic supporters.

Then it dawned on me: I was dealing with men. They had sympathy for this man whom they saw as being persecuted just for being a manly man. The situation made them feel vulnerable too. For if the President could be punished for his extramarital sexual appetite, then so could they. They found a kindred spirit in a president whom they previously hadn’t supported. It was a man thing.

It was also a womanizer thing. For most of these guys fall under the category of philanderer. You can tell just by looking at some men. It’s in their eyes. Bill Clinton’s got that look.

Philanderers are just as often family men as they are bachelors. They are productive and respected men in society: editors, analysts, businessmen, lawyers, writers and artists. They are also sexual hedonists. Even those who are into their 40s, 50s or 60s keep the internet hopping at two a.m. every night, well after the wife and kids have gone to sleep. Outside of the house, they cheat on their wives, justifying it to themselves because they’ re home for dinner, they help the kids with homework, and they take the family to the zoo on Sundays. The wives justify it too—in no way different from how a mobster’s wife might: they’re taken care of. Both spouses refer to the marriage as a marriage of compromises rather than a compromised marriage.

Throughout everything, unlike these guys, I’ve remained in one corner: for the removal of the President from office. I’ve been able to maintain clarity of mind, because I am not hindered by the vulnerability that hangs between their legs (or stands, as is more often the case).

Philanderers, harmlessly pleasure-seeking though they may be, are also governed by a misogynistic bone. A great many of them have buried somewhere in their past at least one sexual skeleton that they may or may not by now deeply regret (either for ethical or practical/logistical reasons).

I grant the rare instance of the benevolent womanizer: He who truly adores women, surrounding himself with them and showing lots of girls lots of great times without leaving them broken one after the other. But more often, the philanderer is a womanizer-misogynist.

Without placing womanizers and rapists in the same category, the two are related: Jumping from one bed to another is, at the very least, amoral. And amorality is only a hairline away from immorality. One has often led to the other. Sexual addiction has led to sexual aggression, and to sexual aggression’s extreme.

But Bill Clinton discovered promptly enough that the extreme can take a lot of energy out of a guy. Indeed, it must have been sometime during his stint as attorney general when it dawned on Mr. Clinton that it would be a heck of a lot easier if he just became President. That way, the ladies would come knocking on his door. Yes, the Oval Office as sexual assembly line would work out much better. But he would first need practice as Governor.

The President hadn’t counted on Ms. Lewinsky. Whereas other ladies got their fix and went on their way, she kept coming back for more. Just when Mr. Clinton thought he could offer Ms. Lewinsky the affable "See-ya-around," and keep the conveyor belt moving, this willing participant proved more cumbersome than any who might have been unwilling.

As with Lewinsky and Willey et. al., prominent women’s rights groups like the National Organization of Women (whose party line these days is, "If anything, she came on to him"), won’t be taking up Mrs. Broaddrick’s cause. The organization may have given Clarence Thomas hell over Anita Hill, but they won’t be doing the same to Bill Clinton. To paraphrase Bill Bennett, if you’re going to be a rapist, be pro-choice.

Personally, I’m still for the sexy president’s removal. Because frankly, I’m running out of fingers on which to count how many more incidents we will discount.


JWR contributing editor Julia Gorin is a New York-based stand up comic and writer. Send your comments to her by clicking here.

©1999, Julia Gorin