April 20th, 2021


#MeToo: Hillary and Monica Edition

Bob Tyrrell

By Bob Tyrrell

Published March 15,2018

#MeToo: Hillary and Monica Edition
There is a growing debate on the left over whose side to take in the simmering controversy between Monica Lewinsky and former President Bill Clinton or the Clintons, depending on how long Hillary Clinton remains loyal to Bill, or, come to think of it, how long Bill remains loyal to Hillary.

Truth be known, she might be in even hotter water than Bill at this moment.

Evidence of the looming Lewinsky-Clinton controversy appeared once again in the pages of The Wall Street Journal last week, where Abbey Ellin filed a column titled "The Clintons Owe Monica an Apology." The controversy heated up four days later when Brian Kent of Tulsa, Oklahoma, published a letter in the Journal's correspondence section under the headline "If Bill Apologizes to Monica, It Should Be a Private Act." I suspect this is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak.

In the fantasy world of the American left — once known as the fantasy world of liberalism — Lewinsky is now a literary sensation who writes in Vanity Fair and, who knows, perhaps even in the Paris Review — assuming there is still a Paris Review.

In Vanity Fair, she recently wrote that upon prolonged consideration of her famous affair with the former president a quarter of a century ago, he committed a "gross abuse of power" even if he was madly in love with her.

Actually, members of the #MeToo movement are probably in agreement with most Americans that Clinton was indeed "gross" with his then-22-year-old intern during their White House days.

At least the incident with the cigar was pretty gross. However, like other leftists, members of the movement remain conflicted on the Lewinsky and Clinton relationship.

After all, for them, along with the Black Lives Matter movement and the LGBT movement, and all the other diverse movements and occasional Cosa Nostras that compose the left, Clinton has emerged from his affair as heroic. In fact, he has emerged from Lewinsky and impeachment and various acts of malfeasance and pilfering as a modern-day Abraham Lincoln likeness for the left. Doubtless out in the left's capital, Hollywood, California, Clinton's former supporters, for instance the retired tycoon Harvey Weinstein, are even now gathering support for a Clinton monument to be raised right across from the original Lincoln monument. They even plan a gift shop and, I have heard, a penthouse for sleepovers.

Yes, there is conflict dividing the left no matter how strenuously the mainstream media purr. Such leading movements as the #MeToo movement must feel torn by the Lewinsky-Clinton conflict. With both sides dominated by strong women such as Lewinsky's mother and Hillary Clinton, things on the left cannot be as hunky-dory as CNN reports. There are powerful centrifugal forces at work. Consider the Lewinsky-Clinton divide. Hillary Clinton's forces called her a "tramp" and a "bimbo" despite her literary talents. She was known by the president's defenders as "that woman" when she was actually an innocent damsel. Clinton is even reliably reported as calling her a "narcissistic Looney Tune." On the other hand, there is the matter of her "thong" with which she is said to have inflamed the then-49-year-old president. His passions were perfectly understandable according to such women as Gloria Steinem and the talented then-Time correspondent Nina Burleigh.

I can see the clash coming: "Whose side are you on? Hillary's (the voice of the old guard) or Monica's (the wave of the future)?" Could Lewinsky forsake her literary career to go into politics, to perhaps run for the Senate of New York, or possibly California? She lays claim to both nutty states. And having Lewinsky out there blabbing about Bill Clinton's "gross abuse of power" cannot help Hillary Clinton's 2020presidential prospects. Nor can former Vice President Joe Biden's energetic presence on the campaign trail now that he has a new Botox application and fresh hair implants.

Actually, Hillary Clinton is already faced with stiff competition for the nomination what with the youthful Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, though Warren is going to have to come up with a better answer to her no-show for that DNA challenge. How about trying this, Pocahontas: "I was only kidding."

Then there is the question of Bill Clinton's sticking it out with Hillary Clinton in what I guarantee will be the fraught years ahead. Americans have a way of forgetting minor hiccups on the campaign trail. Think of Donald Trump's "Access Hollywood" tapes, or, more recently, his alleged joining a books club with the pulchritudinous porn star Stormy Daniels. But Clinton has real problems in her future. Recall her errant emails that are going to be coming to the fore again; those are felonies. Or consider her payments to Christopher Steele, again potential felonies. This is not Eric Holder's or Loretta Lynch's Justice Department. At his age, and with his weak heart, how much stress can Bill Clinton take? I would not be surprised if he were to take a powder ... and get back together with Lewinsky. They made such a cute couple.

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R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor in chief of The American Spectator, a political and cultural monthly, which has been published since 1967. He's also the author of several books.