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The consensual truth behind the left’s manufactured outrage
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The consensual truth behind the left’s manufactured outrage

It’s hard to see how Donald Trump’s fleeting relationship with Stormy Daniels bears the slightest resemblance to Bill Clinton’s goat-like seduction of a vulnerable intern

The New York Post last week featured on its front page a picture of Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky just below one of Donald Trump and Stormy Daniels. Once again, we are confronted with a now familiar tit-for-tat narrative. Republicans supposedly started the cycle of vengeance that’s overtaken Trump by impeaching Clinton. Now, that hubristic behavior is coming back to bite the party that got this nonsense started.

The comparison is too far-fetched to be taken seriously. What Clinton did in his sex life was far more outrageous than anything that can be reasonably attributed to Trump. And it goes without saying that while the profoundly biased media did all that it could to hide or excuse the behavior of its pampered Democratic hero, it has shamelessly exaggerated Trump’s sexual misdeeds.

Would the media have ferociously shielded Bill Clinton if he were a Republican? Of course, we all know the answer.

Although something of a sexual nature may have taken place between Trump and Stormy Daniels 18 years ago, there is no evidence that Trump forced himself physically on the porn star. Unlike Clinton’s multiple sexual attacks on shocked or intimidated females, like Paula Jones and Juanita Broderick, Trump’s relationship with Stormy was entirely consensual, something that she has admitted in interviews.

Moreover, unlike the efforts of the Clintons and their operatives to intimidate Bill’s sex victims, Trump paid off Stormy in a nondisclosure agreement. It was an arrangement that broke no laws and was amicably agreed on by both sides. Until recently, this was also Stormy’s account of what happened, while she has also explained that she always intended to make money out of her meeting with Trump.

The dragging out of this erotic adventure to besmirch Trump’s reputation, which seems to be the point of Alvin Bragg’s phony criminal case against him, betrays the usual leftist double standard. The media smoothed over Bill Clinton’s serial scandals with exemplary diligence. Indeed, a simple Google search reveals multiple defenses of Clinton against his accusers. We are bombarded by these vindications on the internet even before we are allowed to find isolated defenses of women who claim that Bill abused them.

I was amazed to see how Newsweek, for example, went after inconsistencies in the accusations of Kathleen Wiley, who claimed Clinton groped her in 1993, to discredit other far more consistent accounts of similar indecencies by our then-serving president.

I was equally astonished by the number of “authorized” sources assuring me that Christine Blasey Ford’s charges against Brett Kavanaugh are entirely true, although there is no evidence to suggest that they are. Moreover, our slavish corporate press has never displayed much professional interest in Hunter Biden’s adventures with drugs and prostitutes, unlike its present feeding frenzy over Trump’s tryst 18 years ago.

In the lawfare being waged against Trump in New York City, the media keeps assuring us that the Bad Orange Man sexually assaulted E. Jean Carroll and did something really loathsome to Stormy. The evidence of misdeeds in these cases seems about as airtight as what the media told us about Kavanaugh’s sexual abuse of the lady he never met before.

In an ill-advised impeachment trial that lasted from December 1998 to February 1999, Special Counsel Kenneth Starr went after Clinton for lying in a sworn deposition about having sex with a young intern, Monica Lewinsky. As Ilya Somin, a jurist who often disagreed with Starr, has argued, Clinton’s prosecutor was legally and morally justified in going after the president because overwhelming evidence indicated that Clinton had perjured himself. Politically, however, the trial was a disaster because the media managed to turn Clinton into a national hero and interpreted his sexual exploitation of a young woman in his charge as a marvelous display of roguishness or even as a fantasy made up by Lewinsky.

By the time the media was finished with its “contextualization,” Starr’s career was ruined, while Clinton was, in some bizarre sense, vindicated.

The case, moreover, came in the wake of shocking revelations about Clinton’s earlier sexual escapades going back to his tenure as governor in Arkansas. Feminist organizations, which shriek against Trump as a sexist and worse, were generally silent about Clinton’s acts, just as they were when Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) manhandled women for decades.

I also don’t remember feminists complaining very much when the national press went after one of Clinton’s assault victims, Paula Jones, as “trailer trash.” The Baltimore Sun crudely joked about how this poor, white Southerner was “giving bimbos a bad name.” At the time, socially proper people weren’t supposed to go after groping lechers who led the Democratic Party and who vocally backed abortion rights.

It is impossible for me to see how Trump’s fleeting relationship with Stormy Daniels, which ended in satisfactory payment, bears the slightest resemblance to Clinton’s goat-like seduction of a vulnerable intern. Here we may ask a perpetually relevant question: Would the media have ferociously shielded Clinton if he were a Republican? Of course, we all know the answer.

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Paul Gottfried

Paul Gottfried

Paul Gottfried is the editor of Chronicles. An American paleoconservative philosopher, historian, and columnist, Gottfried is a former Horace Raffensperger Professor of Humanities at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, as well as a Guggenheim recipient.