NOLAN FINLEY

Finley: Clinton’s sexism is fair game

Nolan Finley
The Detroit News

Democrats find themselves once again spinning Bill Clinton’s predatory predilections as “just sex” between consenting adults, and nobody else’s business.

They’re howling that Donald Trump is out of bounds in dragging the former president’s sordid sexual history into the current presidential campaign. Even Bernie Sanders, who can’t decide whether he’s Hillary Clinton’s opponent or defender, contends this election is about Hillary, not Bill.

Hillary Rodham Clinton

Exactly right. And a campaign about Hillary Clinton has to address her role as Bill Clinton’s enabler, and what she did to the women who accused him of sexually assaulting them.

Hillary Clinton opened that door herself, first when she presented herself as a defender of women, and then again when she labeled Trump a sexist.

Trump went where his fellow Republicans have curiously feared going by rightly countering that someone who mercilessly destroyed the women who claimed they were sexually abused by her husband has no room to accuse anyone else of sexism.

Clinton, by many accounts, headed the war room assembled to dismantle the claims of sexual impropriety against her husband. Reporter Carl Bernstein wrote that Clinton interviewed many of the women herself.

One of those targeted, Kathleen Willey, who says she was assaulted by Bill Clinton during his first term as president, described what Hillary Clinton did as a “terror campaign against every one of these women, including me.”

The women were denigrated by Hillary Clinton and her team as trailer trash and bimbos and, in the case of Monica Lewinski, “a narcissistic loony toon.”

This is the same Hillary Clinton who on the recent campaign trail said when women raise allegations of rape they should be believed. She may have believed the women who accused her husband, but she ruined them anyway.

And she had help from other purported feminists who decided having a president who supported their agenda was worth the sacrifice of a few of their sisters.

Include in that number Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz, the Democratic National Committee chair, who warned Trump he attacked Bill Clinton “at his own peril.” She might have added: “Look at what happened to Monica Lewinski.”

Lewinski was the one accuser whose claims could not be dismissed, thanks to the famously stained blue dress.

She was a college student when she took her turn with Clinton in the Oval Office. Defenders of the president insisted it was a private matter because the sex was consensual.

But a sexual encounter with such an unequal balance of power — he was president, she was an intern — does not meet the feminist standard for consent, either then or now. And had it happened in a corporate suite, the CEO would have been gone and the young woman richly compensated for the offense.

But largely thanks to Hillary Clinton’s maneuvering, Lewinski was made the villain instead of the victim.

So when the Democratic candidate talks about the war on women, voters should remember that she knows exactly how to wage one.

nfinley@detroitnews.com

(313)222-2064

Follow Nolan Finley at detroitnews.com/finley, on Twitter at nolanfinleydn, on Facebook at nolanfinleydetnews and watch him at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays on "MiWeek" on Detroit Public TV, Channel 56.