Thursday, May 08, 2014

It was in a galaxy far, far away that Bill Clinton had an affair with Monica Lewinsky.

And whatever it was, it was an affair- of the heart, of the organs, of whatever, but an affair. And it still is important.

It's important because Democrats far and wide privately and publicly (the latest, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine) are urging Hillary Clinton to run for President. And Republicans are ready to dredge up whatever they can, directly and indirectly hitting Mrs. Clinton for anything she has done, said, or  thought or anything her husband has done, said, or thought.

That includes Monica Lewinsky who, in Vanity Fair (cover of magazine, below) after ten years of being mum, writes

Sure, my boss took advantage of me, but I will always remain firm on this point: it was a consensual relationship. Any ‘abuse’ came in the aftermath, when I was made a scapegoat in order to protect his powerful position. . . . The Clinton administration, the special prosecutor’s minions, the political operatives on both sides of the aisle, and the media were able to brand me. And that brand stuck, in part because it was imbued with power.

Notably, though Lewinsky maintains she was "suicidal," she (according to the Vanity Fair summary) "never actually attempted suicide, but had strong suicidal temptations several times during the investigations and during one or two periods after."  That would be after- not during.

She can be forgiven the temptation. Appearing a few months ago on Meet The Press, the virulently anti-abortion rights and mildly anti-contraception Rand Paul reared his fanciful imagination on his way to a futile run at the GOP presidential nomination.  He stated

The Democrats — one of their big issues is they’ve concocted this, ‘Republicans are committing a war on women.  One of the work place laws and rules that I think are good is that bosses shouldn’t prey on young interns in their office. I think really the media seems to have given President Clinton a pass on this. He took advantage of a girl that was 20-years-old and an intern in his office. There is no excuse for that and that is predatory behavior.

She was no juvenile, and to imply that she was unable to make choices is fundamentally inaccurate, patronizing and some may argue, sexist.  She was not twenty years old, but twenty-two years old and at that age, two years can make a huge difference.   And Lewinsky is willing to accept some responsibility for her actions and in an indirect rebuke to Paul and other Clinton critics, refuses to pretend Bill resembled anything like a predator.

Not so indirect was her slam at Beyonce, with The Huffington Post noting

Lewinsky recognizes when her name shows up in pop-culture references, including Queen Bey's song "Partition" from her latest album, "Beyoncé."

The song -- in which Beyoncé says "He popped all my buttons, and he ripped my blouse/He Monica Lewinsky-ed all on my gown" -- is factually incorrect, according to Lewinsky.

“Thanks, Beyoncé, but if we’re verbing, I think you meant ‘Bill Clinton’d all on my gown,’ not ‘Monica Lewinsky’d,'" she writes.

Notwithstanding being corrected (rightfully, in this case) by someone "verbing," ML is dead-on.  And it's of no small consequence. It was the man, not the woman, who "Monica Lewinsky-ed."   If Beyonce doesn't understand that, she should go back to Sex Ed 101.  And if she does (as obviously is the case), what the heck is she doing piling the blame on the woman?

Monica Lewinsky was no victim- as she acknowledges- but being fast and loose using her name not only slanders her, but ignores the other adult involved.  Inviting the public to identify a sordid episode with a private individual rather than the husband of a likely presidential candidate is slick and underhanded.  There must be more honest (and relevant) ways to protect the Clinton brand.

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