Hillary Clinton did not become president in 2016. She is not likely to become president in the future, barring some low probability events. So she had gotten a consolation prize of a fawning miniseries on Hulu, the same premium cable network that has gifted us with a series version of “A Handmaid’s Tale,” possibly the most unlikely dystopian scenario ever imagined.
The miniseries has an intriguing, if also sordid, segment concerning then-President Bill Clinton and his Oval Office dalliance with intern Monica Lewinsky that made the pre-9/11 1990s so entertaining. The UK Daily Mail gives the low down.
“The former President suggests, in an explosive documentary seen by DailyMailTV, that he had the fling with the ex-White House intern while he was in office because it helped with his issues. Bill reveals that at the time he met Lewinsky the pressure of the job made him feel like a boxer who had done 30 rounds and he looked at Lewinsky as something that will take your mind off it for a while.”
The affair, which involved teenage-style fooling around and at least once instance of oral sex on the floor of the Oval Office, led to public humiliation, impeachment and, perhaps, worse of all, marriage counseling with Hillary.
Clinton also offered a public apology to Lewinsky for ruining her life. The former White House intern, now in middle age, has complained that the notoriety has prevented her from forming adult relationships.
Clinton also, at least according to one report, has claimed that his mother abused her as a boy, causing him to become a sex addict. Clinton’s mom, who conceived Bill with her first husband shortly before she was killed, died of cancer less than a year into the Clinton presidency. The validity of Bill Clinton’s alleged claim cannot be verified.
Hot Air notes that two years ago, Bill Clinton was unapologetic about his fling with Lewinsky. When the matter was brought up concerning his book tour promoting a thriller he wrote with James Patterson, he became angry and went into a rant about all of the women he said he promoted back in Arkansas.
Juanita Broaddrick, who has credibly accused Clinton of raping her, took to Twitter to express her disgust.
“What in the Hell? On the next episode will he share why he raped. Bill Clinton says having sex with Monica Lewinsky was to manage my anxieties.”
Several takeaways need to be mentioned here.
First, while Clinton’s fling with Monica Lewinsky took place long before the #Metoo era, many at the time pointed out that if anyone in the private sector had used a subordinate as Clinton had, he would likely be out of a job.
The late 1990s occurred after Anita Hill had levied accusations of sexual harassment against Clarence Thomas. Even though Thomas was still confirmed to the Supreme Court, sexual harassment became such an issue that many private businesses instituted policies governing sexual behavior at the office.
Even though consent was not an issue in the Lewinsky case – she was the initial aggressor – most businesses concluded that a subordinate cannot consent to have sex with a superior because of the power dynamic.
Not, as Broaddrick points out, Bill Clinton was always finicky about getting consent from women he had sex with. Paula Jones and Kathleen Whiley were two other women whose encounters with Bill Clinton were unfortunate in that regard.
It should also be noted that the “anxiety” that Bill Clinton though should be assuaged in the arms of the then 20-year old intern was a budget dispute he was having with then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
One wonders what Clinton would have done if, like Abraham Lincoln, he had been obliged to read the casualty lists from Shiloh and Gettysburg or, like FDR, wondered if the D-Day invasion of Normandy was going to succeed.
Usually, American presidents who deal with anxiety play golf to take their minds off of the cares of office. Even President Donald Trump, who has boasted of his prowess with the ladies before his presidency, plays several rounds at Mar-a-Lago when the abuse in the media gets to be too much.
To be fair, Trump is married to Melania and Clinton, though God alone knows why is still married to Hillary. Those facts explain a lot.