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Hullabaloo


Wednesday, May 07, 2014

 
She's baaaaack.  And I am not surprised at all

by digby

I've been busy the last couple of days and haven't been able to keep up with the news as closely as usual so I didn't know that Monica mania was back. I'm telling you, all this back to the 90s stuff has got me feeling young again.
Oy.

Counter to the widespread dismissive reaction among lefties who've been around a while, I've always assumed there would inevitably be renewed interest in all this stuff, especially some of the uglier aspects of the Starr investigation, because ... well, its what they do. I suspect it's going to be made relevant again by the fact that a woman is (likely) running and, more generally, the contemporary politics of the War on Women will make a philandering First Man an irresistible line of inquiry among the Village media once again.

And as much as people assume that millenials have no interest and no stake in a story that was big when they were still in diapers, I think they need to think again. Here's a piece in today's Daily Beast by a young woman who puts it all in current context:
[O]ur real problem with Lewinsky’s essay is that she’s had the temerity to return to the public eye when we’d rather sweep her under the rug and slut-shame her into silence. While we’ve long forgiven the 42nd president, she is still the late-night joke that’s been told too many times. Bill Clinton is one of the world’s most respected statesmen, and Lewinsky is the woman who was dumb enough to blow him.
Does anyone think that the right is unaware of the potential to turn Bill Clinton's history into a current storyline? And just think, they can make feminist heroine Hillary Clinton an enabler and force all of us who attacked the Todd Akin neanderthals to twist themselves into pretzels trying to explain why bad old Bill should be allowed back into the White House.

In fact, here's a breathless Joe Scarborough already on the case:
The guy who not only to Monica Lewinsky but a lot of other people. He got a free pass. And his approval ratings went up in the '90s. And I learned when that train was coming just step back and let it pass because there was nothing that was going to be said. He always got free passes. He is still getting free passes...

I still can't believe the way he was treated in the 1990s. And it was always the women. The victims. And these people come out, and have the nerve to come out after defending him, after defending him, claim to come out wanting to support women and protect women. Women's rights unless we’re protecting a really, really powerful man who’s on our side politically. Swear to God, I’m going to pass out.

The Lewinsky scandal was seen at the time through the lens of the unprecedented partisan attacks of the previous five years and the total abdication of all sanity by the press. And frankly, the country just wasn't as evolved on these issues at the time. Now this is a major battleground in our ongoing culture war, with liberals leading the charge for a change --- and that makes them vulnerable to charges of hypocrisy. That wouldn't matter to the Republicans as they simply do not acknowledge that such a thing exists for them. But they are smart enough to deploy some very good actors to declare with over-the-top lugubrious sanctimony that the Clintons will be bringing rape culture to the White House even as it's clearly nothing they would ever care about outside this context.

Perhaps I'm wrong and the right won't press this angle. But I see the scandal machinery is up and running and it appears to me that they think it's going to once again be a useful wedge for them with Clinton. I don't know that the American people will be any more impressed by it than they were the last time, but I do think it's obvious that the culture has made a shift on these issues and it's not a shift that favors traditional conservatism. If they see a way to rip a hole in the liberal matrix by calling them "Bill Clinton hypocrites" I think they're going to try.

And all you have to do is take a look at the Village media yesterday and today to see that they still can't resist it. It's an addiction . Those of you youngsters who haven't seen the press corps high on Clinton junk, get ready for a very surreal trip.


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