Sunday's debate spectacle exposed the bizarre hypocrisy of sex and politics in America
Part of Hillary’s strategy is to neatly separate herself from her husband and his history of sexual transgression, as if she were a victim, too, or perhaps just an innocent bystander, while he ravaged women for decades with seeming impunity. The problem? It’s a thoroughly disingenuous argument. Hillary, we now know, was instrumental in ruining the reputations of her husband’s accusers, and in the case of Juanita Broddrick, in trying to silence them. But even more to the point, her husband is slotted to become a virtual “co-president” in her administration should she win.
Which means Bill Clinton is no mere private First Gentlemen; he’s practically running for office himself again. As such, he is fair game politically, just as much as Trump is — and indeed, so is she, for helping to “rehabilitate” a man who was impeached (and later disbarred) for lying to Congress about his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
Looking back, there is a long history of presidential aspirants being implicated in unseemly sexual conduct – and most of them turn out to be Democrats.
John F. Kennedy cheated on Jackie repeatedly before and during his term as president, and in at least one well-documented case, suborned a young White House intern into serving as his mistress for nearly two years.
Two other notorious cases were Democratic presidential candidates Gary Hart (1988) and John Edwards (2008). Neither man committed sexual assault, but Edwards, while his wife lay dying of cancer, took up with his campaign videographer, until the tabloids discovered the affair and like Hart, he promptly withdrew from the race.
There’s also been a string of lesser sex scandals in recent years, most of them involving Democrats. New York Gov Eliot Spitzer, who adored call girls, and Rep. Anthony Wiener, a chronic sex addict who compulsively texted pictures of his penis to virtual strangers, readily come to mind. Both men were considered rising Democratic stars, and some considered Spitzer presidential timber.
Another egregious case was Congressional Black Caucus boss Alcee Hastings, who pressured one of his own policy advisors for sex, and threatened to ruin her political career when she refused.
But none of these cases matches that of former Democratic San Diego Mayor Bob Filner. The former Mississippi Freedom Rider groped and harassed advocates for women — including victims of military sexual assault — with impunity for nearly thirty years. Initially, Filner refused to step down — charging that he was the victim of a “witch hunt” – even after the San Diego City Council revoked his status and pay. It took nearly two years of extraordinary pressure to work out a deal to get Filner to go.