Diana West

Finally, a headline of my dreams: "Rand Paul: Democrats Should Be 'Embarrassed' to Be Seen With Bill Clinton."

In fact, the headline is stronger than Sen. Paul's actual statement -- Democrats "ought to be a little embarrassed" -- but I'll gladly take it and extend my heartfelt thanks and congratulations to Sen. Paul for being the first political leader I can remember (perhaps only?) to acknowledge the obvious: Bill Clinton, gross-out, serial sexual predator accused of rape by Juanita Broaddrick (not to mention virtual creator of the Red Chinese military threat through releases of military technology in exchange for campaign contributions), is a national disgrace. Yes, Democrats should be "embarrassed" to be seen with him -- and with his wife, too, but that's another column.

The reality, of course, is that Democrats celebrate Clinton, showcasing him as a keynote speaker at the 2012 National Democratic Convention, for example. But I doubt it's just Democrats who still scrap for his autograph, pay a hefty year's salary (six figures) for one speech and generally treat Bill Clinton like a respected and laudatory personage. And that's a problem.

I became a columnist and editorial writer at The Washington Times in the aftermath of Bill Clinton's Dec. 19, 1998 impeachment (I put out the flag to mark the historic date), but the impeachment beat would remain busy through the next election cycle. There was much fallout to wade through -- Clinton's contempt of court finding, his subsequent disbarments (in Arkansas and at the U.S. Supreme Court), controversy over then-presidential candidate Al Gore's come-what-may support for Clinton, and numerous other scandals now mainly forgotten. For a flickering moment, Bill Clinton was really in disgrace -- eclipse, certainly -- and the scandals, both large and petty, didn't stop, not even after Bill and Hillary left the White House. Remember Pardongate? Giftgate?


Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).