Rebecca Schoenkopf was just minding her own business, as “owner, editrix and publisher of Wonkette,” a blog billing itself as a “Nasty Vile Little Snark Mob,” when she “hastily” posted her commentary entitled, “Let’s Talk About Juanita Broaddrick.”
A feminist, Ms. Schoenkopf explained to her readers why raping Juanita Broaddrick, which she tends to believe Bill Clinton did almost four decades ago, doesn’t make Bill a bad guy . . . or even a bad feminist.
“To sum up, I think Bill Clinton could very well have raped Juanita Broaddrick; that it doesn’t make him an evil man, or irredeemable,” she wrote. “It doesn’t even necessarily make him a bad feminist — you know, later, once he stops doing that.”
Which calls the question: Has Bill stopped doing that?
For those who missed the 1990s, Juanita Broaddrick accused then-President Bill Clinton of sexually assaulting her in a Little Rock, Arkansas, hotel room back in 1978, when Mr. Clinton was the state’s attorney general. Friends of Broaddrick confirm that she told them about the rape at the time, and they witnessed her swollen lip. But she made no public charge for decades.
In an affidavit in the Paula Jones case, Broaddrick originally said under oath that she was not attacked by Bill Clinton. But in 1998, after being granted immunity for perjury by special prosecutor Kenneth Starr, Broaddrick reversed herself, alleging that she had indeed been raped by Mr. Clinton.
Her account was detailed in a 1999 NBC Dateline segment. “No one can objectively look at Juanita’s story and not be troubled,” NBC’s Lisa Myer recently told BuzzFeed. Myer also recalled explaining NBC’s delay in broadcasting the piece at the time by telling Broaddrick, “The good news is you’re credible. The bad news is you’re very credible.”
Fast-forward to the current presidential campaign, where the story came back into the news after presidential candidate Hillary Clinton tweeted last year: “To every survivor of sexual assault . . . You have the right to be heard. You have the right to be believed. We’re with you.”
Irked, Broaddrick tweeted back in January: “I was 35 years old when Bill Clinton, Ark. Attorney General raped me and Hillary tried to silence me. I am now 73. . . . it never goes away.”
What does Bill Clinton’s bad behavior or allegedly even worse behavior have to do with Hillary running for president? Certainly, she’s not her husband. But then again, she has suggested she’ll have him working alongside her handling the small stuff, such as the economy.
“[M]any people have found [Broaddrick’s] charges pretty credible. She has —there [have] also been questions of Hillary being instrumental in some kind of cover-up or some kind of pressure on her to retract those charges or to be quiet. And I have no idea what happened. I have no idea whether those things are true,” Liza Featherstone, a contributing editor at the ultra-liberal The Nation, recently said to Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! “But I actually don’t think that those things should be dismissed. I think, you know, how a woman in power treats a much less powerful woman, who has accused a powerful man of raping her, actually is important.”
You don’t say.
Elsewhere, the media reaction has been tepid. When Donald Trump referred to the former president as a “rapist,” NBC News originally reported that Broaddrick’s accusation had been “discredited,” only to abandon that claim when confronted. Perhaps BuzzFeed’s Katie Baker is correct in arguing that “the political implications of her claims are too disastrous for liberal politicians and pundits . . . to rally around her, especially this close to election day. That means only Clinton-hating conservatives are visibly incensed by her claims, and the more that they amplify Broaddrick’s story, the more skeptical progressives become.”
True rape victims must always have a proper partisan alignment. Is that the new feminism?
“‘Rape is about power, not sex.’ For those for whom it’s about power, those are the serial rapist guys, and they hate women and want to punish us,” contends Wonkette editor Schoenkopf. “But I don’t think that’s in every case. I think good men can rape, and be sorry, and not do it again. This is very bad feminism.”
She adds, parenthetically, “Especially if you’re, say, a teenager whose impulse control is still years away from being properly developed.”
Note: Bill Clinton was not a teenager when he allegedly raped Broaddrick.
Ms. Schoenkopf went on to differentiate rape today from way back in the dark ages before the 1980s: “I can absolutely see Bill Clinton doing this (then, not now) and not even thinking of it as rape, but thinking of it as dominant, alpha sex. I can see a LOT of men doing that during that time period, before we started telling them in the ’80s, ‘hey, that is rape, do not do that.’ I can see YOUR NICE GRANDPA doing that, back then.”
In her follow-up piece, she doubled down, explaining, “truly – back then, men were taught that a girl has to say no a couple times before she says yes, so no one will think she is easy.”
Schoenkopf does think Bill Clinton a “jerk.” And “raped at least one woman.” But then, she thinks all men are “very likely” rapists. But no biggie: “we’re all redeemable . . . and that you’d be dismayed to learn some of your loved ones’ secrets — that it’s very likely they too pushed a woman past consent . . .”
It seems common sense has been assaulted.