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NYT Column: I Believe, And Am 'Haunted' By, Juanita Broaddrick's Rape Accusation Against Bill Clinton

We touched on this issue yesterday, highlighting a tweet from alleged Clinton rape victim Juanita Broaddrick in response to the Left's "believe women" mantra vis-a-vis Roy Moore -- as well as a tweet from an MSNBC host exhorting liberals to finally engage in a "real reckoning" over multiple accusations of sexual misconduct and assault against America's 42nd president.  Taking up that charge, a liberal writer penned a New York Times piece entitled, "I believe Juanita."  She writes that she finds some claims against Clinton dubious (glossing over the highly relevant fact that Clinton paid Paula Jones a $850,000 settlement in 1999, which would be worth more than $1.2 million in 2017 dollars), and that she abhors right-wing "bad faith" on these issues (seeking consistency isn't bad faith or 'whataboutism').  Nevertheless, she confesses that Ms. Broaddrick's consistent rape charge against Clinton has always 'haunted' her:


Of the Clinton accusers, the one who haunts me is Broaddrick. The story she tells about Clinton recalls those we’ve heard about Weinstein. She claimed they had plans to meet in a hotel coffee shop, but at the last minute he asked to come up to her hotel room instead, where he raped her. Five witnesses said she confided in them about the assault right after it happened. It’s true that she denied the rape in an affidavit to Paula Jones’s lawyers, before changing her story when talking to federal investigators. But her explanation, that she didn’t want to go public but couldn’t lie to the F.B.I., makes sense. Put simply, I believe her...One of the sick ironies of the 2016 campaign was that it was Hillary who had to pay the political price for Bill’s misdeeds, as they were trotted out to deflect attention from Trump’s well-documented transgressions. And now they’re being trotted out again. It’s fair to conclude that because of Broaddrick’s allegations, Bill Clinton no longer has a place in decent society.

Even I had forgotten the detail about five witnesses contemporaneously corroborating her story.  Another aspect of the Clinton scandals that is receiving renewed attention is the lengths to which so-called feminists rallied to the president's cause, smearing alleged victims in order to protect a liberal president (content warning):


Let us not forget the sex crimes of which the younger, stronger Bill Clinton was very credibly accused in the 1990s. Juanita Broaddrick reported that when she was a volunteer on one of his gubernatorial campaigns, she had arranged to meet him in a hotel coffee shop. At the last minute, he had changed the location to her room in the hotel, where she says he very violently raped her. She said she fought against Clinton throughout a rape that left her bloodied. At a different Arkansas hotel, he caught sight of a minor state employee named Paula Jones, and, Jones says, he sent a couple of state troopers to invite her to his suite, where he exposed his penis to her and told her to kiss it. Kathleen Willey said that she met him in the Oval Office for personal and professional advice and that he groped her, rubbed his erect penis on her, and pushed her hand to his crotch...

It was a pattern of behavior; it included an alleged violent assault; the women involved had far more credible evidence than many of the most notorious accusations that have come to light in the past five weeks. But Clinton was not left to the swift and pitiless justice that today’s accused men have experienced. Rather, he was rescued by a surprising force: machine feminism. The movement had by then ossified into a partisan operation and it was willing—eager—to let this friend of the sisterhood enjoy a little droit de seigneur. The notorious 1998 New York Times op-ed by Gloria Steinem must surely stand as one of the most regretted public actions of her life. It slut-shamed, victim-blamed, and age-shamed; it urged compassion for and gratitude to the man the women accused. Moreover (never write an op-ed in a hurry; you’ll accidentally say what you really believe), it characterized contemporary feminism as a weaponized auxiliary of the Democratic Party.


This is tough, serious stuff; perhaps a long-delayed reckoning for a man accused of serial predations. But that belatedness has become the subject of ridicule and scorn among some conservatives, who note that Bill Clinton was only finally sent under the bus after he became politically expendable.  This is a fair point:

First, would we be having a big national conversation about sexual harrassment and assault if Hillary had won?  Or is the laudable #MeToo anti-silence movement at least partially a cultural response to the Trump presidency? And second, even if we were having that discussion, would lefty media figures still be speaking this sort of 'truth to power' about the First Gentleman, the sordid distraction of which might imperil Madame President's approval ratings and left-liberal agenda?  I'm skeptical-to-cynical on both of those questions, especially the latter.  The acid test on this will be how the Left handles future credible allegations against a viable, relevant and powerful Democratic politician.  When that future situation arises, many Righties will undoubtedly demand that liberals live up to the inconsistently-applied "believe women" standard.  Unfortunately, a number of those same Righties won't have a moral leg to stand on, given their denials, apologies and attacks on behalf of Republicans credibly accused of serious transgressions. Alas, this 'dueling justifications' cycle will likely continue:


I'll leave you with Phil Klein criticizing the Times piece above, noting that its author spent the vast majority of her column making excuses and blaming conservatives:

And here's Broaddrick on Fox News expressing some satisfaction that some Democrats are finally listening to her.  Of the Clintons, she says, "I hope they finally get what's due to them:"

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