broaddrick/clinton
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Whether this a “flying pigs” or “hell freezes over” alert, or not, it is striking.

The New York Times, the proverbial bastion of liberal groupthink, has published an opinion piece suggesting it's now time to believe Juanita Broaddrick and her accusations that former President Bill Clinton, then-attorney general of Arkansas, raped her.

Broaddrick, now 73 years old, continues to claim Clinton raped her 38 years ago.

In the op-ed, headlined “I believe Juanita,” Times columnist Michelle Goldberg couched her belief that Broaddrick's telling the truth with a shot at “right-wing disinformation”:

Still, despite slamming several media outlets for being “eager to use the Clinton scandals to derail discussions about Roy Moore,” Goldberg wrote, in part:

On Friday evening the MSNBC host Chris Hayes sent out a tweet that electrified online conservatives: “As gross and cynical and hypocritical as the right’s ‘what about Bill Clinton’ stuff is, it’s also true that Democrats and the center left are overdue for a real reckoning with the allegations against him.”

I agree with Hayes. In this #MeToo moment, when we’re reassessing decades of male misbehavior and turning open secrets into exposes, we should look clearly at the credible evidence that Juanita Broaddrick told the truth when she accused Clinton of raping her.

Goldberg said Democrats have, for decades, been guilty of apologizing for Clinton:

But revisiting the Clinton scandals in light of today’s politics is complicated as well as painful. Democrats are guilty of apologizing for Clinton when they shouldn’t have.

At the same time, looking back at the smear campaign against the Clintons shows we can’t treat the feminist injunction to “believe women” as absolute.

While Goldberg referenced “the smear campaign against the Clintons,” she not only failed to mention the smear campaign against 22-year-old White House intern Monica Lewinsky after the infamous Oval Office story broke, she's apparently forgotten that “feminists” led the charge, as pointed out in a Wednesday op-ed by The Atlantic contributing editor Caitlin Flanagan. She wrote, in part:

[Bill] 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.

Incidentally, the “machine feminism” to which Flanagan refers includes feminist activist Gloria Steinem, who, in a 1998 New York Times op-ed, wrote about Paula Jones's charges of sexual abuse against Clinton:

[E]ven if the allegations are true, the President is not guilty of sexual harassment. He is accused of having made a gross, dumb, and reckless pass at a supporter during a low point in her life.

She pushed him away, she said, and it never happened again. In other words, President Clinton took “no’”for an answer.

In the Atlantic op-ed, headlined “Bill Clinton: A Reckoning,” Flanagan also described Clinton's “pattern of behavior,” of which, she wrote, his accusers had more evidence than many women now making accusations of sexual abuse in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal:

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.

And where does the Times's Goldberg believe Broaddrick's accusations leave Clinton? “It's fair to conclude that because of Broaddrick’s allegations, Bill Clinton no longer has a place in decent society,” she concluded.

Pardon the cynicism, but why has it taken Michelle Goldberg and others 38 years to finally believe Juanita Broaddrick?

Please note: This is a commentary piece. The views and opinions expressed within it are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of IJR.

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