So there I am settled into a New Years Eve morning Skype on CNN’s New Day, set to go with a last Trump conversation of the year.
This time around I was paired with ex-President Bill Clinton aide Richard Socarides - and Mr. Socarides was quickly very unhappy with me, as seen here. Why? Because after he had poo-poohed Trump’s mention of Bill Clinton’s conduct as a potential subject in the presidential campaign by saying that Bill Clinton was one of the most popular men in America and around the world I said this:
LORD: Well, if there is somebody out there as there is with Bill Clinton accusing him (Trump) of rape, I'd like to know her name. You have been reporting all morning on Bill Cosby. And like Bill Clinton he was once one of the most popular people in America and around the world. Every time this Cosby story surfaces this is in effect casting a pall on the Bill Clinton situation because there are women out there who have serious allegations.
To which an indignant Socarides, abruptly switching gears to sound like Bill Cosby’s lawyer, angrily replied:
SOCARIDES: I really think this is disgraceful. Here we are on television on New Year's Eve and you are accusing the former president of the United States of rape and these charges -- these are phony
charges that have been dragged out for a long time against the president.
I was, of course, doing no such thing. My point was that there is in fact a real woman out there with a real name - Juanita Broaddrick - who has specifically and graphically accused Bill Clinton of rape. You can see Ms. Broaddrick make her allegations here on NBC’s Dateline with reporter Lisa Myers, and repeat them to Fox’s Sean Hannity here.
In the style of the 21st century, Broaddrick has JUST taken to tweeting and repeating her charge, as written up here at Breitbart. Note the second tweet in particular.
-- "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."
-- "Was dreading seeing my abuser on tv campaign trail for enabler wife......but his physical appearance reflects ghosts of past are catching up."
-- "Thoroughly disgusting--Hillary's comments on rape. Shame on you, Hillary, shame on you!!"
In fact…as opposed to in fiction….what Soccarides suggests to me is entirely fiction. Take this quote:
SOCARIDES: These are phony charges that have - have been dragged out for a long time against the president....This president has - has a long record and reputation. Hillary also, I will point out, Hillary is running as her own person. She is not running for a third Clinton term. She has a record to be proud of on women's rights, on all kinds of protecting human rights of people all around the world. I think this is disgraceful, sir, and I think what you and Mr. Trump are doing are really disgraceful.
Phony charges? Really? Really? President Clinton himself stepped in front of the cameras to say that he had never had sex with “that woman, Ms. Lewinsky”…and later came to the nation and admitted he lied. The phony here was Mr. Clinton.
The President had to settle with Paula Jones for $850,000 and lost his law license for a bit - there was decidedly not a thing “phony” about that. Not to pick on Mr. Soccarides, but at this point the only thing “fact-free” are the Clinton defenders. He also said:
SOCARIDES: Listen, all of these allegations have been long discredited. And, you know, we - people remember what's happened. I mean it's not like we're living in a fact-free zone, right? People know Bill and Hillary Clinton, know what they're about, know what they've stood for, for decades here. So I think this is very....This is a very clear tactic by Mr. Trump to appeal to the lunatic fringe in the Republican Party that, you know, that is attracted to any kind of bizarre allegations against the Clintons.
Again…this is just factually not so. Specific allegations have in fact been proved to be 100% correct. Thus, when Bill Cosby’s past catches up to him, why in the world would this not be true for Bill Clinton? Is it because Cosby is black and Clinton is white - and the American Left has a horrific history from slavery to Jim Crow to illegal immigration of judging by race - to the disadvantage of those who look like Cosby and not Clinton?
Or is it just as Broaddrick suggests? That being the part about the “ghosts of past are catching up”? Broaddrick is right, perhaps more right than even she knows. As the old Buffalo Springfield song from the 1960’s goes, “something’s happening here, what it is ain’t exactly clear.” Or is it?
Question. Who are Bill and Hillary Clinton? Answer: Whatever else they are, most assuredly they are - like myself - Baby Boomers. Children of the 1960’s. And what, among many things, was the Baby Boomer generation about? Why, “sex, drugs and rock and roll” but of course. That and flaunting all the “rules” that had existed for generations and, in the day, were defended by the parents of the Boomers, the World War Two “Greatest Generation”.
“Casual sex” was the deal of the Baby Boomer youthful day, and in spite of vigorous objections from parents the “sexual revolution” proceeded full speed ahead. The media loved it. Movies, which once upon a time showed a passionate kiss on occasion, became sex central with couples getting it on in full view of the camera. Objections to this kind of thing were breezily dismissed with lines like “its only sex.” Indeed, when Bill Clinton’s various sexual misadventures led to his impeachment they were angrily dismissed with just that excuse - “it’s only about sex.” And, but of course, this was sold - and sold well - to an American audience heavily populated by fellow Baby Boomers.
Ahhh. But time has moved on. As Broaddrick indirectly noted in one of her tweets, Bill Clinton is edging now into old age and looks it. And out there these days are the Millennials, quite another generation altogether. While way too much of what passes for political and cultural thought from Millennials reeks of political correctness, there is no question that when it comes to sex they are far closer to the views of their World War II era grandparents than their sixties generation parents.
In the 1960’s in which young Bill Clinton came of age, sliding between the sheets (and who needed sheets?) for casual sex was no big deal, much to the distress of the older generation. Now? Here’s this as headlined in Breitbart in 2014:
CA Bill Demands Verbal or Written Consent for Sex on College Campuses
Yes, you read that right. A California state legislator has introduced legislation demanding there be verbal or written consent for sex on campus. And he’s not alone , either. To pick one more example at random, Emory University in Georgia has an entire web page devoted to the rules of consent for sex on the Emory campus. Whatever else this is, this is so far from the reality of 1960’s Baby Boomers in attitude towards sex as to be almost a return -if not a return in spades - to the prim and strict attitudes of their grandparents, the WWII generation.
Into this decided change on attitudes towards sex comes the Hillary campaign, with a re-entry of husband Bill as her chief surrogate. And to the shock of both the Clinton Boomers, a new generation that has a very, very strict attitude towards sex is learning of Bill’s problems with women - notably Juanita Broaddrick - for the first time. And suffice to say, they do not find it amusing.
Inevitably - and shockingly - the media of today hasn’t given Bill a pass either. As my appearance with ex-Bill Clinton aide Socarides - he too a Baby Boomer - illustrates, the ability to discuss Juanita Broaddrick and her charges in an atmosphere that has proved fatal to Bill Cosby’s reputation is becoming more and more commonplace across the board in the media. The media environment both technically (Internet, cable etc) has changed. Clinton himself is now being peppered with questions at his appearances - his brush offs of the uncomfortable questions plain for all to see. Hillary has drawn questions at town meetings in the full glare of the television lights. And clearly, the women who were Bill Clinton’s targets, not to mention those who believe Hillary herself was threatening them (as Broadderick herslf charges) are seeing. Says katleen Willey, who says Clinton groped her in the study off the Oval Office: “Hillary is the war on women.” Ouch.
Time moves on. And for those who recall a 1990’s media atmosphere that idolized the Clintons -- and that would include the Clintons themselves -- there is something resembling shock in being confronted amid the Cosby situation with similar charges, pairing Bill Clinton with Bill Cosby. The latter a fallen icon, the former seeming to be perilously close to following suit.
I have yet to see a Clinton defender -- whether on the air with me or on the air with someone else -- who looks remotely comfortable, much less happy, discussing this situation in today’s media environment.