Over the course of his political career, Bill Clinton was literally and figuratively embraced by countless pastors, most of whom presumably went to their pulpits on Sunday to preach traditional values, including marital fidelity. If memory serves, neither Gail Collins nor other liberal pundits noted any irony in people of the cloth endorsing the spectacularly straying Clinton.
But let a preacher praise a Republican with a personal history, and Gail Collins thunders like Billy Sunday with a bad migraine. Here's the opening paragraph of her "Pat Loves Rudy" in today's New York Times [emphasis added]:
Back in mid-2001, when Mayor Rudy Giuliani was busy committing adultery, lurching into his divorce and third marriage and rooming with a gay couple he promised to marry as soon as the law allowed, who among us would have imagined that one day he would be endorsed for president by Pat Robertson?
So it's cool among liberals to talk about politicians' adultery again. And not just use the word, but, by "busy committing," conjure up mental images of the deed. OK, good to know the new groundrules.
Give Collins credit for one thing: she's candid about her cluelessness. A bit later she writes [emphasis added]:
Yesterday, Robertson said that America’s Mayor had won him over because “to me, the overriding issue before the American people is the defense of our population from the bloodlust of Islamic terrorists.” (So much for judicial activism.) “Our second goal should be the control of massive government waste and crushing federal deficits.”
Now this is the part that I have never been able to get. When did government spending become part of the divine agenda? Is there something in the Bible about smiting down federal bureaucrats?
OK, let's try to explain this: people of faith are also allowed to have secular concerns. There.
Finally, let's consider Collins's headline: "Pat Loves Rudy." A conservative columnist writing the equivalent might well be condemned for making an unsubtle appeal to homophobia. But Collins will surely get a pass in PC quarters, since it's a well-established fact that liberals are incapable of prejudice.
Bonus Coverage: Scarborough Scalds Collins: Joe Scarborough opened "Morning Joe" today by ripping Collins' column.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: This morning, the New York Times's Gail Collins writes an op-ed, and it sounds like what some right-wing nutbag would say about Bill Clinton back in the 1990s.
After expressing some initial qualms about the column, Mika Brzezinski later defended Collins' discussion of Rudy's infidelity: "there's a lot of texture to this story, and it's worth talking about."
Wonder if Mika was equally interested in the "texture" of a certain blue dress?