Pundit: Woman-Hating, Limbaugh-Loving Republicans Have No Business Making Bill Clinton’s Sex Life a Campaign Issue

Give columnist Paul Waldman credit for coming up with a real grabber of a lead: “Get ready, America: we're about to take a long and unpleasant journey back down Bill Clinton's pants.” Less amusing is the rest of Waldman’s Monday American Prospect piece, which trashed Republicans for raising Clinton's sexual behavior as an issue in the current presidential campaign.

Waldman jeered at GOPers for “pretend[ing] to…care so deeply about women” while being “the party that wants to keep women from being able to sue for discrimination on the job, the party that wants to keep insurance companies from having to provide coverage for birth control, the party that wants to make abortion illegal, the party whose favorite media figure, Rush Limbaugh, positively luxuriates in his hateful misogyny.” Moreover, argued Waldman, reporters’ fascination with Clinton’s sex life demonstrates that “the right's charges of endemic liberal media bias” are “laughable.”

From Waldman’s column (bolding added):

To a degree, Republicans are casting about for anything that might hurt Hillary. But at its heart this is a product of their emotions. For 18 years they've been holding on to their disappointment that Clinton slipped away from them, their disgust at him, their anger over the whole episode, their outright hatred of everything that he represented…

And make no mistake: There is almost nothing the news media, particularly cable news but other media as well, would love more than to spend months talking about sexual scandals…As you watch the endless cable news hours and newspaper column inches devoted to this topic, you might remind yourself how laughable the right's charges of endemic liberal media bias are…

I don't know enough about the rape allegation to say if there's anything to it, but we know that Bill Clinton had lots of affairs, including the particularly reprehensible one with Monica Lewinsky, a woman 27 years his junior who worked for him. But Bill Clinton is not actually running for anything. One of the talking points that's getting repeated a lot is, "How can she say she'll stand up for women if she defends him?" Which is idiotic, no matter what you think of Bill.

I've yet to hear a Republican explain exactly why whatever Bill Clinton did means that his wife would be a bad president, particularly on issues of concern to women. She has a whole passel of issue positions and policy plans that are designed to be beneficial to women, on subjects like gender discrimination, family leave, and reproductive rights…

So the GOP—the party that wants to keep women from being able to sue for discrimination on the job, the party that wants to keep insurance companies from having to provide coverage for birth control, the party that wants to make abortion illegal, the party whose favorite media figure, Rush Limbaugh, positively luxuriates in his hateful misogyny, the party of "legitimate rape" and defunding Planned Parenthood—this party is now going to pretend to be the ones who care so deeply about women that they provide the only alternative to a woman-hater like Hillary Clinton.

You don't have to think highly of Bill Clinton to find that revolting.

Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson is a contributing writer for NewsBusters