Could Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid suffer collateral damage from the wreck of Bill Cosby’s reputation? Quite possibly, believes author, professor, and unreliable liberal (that’s a compliment) Camille Paglia, who contends that “there is a big parallel” between Cosby’s scandalous sexual behavior and that of Bill Clinton.
In an interview with Salon, Paglia speculated that Hillary’s public reaction to her husband’s randy antics won’t sit well with the young female voters whom you’d expect to be ardent supporters of hers: “Hillary has a lot to answer for, because she took an antagonistic and demeaning position toward her husband’s accusers. So it’s hard for me to understand how the generation of Lena Dunham would or could tolerate the actual facts of Hillary’s history.”
The Clintons, alleged Paglia, “are responsible for the destruction of Monica Lewinsky! They probably hoped that she would just go on and have a job, get married, have children, and disappear, but instead she’s like this walking ghoul.”
Salon will run more from the Paglia interview on Wednesday and Thursday. From Tuesday’s installment (bolding added):
[W]hen the Bill Cosby scandal surfaced, I knew it was not going to bode well for Hillary’s campaign, because young women today have a much lower threshold for tolerance of these matters. The horrible truth is that the feminist establishment in the U.S., led by Gloria Steinem, did in fact apply a double standard to Bill Clinton’s behavior because he was a Democrat. The Democratic president and administration supported abortion rights, and therefore it didn’t matter what his personal behavior was.
But we’re living in a different time right now, and young women have absolutely no memory of Bill Clinton. It’s like ancient history for them; there’s no reservoir of accumulated good will. And the actual facts of the matter are that Bill Clinton was a serial abuser of working-class women–he had exploited that power differential even in Arkansas. And then in the case of Monica Lewinsky–I mean, the failure on the part of Gloria Steinem and company to protect her was an absolute disgrace in feminist history!...
…I don’t care what public figures do in their private life. It’s a very sophisticated style among the French, and generally in Europe, where the heads of state tend to have mistresses on the side. So what? That doesn’t bother me at all! But the point is, they are sophisticated affairs that the European politicians have, while the Clinton episode was a disgrace.
…It was frat house stuff! And Monica got nothing out of it. Bill Clinton used her. Hillary was away or inattentive, and he used Monica in the White House–and in the suite of the Oval Office, of all places. He couldn’t have taken her on some fancy trip? She never got the perks of being a mistress; she was there solely to service him. And her life was completely destroyed by the publicity that followed. The Clinton’s are responsible for the destruction of Monica Lewinsky! They probably hoped that she would just go on and have a job, get married, have children, and disappear, but instead she’s like this walking ghoul.
…Hillary has a lot to answer for, because she took an antagonistic and demeaning position toward her husband’s accusers. So it’s hard for me to understand how the generation of Lena Dunham would or could tolerate the actual facts of Hillary’s history.
Then, responding to the question “So have the times and standards changed enough that Clinton would be seen as Cosby, if he was president today?” Paglia said, “Oh, yes! There’s absolutely no doubt, especially in this age of instant social media.”
Earlier this year, in an interview with Reason TV’s Nick Gillespie, Paglia described Hillary as “a fraud” and asked rhetorically, “We’re going to reward with the presidency a woman who has enabled the depredations and the exploitation of women…by that cornpone husband of hers?”