It isn’t “bullying” Hillary to mention Monica Lewinsky. Hillary made it clear Bill Clinton will have a significant role in her White House

If Bill Is Involved, His Problems Are Her Problems

By Patty Jane,

President Bill Clinton with Monica Lewinsky, who was his 22-year-old intern during their affair.

To some degree I empathize with Hillary Clinton supporters — and others — who say it’s cruel to bring up Monica Lewinsky since Bill Clinton’s affair caused Hillary great shame and public humiliation.

People admire Hillary for the courageous way she pushed through the humiliation and pressed on to accomplish significant work. The topic of Bill and Monica may cause old wounds to flare — but that’s no reason to avoid the subject.

We feminists who suffered Anita Hill’s humiliation in the 1990s take comfort in knowing a Clarence Thomas appointment to the Supreme Court probably wouldn’t fly today. Society has made progress toward understanding power imbalances and sexual misconduct. Someone recently suggested President Obama appoint Hill to the Supreme Court to replace Anthony Scalia. What beautiful justice that would be.

Since Clarence Thomas’ behavior wouldn’t fly today, Bill Clinton’s shouldn’t either. Make no mistake: President Bill Clinton was not a passive party in the relationship despite what he has said. He was in a position of extreme power and he exploited a young woman with no power.

Now Hillary has made it clear Bill will have a prominent role in her White House if she is elected. Her campaign says she’s vetting potential vice presidents to determine how well they’ll be able to handle her husband’s prominent role.

So concerns about Bill’s past sexual misconduct are fair game. This is not the 1990s. We know more and accept less. As much as Democrats want to avoid the topic, Republicans will have a field day with it in a General Election. And when they do, it won’t be another “conservative witch hunt.” The fact is, our standards have changed.

It’s not acceptable today (thank you Boston Globe Spotlight Team) for Catholic priests to molest children (I’m Catholic; I say that without joy or sarcasm). It’s not acceptable today for bosses to make sexual comments to employees. I hope it would not be acceptable today for a young intern who was used as a sexual plaything by the president of the United States to be scapegoated, publicly shamed and humiliated.

That’s what happened to Monica Lewinsky. She suffered dearly for decades. Lewinsky now works as an anti-bullying expert and speaker — a career forged from the humiliation she suffered as the result of her relationship with Bill Clinton. Recently she gave a Ted Talk on the subject of public humiliation and cyber bullying. Many of my fellow Democrats — who are hell bent on protecting the Clintons at any cost — still see any mention of Bill and Monica as a right-wing conspiracy to bring Hillary down.

This isn’t a partisan issue. Bill has never taken responsibility for the fact that he took advantage of a vulnerable young lady who worked for him. He has hardly even admitted to the affair itself despite being impeached for it. First he denied it. When evidence made denial impossible, he shook responsibility by claiming he was a passive partner in the relationship. He said the sex was done to him! Bill Clinton is a very creepy guy. And his creepy irresponsibility set Monica Lewinsky up for a lifetime of slut shaming.

Some say Bill’s sexual conduct is predatory You can review the Washington Post’s factchecker “Guide To The Allegations Of Bill Clinton’s Womanizing” and decide for yourself. Keep in mind the Washington Post endorsed Hillary Clinton for president. Washington Post owner Jeffrey Bezos has a professional working relationship with Hillary. So, the Washington Post cannot be dismissed as another “conservative witch hunt.” After reading the article and considering the facts, I decided I agree with those who say Bill’s sexual behavior is predatory. The Post article addresses several rape allegations against Bill, including allegations from Juanita Broaddrick, whose full 1999 Dateline NBC interview is here:

Monica Lewinsky has endured shame and humiliation for decades due to her relationship with Bill Clinton. Yes, she admitted it was a consensual relationship. Lewinsky never said she received unwanted attention from President Bill Clinton when she was a 22-year-old White House intern. She said one day she confessed to him, “I have a crush on you.” That’s when the affair, which involved eight separate sexual encounters, began in full. Lewinsky has also said in recent years, there’s no question in her mind that Bill Clinton took advantage of her. She also said it’s painful that to this day Bill maintains he was a passive partner in the relationship. Bill’s version of the affair perpetuates the fiction that Monica is a slut and the president was lured by her siren call.

Many Democrats think Bill has been unfairly singled out for his sexual conduct because several presidents throughout history had been known to have extramarital sexual relations. President John F. Kennedy, for instance, is thought by some to have had a sexual relationship with Marilyn Monroe while serving as commander and chief.

Maybe that’s true. But Monica Lewinsky was no Marilyn Monroe. In the 1990s I bought the conservative-witch hunt excuse, too and voted for Bill twice. But the 1990s are long gone and fortunately society has grown up a bit since then. If Bill Clinton’s 1990s Oval Office affair had been with someone like Marilyn Monroe — someone with power and glamour and a life of her own — I wouldn’t hold it against him (or Hillary) today.

Monica Lewinsky was a chubby 22-year-old who had a crush on her boss, the president of the United States. Monica had been wounded as a teenager by her parents’ divorce and hadn’t quite healed. Any decent man with a half-functional sexual appetite would have known better than to start a relationship with her. But Bill has repeatedly shown he has no sexual boundaries.

Obviously, if Hillary had divorced Bill, his problem wouldn’t be her campaign problem today. If Hillary had kept Bill away from her campaign, his problem might not be her problem. But Bill has been very prominent on Hillary’s campaign trail. And Hillary says he’ll play a significant role in her White House. So vetting Bill’s sexual conduct is appropriate now.

I’m sorry Hillary Clinton supporters: Bill’s problems are Hillary’s problems — and your problems, too. Any person who supports Hillary for president must own the fact that Bill Clinton, like Clarence Thomas, is a relic of the “good old days” when “good old boys” were given a pass on sexual misconduct. There’s no evidence to show he’s changed.

Supporters also must own the fact that a prominent role in Hillary’s White House would be filled by Bill — who has never admitted he took advantage of Monica Lewinsky or apologized for the shame and humiliation he caused her.

Monica’s life was forever changed. Bill Clinton walks free like a national hero. I’m sorry if it still pains Hillary to hear the name Monica Lewinsky. Though her suffering is real it probably pales in comparison to what Monica has endured.

Monica Lewinsky was never Hillary’s problem; her problem all along has been Bill.