The Bill Clinton, Monica Lewinsky affair would be very old news, indeed, except for one thing; the real issue has been so methodically suppressed by the mainstream media, we’ve never had a chance to properly think it through.
Having been a nominal liberal when it occurred, I bought lock stock and barrel the MSM line about it being a non-issue raised by prudish and prurient right-wingers and failed to ponder it thoroughly myself at the time. But in recent years, and especially after my post-9/11 conversation to conservatism, one basic fact about it started to gnaw restlessly at me the way old hurts and injustices tend to do.
To have an honest, productive, and future-leaning self-history, a nation must come to grips with even its most painful (or simply unsightly) past issues. Since the MSM is responsible for much of our short-term history, and since it is reliably liberal/leftist, significant parts of our true history is perpetually being wiped out by MSM tail-draggers and these occasional injuries to our collective soul too often fail to see the light of day until decades later. Look at the continued love the MSM has for Woodrow Wilson, arguably our most racist president who is simultaneously the godfather of modern progressivism. Look at Amity Shlaes’ economic revelations about the Great Depression and FDR’s role in perpetuating, not healing, it.
Clinton had a moment of biblical proportions in the minutes before he went on TV that day when he ultimately proclaimed that he’d ‘never had sex with that woman.’ Was he going to fess up to the dirty deed, or was he going to permanently demean and scar a vulnerable and arguably somewhat unstable young woman, who was clearly in the thralls of an infatuation? Was he going to out her to the entire world as the most bald-faced (and ribald) of liars for the rest of her life for having had what was to her a post-teen crush and to him a tawdry, one-way, self-pleasuring? That was the most moral of all dilemmas that he faced that day as he prepared for his statement.
Since he’d most likely taken this route many times before and because the MSM along with his wife, Hillary, had discredited and trashed and made fools of his likely previous lovers, and because he had to know as a father of a young woman how devastating it could be to call someone he’d been intimate with a liar and a cheat, this was his moment to come clear. Or not. As we all know, he chose wrong and paid for it.
Without the blue dress, he most surely would have continued living this destructive, serial lie that time and again redirected from himself and thrown right back in the faces of those women with whom he’d shared what they must have thought were intimate moments.
Did he think about her feelings and her future that day? Did it occur to him that for the rest of her life she would be a global laughing stock? That she’d be forever seen as a needy and deeply disturbed young woman who’d made up an enormous lie for purposes of self-aggrandizement? That she cried not wolf, but fallatio, and yet it was nothing but a giant fib–and one potentially destructive to her country–just to gain a few seconds of cheap attention? What an awful fate that would have been for her.
And all this when it wasn’t even Ms. Lewinsky who brought it to our attention?
It’s only one of the deeper sadnesses of this incident that that fate has partially befallen her anyway with the willing complicity of the MSM. Watch Leno or Letterman or Stewart on any given night and a slimey Monica joke is likely to be slipped in somewhere. She has been made a laughing stock while he’s once again adored by the global left. And yet how much worse would it have been for her in the long run had it not been for the physical evidence; the forensic evidence without which he’d never have admitted a thing while her reputation was being savaged by one and all.
In that sense, his own DNA not only betrayed him, it saved him. Had he had to live with this, and if he has any conscience at all–and I believe he does, that his is a complex and conflicted character visited not infrequently by a legion of private ghosts–it surely would have ruined his peace of mind for all time. It would have become for him a burden too painful to live with. As it is, he’s been able to air it out, and in the absence of any substantial criticism from the media, return at least temporarily to the favor of the global public. (I doubt, however, that his will be a prized legacy, for this and other reasons.)
As a father of two daughters, I can see how a young woman who’s in close proximity to a handsome, bedeviling, intelligent man–and of such unthinkable power and influence as the president of the United States–could fall for his charms. (But, it also has to be said of him, a cunning sexual predator who was (I hope in the past tense) able to direct all his formidable assets to the seduction.
And yet, at the same time, as a father, I can also conceive of the hurt to any young woman should she be betrayed as heartlessly as he attempted to do to her in his failed biblical moment.