Michelle Goldberg has written a thoughtful piece in The New York Times titled, “I believe Juanita.” In it, she acknowledges that Juanita Broaddrick’s 1999 statements that Bill Clinton had raped her (10 years earlier, when he was attorney general of Arkansas) were credible. Goldberg points out the painful truth that if the women accusing Harvey Weinstein (and other Hollywood predators) are to be believed now, then Broaddrick should have been believed then.
Too little, too late.
Not only because believing Broaddrick now won’t impact Bill Clinton’s political career, but — more significantly — because the left’s history of hypocrisy has done far more extensive damage than most people realize.
Exhibit A: the U.S. Senate candidacy of Roy Moore. As any number of commentators (including Ben Shapiro, Jonah Goldberg and Cal Thomas) have recently observed with chagrin, allegations that would have utterly discredited a candidate among Republican and conservative voters — particularly evangelical Christians — just a few years ago are barely making a dent in Moore’s support (and are galvanizing support for him in some quarters).
Why is that?
Tim Graham at Newsbusters provides a little insight. He dug up a Don Imus interview with former CBS anchor Dan Rather from 1999, in which Rather dismisses Broaddrick’s allegations as having “happened a long time ago.” Americans, Rather opined, had “moved on.”
That’s one of dozens of similar instances. Here’s the bottom line: Voters on the right have seen that there are no political advantages to holding your candidate to standards of personal virtue when the other side never does.
Those who consider our president to be a vulgar blowhard, and who wail and moan and wonder aloud how we got him, have their answer right there. What’s sauce for the goose on the Left is sauce for the gander on the Right.
This is more than a they-did-it-first approach to cultural decline. What we are seeing is a rapid, widespread unraveling of faith in some of our most important institutions.
It’s one thing when people feel betrayed by the NFL or appalled…