27 / November
27 / November
The Lesbian Bomb

I was asked by a student a few months back what I made of whispers of Hillary Clinton partaking in gay affairs. She's not fun enough to be a lesbian, I responded. Might I have underestimated Bill Clinton's effect on women?

A few weeks later, I heard on, of all places, JT the Brick's overnight sports show, the allegation reported to a national audience. I Googled Hillary's alleged paramour. Friends, Hillary has better taste in women than Bill does.

That's if you believe the rumors. I've been around politics long enough not to automatically believe the graffiti on the bathroom wall. Evidence, not gossip, persuades. But I'm just not sure this is the type of story that hearing the evidence will be all that healthy--for Hillary Clinton, for her close friend, or for the country.

The English press reported the rumours over the weekend, which Drudge repeated on his website. The cycle has begun. The genesis of this story, appearing on blogs, in foreign news outlets, on Drudge--all before a mainstream U.S. press outlets took a crack--reminds me of another sex scandal involving a famous politician (also named Clinton) and a female underling.

And like that other sex scandal, Republicans would be unwise to carp on this. The prinicpal effect of the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal was to place on the national stage obscene sexual material. In other words, the publicity surrounding the scandal spotlighted on stage what should operate in the shadows off stage. It's not that Bill Clinton did something defendable. It's not that the scandal merely involved sex. And it's not the Republicans can be blamed for the litigious culture and maze of sexual harrassment laws which ironically ensnared a politician of Bill Clinton's outlook. It's that a debate over such a coarse topic only serves to make the nation more coarse. It served as a massive advertisement for oral sex. "What's the big deal?," one middle-school student caught up in the post-Lewinsky fad explained to her parents. "President Clinton did it." The cultural change in sexual mores that undoubtedly took place during the 1990s stemmed in large part from the Clinton sex scandal dominating newspapers, television, radio, and internet for more than a year.

People who might otherwise have found such behavior between the fiftysomething boss and his college-age intern vicious, because of their passion for Clinton or the Democratic Party, put themselves in the position of defending or downplaying Clinton's bad behavior. They rationalized, and, in effect, gave license to the tens of millions of spectators watching the prolonged national debate. Like Senator Pat Moynihan, they, in the words of Pat Moynihan, participated in "defining deviancy down." Clinton's behavior, and the publicity it received, more than any piece of legislation he signed or executive action he took, altered America. And it did so for the worse.

Like the Monicagate scandal, the primary effect of the Lesbian Bomb, should crude operators choose to detonate it, would be to generate sympathy for Hillary Clinton. People who find lesbianism abhorrent are likely to find Hillary Clinton's political positions abhorrent and people who find lesbianism cool are likely to find Hillary Clinton's political positions cool. With no blue dress forthcoming, what's the point of highlighting a story that its main characters--a political candidate and a campaign worker dedicated to the success of that political candidate--will deny?

Unlike the Monicagate scandal, where Clinton's enemies had their facts right, the Hillesbian story may turn out to be like a lot of stories peddled about the Clintons. Remember Clinton running drugs out of the Mena, Arkansas airport? Clinton's hit on Commerce Secretary Ron Brown? The illegitimate black child he spawned with a Little Rock prostitute? All this and more happened in the imaginations of Bill Clinton's enemies. Clinton haters allowed their hatred to cloud their judgment just as Friends of Bill allowed their love for the man to cloud theirs. Passion, which the Clintons evoke in friends and enemies, has that effect on people.

Taking the bait on the Hillary "lesbian bomb" story will likely have similar negative consequences. First, by focusing on one candidate's sex life, as they did during the late 1990s, Republicans will distract the party faithful from their lack of a conservative direction and toward some external devil figure, in this case, that, that, that lesbian! In doing so, it will mainstream a subject that, outside of MTV, shock-jock schlock, and magazines like Club and High Society, is still outside of the mainstream. In delegitimizing Hillary Clinton through the "lesbian" issue, Republicans may desensitize the nation to homosexuality, ushering in even more special "rights," "hate" laws, and other such nonsense. Is that what they really want?

Of course, there is as little evidence to substantiate this rumor as there is evidence to suggest that national Republicans seek to make this an issue. I don't think they are that stupid, but some lone officeholder certainly is. Less than a decade after Newt Gingrich and Bob Livingston made Bill Clinton's infidelities (and lying and obstruction of justice) the issue, and within a year or so of Mark Foley and Larry Craig becoming the issue, making a big deal of Hillary Clinton's alleged affair with a woman would be a colossal mistake. As with most matters involving politics, Republicans would be wise to follow the course they should have followed with Iraq and the economy: laissez faire, leave it alone.

posted at 04:57 PM

Did Bill & Hillary have an open marriage and is Webster Hubbell Chelsea's father? Check out the pictures.

Posted by: Luis on November 27, 2007 05:12 PM

This is a stupid story. Let's all agree to ignore it. Next.

Posted by: Bruce Wayne on November 27, 2007 11:43 PM

Don't agree Batman. As far as I'm concerned, not enough bad things can happen to Hitlery Rotten Clipem.

True story or not, she's a disease and needs to be eradicated and piling on helps.

To be honest though, this story is likely tabloid bunk as Bill would have been into some of that three way action it it were true.

Posted by: asdf on November 28, 2007 07:37 AM

She needs to be defeated sure but this is a garbage story.

I actually think she won't be winning the Dem nomination anyway. She is running her primary campaign like a tard.

Posted by: Bruce Wayne on November 28, 2007 08:21 AM

I'm pretty much in line with what Dan is communicating with this post and I do agree with the fact that these kinds of items related to high profile Americans is not a good thing for our society overall. But, again, anything to keep this incompetent socialist witch away from any real power.

I hope you're right about the nomination and her chances.

Posted by: asdf on November 28, 2007 08:38 AM

Nice softball interview of Hillary by Katie Couric (growl!!!). Questions were easy, camera work was soft and the flower bouquet behind both of these leftists was nicely effective.

Hillary was probably thinking, man, she has nice gams.

Posted by: asdf on November 29, 2007 07:56 AM
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