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Paglia: Bill Clinton Is Like Bill Cosby

From David Daley writing at Salon:

Camille Paglia, the political and cultural critic, has been a brave and brilliant provocateur on Salon for almost 20 years now. Paglia seemed to be on the winning side of the wars over feminism and political correctness in the 1990s, but recently those battles have been reopened. Suddenly we’re talking again and in very different ways about sexual culture on campus. Comedians like Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Maher talk about the return of a stifling political correctness. And we’re staring at the potential rematch of a Clinton and a Bush.

There were so many stories that we wanted Paglia’s take on: Bill Cosby, Donald Trump, the state of the Democratic Party. So we spent two hours discussing all of them on Monday, and we’ll present her thoughts over the next three days. Stand back: Paglia does not hold back on anything.

The banner on the Drudge Report this morning is that Kathleen Willey is starting a site to collect harassment claims against Bill Clinton. New York magazine, meanwhile, has the stories of 35 women who say they were raped or assaulted by Bill Cosby. I wonder if you see a connection between the two stories: Would Bill Clinton’s exploits be viewed more like Cosby’s if he was in the White House now, instead of in the 1990s?

Right from the start, when 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! What bigger power differential could there be than between the president of the United States and this poor innocent girl? Not only an intern but clearly a girl who had a kind of pleading, open look to her–somebody who was looking for a father figure.

Read the rest of the story at Salon.

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