WaPo Contributor Wants Us to Stop Talking About the Clintons

WASHINGTON, : US First Lady Hillary Clinton and US President Bill Clinton listen to testimonials from a wide range of individuals about half way through the four-hour 'White House Conference on Philanthropy: Gifts to the Future' 22 October 1999 in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC. …
PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images, File

A Wednesday Washington Post op-ed is calling for Republicans to give the Clintons a pass and stop discussing decades of sexual misconduct and scandals because “their political careers are over.”

The piece, by pro-hijab Canadian History Professor Matthew A. Sears is the latest in a string of similar columns to acknowledge Bill Clinton’s decades of sexual misdeeds were once relevant, but to argue they are largely undeserving of attention now.

“Many liberals have for a long time thought a Clinton reckoning is long overdue,” Sears writes, “We look back with great horror and shame at the way the allegations against Clinton were handled in the ’90s, not to mention the appalling and life-ruining treatment meted out against his accusers.”

Indeed, long after it would have a significant political impact, liberals are ready for a “reckoning.” In just the last week, top Democrats have, at long last, decided Clinton should have resigned over his behavior in the White House in the 1990s. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY), for example.

Other Democrats though, are less than contrite.

“None of that,” though, Sears argues, should take away from the opportunity to attack Roy Moore right now, over allegations that, unlike Bill Clinton’s, are entirely unproven, at the moment of maximum political effect. While Al Franken is mentioned briefly as the new Republican scapegoat, Rep. John Conyers (D-NY), a legendary house Democrat who reached a settlement for sexual harassment, is not.

“Bill Clinton is no longer president (and hasn’t been for more than 16 years),” Sears notes, glossing over the fact that allegations against the former president did not stop rolling in when he left the oval office.

President Donald Trump, by contrast, is still fair game, “[W]e should probably be more concerned by the allegations, some of which were openly admitted on tape, of sexual misconduct by the current president.”

Comparing any criticism of the Clintons to one of history’s many instances in which dead people were put on trial, Sears also believes it is unhelpful to take Hillary Clinton to task for her own long history of scandals and alleged wrongdoing. “Hillary Clinton is not (to the ongoing horror of many) president,” he writes. “Any scandal or backroom and self-interested deals she may or may not have been involved in are immaterial for the current administration of the republic, or, at the very least, should be relegated to the back burner.”

“Hillary Clinton’s presidential aspirations died a year ago,” he concludes, making the appointment of a special prosecutor for the Uranium One investigation inappropriate.

Later on Twitter, however, Sears appeared to acknowledge the Clintons’ careers are far from over. He approvingly retweeted someone claiming “The Clintons continue to serve their country despite all the vicious attacks.”

Contrary to Sears’s claim her political career is over, Hillary Clinton entered the fray yet again the same day his piece was published, calling some of her opponents “white nationalists” and bemoaning recent lapses in political correctness. She did not. and has not, ruled out running for office again.


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