More Liberals Continue to Reevaluate Bill Clinton Sexual Assault Allegations

Bill Clinton / Getty
November 15, 2017

More liberals are continuing to reevaluate the sexual assault allegations levied against former President Bill Clinton.

After several prominent liberals and journalists called for a reexamination of the merit of the sexual assault claims against Clinton, more of their peers penned articles castigating the 42nd president for his alleged conduct.

"Bill Clinton should have resigned," Vox reporter Matt Yglesias wrote Wednesday, arguing that Clinton's affair in the 1990s with then-White House intern Monica Lewinsky should have resulted in his resignation because it was an abuse of power. Yglesias downplayed the perjury charge against Clinton and said he was more concerned with the Lewinsky scandal than the sexual assault allegations from several women—like Juanita Broaddrick, who alleges that Clinton raped her in 1978—because "the facts are not in dispute."

Yglesias admitted that, at the time, he believed the allegations against Clinton were overblown and just attempts by Republicans to pin the president with another scandal.

"At the time I, like most Americans, was glad to see Clinton prevail and regarded the whole sordid matter as primarily the fault of congressional Republicans' excessive scandal-mongering," Yglesias wrote.

This is similar to an argument that New York Times journalist Michelle Goldberg made in a piece published Monday.

But Yglesias wrote that the election of Donald Trump, the revelations about Harvey Weinstein and others in the entertainment industry, and the allegations of sexual misconduct and assault levied against Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore led him to reevaluate his opinion of Clinton's past behavior two decades later.

"I think we got it wrong," he said.

Yglesias was not the only one to revisit the Clinton sexual assault claims.

Veteran journalist Jeff Greenfield wrote an article for Politico Magazine titled, "How Roy Moore's Misdeeds Are Forcing an Awakening on the Left," with the subhead, "Years of excusing Bill Clinton's sexual misconduct suddenly seems morally indefensible."

Greenfield made similar arguments to Yglesias and offered a reason why Democrats never held Clinton accountable for his alleged actions: because Republicans were overzealous in their efforts to punish the Democratic president.

"But from the political center leftward, those allegations never reached critical mass," Greenfield wrote. "Maybe it was the very way that the Right not only seized on the stories, but made them part of a much broader, far less credible series of accusations."

Greenfield also credited Trump, Weinstein, and Moore for liberals' sudden reawakening to the allegations against Clinton.

Greenfield concluded that until partisans from both parties stop justifying unconscionable behavior, the problem will continue to grow.

"For many of us, it is easy to look at Weinstein, Trump, and Moore as case studies in pathological behavior," Greenfield wrote. "Looking closer to home is a lot more painful; it is also compulsory. Unless and until partisans across the board stop justifying unconscionable behavior out of political self-interest, the more likely it is that the pervasive cynicism about the process, and everyone involved in it, will fester and grow."

As recently as last year, some journalists were calling the allegations against Clinton "discredited."