Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Bill Clinton "worst ever"? Not even close : the lessons of unsanitized presidential history

We've heard Donald Trump claim that Hillary shouldn't be president because Bill Clinton had infidelities.  To be specific, Trump claims Bill Clinton was a sexual predator, the worst in the history of the presidency.  Specifically per the AP, Trump said this
 "But Bill Clinton has sexually assaulted innocent women and Hillary Clinton was attacking those women viciously." "Bill Clinton was the worst abuser of women to ever sit in the Oval Office. He was a predator,"
There is no credible evidence that Hillary ever attacked these women, much less viciously.  She did stand by Bill through rough going, but that is arguably evidence commitment to traditional marriage, not of abuse of anyone else.

But as to the claims against Bill Clinton, I would argue that as sexual escapades in the White House go, he's been among the less egregious, not the worst.  More on that below, but first an examination of the allegations against "President Bubba".

To get specific, Bill Clinton had five formal allegations of sexual misconduct; the claims of Juanita Broadderick, Kathleen Willey, and Paula Jones, have not been established.  They exist as accusations of dubious authenticity, given Broadderick and Willey both testified under oath that Clinton never made unwanted advances.  Further Willey had a history of false accusations, which included telling a boyfriend she was pregnant, when she was not, and then claiming a miscarriage that she didn't have.  Linda Tripp of Monica Lewinsky scandal fame claimed it was Willey who was obsessed from day 1 with seducing the President.

Gennifer Flowers and Monica Lewinsky both appeared to have had some kind of sexual relationships but not apparently coitus with Lewinsky.  Bill Clinton admitted to a one time sexual relationship with Flowers. 

Gennifer Flowers used her notoriety for profit, to the tune of $500,000.  All of the women who have appeared with Donald Trump prior to his second debate, both alleged victims of Bill Clinton, and a very questionable rape victim, were paid to do so, to the tune of $2,5000 each, and their stories conflict with prior accounts of events, including Grand Jury testimony under oath.

Hillary has also been accused of laughing at the alleged victim of a rape case, presumably thereby abusing HER,  where she had no option out of defending the accused rapist, whom she got a plea deal.  She did laugh at the botched case of the prosecution, and she was recorded laughing at the unreliability of polygraph testing, which showed the accused rapist to be innocent.  But she did NOT laugh at the victim.  Further complicating the rape case, the 12 year old victim had consensual sex with a 15 year old boy prior to the accused rape, and had previously made false accusations of bodily attacks.

Hillary Clinton tried to get out of defending her client, but she got a good outcome for her client (a plea deal, not an acquittal)  because he passed a polygraph test, and because of lack of evidence and mishandling of evidence by the prosecution.  It was her duty as a defense attorney to do so; she did her job. The victim previously supported the defense role of Hillary before it became profitable to object to her.

In contrast so far as can be established, there are more women who have credibly come forward to make accusations against Trump, and NONE of them have been paid to do so, and none of them have been credibly contradicted by others in defense of Trump, except by Trump himself who makes a highly suspect denial, much less contradicted themselves.

In contrast Bill Clinton, who turned 70 this past August,  has had no sex scandals since Monica Lewinsky back in the 1990s.  Trump, who also turned 70 this past June, has had sex scandals pretty much right up until he decided to run for President, which he announced in 2015.  These include a law suit for multiple violent rapes of a 13 year old, to other accusations of sexual assault and sexual harassment.  Trump's accusations are distinctive in how consistently they are not consensual - although he has had consensual affairs as well.  He admits to having cheated on Ivana, his first wife, with Marla Maples, his second wife, and to having cheated on Maples with multiple women, including his third wife.  He has been recorded multiple times admitting to have at least attempted to cheat on Melania Trump his third wife.

Putting Bill Clinton's conduct in context, and at the same time putting the claims that Hillary Clinton jeopardized the security of the country with her email problems, I offer you a few examples of bad presidential conduct. Richard Nixon - yes, Tricky Dicky - had an ongoing affair with a Communist Chinese woman with close ties to Chinese Generals.  MI-6 recorded his sex-capades and head of the FBI J. Edgar Hoover got his own dirt on Dick, and used it to blackmail him.  Trump campaign staffer and key adviser to Donald Trump was in the Nixon White House and is one of those who confirm the story.  Both JFK and Gerald Ford had affairs with an East German Communist spy, by the name of Ellen Rometsch, with both being allegedly blackmailed, again by J. Edgar Hoover. Ford was not president at the time, but allegedly was blackmailed for information from the Warren Commission on the JFK assassination.  JFK was far more of a sexual predator and serial philanderer than Bill Clinton, including alleged sexual impropriety with interns. Ronald Reagan had a credible accusation of rape while president as well - but that was while he was Screen Actors Guild president, not US president.

Arguably black mail of the president is a far greater danger to the security of the United States than a private email server with very low level information on it.  And if one takes a look at the totality of presidential history when it comes to inappropriate sexual conduct, there are few who pass scrutiny.  George Washington has been credibly accused of having a long term sexual relationship with a slave named Venus and a speculative one with a certain Mrs. Fairfax.  Jefferson's relationship with Sally Hemmings has been established by DNA evidence, and possibly began when she was as young as 16.  This is not unique to recent presidents.  The founding fathers had more than their fair share of bastards. 

Looking at presidents from WW II forward, the only apparent cases where there were no credible accusations of infidelity or sexual misconduct, before, during or after their presidency were Barack Obama, Jimmy Carter and Harry Truman.  Both Bushes appear to have had affairs - more than one, and Dubya was accused of rape. Looking back before WW II across the 19th century, there not only heterosexual affairs, some with presidential bastard offspring, there were rumors of homosexual relationships attributed (at different times in history) to both presidents Abraham Lincoln and James Buchanan.

So, no, Bill Clinton is FAR from the worst president in terms of keeping himself safely in his pants, and he seems considerably less bad in that regard than the conduct of Donald Trump, past and recent past if not present.  That is IF you look at factual histories of our presidents and their most private conduct.  Just a word to the wise, before you take a look at our unsanitized history - you will NOT be able to look at Mount Rushmore, or stamps with presidents on them, or money, quite the same way again afterwards.

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