Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who holds the seat formerly occupied by Hillary Clinton, said today that Bill Clinton should have resigned the presidency after his inappropriate relationship with Monica Lewinsky came to light. That’s mighty enlightened of her.
But what took her so long to reach, or articulate, this view? The answer is, it took the fall of Clintons plus a crucial Senate race in which the Republican is being accused of serious sexual misconduct.
We know that Gillibrand would never have called out Bill Clinton if he still wielded influence. We know this because she didn’t when he did. To the contrary, just last year, she wrote: “I. . .was truly honored that President Bill Clinton campaigned for me in my first run for Congress in 2006.”
Attempting to explain her alleged change of heart about Clinton, Gillibrand said: “Things have changed today, and I think under those circumstances there should be a very different reaction.” This dodge is unpersuasive, as I argued at length here.
But even if we were to accept that “things have changed” substantially since 1999 with regard to how having sex with an intern and lying about it is viewed, surely Gillibrand isn’t saying that they have changed substantially since 2016. That’s when she gushed about Bill Clinton.
Gillibrand is guilty not just hypocrisy, but of intellectual dishonesty.
She’s also guilty of rank opportunism. Gillibrand says: “I think in light of this conversation, we should have a very different conversation about President Trump, and a very different conversation about allegations against him.”
Translation: I’ll throw a has-been ex-president, who can no longer help me, under the bus in exchange for having a go at a president I hate.
If President Trump has sex with a White House intern and lies about it (or commits serious sexual misconduct of any kind while serving as president), we should have a “different conversation” about allegations against him. But not with Kristen Gillibrand. She isn’t to be taken seriously.
UPDATE: The former empire is striking back. Phillippe Reines, who was a senior adviser to Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of State tweets:
Ken Starr spent $70 million on a consensual blowjob. Senate voted to keep POTUS WJC. But not enough for you @SenGillibrand?
Over 20 yrs you took the Clintons’ endorsements, money, and seat. Hypocrite.
Interesting strategy for 2020 primaries. Best of luck.
Reines is a bad guy, but he’s right about Sen. Gillibrand.