Over the weekend, a CBS reporter asked Hillary Clinton whether her husband should have resigned due to his affair with Monica Lewinsky. “Absolutely not,” Hillary replied.
Hillary has been criticized and ridiculed for her response. And some feminists are wringing their hands over what one of them has called “the enduring Bill Clinton dilemma.”
But Hillary is right. Bill Clinton should not have resigned over his affair with Lewinsky.
Lewinsky was 22 years old at the time of the affair. She clearly wanted to have sex with the president. This, then, was a relationship between two consenting adults.
I’m not saying Bill Clinton did nothing wrong. His affair with Lewinsky was wrong at several levels.
But, absent a partisan ulterior purpose, only a puritan or a nutty feminist would think Clinton should have resigned the presidency over the affair. The American president is not a religious leader and the U.S. government is not a Boy Scout troop.
Abstaining from extra-marital sex with consenting adults has never been considered a qualification for the presidency. To the extent the MeToo movement wants to make it one, at least with respect to White House employees or interns, this is simply more evidence of the movement’s overreach.
I’m speaking here only of the affair between Clinton and Lewinsky. Reasonable people could conclude that Clinton should have resigned, or been ousted, for lying under oath about whether he had sex with “that woman.” And if Clinton raped or sexually assaulted anyone, that’s an an entirely different matter.
But Hillary wasn’t asked about these matters. Her answer to the question about her husband resigning was the correct one. It was self-serving, of course, but also, inadvertently, a service to the country, a portion of which seems to be losing its mind about consensual sex between grown-ups.