The Breakfast Table

Disproving Rape

While I join Chatterbox in his contempt for the Wall Street Journal’s reliably ridiculous Op-Ed page, I don’t think the WSJ’s coverage of Juanita Broaddrick is quite as risible as he’d like us to think. As the finally aired NBC report of last night made clear, the allegations are very likely true or at least substantially true. It would take tortured logic and some very byzantine reasoning to concoct a scenario, at least, in which the charges could be shown to be false. Virtually every other Clinton allegation to be aired in the media over the past year or so (barring a few outliers, most of which involve things flying into and out of the Mena airstrip in Arkansas) has proved to be more or less true–a point media-bashers have conveniently ignored. Even if the Broaddrick charge is true, though, Clinton is scot-free at this point: Broaddrick sat on the rape story for two decades and denied them herself in an affidavit. And one could make the somewhat cynical, though true, point that considered in the context of late ‘70s sexual politics, the Clinton-Broaddrick encounters would have been counted as bad sex–okay, very bad sex. It is intriguing to contemplate what would have happened had NBC run the story during the impeachment hearings: I don’t think Clinton would have been ousted, but it might have been close, or at least closer. I’m thrilled the Republicans are looking like idiots right now, but I would find it truly depressing if Clinton’s deviancy is defined down to the point of irrelevance.