A Re-Evaluation Of Bill Clinton’s Behavior After The Harvey Weinstein Scandal

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Yesterday on the present we did a section about ladies and badual harbadment and badault in Hollywood. And I stated that we’re in a second the place ladies are telling their tales. A listener wrote to say that is truly a lot larger than a second. This week, a number of writers appeared again in time on the males who would have suffered extra penalties had at this time’s requirements utilized. And one title that saved arising was Bill Clinton. A author in The Atlantic stated Bill Clinton must be held accountable by the Democratic Party for allegations in opposition to him that embody badual harbadment, groping and rape. Yesterday, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who holds Hillary Clinton’s former seat, stated Bill Clinton ought to have resigned after his relationship with an intern whereas he was president.

Vox additionally had that place earlier within the week. Ezra Klein is the editor-at-large and founding father of Vox, and he is with us now. Welcome.

EZRA KLEIN: Hello.

MCEVERS: Bill Clinton ought to have resigned. That is the factor that Vox stated this week, that extra persons are saying. But it is a straightforward factor to say now, proper? He’s not in energy.

KLEIN: It is and it is not. So a pair issues right here. One, I wish to say that this piece was written by my colleague, Matthew Yglesias, however that is additionally a place I maintain and have held for fairly some time. I feel folks underestimate how unusual for youthful folks trying again on the Clinton allegations truly is. Generational mores have modified. And for individuals who had been a bit youthful at the moment it’s fairly astonishing how a lot energy he abused. And that is to say nothing of the opposite allegations in opposition to him by ladies like Juanita Broaddrick and Paula Jones. So there’s lots right here.

MCEVERS: Let’s discuss these different allegations in opposition to Bill Clinton for a second, some earlier than he was president and one when he was president. Juanita Broaddrick says she was raped by Bill Clinton within the late ’70s, Paula Jones says he uncovered himself to her within the ’90s, and Kathleen Willey says he groped her when he was president. Now, these allegations, in fact, have been weaponized by Clinton’s opponents. But does that imply they should not be taken severely?

KLEIN: No, I feel not less than a few of them very a lot must be taken severely. So I wish to say right here I am not an knowledgeable on Clinton allegations, however I’ve tried to do my studying on this and tried to know it. And of them, I feel the one that basically must be taken severely is Juanita Broaddrick. It has by no means been refuted. In a world the place you are saying consider ladies, there’s not a bar that Juanita Broaddrick’s allegations do not clear there.

MCEVERS: One factor that your colleague, Matt Yglesias, wrote for Vox was that after Clinton’s encounter with Monica Lewinsky whereas he was president, which each events stated was consensual, the Clintons had been in a position to solid it as a personal affair, a household affair. Why is that not so? I imply, why may this be thought-about a public affair?

KLEIN: It’s adults who – considered one of them was the only strongest human being in the complete world and a 21-year-old intern. There is a lot incorrect with that that it’s onerous to know what the language of consent actually means in that case. It’s a horrible, horrible abuse of energy and lapse in judgment. And, sure, it’s consensual. I am not saying he ought to have gone to jail for having an affair with Monica Lewinsky. But the requirements of being president are increased than doing stuff you shouldn’t go to jail for.

MCEVERS: Bill Clinton is, in fact, head of a serious basis. He provides high-paid speeches. He helps with fundraising for the Democratic Party. He’s – you already know, exhibits up on the marketing campaign path for various Democratic candidates. What ought to the Democratic Party do with that? Should he not seem on their behalf anymore?

KLEIN: Look; if I had been a Democratic candidate I most likely wouldn’t have Bill Clinton seem at – for me. I feel that we try to know what the right zone of punishment is. One zone of punishment is you lose your job. But Bill Cohen doesn’t have a job to lose save for the Clinton Global Initiative, which he controls, to my data. So then there’s this query of ought to he not be a part of political society, proper? Not be a part of the political course of.

And then I feel there’s a query, as you are saying, of, you already know, ought to a Democratic Party that’s making an attempt to say it does take ladies severely – ought to they’ve Bill Clinton as an honored, form of current a part of that celebration not as a previous president who they admire issues he did on the economic system and others, however as a present campaigner? But I additionally suppose that we’re not in a spot as a society the place we have now a course of and a means these judgments get made. And so it is slightly bit onerous for folks to say, what’s the boundary of it? When is cost exacted and when is not it?

MCEVERS: Ezra Klein of Fox, thanks a lot.

KLEIN: Thank you. Transcript supplied by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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