First up, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, himself a 2016 hopeful, was asked on Meet the Press if he thinks Bill Clinton's inappropriate relationship with Monica Lewinsky would be fair game in a campaign against Hillary Clinton. After 174 words, Paul got around to saying "Now, it's not Hillary's fault." But first, he opened with:
Well, you know, I mean, the Democrats, one of their big issues is they have concocted and said Republicans are committing a war on women. One of the workplace laws and rules that I think are good is that bosses shouldn't prey on young interns in their office.Bill Clinton's actions were wrong! No one is defending them. That was also in 1995 and 1996. It is now 2014 and he is not a candidate for office. But that didn't stop Joe Scarborough, who as a member of the House of Representatives voted to impeach Clinton in 1998, from taking up the argument. Calling it "an ugly chapter in our history," Scarborough compared it to the Iraq War—leaving out the part where more than 4,000 U.S. troops and more than 100,000 Iraqis died in the Iraq War, of course—and suggested that we should "let them go." But then he continued, "That said ..."
And I think really the media seems to have given President Clinton a pass on this. He took advantage of a girl that was 20 years old and an intern in his office.
“If Hillary Clinton attacks the Republican Party’s handling of women and treatment of women and disrespect for women and suggests they’re misogynists etc., etc., etc., it does seem to be a fair question to ask right now a few years out, does the media have a responsibility to say, ‘Well, let’s see what happened when you were in the White House and how women were treated when you were in the governor’s mansion and the White House?’ Is that fair?”Again, we're talking about something that happened nearly 20 years ago. And that Hillary Clinton was in all likelihood more opposed to than most of the rest of us. But mostly, as much as we would hope for appropriate behavior from our politicians, policy is actually more important. Bill Clinton was the president who signed the Violence Against Women Act when it was first passed; Republicans tried to weaken the Violence Against Women Act when it was reauthorized last year. Bill Clinton signed the Family and Medical Leave Act, and Democrats are now trying to pass paid family leave to improve on the FMLA. That's another bill Republicans won't consider, along with other Democratic priorities like raising the minimum wage (which disproportionately affects women) or passing the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. To say nothing of all the forced-ultrasound bills Republicans have supported across the country.
If all Republicans have against Hillary is something an individual action by someone other than her nearly 20 years ago, and they're running with that this enthusiastically and this early, you know they're scared.