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Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
1 year ago

No, I don’t think this is right at all.
Bill Clinton was just another leader walking a VERY well-trodden path of lying to save his political life. It only seemed to have become more prevalent because we were, by then, living in a time of 24hr rolling news and a far less deferential media, but such behaviour had been around for as long as there have been politicians.
The real “post-truth era” began with the Neo-Cons in the US, and Nu Labour in the UK. Bush and Blair were out front, but they were merely the beneficiaries of the political machines behind them that actually embraced telling untruths as a deliberate policy measure.
Ron Suskind of the New York Times, wrote of an encounter with a senior adviser to George W Bush (later identified as Karl Rove):
“The aide said that guys like me were ‘in what we call the reality-based community’, which he defined as people who ‘believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality’. I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ‘That’s not the way the world really works any more,’ he continued. ‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality judiciously as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out.”
This idea of creating an alternative reality to be shaped and sold to a pliant electorate became the intentional policy of Bush’s Presidency. They believed that by merely saying a thing – given the US’s position as the only world superpower at the time – they could simply will it into becoming a reality. And so they created “New Realities” – fake news in today’s parlance – and stood by it as ‘objective’ truth for as long as it was expedient, before moving on to another “reality” as their needs changed.
New Labour recognised the dark genius of this approach as they worked their way to power following John Smith’s death. They came to believe that the “perception of the truth” was more important than the actual truth of the matter. Just so long as you could sell it for long enough that most people would accept it as true – and if it became accepted as fact it might even become real.
A brilliant and forensic account of this deliberate policy of untruth – or manufactured “Truth” – can be found in “The Rise of Political Lying” by Peter Oborne. The concept had its roots in post-modern philosophy schools and was used to brilliant effect by some of the academics who were instrumental in shaping the ideas of Nu Labour. That work was carried on by Mandelson and later Campbell to devastating effect.
Obama was able to create realities at will because he was the golden boy in the media’s eyes. There was so little push-back against the narrative it was frightening.
Trump was just a cruder and less politically slick continuation of that policy – insisting something was true, when it often wasn’t, but knowing his supporters would take it as gospel, whilst also understanding that his opponents wouldn’t believe anything he said anyway – so why not lie? With enough momentum behind a thing, a lie could become the truth.
Biden just seems to read the talking points his handlers put in front of them. They even “instruct” him as to which reporters are allowed to put questions to the President – his lies are of the more old-fashioned kind, but only because he lacks the presentational skills of those who preceded him in office.
Perhaps the folks in “the reality-based community” could get back to doing their job and holding the Govt to account. It is quite extraordinary how low the US Media set the bar for Biden – they’ve quite deliberately avoided pointing out his many deficiencies and his obvious cognitive decline. But just being “Not Trump” is no longer enough.
Looking back over the last two years, our failure in Afghanistan was a telling moment – demonstrating that “created realities” only work up to the point that they come face to face with actual realities on the ground, particularly in a country not in thrall to the media narrative that shapes the way most of us think about the world.
The “post-truth era” should have come to an end with the rise of alternative media, where interested citizens could find objective truth on unfiltered news sources which had no political allegiance. However, quite the reverse happened. With the plethora of news sources, catering to every taste, most people now gravitate towards coverage that matches their preferred worldview, thus facilitating politicians lying to us.
We, as consumers, should shoulder some of the blame for this because many of us choose to seek out consoling half-truths, or even outright untruths, rather than confront uncomfortable truths if they challenge our worldview.
It used to be that you were “entitled to your own opinion”
Nowadays people seem to feel entitled to their own facts.
Who can blame ambitious politicians, or competitive media organisations, for taking advantage of that sorry fact?

Last edited 1 year ago by Paddy Taylor
Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

“It used to be that you were “entitled to your own opinion”
“Nowadays people seem to feel entitled to their own facts”
True that!

Andrew Holmes
Andrew Holmes
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

I disagree on your take on Rove’s words. The premise of that interpretation is “no wmd were found, therefore asserting that there was was a lie”. That premise ignores the context in which the assertion was made.
The host in the Congress who voted for the invasion had extraordinary access to the same information as the administration; when it went sour, suddenly it was some other paper which would have convinced them otherwise. There is the first lie.
Multiple other governments agreed that Sadam had wmd, not just the UK. So when a policy decision is made, your interpretation is that it’s made with malign intent if it doesn’t work out. You are a judge summing up dead against the defendant.
Rove’s words make sense to me as asserting that an action can change the current reality. The administration stated its goal to be opening a path to democracy in the Middle East. They were wrong in their hope, but not malign.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Holmes

I get what you’re suggesting, but what dismantles that position is that the quote was from early in 2002, more than a year before the 2nd Gulf war. So he wouldn’t have been making that argument then.
Neal Gabler described Rove’s attitude thusly – “All politicians operate within an Orwellian nimbus where words don’t mean what they normally mean, but Rovism posits that there is no objective, verifiable reality at all. Reality is what you say it is.”
Rove wasn’t giving himself cover – it was more like he was boasting that the normal rules no longer applied to the Neo-Cons.

Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Holmes

I get what you’re suggesting, but what dismantles that position is that the quote was from early in 2002, more than a year before the 2nd Gulf war. So he wouldn’t have been making that argument then.
Neal Gabler described Rove’s attitude thusly – “All politicians operate within an Orwellian nimbus where words don’t mean what they normally mean, but Rovism posits that there is no objective, verifiable reality at all. Reality is what you say it is.”
Rove wasn’t giving himself cover – it was more like he was boasting that the normal rules no longer applied to the Neo-Cons.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Thank you. Brilliant insightful and disturbing post.

Kevin R
Kevin R
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Very pertinent. They’ve read their Daniel Kahneman and they know exactly how to use confirmation bias to make useful idiots out of their constituents.

Last edited 1 year ago by Kevin R
Danielle Treille
Danielle Treille
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

“With the plethora of news sources, catering to every taste, most people now gravitate towards coverage that matches their preferred worldview…”. Agreed, as is the case right here, with the readers of Unherd whose political allegiance is obvious. “Objectivity is the delusion that observations could be made without an observer” (Heinz von Förster)

Last edited 1 year ago by Danielle Treille
Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

“It used to be that you were “entitled to your own opinion”
“Nowadays people seem to feel entitled to their own facts”
True that!

Andrew Holmes
Andrew Holmes
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

I disagree on your take on Rove’s words. The premise of that interpretation is “no wmd were found, therefore asserting that there was was a lie”. That premise ignores the context in which the assertion was made.
The host in the Congress who voted for the invasion had extraordinary access to the same information as the administration; when it went sour, suddenly it was some other paper which would have convinced them otherwise. There is the first lie.
Multiple other governments agreed that Sadam had wmd, not just the UK. So when a policy decision is made, your interpretation is that it’s made with malign intent if it doesn’t work out. You are a judge summing up dead against the defendant.
Rove’s words make sense to me as asserting that an action can change the current reality. The administration stated its goal to be opening a path to democracy in the Middle East. They were wrong in their hope, but not malign.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Thank you. Brilliant insightful and disturbing post.

Kevin R
Kevin R
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

Very pertinent. They’ve read their Daniel Kahneman and they know exactly how to use confirmation bias to make useful idiots out of their constituents.

Last edited 1 year ago by Kevin R
Danielle Treille
Danielle Treille
1 year ago
Reply to  Paddy Taylor

“With the plethora of news sources, catering to every taste, most people now gravitate towards coverage that matches their preferred worldview…”. Agreed, as is the case right here, with the readers of Unherd whose political allegiance is obvious. “Objectivity is the delusion that observations could be made without an observer” (Heinz von Förster)

Last edited 1 year ago by Danielle Treille
Paddy Taylor
Paddy Taylor
1 year ago

No, I don’t think this is right at all.
Bill Clinton was just another leader walking a VERY well-trodden path of lying to save his political life. It only seemed to have become more prevalent because we were, by then, living in a time of 24hr rolling news and a far less deferential media, but such behaviour had been around for as long as there have been politicians.
The real “post-truth era” began with the Neo-Cons in the US, and Nu Labour in the UK. Bush and Blair were out front, but they were merely the beneficiaries of the political machines behind them that actually embraced telling untruths as a deliberate policy measure.
Ron Suskind of the New York Times, wrote of an encounter with a senior adviser to George W Bush (later identified as Karl Rove):
“The aide said that guys like me were ‘in what we call the reality-based community’, which he defined as people who ‘believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality’. I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ‘That’s not the way the world really works any more,’ he continued. ‘We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality judiciously as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out.”
This idea of creating an alternative reality to be shaped and sold to a pliant electorate became the intentional policy of Bush’s Presidency. They believed that by merely saying a thing – given the US’s position as the only world superpower at the time – they could simply will it into becoming a reality. And so they created “New Realities” – fake news in today’s parlance – and stood by it as ‘objective’ truth for as long as it was expedient, before moving on to another “reality” as their needs changed.
New Labour recognised the dark genius of this approach as they worked their way to power following John Smith’s death. They came to believe that the “perception of the truth” was more important than the actual truth of the matter. Just so long as you could sell it for long enough that most people would accept it as true – and if it became accepted as fact it might even become real.
A brilliant and forensic account of this deliberate policy of untruth – or manufactured “Truth” – can be found in “The Rise of Political Lying” by Peter Oborne. The concept had its roots in post-modern philosophy schools and was used to brilliant effect by some of the academics who were instrumental in shaping the ideas of Nu Labour. That work was carried on by Mandelson and later Campbell to devastating effect.
Obama was able to create realities at will because he was the golden boy in the media’s eyes. There was so little push-back against the narrative it was frightening.
Trump was just a cruder and less politically slick continuation of that policy – insisting something was true, when it often wasn’t, but knowing his supporters would take it as gospel, whilst also understanding that his opponents wouldn’t believe anything he said anyway – so why not lie? With enough momentum behind a thing, a lie could become the truth.
Biden just seems to read the talking points his handlers put in front of them. They even “instruct” him as to which reporters are allowed to put questions to the President – his lies are of the more old-fashioned kind, but only because he lacks the presentational skills of those who preceded him in office.
Perhaps the folks in “the reality-based community” could get back to doing their job and holding the Govt to account. It is quite extraordinary how low the US Media set the bar for Biden – they’ve quite deliberately avoided pointing out his many deficiencies and his obvious cognitive decline. But just being “Not Trump” is no longer enough.
Looking back over the last two years, our failure in Afghanistan was a telling moment – demonstrating that “created realities” only work up to the point that they come face to face with actual realities on the ground, particularly in a country not in thrall to the media narrative that shapes the way most of us think about the world.
The “post-truth era” should have come to an end with the rise of alternative media, where interested citizens could find objective truth on unfiltered news sources which had no political allegiance. However, quite the reverse happened. With the plethora of news sources, catering to every taste, most people now gravitate towards coverage that matches their preferred worldview, thus facilitating politicians lying to us.
We, as consumers, should shoulder some of the blame for this because many of us choose to seek out consoling half-truths, or even outright untruths, rather than confront uncomfortable truths if they challenge our worldview.
It used to be that you were “entitled to your own opinion”
Nowadays people seem to feel entitled to their own facts.
Who can blame ambitious politicians, or competitive media organisations, for taking advantage of that sorry fact?

Last edited 1 year ago by Paddy Taylor
Jim R
Jim R
1 year ago

Slick Willy’s lying and womanizing was hardly something new – many powerful men in history have had similar character ‘flaws’. The beloved JFK was particularly notorious, but no one ever called him out. What really changed was the way it became fair game for the opposition and the media in a 24 hour cable news environment desperate for ratings. Add to that the weaponization of the legal process (through an over zealous special counsel) to try to take him down any way he could. Of course all of this gets turned right around with Trump and the hypocrisy of both sides is laid bare (though remarkably few will admit it). But I don’t think its fair to blame all of this mess we’re in on Clinton – that’s giving him way too much credit.

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

Just imagine what things would be like if Nixon or Johnson were around today with the internet, social media, and cable news. I guarantee you it would be one hell of a show.

Ben M
Ben M
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

Unfortunately the main thing about Clinton was not his sexual misdemeanours but corruption in other areas – have a listen to Whitney Webb. In fact buy her book – because it goes back before him – but he was a bigger player than most people are aware

Adrian Maxwell
Adrian Maxwell
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben M

Also see Hitchen’s book Triangulations, mentioned by Giles.

Adrian Maxwell
Adrian Maxwell
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben M

Also see Hitchen’s book Triangulations, mentioned by Giles.

Frank Incensed
Frank Incensed
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

Slick Willy was part of the problem. As someone who has worked in (non-political) Washington for decades, lying is a prerequisite for political life here. Reagan was just as bad, if not worse. What people forget about lying is that the best ones lie through the “act of omission” as well as the act of commission.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

And then there was Hillary


Dennis Taylor
Dennis Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

Clinton,Obama and Biden are all liars and all are evil and all are democrats!

Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

Just imagine what things would be like if Nixon or Johnson were around today with the internet, social media, and cable news. I guarantee you it would be one hell of a show.

Ben M
Ben M
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

Unfortunately the main thing about Clinton was not his sexual misdemeanours but corruption in other areas – have a listen to Whitney Webb. In fact buy her book – because it goes back before him – but he was a bigger player than most people are aware

Frank Incensed
Frank Incensed
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

Slick Willy was part of the problem. As someone who has worked in (non-political) Washington for decades, lying is a prerequisite for political life here. Reagan was just as bad, if not worse. What people forget about lying is that the best ones lie through the “act of omission” as well as the act of commission.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

And then there was Hillary


Dennis Taylor
Dennis Taylor
1 year ago
Reply to  Jim R

Clinton,Obama and Biden are all liars and all are evil and all are democrats!

Jim R
Jim R
1 year ago

Slick Willy’s lying and womanizing was hardly something new – many powerful men in history have had similar character ‘flaws’. The beloved JFK was particularly notorious, but no one ever called him out. What really changed was the way it became fair game for the opposition and the media in a 24 hour cable news environment desperate for ratings. Add to that the weaponization of the legal process (through an over zealous special counsel) to try to take him down any way he could. Of course all of this gets turned right around with Trump and the hypocrisy of both sides is laid bare (though remarkably few will admit it). But I don’t think its fair to blame all of this mess we’re in on Clinton – that’s giving him way too much credit.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago

A Good article from Mr Fraser. I have renewed hope for him. I do, however, take issue with one statement in the article
“People keep on defending Bill Clinton because they have been overly charmed by him.”
Mr Hitchens, who he quotes in the next paragraph gets close to the mark with “liberals “lost their souls” defending Clinton. They knew he was a liar who had serially exploited women like Lewinsky, but they held their nose and voted for him anyway.”
Only Hitchens did not go far enough. Over the last 5 years the mask has slipped and those who now group together under the title liberal have shown themselves to be evil to the core.
It was not the case of them holding their noses and voting for Clinton. Their championing to civil liberties and freedom of speech has been show to be no more than a charade of convenience. Their use of their power over the media and educational establishment to silence critic, and their use of state power, including the criminal law, to persecute political opponents, shows us what they really are. For them it is all about taking and holding power and very little else.
What Clinton did, and why he is still loved by the left, was that he taught them that the truth is not important and that you can lie, steal and abuse and get away with it so long as you cannot be shamed into admitting you wrongdoing.
Who can forget those unforgettable scenes of the Labour Party collectively wetting their knickers at Clinton’s appearance at the 2002 party conference despite the fact that no one could be in any doubt by then that he was a complete scumbag.
Why did the Democrats push so hard for Hillary as a Presidential candidate when, in terms of honesty, integrity and decency, she is clearly cut from the same cloth as Bill

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago

Completely agree. Although I voted for Trump, twice, and agreed with many of his America-first policy initiatives and their successful implementation, I wouldn’t cross the street to greet him or shake his hand.

Cho Jinn
Cho Jinn
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

I am in a similar boat. I find him fantastic for the qualities(?) of his enemies, many of whom are abjectly loathsome creatures, though we do not appear to have much in common.

Cho Jinn
Cho Jinn
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

I am in a similar boat. I find him fantastic for the qualities(?) of his enemies, many of whom are abjectly loathsome creatures, though we do not appear to have much in common.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago

Completely agree. Although I voted for Trump, twice, and agreed with many of his America-first policy initiatives and their successful implementation, I wouldn’t cross the street to greet him or shake his hand.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago

A Good article from Mr Fraser. I have renewed hope for him. I do, however, take issue with one statement in the article
“People keep on defending Bill Clinton because they have been overly charmed by him.”
Mr Hitchens, who he quotes in the next paragraph gets close to the mark with “liberals “lost their souls” defending Clinton. They knew he was a liar who had serially exploited women like Lewinsky, but they held their nose and voted for him anyway.”
Only Hitchens did not go far enough. Over the last 5 years the mask has slipped and those who now group together under the title liberal have shown themselves to be evil to the core.
It was not the case of them holding their noses and voting for Clinton. Their championing to civil liberties and freedom of speech has been show to be no more than a charade of convenience. Their use of their power over the media and educational establishment to silence critic, and their use of state power, including the criminal law, to persecute political opponents, shows us what they really are. For them it is all about taking and holding power and very little else.
What Clinton did, and why he is still loved by the left, was that he taught them that the truth is not important and that you can lie, steal and abuse and get away with it so long as you cannot be shamed into admitting you wrongdoing.
Who can forget those unforgettable scenes of the Labour Party collectively wetting their knickers at Clinton’s appearance at the 2002 party conference despite the fact that no one could be in any doubt by then that he was a complete scumbag.
Why did the Democrats push so hard for Hillary as a Presidential candidate when, in terms of honesty, integrity and decency, she is clearly cut from the same cloth as Bill

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago

Personally I don’t object to politicians who lie. It comes with the job to some extent. What I object to is the compulsion on us to lie. Today the demand is that we must call a rapist “she” if he wants us to.

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

The difference between denial and denial of reality.

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

The difference between denial and denial of reality.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago

Personally I don’t object to politicians who lie. It comes with the job to some extent. What I object to is the compulsion on us to lie. Today the demand is that we must call a rapist “she” if he wants us to.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Yet another ‘draft dodger’. “Such a Parcel of Rogues in a Nation”.*

(*RB,1791)

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Yet another ‘draft dodger’. “Such a Parcel of Rogues in a Nation”.*

(*RB,1791)

David Pogge
David Pogge
1 year ago

Thank you for this analysis. Bill Clinton was the only truly psychopathic president in my lifetime, and the cynical support that was provided for him by his political allies was the beginning of the end for compromise based on common principles. When the Devil arrives on the scene he does not have horns, a tail, and a pitchfork. He is always attractive, appealing, and persuasive. If he were not, he would be the Devil; he would just be an ugly bad man.

David Pogge
David Pogge
1 year ago

Thank you for this analysis. Bill Clinton was the only truly psychopathic president in my lifetime, and the cynical support that was provided for him by his political allies was the beginning of the end for compromise based on common principles. When the Devil arrives on the scene he does not have horns, a tail, and a pitchfork. He is always attractive, appealing, and persuasive. If he were not, he would be the Devil; he would just be an ugly bad man.

Martin Terrell
Martin Terrell
1 year ago

The more interesting point you could make, personal morality aside, is that Clinton perfected the idea of triangulation, of being all things to all voters, conservative or tough on crime, pro trade union and pro big business. While quietly pandering to the progressive and rich and taking everyone else for granted.

Martin Terrell
Martin Terrell
1 year ago

The more interesting point you could make, personal morality aside, is that Clinton perfected the idea of triangulation, of being all things to all voters, conservative or tough on crime, pro trade union and pro big business. While quietly pandering to the progressive and rich and taking everyone else for granted.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago

So a politician who does not always tell the truth, is good at convincing people regardless, and tries to manage the news so as to drown out items he does not like? How extraordinary! Surely they would never have sunk so low in the good old days of Lloyd George or Oliver Cromwell.

For the rest, Clinton is no record for seducing women. He did not force them or threaten to fire them. It is my experience that adult women are perfectly capable of saying no if they do not want to have sex with you. Maybe the same was the case for Monica Lewinsky?

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

That should have been:
Clinton is *on* record for seducing women.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Think about a 27 year old, common intern, propositioned by the sitting President of the United States. You really believe she thought she had a choice in that situation? That scenario, where a very powerful man hits on a “challenged”, low-level employee, is the epitome of sexual abuse.

Rhonda Culwell
Rhonda Culwell
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Many 27 year olds are parents and holding down jobs and are even in positions of authority in their work places. She was old enough to know better. If she was starry-eyed with the wonder of it all, then she was ridiculously immature. She was enamored of him, and knew exactly what she was getting into.

Rhonda Culwell
Rhonda Culwell
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Many 27 year olds are parents and holding down jobs and are even in positions of authority in their work places. She was old enough to know better. If she was starry-eyed with the wonder of it all, then she was ridiculously immature. She was enamored of him, and knew exactly what she was getting into.

Mike Michaels
Mike Michaels
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

“Seducing” it’s not the 1950’s.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Think about a 27 year old, common intern, propositioned by the sitting President of the United States. You really believe she thought she had a choice in that situation? That scenario, where a very powerful man hits on a “challenged”, low-level employee, is the epitome of sexual abuse.

Mike Michaels
Mike Michaels
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

“Seducing” it’s not the 1950’s.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Actually, there were a couple of women who claimed that they were raped by him while he was an Arkansas politician on his way up. One seemed quite creditable.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I think you have forgotten about the rape and sexual assault allegations.
Bill has been publicly accused of sexual assault and/or sexual misconduct by several women: Juanita Broaddrick accused Clinton of raping her in 1978; Leslie Millwee accused Clinton of sexually assaulting her in 1980; Paula Jones accused Clinton of exposing himself to her in 1991 as well as sexually harassing her; and Kathleen Willey accused Clinton of groping her without her consent in 1993.

Adrian Maxwell
Adrian Maxwell
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Instead of leaving an issue unsaid with your last sentence, why dont you make your point expressly. Forget the gender and your experience of ‘adult women’. Clinton’s act was simply the abuse of a vulnerable young person. Measuring it any other way is very risky.

Jane Francis
Jane Francis
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

You seem to have no idea about the machinations of the Clinton’s. Bill, Hillary, Betsy
Wright, George Stephanapolos threatened many women with injury or ruined careers if they dared speak up. Bill Clinton had to leave Oxford due to attack on woman. Christopher Hitchens mentions. And at Yale, a young woman was talked out of pressing charges against Bill altho police did make report. It was no surprise Bill Clinton was friends with Jeffrey Epstein. What is amazing is that he has always had friendly press, like biographer Dave Maraniss to gloss over and put positive spin on things. George Stephanapolos has also been a fixer.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Jane Francis

I agree.
I am amazed at the free pass he has been given.
I can only assume that the Left have no problem with this kind of conduct and just kick off when they can use allegations against political opponents

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Jane Francis

I agree.
I am amazed at the free pass he has been given.
I can only assume that the Left have no problem with this kind of conduct and just kick off when they can use allegations against political opponents

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

That should have been:
Clinton is *on* record for seducing women.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Actually, there were a couple of women who claimed that they were raped by him while he was an Arkansas politician on his way up. One seemed quite creditable.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

I think you have forgotten about the rape and sexual assault allegations.
Bill has been publicly accused of sexual assault and/or sexual misconduct by several women: Juanita Broaddrick accused Clinton of raping her in 1978; Leslie Millwee accused Clinton of sexually assaulting her in 1980; Paula Jones accused Clinton of exposing himself to her in 1991 as well as sexually harassing her; and Kathleen Willey accused Clinton of groping her without her consent in 1993.

Adrian Maxwell
Adrian Maxwell
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

Instead of leaving an issue unsaid with your last sentence, why dont you make your point expressly. Forget the gender and your experience of ‘adult women’. Clinton’s act was simply the abuse of a vulnerable young person. Measuring it any other way is very risky.

Jane Francis
Jane Francis
1 year ago
Reply to  Rasmus Fogh

You seem to have no idea about the machinations of the Clinton’s. Bill, Hillary, Betsy
Wright, George Stephanapolos threatened many women with injury or ruined careers if they dared speak up. Bill Clinton had to leave Oxford due to attack on woman. Christopher Hitchens mentions. And at Yale, a young woman was talked out of pressing charges against Bill altho police did make report. It was no surprise Bill Clinton was friends with Jeffrey Epstein. What is amazing is that he has always had friendly press, like biographer Dave Maraniss to gloss over and put positive spin on things. George Stephanapolos has also been a fixer.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago

So a politician who does not always tell the truth, is good at convincing people regardless, and tries to manage the news so as to drown out items he does not like? How extraordinary! Surely they would never have sunk so low in the good old days of Lloyd George or Oliver Cromwell.

For the rest, Clinton is no record for seducing women. He did not force them or threaten to fire them. It is my experience that adult women are perfectly capable of saying no if they do not want to have sex with you. Maybe the same was the case for Monica Lewinsky?

John Pade
John Pade
1 year ago

The point was to get him elected. It was during his terms that the control of the nation’s policing and surveillance agencies passed into progressive hands, and that was the goal of those who promoted him.

John Pade
John Pade
1 year ago

The point was to get him elected. It was during his terms that the control of the nation’s policing and surveillance agencies passed into progressive hands, and that was the goal of those who promoted him.

Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
1 year ago

Clinton was the last Democrat presidential candidate who attempted to appeal to conservative minded voters. He carried states like Missouri, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee, West Virginia, and his own Arkansas in two presidential elections – unimaginable for a Democrat today. All presidents since relied on maximising voter turnout amongst their own tribe – Clinton was the last to try to win over voters from the other side. It was wrong of Gingrich and Kenneth Starr to pursue Clinton over his philandering – it was none of their damn business, and any conceivable alternative Democrat president would be worse for conservatives and worse for America, as has turned out to be the case. If the implication is that the 1998 US strikes on Afghanistan and Sudan somehow provoked 9/11, then the author is engaging in some “post truth” grandstanding of his own.

Milton Gibbon
Milton Gibbon
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

I don’t think he is saying it did provoke the reaction, just that people at the time thought that this would lead to a reaction.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

They didn’t pursue him for his philandering, which is a common misconception. They pursued him for lying under oath, and obstruction of justice, which are indeed crimes.

Milton Gibbon
Milton Gibbon
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

I don’t think he is saying it did provoke the reaction, just that people at the time thought that this would lead to a reaction.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen Walsh

They didn’t pursue him for his philandering, which is a common misconception. They pursued him for lying under oath, and obstruction of justice, which are indeed crimes.

Stephen Walsh
Stephen Walsh
1 year ago

Clinton was the last Democrat presidential candidate who attempted to appeal to conservative minded voters. He carried states like Missouri, Kentucky, Louisiana, Tennessee, West Virginia, and his own Arkansas in two presidential elections – unimaginable for a Democrat today. All presidents since relied on maximising voter turnout amongst their own tribe – Clinton was the last to try to win over voters from the other side. It was wrong of Gingrich and Kenneth Starr to pursue Clinton over his philandering – it was none of their damn business, and any conceivable alternative Democrat president would be worse for conservatives and worse for America, as has turned out to be the case. If the implication is that the 1998 US strikes on Afghanistan and Sudan somehow provoked 9/11, then the author is engaging in some “post truth” grandstanding of his own.

Richard Kurth
Richard Kurth
1 year ago

May Ricky Ray shadow him in the afterlife.

Richard Kurth
Richard Kurth
1 year ago

May Ricky Ray shadow him in the afterlife.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Legalise the lot, and let Darwinian self -selection run its course.
Why do we insist on the Nanny State?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago

Legalise the lot, and let Darwinian self -selection run its course.
Why do we insist on the Nanny State?

Ben P
Ben P
1 year ago

True, but he presided over economic growth and a whopping a budget surplus. He also managed to straddle the political gulf between Republicans and Democrats by talking to both sides and get legislation through Congress on that basis.
How many US Presidents would give their eye-teeth for that?

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben P

These events only occurred after he lost the midterms and allied with Republican Newt Gingrich to pull together an agenda that worked. Something Barack Obama never learned or wasn’t about to do to get things done.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben P

These events only occurred after he lost the midterms and allied with Republican Newt Gingrich to pull together an agenda that worked. Something Barack Obama never learned or wasn’t about to do to get things done.

Ben P
Ben P
1 year ago

True, but he presided over economic growth and a whopping a budget surplus. He also managed to straddle the political gulf between Republicans and Democrats by talking to both sides and get legislation through Congress on that basis.
How many US Presidents would give their eye-teeth for that?

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago

Clinton, Blair, Johnson and Obama all had charismos for the modern era. Trump had charismos which appealed to the blue collar manual worker but largely repelled middle class suburban and university educated women.
How many of today’s politicians are social outcasts and this goes for all parties? Clinton had charismos which at the beginning appealed to many people from across the board; somehting the Democrats lacked but needed for power. Clinton’s charismos ensured the social outcasts found within the Democrat Party obtain power, employment and status.Consequently he could be forgiven anything. However, once Clinton became a liability to obtaining power, employment and status he was finished.

Charles Hedges
Charles Hedges
1 year ago

Clinton, Blair, Johnson and Obama all had charismos for the modern era. Trump had charismos which appealed to the blue collar manual worker but largely repelled middle class suburban and university educated women.
How many of today’s politicians are social outcasts and this goes for all parties? Clinton had charismos which at the beginning appealed to many people from across the board; somehting the Democrats lacked but needed for power. Clinton’s charismos ensured the social outcasts found within the Democrat Party obtain power, employment and status.Consequently he could be forgiven anything. However, once Clinton became a liability to obtaining power, employment and status he was finished.

Benjamin Greco
Benjamin Greco
1 year ago

It is true that Clinton was a liar and an opportunist, but cynicism seeped into western culture and right and left hated each other long before Clinton lied about getting laid.

Benjamin Greco
Benjamin Greco
1 year ago

It is true that Clinton was a liar and an opportunist, but cynicism seeped into western culture and right and left hated each other long before Clinton lied about getting laid.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago

Oh, please. I can’t stand this kind of thing. I think the writer needs therapy to get over his unhealthy obsession with Clinton. I was never a fan of Clinton, but to try to blame him for creating the cynical culture that led to Trump’s insurrection is a stretch, to put it mildly. I’d like to know what halcyon days the writer thinks Clinton poisoned with his lies. Would those be the days of Watergate? Or perhaps the days of Tammany Hall and the Teapot Dome scandal?

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago

Oh, please. I can’t stand this kind of thing. I think the writer needs therapy to get over his unhealthy obsession with Clinton. I was never a fan of Clinton, but to try to blame him for creating the cynical culture that led to Trump’s insurrection is a stretch, to put it mildly. I’d like to know what halcyon days the writer thinks Clinton poisoned with his lies. Would those be the days of Watergate? Or perhaps the days of Tammany Hall and the Teapot Dome scandal?

molly donohue
molly donohue
1 year ago

It was Nixon, not Clinton.

Terry M
Terry M
1 year ago
Reply to  molly donohue

You forget FDR and LBJ?

Alan Elgey
Alan Elgey
1 year ago
Reply to  molly donohue

That’s not helpful. Clarity please; what was?

Terry M
Terry M
1 year ago
Reply to  molly donohue

You forget FDR and LBJ?

Alan Elgey
Alan Elgey
1 year ago
Reply to  molly donohue

That’s not helpful. Clarity please; what was?

molly donohue
molly donohue
1 year ago

It was Nixon, not Clinton.

Paul Grimaldi
Paul Grimaldi
1 year ago

So let me get this straight. Clinton was awful because a) he took advantage of women who found him attractive – coercive in any way we can never really be sure. b) He gave the order for an execution – not unknown in the U.S. but there were post decision issues about whether the condemned man was cognisant at the time of his execution. c) he ordered a military strike that some advised against and could, possibly, maybe led to 9/11. I guess journalists have to keep pumping out column inches but I cannot help thinking this is a bit of a non-article. Plus I’m a little disturbed by the way Trump, by comparison is almost acceptable, because everyone knows that he lies

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Grimaldi

No, he was awful because he lied under oath. That is a crime that has serious implications for society, especially when committed by the sitting POTUS. If lying under oath become acceptable, how on earth can justice ever be obtained?

Michael Daniele
Michael Daniele
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Exactly. He was later even disbarred, which almost never happens.
Lewinski was a 21 year old unpaid intern when the affair started. How anyone can defend this man is beyond me.

Michael Daniele
Michael Daniele
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Exactly. He was later even disbarred, which almost never happens.
Lewinski was a 21 year old unpaid intern when the affair started. How anyone can defend this man is beyond me.

Alan Elgey
Alan Elgey
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Grimaldi

“Plus I’m a little disturbed by the way Trump, by comparison is almost acceptable, because everyone knows that he lies”
Where did that come from? I am not a Trump fan, but this article is about Clinton (Bill), and there are less than two lines devoted to Trump, and those not entirely favourable: “Trump lied all the time, but we came to expect that. Trump was emotionally illiterate. No one really believed him.””
Nothing there suggests acceptability to me – just that, in coming after Clinton, Trump was only working on the field that had been mapped out by his predecessor.
As to whether this is a non-article, maybe not. I think it is an interesting proposition with which you might disagree; but maybe the developing role of the 24-hour rolling media at the time, as some have commented, is also part of the story, not just Clinton’s by-no-means-unique-to-him pecadillos

Last edited 1 year ago by Alan Elgey
Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Grimaldi

No, he was awful because he lied under oath. That is a crime that has serious implications for society, especially when committed by the sitting POTUS. If lying under oath become acceptable, how on earth can justice ever be obtained?

Alan Elgey
Alan Elgey
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Grimaldi

“Plus I’m a little disturbed by the way Trump, by comparison is almost acceptable, because everyone knows that he lies”
Where did that come from? I am not a Trump fan, but this article is about Clinton (Bill), and there are less than two lines devoted to Trump, and those not entirely favourable: “Trump lied all the time, but we came to expect that. Trump was emotionally illiterate. No one really believed him.””
Nothing there suggests acceptability to me – just that, in coming after Clinton, Trump was only working on the field that had been mapped out by his predecessor.
As to whether this is a non-article, maybe not. I think it is an interesting proposition with which you might disagree; but maybe the developing role of the 24-hour rolling media at the time, as some have commented, is also part of the story, not just Clinton’s by-no-means-unique-to-him pecadillos

Last edited 1 year ago by Alan Elgey
Paul Grimaldi
Paul Grimaldi
1 year ago

So let me get this straight. Clinton was awful because a) he took advantage of women who found him attractive – coercive in any way we can never really be sure. b) He gave the order for an execution – not unknown in the U.S. but there were post decision issues about whether the condemned man was cognisant at the time of his execution. c) he ordered a military strike that some advised against and could, possibly, maybe led to 9/11. I guess journalists have to keep pumping out column inches but I cannot help thinking this is a bit of a non-article. Plus I’m a little disturbed by the way Trump, by comparison is almost acceptable, because everyone knows that he lies

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago

Aha, no lies before Clinton.
What nonsense.
Sure, he lied about an affair between 2 consenting adults.
Americans then were as prudish as Brits sadly are now, and, unlike in France where such things correctly are considered none of the public’s business, Clinton knew it was career suicide to admit it.
The Republican frenzy at the time about an un-remarkable bit of nooky was ridiculous. Obviously, not one of his accusers had ever strayed from the path of righteousness lol.
Imagine if you were having an affair in a context where you knew you’d lose your job if it was disclosed.
You’d lie too mate.
Sensible article here:
https://www.wbur.org/cognoscenti/2014/05/08/clinton-lewinsky-vanity-fair-steve-almond

Terry M
Terry M
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

That un-remarkable bit of nooky included several rapes, as you might remember. And the shady financial dealings, including Hillary’s famous 75 “I can’t recall”s really were the most obvious and widespread lying in many, many years.
The Donkeys are just better at lying.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  Terry M

But the elephants have longer memories.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  Terry M

But the elephants have longer memories.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

It’s very convenient to rewrite history to make this whole event a simple matter of nookie. But the real reason why Clinton was impeached was for lying under oath. I realize those pesky facts get in the way of a narrative sometimes.

Terry M
Terry M
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

That un-remarkable bit of nooky included several rapes, as you might remember. And the shady financial dealings, including Hillary’s famous 75 “I can’t recall”s really were the most obvious and widespread lying in many, many years.
The Donkeys are just better at lying.

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

It’s very convenient to rewrite history to make this whole event a simple matter of nookie. But the real reason why Clinton was impeached was for lying under oath. I realize those pesky facts get in the way of a narrative sometimes.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago

Aha, no lies before Clinton.
What nonsense.
Sure, he lied about an affair between 2 consenting adults.
Americans then were as prudish as Brits sadly are now, and, unlike in France where such things correctly are considered none of the public’s business, Clinton knew it was career suicide to admit it.
The Republican frenzy at the time about an un-remarkable bit of nooky was ridiculous. Obviously, not one of his accusers had ever strayed from the path of righteousness lol.
Imagine if you were having an affair in a context where you knew you’d lose your job if it was disclosed.
You’d lie too mate.
Sensible article here:
https://www.wbur.org/cognoscenti/2014/05/08/clinton-lewinsky-vanity-fair-steve-almond