Remember Monica Lewinsky? Sure, it is difficult to forget a woman who became famous by admitting to performing fellatio in the White House. But now Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has decided that the scandal, or rather the "predatory" behavior of former president Bill Clinton, is on a par with the GOP's "War on Women," the idea of which he scoffs at. In an attempt to disparage former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in a guilt by association maneuver, Paul created a false comparison of ludicrous proportions, even going so far as to label the former president a sex predator.
As reported by The Wire (via Yahoo News) Jan. 26, when asked on "Meet the Press" Sunday by host David Gregory whether "Monicagate" would have an impact on a Hillary Clinton presidential run in 2016, Rand Paul, also seen as a 2016 contender, said that the Republican Party's so-called "War on Women" was "concocted" by the Democrats and that the Monica Lewinsky scandal predates the "War" either way.
“One of the workplace laws and rules that I think are good is that bosses shouldn’t prey on young interns in their office,” Paul said.
Although this is true to a certain extent (there are harassment laws that cover such workplace behavior), given that Clinton position of authority lent itself to an atmosphere of intra-office intimidation and/or privilege, it glosses over the fact that Monica Lewinsky was a consenting adult, that she admittedly met with President Clinton nine separate times over a two-year period. And one incident on the part of Bill Clinton in no way equates to the concentrated onslaught of the Republican Party perpetrated against the female gender on a continuing basis.
“I think the media really seems to have given President Clinton a pass on this," Paul went on. "He took advantage of a girl that was twenty years old and an intern his office. There is no excuse for that. And that is predatory behavior. We shouldn’t want to associate with some who would take advantage of a girl in his office…Really, and then they have the gall to stand Republicans are having a war on women?”
Taking a look at Rand Paul's words, it would appear that his version of reality doesn't hold up to, well… reality. Not only was Clinton excoriated in the media by conservative and liberal alike after the scandal was known to be something other than rumor, but the media has had no problem bringing up the subject whenever either one of the Clintons are making headlines. This bit of selective amnesia is meant for Paul's tea party extremists that think that the liberal media controls everything and spends all its time tearing down conservatives while on their mission to destroy the United States of America.
Paul then reiterates Clinton's predation, wanting to make certain that those listening get the image of the old man taking advantage of the young girl. Lewinsky was 22 when she said she had her first encounter with the president. Hardly "a girl." But that is exactly what Rand goes on to call her. Although this does not excuse Clinton's inappropriate behavior in the least, Paul's attempt at conflating the idea of some "Catch A Predator" type of behavior -- the term "girl" invoking young and immature (and perhaps, to some, pedophilic) -- with the reality of what went on in the White House during Clinton's second term is wildly misleading, and slanderously so.
Then he throws in a comparison, basically saying that Clinton's behavior is part of an actual "War on Women" and implying that the so-called GOP "War on Women" does not exist.
But it can easily be argued that there is a "War on Women" from the conservative side of the political fence. From all the laws being passed across the United States making it more difficult for women to obtain legal abortions (in effect, taking the legal "choice" out of the individual woman's hands) to revocation of laws enacted to protect fair pay to states failing to pass the Equal Rights Amendment. In fact, according to the Guttmacher Institute, there were more restrictive pieces of legislation on the state level enacted between 2011 and 2013 than were passed in the entire previous decade. Most are enacted in states with conservative (read: Republican) governments. On a more specific level, the state of Wisconsin rescinded their own Equal Pay Enforcement Act in 2012, legislation that protected fair pay in the workplace and gave employees the right to sue for discriminatory acts, thus undermining federal statutes like the Lily Ledbetter Act. And a North Carolina judge earlier this month found the state's law requiring women to undergo an ultrasound prior to an abortion as unconstitutional. (The act, by anyone's measure, is overly intrusive and an invasion of privacy on the most intimate level. And it is still degrees less invasive than the transvaginal ultrasounds women are forced to undergo in states like Virginia. These procedures are omething akin to legalistic rape with a foreign object, so just how does one require an individual to submit to government-sanctioned rape? And since the Republican Party is supposed to be so against government intrusion into the lives of individuals, how to explain this type of requirement in other states?)
No, the "War on Women" exists and Rand Paul's deflection toward the Monica Lewinsky scandal is simply an attempt to minimize the GOP's role in said war, not to mention elevate a mutually consensual sexual act between two adults as worse than undermining and destroying women's right to fairer workplace and payrolls laws and their ability to make decisions regarding the status of their own bodies when it comes to reproductive matters (like contraception, abortion, parenthood counseling, etc.).
But Rand Paul has an agenda -- to disparage the Clintons and, by extension, hurt Hillary Clinton's chances at a presidential run in 2016.
And yet, he went to offer that Bill Clinton's indiscretions weren't the "fault" of his wife. “Now, it’s not Hillary’s fault,” Paul told "Meet The Press." “But it is a factor in judging Bill Clinton in history. This is in regard to the Clintons. Sometimes it’s hard to separate one from the other.”
Paul says it isn't the former First Lady's fault that her husband, Bill Clinton, decided to have sexual encounters with an intern at the White House, but then totally destroys the idea of non-culpability by saying that "it's hard to separate one from the other." Smearing through guilt by association...
And if he wants to push the "War on Women" theme to the microcosmic level via isolation, Paul himself is contributing to the war by bashing Hillary Clinton with her husband's actions. Consider that Paul is a representative of the party that promotes strong family relationships and honoring women that stand by their men. The former First Lady has certainly stood by her man. And even with the scandal working as a personal political albatross, she has managed to rise above it and become a New York senator and a former Secretary of State. Given this, it would seem that Rand Paul, in trying to push the idea of Democratic Party hypocrisy, unveiled a bit of hypocrisy of his own, at least from the GOP perspective.
The GOP might want to rethink the general anti-women undercurrent within its ranks. It contributes to a war that they refuse to acknowledge exists but force women to fight constantly on local, state, and federal levels. And with the rising political strength of the female demographic, it is a war the Republican Party will assuredly lose.