I wish I could forget about Monica Lewinsky, the stained blue dress, the cigars, and BJs in the White House.
By and large, I was pretty happy with the Clinton Administration. After decades of mental abuse at the hands of Reagan and Bush Sr., it was a relief to have a president that I agreed with on most policy issues. Then there was the Hillary Factor — for me, obviously, another plus.
Then I read today the story of Genarlow Wilson, a young man serving 10 years in prison for having oral sex with a girl when they were teenagers.
According to the AP story, what Wilson did was against Georgia law. They have since changed the law, but at the time he committed the nasty deed, Georgia said it was a felony for teens to have consensual sex.
Now they want to release Wilson, but D.A. David McDade has released a video of Wilson having oral sex with a 15 year-old and intercourse with another teen at a New Year’s Eve party. Some are accusing McDade of distributing child pornography because the participants are underaged.
I am writing about Wilson not just because his case is troubling in its own right; I am bringing this up because it makes me think of Bill Clinton.
Consider this: Georgia sentenced a teen to 10 years in prison for a sexual act that Bill Clinton also committed in the White House. Sure, Monica was not a minor and was a very willing participant. But that’s besides the point. What’s relevant during this presidential season is that other voters will make a similar connection to Bill Clinton every time they read a story like the one about Wilson. And that’s not good news for Hillary.
Like many with my political beliefs, I have tried to forget about all this. “Bad judgment” is how I have excused Bill Clinton’s behavior. Pardoning him that way is easy when you look at his successor, who has shown such bad judgment on so many issues of far greater consequence.
Still, the images of Bill Clinton’s disgraceful behavior in the White House just won’t go away.
The most famous quotation from Bill Clinton’s presidency won’t be about health care, or Bosnia, or Iraq, or the economy. It will be the lie he told a national audience on January 28, 1998, when he said: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.”