Question One (H/T: Instapundit):
- Was former President Bill Clinton aware of Bob Filner’s history of sexual predation when Clinton endorsed Filner in 2012 for Mayor of San Diego?
Question Two – because we all know that, in the unlikely event that anybody in the Media ever has the nerve to actually ask that question of Bill Clinton, Bill Clinton will promptly say “No:”
- Why was former President Clinton not aware?
That is the real question, there. Let us assume, just for the sake of argument, that Bill Clinton can honestly say that he – a former President; a recognized leader of the Democratic party; the husband of the then-Secretary of State (and possible future Presidential candidate) – did not know of Bob Filner’s unsavory history of sexual predation on women in general and previously assaulted women in particular. That is not exculpatory. That would be, in fact, an indication that there is precisely zero internal security in the Democratic party at all. Sheer pragmatism demands that the Democratic party needs to review itself and its membership periodically, simply to make sure that people like Bob Filner are not abusing their authority. Which is clearly not happening.
But then, it’s ridiculous to assume that the Democrats didn’t know about Bob Filner. It’s ridiculous and insulting for the Democrats to even pretend. Which means that this should have been President Clinton’s interaction with Bob Filner, and it should have been in private:
Hi, Bob. Look, I’m not going to sugar-coat this: we ran the oppo, and the oppo is bad. Real bad. You-need-to-retire bad. Yeah, I mean retire from the House. We got a dozen women who are ready to spill the beans on you, Bob. Some of ’em are military veterans. Imagine what the GOP is gonna say about that. They won’t need more than a minute to think about what they’re gonna say about it, either.
No, look, I understand, you need help, it’s a disease. I get it. Well, let me help you here, Bob. They’re going to keep their mouths shut, for the good of the Party and our War on Women message this November – you remember that one, Bob? You know what’s going to happen if the Republicans hear about you? – but you’re gonna have to retire, say that you’ve got something that can’t be pinned down, you’re gonna go get some help, and then we’ll find something for you. There’s always a commission or an office that can take you in. You won’t even have to move.
No, Bob. This is how it’s gonna be. You’ve been lucky so far, but even if this doesn’t break before the election it’s gonna break after the election, right, right? We both know how this goes. You just said it yourself, you’re sick. This is an intervention, Bob. This breaks next year or the next, it’s gonna slop all over the place. It might even slop on me, Bob.
I’m glad that you understand, Bob. Don’t worry: we’ll take care of you.
Now, that’s the conversation that – speaking purely clinically* – Clinton should have had with Filner; but it obviously didn’t happen. And because it didn’t happen, Bill Clinton and the rest of the Democratic party are going to have to pretend that they are all blithering incompetents who were simply too stupid to notice that a veteran Democratic Congressman was also a blatant sexual predator. Nancy Pelosi in particular: she simply cannot admit that she betrayed women in her party – women who trusted her – by staying silent over Bob Filner. Better to be thought of as incompetent. Better to be thought of as senile, frankly. Even that would be less an impediment to staying House Minority Leader than would be being thought of as a willing co-conspirator to serial sexual harassment.
So: incompetent, or evil. Guess which one I’m voting for?
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*A decent person having that conversation would have started by publicly taking Bob Filner by his shoulder and pants and ‘escorting’ him out the door, with very little concern over whether the door was open at the time. I mention this purely for completeness’ sake: the odds of Bill Clinton doing that are a quantum level lower than the odds of him admitting that he knew Filner was a predator all along.