GUARDIAN: Rand Paul’s 2016 Audition

By Nancy L. Cohen, Feb. 2, 2014

How do you talk about sex and women if you want to be the next Republican president? Senator Rand Paul thinks he has the answer: change the subject.

Recently, Paul has resurrected the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal of the late 1990s that led to President Bill Clinton‘s impeachment. Rand, the self-styled libertarian Republican, isn’t merely condemning extramarital sex between two consenting adults. In fact, Paul insists, “this wasn’t an affair.” In several separate comments, Paul has called Bill a “sexual predator“. He has shaved a couple years off Lewinsky’s age, calling her “a young girl,” seemingly to create a more vivid impression of Clinton’s “predatory behavior”. He’s conflated the Lewinsky affair with sexual harassment and “violence”, and insinuated that Clinton should be shunned by society. He’s falsely stated that Clinton “was guilty of sexual harassment.”

This is in fact nonsense. To be sure, Bill’s affair with Monica Lewinsky was inappropriate – as are all extramarital affairs in which the spouse’s permission isn’t granted in advance – and politically foolish. But the 22-year-old Lewinsky was a consenting adult, albeit a confused and deluded one, not a “young girl”.

But is it useful nonsense? Some GOP leaders think so, and they are giddy with the prospect of this trip down memory lane. Read the full article at The Guardian.


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Nancy L. Cohen