Friday, August 1, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

What is Monica Lewinsky’s legacy in American life?

Just as Hillary Clinton appears to be preparing a run for president in 2016, well, here comes Monica Lewinsky again. She emerged this week from more than a decade of relative silence to tell Vanity Fair how the affair with Bill Clinton – and its aftermath – had affected her life.

“It’s time to burn the beret and bury the blue dress,” she says.

With a Clinton campaign in the offing, are we doomed to more discussion of Bill Clinton’s peccadilloes? Is it time, after nearly two decades, to move on? Joel Mathis and Ben Boychuk, the Red-Blue America columnists, debate the issue.

Joel Mathis

Three things we should’ve learned from Monica Lewinsky that are still applicable today.

  • Personal honor doesn’t matter nearly as much in leadership as you’d hope. Let’s look at the past two decades: Would you rather live in a country presided over by a libertine with only the barest impulse control, but which is mostly at peace and has a growing economy? Or would you rather be run by a decent mediocrity who ambles in to war and leaves the economy in shambles while remaining faithful to his wife?

For most Americans, it’s not that close. We look back at the time with cheerful nostalgia and chuckle at ourselves: How did we let a consensual sexual affair become a constitutional crisis? Seems crazy right?

  • It takes two to tango, but women will always get the worst of an illicit sexual encounter. Today, Bill Clinton is one of our most popular ex-presidents, running all over the world to give speeches and still a politician of formidable bearing: His speech at the Democratic National Convention last year may well have saved Barack Obama’s presidency. And where he goes – I’ve seen this with my own eyes – crowds still swoon for him. It’s remarkable.

Monica Lewinsky can barely show her face in public, meanwhile, and according to the Vanity Fair article, has found it nearly impossible simply to find decent work over the past 16 years. That’s a shame, and a sign that the work of American feminism is yet to be completed.

  • Republicans will do just about anything to destroy a Democratic presidency. Nowadays, Clinton is remembered correctly as the business-friendly moderate he was, but back in the 1990s he was depicted as a drug-dealing murdering socialist bent on imposing a different way of life on real Americans.

Sound familiar? The names have changed – and Barack Obama isn’t depicted as sexually voracious like Clinton was, probably because he isn’t – and while history doesn’t quite repeat itself, it sure does rhyme.

Ben Boychuk

Monica Lewinsky deserves our pity and perhaps our prayers. But not much else.

Her return to the national spotlight – her fourth or fifth in the past 15 years, including a memoir and a documentary – is to make a stand against “Internet humiliation.” How bold.

Lewinsky calls out Internet impresario Matt Drudge, among others, for ruining her life. Drudge became famous in 1998 with his scoop revealing President Clinton’s dalliance with the twentysomething White House intern. One story led to a torrent of coverage and, eventually, to Clinton’s impeachment.

The Left never forgave Drudge for his role in exposing Clinton, who made all the right noises about “progressive” feminist issues even if he acted like a power-mad sex fiend. But with rare exceptions, the Left has never had much to say about Bill and Hillary Clinton’s role in making Lewinsky out to be a “deranged stalker.”

So Lewinsky has spent much of the past two decades ducking the spotlight, while Bill and Hillary Clinton have spent that time basking in it and getting rich. Bear that in mind if Hillary runs for president again.

If Lewinsky and the Clintons have anything in common today, it’s their shared desire to shut people up. At the height of impeachment fever, Mrs. Clinton famously denounced the “vast right-wing conspiracy” – the network of conservative talk radio programs and publications that exposed her husband’s mendacity – and mused about reviving the Fairness Doctrine for conservative broadcasters.

Lewinsky’s newfound activism seems aligned with current anti-bullying trends, but it’s driven by a similar censorious impulse. It’s a shame what happened to her. Plenty of 22-year-olds make dumb mistakes, but few of them make those mistakes with U.S. presidents and have the whole world find out.

Yet Lewinsky compares herself to Tyler Clementi, a Rutgers freshman who committed suicide in 2010 after his roommate secretly recorded then posted a video of him engaged in a homosexual act. One of these things is not like the other. Lewinsky is alive, after all, with a glamour shot in Vanity Fair. Clementi isn’t.

Ben Boychuk (bboychuk@city-journal.org) is associate editor of the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal. Joel Mathis (joelmmathis@gmail.com) is associate editor for Philadelphia Magazine. Visit them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/benandjoel.

Ben Boychuk and Joel Mathis

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 4 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Teach5thMay 09, 2014 - 6:48 am

    I've heard people recently say that this is old news, so consequently, there's no reason to bring it back into the spotlight. Personally, I think people really didn't pay much attention to it when it happened, so i ask the same question: why should it be brought back to make the news now? Maybe it's because Hillary and friends haven't changed, and she just might run for office. Obama, Reid, Pelosi, and fiends on the left like to tell women that the Right hates women, and they point to things like pro-life and unequal pay as their justification for saying so. But, if you look back at the past, you'll find the Dems coming to the defense of Bill despite several women coming forward and saying that Bill groped, propositioned, and had "sex" with women while he was married. He even was accused of raping Kathleen Willey. And what was the party who loves women saying about the women at the time? Hillary called the investigations a "vast right-wing conspiracy" and talked about a " nuts and sluts" campaign, and the Left let her get away with it. After all - whether it was a couple of women who were in Bill's office, or in a motel room -(out for a stroll who happened to be propositioned or raped) - WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • The MisterMay 09, 2014 - 7:38 am

    Monica Lewinsky's legacy is Matt Drudge and the Drudgereport. For that, we all owe Monica our appreciation for taking one for the team.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rich GiddensMay 09, 2014 - 8:15 am

    The Drudge report and other similar websites are a lot better then the government media complex! Those websites are listed at the Drudgereport.com too! Independent and underground media is where it's happening at baby! No government rump kissing and cover up allowed!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Mike KirchubelMay 09, 2014 - 9:33 pm

    The Monica Lewinsky legacy is that U.S. presidents are no longer allowed to have affairs. Nothing else.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

‘Boyhood’ mature on music, moments

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: B1

 
Mr. Clean: Dennis Regan offers friendly jokes, with a bite

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

Gemstones shine at Solano County Fair

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Trifecta: ‘The Who’s Tommy’ third play in three months

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
 
Japan Summerfest returns this month

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Highway 12 to close overnight in Jameson Canyon

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4

Air district calls Spare the Air alert

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Vallejo police arrest suspect in shooting death

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Solano Tea Party Patriots schedule meet

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Stabbing victim dies in Vacaville

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Fairfield police log: July 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: July 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

As US job market strengthens, many don’t feel it

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Dow plunges as multiple worries vex investors

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Wisconsin Supreme Court upholds 2011 union law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
A look at the impact of Wisconsin’s union law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Union: California prison staff told to fake checks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Abbas seeks broad support for war crimes charges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

US, UN announce deal on 72-hour Gaza cease-fire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Californians to see increase in health plan costs

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Appellate court overturns high-speed rail rulings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Report: Secrecy enveloped Bay Bridge construction

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Yosemite wildfire weakened, evacuations to end

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Candidate goes homeless to show economic gap

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

California ex-mayor sentenced in corruption case

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
US warns against traveling to Ebola-hit countries

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

See-through mice reveal details of inner anatomy

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
CIA spied on Senate, internal review finds

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Demoted worker shoots CEO, kills self in Chicago

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
NASA to test making rocket fuel ingredient on Mars

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Investigators reach Ukraine jet wreckage site

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
Congress races to finish VA, highway bills

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Opinion

Nice guy becomes House majority leader

By Dan Walters | From Page: A11

 
Should union organizing be a civil right?

By Ben Boychuk and Joel Mathis | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

 
Editorial Cartoons: Aug. 1, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

To err is human – but not in print

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

 
Why do so many Americans support Hamas

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 5 Comments

.

Living

Today in History for Aug. 1, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Aug. 1, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

My irregular monthly cycles were a symptom of cancer, not menopause

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A9

 
Horoscopes for Aug. 1, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A9

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Aug. 1-7, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
‘Godfather of Makeup’ Dick Smith dead at 92

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Review: Boseman drips with charisma as James Brown

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Starz’ ‘Outlander’ brings novels to life vibrantly

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Dionne Warwick knows her way to San Jose

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Entertainment calendar Aug. 1, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

 
‘Sharknado 2′ whipped up storm of viewers, tweets

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
.

Sports

Chekwa taking reps with Raiders while Hayden sits

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Safety Bethea finding a groove with new 49ers team

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Expos fall short in 10-9 loss to Leghorns

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B7

 
A’s deal Tommy Milone to Twins for Sam Fuld

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

A’s get Lester, Gomes from Red Sox for Cespedes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
Commonwealth Games athlete convicted for assault on rival

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Lynch ends holdout, arrives at Seahawks camp

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Nick Watney leads PGA Barracuda Championship

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Rich get richer: Rays’ Price traded to Tigers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
Dumdumaya takes third in World Junior/Junior Olympic tourney

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B8

AP Source: Trump advances in Bills sale process

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Mudcats get 15-7 win in Auburn Classic

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B8

Phelps to compete in 4 events at US nationals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Another decent start for Woods at Firestone

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

Ravens’ Rice: His actions ‘totally inexcusable’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Dustin Johnson takes leave of absence from golf

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Signups for Friday, Aug. 1, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B9

 
Derrick Brooks set standard for NFL linebackers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

.

Business

Daimler launches new version of tiny Smart car

By The Associated Press | From Page: C1

 
Panasonic, Tesla to build big US battery plant

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

SeaWorld, Southwest Airlines ending partnership

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Target taps outsider as CEO for needed shakeup

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Iliad of France makes surprise bid for T-Mobile US

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
In San Francisco real estate, $1M won’t buy much

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Facebook’s Internet.org expands in Zambia

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

 
Debit overdraft fees often exceed cost of purchase

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11, 1 Comment

.

Obituaries

Clifford C. Hemler

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
.

Comics

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9