Revenge is a powerful engine, and nothing drives human behavior like it. Love, like candy, is dandy, but revenge, like liquor, is quicker, and the effect is longer lasting. Hillary Clinton seems determined to learn this bitter lesson.
The "bimbo eruptions" that Bill and Hillary thought were well behind them are coming back with a vengeance, and it's only 2014. Bimbos have been a menace to ambitious men since Eve treated Adam to his first apple tart, Delilah gave Samson his first haircut, and Anthony Weiner tweeted his first crotch shot to the bimbos of the cyberworld.
The invention of politics raised the ante. The cultivation of the libido at taxpayer expense, together with the explosion of media, makes official indiscretion unsustainable.
The fact that Bubba's bimbos were leftovers from an earlier century means that the recollection of them won't be old news to the millions of voters who grew up after the Clintons left the White House. Fourteen years and two presidents later, a lot has been swallowed by the memory hole.
Bubba's bimbos and Hillary's enabling and manipulation of scandal will be new and titillating stuff. Sex sells, even the creepy sex attributed to old fogies over 30. The modern American culture is built on the cultivation of sexual titillation.
Rand Paul, the senator from Kentucky who shows little fear of the politically incorrect, fired the first salvo of the 2016 campaign the other day when he chided the press for "giving a pass" to Bubba.
"He took advantage of a girl who was 20 years old and an intern in his office," the senator said. "There is no excuse for that, and that is predatory behavior. And then [the Clintons] have the gall to stand up and say the Republicans are having 'a war on women.' [Bubba's behavior] is not Hillary's fault, but it is a factor in judging Bill Clinton and history."
The senator, indulging the gallantry Southern men expect of themselves, is, in the eyes of many women, giving Hillary that pass. Kathleen Willey, who was a prominent Democratic volunteer in the first Clinton campaign in 1992, has resurrected her accusation — never refuted — that when she accepted an invitation to call on Bubba at the White House she got no help in getting a job, but "nothing short of serious sexual harassment."
Mrs. Willey told interviewer Aaron Klein on WABC radio in New York that she's bringing up the story now because Hillary was Bubba's enabler, and manipulated the response to the sexual scandals that defined the Clinton years. Hillary, she says, has never been the friend of women she pretends to be.
Hillary attributed Bubba's troubles to "the vast right-wing media conspiracy," and then Monica Lewinsky burst on the scene like a bombshell. Monica resembled neither a conspiracy nor a vast wing, right or otherwise.
"Hillary Clinton is the war on women," Mrs. Willey says, emphasizing the word "is," and "that's what needs to be exposed here. The point is what this woman is capable of doing to other women while she's running a campaign basically on women's issues. It just doesn't make any sense.
She single-handedly orchestrated every one of the investigations of all these women [who accused her husband of sexual crimes]. They're the people reminding us of how sordid all this is."
The Clintons, Kathleen Willey complains, consume "all the oxygen in the room" and she had a personal word for Hillary: "Just pack your bags, you've had your 15 minutes of fame." (Mrs. Willey might have a successful career ahead of her as a writer of one-liners.)
She still feels the sting of uninvited humiliation in the Oval Office, reminding Bubba of what hell hath no fury like. Hillary was first described by her friends years ago in Arkansas as "strong, ambitious and ruthless," the very talents every successful politician must have, but she's bereft of the roguish charm that is crucial as well. Roguish charm is what saved Bubba.
Hillary played the betrayed wife, and played it well enough, and a lot of women understood why she felt she had to put up with the humiliation, and sympathized. Another portrait emerges for a new generation of women who demand more of their men.
Bubba was drawn to good-looking women like an ice-cream addict is drawn to strawberry sundaes, tall chocolate malts and homemade vanilla surprises. But that was life in a more tolerant age.
As more blasts from the past spill from the archives, and Hillary's role in how those bimbo eruptions were suppressed, there's likely to be collateral damage, and a lot of it.
Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times.
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