Monday, October 9, 2017

Harvey Weinstein and the End of the Clinton Era

Why now? Why, after all these years and all of this predatory behavior, has the media finally gotten around to exposing Harvey Weinstein?

Ross Douthat offered a cynic’s appraisal yesterday. It only shows, he averred, that Weinstein is washed up, no longer a major player, no longer useful. People turned on Weinstein when they could get away with it. Otherwise, they kept their counsel.

Douthat argued:

But it might just show that a certain kind of powerful liberal creep only gets his comeuppance when he’s weakened or old or in the grave. The awfulness of Ted Kennedy, at Chappaquiddick and after hours in D.C., can be acknowledged only now that he’s no longer a liberal lion in the Senate. The possibility that Bill Clinton might be not just an adulterer but a rapist can be entertained now that he’s no longer protecting abortion from the White House. The sins of Woody Allen … well, I’m sure Hollywood will start ostracizing him any day now.

Today, Lee Smith takes up the meme and expands it. He rejects the notion that it’s all a sign of raised consciousness. Truth be told, we have been having a national conversation about sexual harassment for a quarter century now. It does not seem to have been notably successful.

No, Smith argues, the real reason is that Hillary Clinton lost the election. The Clinton dynasty, with its media satraps and enablers, is over. It certainly makes sense:

Rebecca Traister says the stories are coming out now because “our consciousness has been raised.” Between Bill Cosby and Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, and Donald Trump, argues Traister, people are now accustomed to speaking and hearing the truth about famous, sexually abusive men.

This is wrong. It has nothing to do with “raised consciousness”—or else she wouldn’t have left off that list the one name obviously missing. It’s not about raised consciousness or else the Democratic party’s 2016 presidential campaign would not have been a year-long therapy session treating a repressed trauma victim with even its main slogan—“I’m with her”—referencing a muted plea for sympathy for a woman who’d been publicly shamed by a sexual predator.

Which brings us, finally, to the other reason the Weinstein story came out now: Because the court over which Bill Clinton once presided, a court in which Weinstein was one part jester, one part exchequer, and one part executioner, no longer exists.

A thought experiment: Would the Weinstein story have been published if Hillary Clinton had won the presidency? No, and not because he is a big Democratic fundraiser. It’s because if the story was published during the course of a Hillary Clinton presidency, it wouldn’t have really been about Harvey Weinstein. Harvey would have been seen as a proxy for the president’s husband and it would have embarrassed the president, the first female president.

Bill Clinton offered get-out-of-jail-free cards to a whole army of sleazeballs, from Jeffrey Epstein to Harvey Weinstein to the foreign donors to the Clinton Global Initiative. The deal was simple: Pay up, genuflect, and get on with your existence. It was like a papacy selling indulgences, at the same time that everyone knew that the cardinals were up to no good. The 2016 election demolished Clinton world once and for all, to be replaced by the cult of Obama, an austere sect designated by their tailored hair shirts with Nehru collars. “That is not who we are as Americans,” they chant, as Harvey Weinstein’s ashes are scattered in the wind.


Ares Olympus said...

Myself, I find Douthat's attempt more interesting than Lee Smith. Perhaps its because I'm not interested in condemning or punishing the political opposition for being good at losing?

Douthat's "modest proposal" follows.
So I’ll say something more modest: If liberals want to restrain the ogres in their midst, a few conservative ideas might be helpful.

First: Some modest limits on how men and women interact professionally are useful checks on predation.

Second: Consent alone is not a sufficient guide to ethics.

Third: You can’t ignore moral character when you make decisions about whom to vote for or work with or support.

It's rich advice while we have a commander in chief who was a wannabe playboy since he first divorce. But if the Democrats want any sort of highground, they actually ought to propose one.

But we know one more modest proposal:

Fourth: You can’t ignore moral character of your husband when you make decisions about deciding you want to run for office.

Just because he had a 60% approval rating during his impeachment hearings doesn't mean you can get away with being a woman running for office on your husband's coattails.

whitney said...

It doesn't "feel" like raised consciousness. It "feels" like feral animals destroying the old and the weak. It's all about feels right

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Harvey Weinstein is a creep who bought protection by parroting the right stances on the right issues. But even parrots eventually die.

This seems like a good capture... from the Wikipedia article on parrots, specifically the subsection "Relationships with humans: Pets":

"Parrots invariably require an enormous amount of attention, care, and intellectual stimulation to thrive, akin to that required by a three-year-old child, which many people find themselves unable to provide in the long term. Parrots that are bred for pets may be hand fed or otherwise accustomed to interacting with people from a young age to help ensure they become tame and trusting. However, even when hand fed, parrots revert to biting and aggression during hormonal surges and if mishandled or neglected. Parrots are not low-maintenance pets; they require feeding, grooming, veterinary care, training, environmental enrichment through the provision of toys, exercise, and social interaction (with other parrots or humans) for good health.

Some large parrot species, including large cockatoos, amazons, and macaws, have very long lifespans, with 80 years being reported, and record ages of over 100. Small parrots, such as lovebirds, hanging parrots, and budgies, have shorter lifespans up to 15–20 years. Some parrot species can be quite loud, and many of the larger parrots can be destructive and require a very large cage, and a regular supply of new toys, branches, or other items to chew up. The intelligence of parrots means they are quick to learn tricks and other behaviours—both good and bad—that get them what they want, such as attention or treats.

The popularity, longevity, and intelligence of many of the larger kinds of pet parrots and their wild traits such as screaming, has led to many birds needing to be rehomed during the course of their long lifespans. A common problem is that large parrots that are cuddly and gentle as juveniles mature into intelligent, complex, often demanding adults who can outlive their owners, and can also become aggressive or even dangerous. Due to an increasing number of homeless parrots, they are being euthanised like dogs and cats, and parrot adoption centres and sanctuaries are becoming more common. Parrots do not often do well in captivity, causing some parrots to go insane and develop repetitive behaviours, such as swaying and screaming, or they become riddled with intense fear. Feather destruction and self-mutilation, although not commonly seen in the wild, occur frequently in captivity."

Regardless of the outcome of the dead parrot sketch (a la Monty Python), I suspect this parrot -- Mr. Weinstein -- is done. His career spanned about 40 years. Not bad for a parrot who couldn't keep his mouth shut.

Anonymous said...

WEINSTEIN: At least we now know who will play Jabba the Hut in the live action version of Star Wars. Or a remake of Spaceballs as Pizza the Hut. B—�-!

Jack Fisher said...

I read these four comments and realize I haven't had enough scotch.

James said...

It looks like the Hillary people with problems are being purged now with the coming elections in mind. The Left does take a big hit on their MSM, cultural, and moral stances, but these guys are probably figure they can smooth it all over in the year left before then. The overall aim is to scare the big Hillary donors either into support or silence for I think they (the Bernie wing) have decided that Tech money will carry them now. I think they are misreading the situation. The "Weinstein" affair may go off the front page, but it won't be forgotten and as I said above it goes directly to stances that have been the core of the Left's message and power.
Since the 1960's the Left has made great political use of labeling the Right as the "Man". Slowly but surely the roles have reversed and they have become the "Man" and they don't even realize it.

James said...

All of the above of course is a long winded way of saying , yes it is the end of an era.