After Mr Trump boasted of sexually assaulting women, Mrs Obama has made an inspiring speech against him, but Mrs Clinton has changed the subject, talking of insults to other groups, even of watching cat gifs. “But we’ve got a job to do, for people and for cats“. Mmmmmm. It is good to see her drawing laughs.
If she brings up Mr Trump’s assaults, she risks her husband’s use of political power to gain sexual favours being brought up, and her response to allegations in the 1990s. It was not pretty. He paid $850,000 to Paula Jones who alleged he had propositioned her and exposed himself. Ms Jones’ lawyers sought to show a pattern of behaviour to make her testimony more persuasive, and asked him about Monica Lewinsky: he denied having “sexual relations” with her, and her semen-stained dress was shown in evidence for the attempt at impeachment. He was not impeached because insufficient Senators voted for it; should he have lost the Presidency?
One issue is respect for the office. Garrison Keillor has pointed this up, claiming Mr Trump is not human, and desiring him to show his belly-button to prove it. Some allege Mr Trump was sniffing because he was on coke. He calls for drug tests before the next debate. The political landscape has been coarsened by birtherism; but still it is disrespectful to demand the President’s birth certificate, or that the candidates be blood-tested.
That means that certain possible wrongs will not be brought up.
Should Mrs Clinton had left her husband? Some say infidelity breaks a marriage. I don’t believe in hard and fast moral rules like that. It is a relationship. Two people decide what they want and can bear. There are grey areas.
We talk of views “evolving”. The US has equal marriage, only a little after England won it. Equal marriage is clearly right, so President Clinton’s policy in the US army of “Don’t ask don’t tell”, where gay men could serve (and get training, and worthwhile careers) if they kept quiet about their sexuality, is monstrous. Yet before he brought it in, on 28 February 1994, men could be ejected from the army for homosexuality. It was a move forward. Possibly more might have been politically possible, but the policy lasted until 2011. The world’s view has moved on since then, despite the hate groups.
Powerful men should not exploit that power for sexual gratification. Sex should be consensual. This is clear. And, Republicans should not have been able to undermine the democratically elected President because of it. These things are murky, but I absolutely support her staying with her husband and fighting on his side at the time. And it makes it difficult for her to criticise Mr Trump. Mr Trump’s boastings are far worse than anything proven against Mr Clinton, but such comparisons are disgusting.
Mrs Clinton does not need to refer to Mr Trump’s sexual assaults. Others can do that for her. She can “go high” on this one. She is qualified to make the decisions a president must make, and it is clear he should not. Completely clear: so his tweet, Hillary Clinton should have been prosecuted and should be in jail. Instead she is running for president in what looks like a rigged election, does not seem threatening or dangerous to me, but pitiable.