IT IS serendipitous that Vanity Fair is teasing their interview with Monica Lewinsky at a time when the Republican obsession with Benghazi is reaching a crescendo over the new Republican select committee. It allows the noise to grow louder on a different track, so Hillary Clinton‘s detractors can attack her on two fronts at once. It also reminds everyone the bar for impeachment according to Republicans, which isn’t Iran Contra, but instead was a “consensual relationship” between President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.
In my new book, one of the chapters is Being Jackie, Being Hillary, with Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy and Hillary Rodham Clinton two women who have a lot in common where their men are concerned. They even talked about their husbands and the outside forces that would be hunting Bill Clinton, which the women had in common. It was a different time, with each woman caught in different stages of the sexual and feminist revolutions, after the feminine mystique collapsed.
Monica Lewinsky just before the turn of a new century made her own choices that included seeking out Bill Clinton and opening the door to what happened later.
…there seem to me a tendency to talk about women in two ways when it comes to sex and sexual activity, either they are terrible victims preyed on by older men as in Monica Lewinsky and President Clinton did a bad thing, and Monica Lewinsky was not a innocent victim completely, I recall some thong flashing there. – Ruth Marcus
That President Clinton took Lewinsky’s thong bait, which includes her obvious interest in having an affair with him, proves that some men will take any risk for what President Kennedy reportedly called “strange,” because sometimes “lobster” isn’t enough.
“I love lobster, but not every night. If I don’t have some strange ass every couple of days, I get migraines.” – President John F. Kennedy
It’s important to digest Ms. Lewinsky’s words to describe her involvement with Bill Clinton, which she viewed as a “consensual relationship,” purposefully staying away from the word “affair.”
What Monica Lewinsky is obviously trying to get across is that emotions were involved and that her involvement with President Clinton was not a fleeting fancy. Affairs, unlike relationships, are between people with at least one of them committed to someone else. An affair is a finite investment. Monica Lewinsky believed that her “relationship” with Bill Clinton had the potential to be lasting. There was substance in it, as far as she was concerned, that went beyond an affair.
I’d also suggest an affair can be a relationship, though it remains a finite involvement.
If Monica Lewinsky ever thought Bill Clinton would leave Hillary Clinton for her, she’s not the first woman in a triangle to convince herself of this fantasy. However, in actuality she was just another dumb broad who doesn’t understand the investment of two people in a committed partnership, especially one like the Clintons, which has its roots in something larger than themselves, just like the Kennedys had.
Monica Lewinsky wouldn’t be the first woman to make the mistake of overestimating her value to a married man, but she is one of the most naive to believe she would become the next Wallis Simpson.
From the Vanity Fair article by Monica Lewinsky.
Monica Lewinsky writes in Vanity Fair for the first time about her affair with President Clinton: “It’s time to burn the beret and bury the blue dress.” She also says: “I, myself, deeply regret what happened between me and President Clinton. Let me say it again: I. Myself. Deeply. Regret. What. Happened.”
After 10 years of virtual silence (“So silent, in fact,” she writes, “that the buzz in some circles has been that the Clintons must have paid me off; why else would I have refrained from speaking out? I can assure you that nothing could be further from the truth”), Lewinsky, 40, says it is time to stop “tiptoeing around my past—and other people’s futures. I am determined to have a different ending to my story. I’ve decided, finally, to stick my head above the parapet so that I can take back my narrative and give a purpose to my past. (What this will cost me, I will soon find out.)”
Clearing the Air
Maintaining that her affair with Clinton was one between two consenting adults, Lewinsky writes that it was the public humiliation she suffered in the wake of the scandal that permanently altered the direction of her life:
“Sure, my boss took advantage of me, but I will always remain firm on this point: it was a consensual relationship.
Any ‘abuse’ came in the aftermath, when I was made a scapegoat in order to protect his powerful position. . . . The Clinton administration, the special prosecutor’s minions, the political operatives on both sides of the aisle, and the media were able to brand me. And that brand stuck, in part because it was imbued with power.”
Monica Lewinsky also states her focus “is to get involved with efforts on behalf of victims of online humiliation and harassment and to start speaking on this topic in public forums.”
Oh, how I’d enjoy participating in a public forum with her. It would be quite a conversation, which should include how women become their own worst enemy when it comes to “online humiliation,” for which she is the poster girl.
Screen capture above from digital version of Vanity Fair article, first tweeted out by Huffington Post’s Sam Stein.