Category Archives: History

Bill Clinton, Reconsidered

Well, this is refreshing. Caitlin Flanagan excoriates feminists for letting him off the hook for decades for his sexual abuse. I wonder if this also means that the truth will finally come out about all their other corruption and crimes, now that they seem to have been defenestrated?

[Update mid-morning]

Hell has frozen over. The NYT has defended Juanita Broaddrick.

[Update at noon]

The thing is, going after him now — when they don’t need him anymore, and when they’re trying to hustle Hillary off the political stage for 2020 — doesn’t make up for what they did then. Rather, it underscores it.”

[Wednesday-morning update]

The dam seems to be bursting. Now Democrats are saying that the years of defending Bill Clinton were morally indefensible. Gee, ya think? That’s why I swore never to support another Democrat two decades ago. Even Matt Yglesias now realizes he was wrong, and that Clinton should have resigned. But he still has this wrong:

In the midst of the very same public statement in which he confessed the error, Clinton also mounted the defense that would see him through to victory — portraying the issue as fundamentally a private family matter rather than a topic of urgent public concern.

“I intend to reclaim my family life for my family,” he said. “It’s nobody’s business but ours. Even presidents have private lives. It is time to stop the pursuit of personal destruction and the prying into private lives and get on with our national life.”

To this line of argument, Republicans offered what was fundamentally the wrong countercharge. They argued that in the effort to spare himself from the personal and marital embarrassment entailed by having the affair exposed, Clinton committed perjury when testifying about the matter in a deposition related to Paula Jones’s lawsuit against him.

What they should have argued was something simpler: A president who uses the power of the Oval Office to seduce a 20-something subordinate is morally bankrupt and contributing, in a meaningful way, to a serious social problem that disadvantages millions of women throughout their lives.

But by and large, they didn’t. So Clinton countered with the now-famous defense: “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.” Ultimately, most Americans embraced the larger argument that perjury in a civil lawsuit unrelated to the president’s official duties did not constitute high crimes and misdemeanors.

It’s wrong on two levels. First, both things were terrible (and as Flanagan notes above, the behavior with Lewinsky destroyed the credibility of the feminist argument against relationships in the workplace of disparate power). Second, he (as do and did most Democrats) continues to minimize what Clinton did legally. No, he didn’t merely “commit perjury.” He suborned perjury from others, including Betty Currie, Monica Lewinsky, and Linda Tripp, via bribes, and physical threats to the family of the latter. This was a major obstruction of justice in order to prevent another woman upon whom he had predated with the power of the state, from getting a fair trial. And he did this after having taken an oath to see that the laws were faithfully executed. As George Will wrote at the time, Bill Clinton may not have been the worst president, but he was probably one of the worst men to ever be president.

I’m glad that the scales are finally falling from some eyes over this, but some of the blindness persists.

[Update a while later]

If Roy Moore wins, it will be because of Democrats.

[Update a few minutes later]

Michelle Goldberg struggles to figure out what to say.

That can be a problem when you’ve been a lying hypocrite for decades.

[Update late morning]

Flash from the past: Democrats standing and applauding Bill Clinton after his impeachment in 1998. They had no shame. Most of them still don’t.

And “liberals'” sudden condemnation of Bill Clinton is cynical and self serving. No kidding.

Roy Moore

A lot of people are calling him a pedophile. He’s an awful human being, but he’s not that. I got into a stupid Twitter war this morning on that issue.

A pedophile is someone who has a desire for sex with actual children (and by children, I mean people who have not attained puberty, not teenagers). We have seen no evidence of that. But for simply pointing that out, I was accused of being one myself for “defending” him (I’m not, and I didn’t defend him, other than to point out that his attempted statutory rape is not pedophilia). And because I have a mustache.

Contra what so many confidently and ignorantly informed me, pedophilia has nothing to do with the age of the perp. It doesn’t matter how old Moore was when he attempted sex with these young women (and yes, a female who has started menstruating is a young woman, not a “child,” though she may be emotionally). All that matters is the age of the victim.

The Old Space Age Began

Today is the 60th anniversary of Sputnik. I have some thoughts over at The Weekly Standard. I’ll have more later today at PJMedia.

[Update a couple minutes later]

Henry Spencer reminds me that upon the successful launch, Korolev supposedly said “The road to the stars is now open.” A little premature, I think…

[Update a while later]

For a detailed history of the program, go read Asif Siddiqi over at The Space Review (it’s part one, the second part will appear next Monday).

[Update a couple minutes later, after going through the Siddiqi piece]

This is excellent. It is likely now the best available history of its development.

[Update a few minutes later]

Anatoly Zak reminds us that Sputnik wasn’t about the satellite; it was about the rocket.

[Update a while later]

More from Siddiqi on recent translations. Kind of amazing how much we still don’t know about space history six decades later.

[Update a while later]

How dreams of space-faring zombies resulted in Sputnik. Well, sort of.

[Update late morning]

Here‘s Chris Gebhart’s take.

[Afternoon update]

My (other) take is now up over at PJMedia. As usual, most comments are ignorant and/or idiotic.

[Update a week later]

Part 2 of Siddiqi’s new history is up now.

[Bumped]