5 Reasons We Should Give Monica Lewinsky a Break

by Bill Brenner on May 12, 2014

Monica Lewinsky is back in the news. Sixteen years after she became a household name for her relationship with then-President Bill Clinton, the former White House intern has decided to speak out in the latest issue of Vanity Fair.

Mood music:

You’ve heard about the blue dress, the oral sex in the Oval Office, the attempt by Republicans to impeach Clinton over the affair — specifically his attempts to cover it up. Lewinsky addresses those issues, writing:

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.

With Lewinsky back in the spotlight, the jokes are sure to resume. She will once again be maligned for what she did. To those who will participate, I have a few words:

  • Sure, she was 24 at the time and maybe she was old enough to know better. But that’s still a young enough age to be intoxicated by presidential power. And not just any presidential power. Clinton’s a charming guy, and charm is sexual power.
  • Lewinsky is 40 now and has no doubt experienced a lot of growing up since 1998.
  • We’re all guilty of doing stupid things, and most of us get a chance to redeem ourselves. She deserves the same opportunity.
  • Sixteen years on, America has some serious problems resulting from two political parties hopelessly corrupted by money. We Americans have allowed it to get that way by our own apathy. Don’t you think there are more important things to worry about than what Lewinsky did as an impressionable, immature young woman?
  • If all your misdeeds — we all have them — became the stuff of public ridicule and press banter, you wouldn’t like it. In some cases, it would ruin you.

Move along, folks. Nothing more to see here.

Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky shake hands

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