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Claire Potter @TenuredRadical
, 12 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
Last night, I listened to the final installment of @Slate's "Slow Burn," about the Starr investigation. Episode 8 is about the rape accusation made against @BillClinton by Juanita Broaddrick, a nursing home owner who worked on his 1978 campaign. That's her on the right:
Like most of the podcast, it was beautifully done: the way @LeonNeyfakh handles women's stories is a model for good historical work. The interview w/ #LindaTripp, for example contains a great twist where confesses he has secretly recorded her as she recorded #MonicaLewinsky.
@LeonNeyfakh's treatment of #MonicaLewinsky also reveals her as simultaneously emotionally young and vulnerable; as a woman with tremendous agency; and as a tough cookie who deserved better than to have been made a figure of fun on the political left and the right.
But back to Juanita Broaddrick. Although the episode was probably not recorded during the #BrettKavanuagh hearings, the final edit includes a reference to #ChristineBlaseyFord's testimony, and asks a hard question: why do we not believe Juanita Broaddrick?
@LeonNeyfakh, without stating it, makes a strong case that @BillClinton did, in fact, rape Juanita Broaddrick: there is a vivid description of the scene & an account from a reporter about many interviews with Broaddrick that never wavered in a single element of the description.
Broaddrick has been viewed as unreliable, both because she originally denied the rape under oath (she was ashamed and frightened), and because she later became an anti-Clinton activist (can you blame her?)
But the case @LeonNeyfakh made is very, very compelling, and it suggests that the culture wars of the 1990s were not just driven by @newtgingrich and @GOP conservatives, but by a persistent imperative to cover up deeply shameful behavior by @BillClinton.
I suspect that nearly everyone around @BillClinton was complicit in some way in this coverup, and that the conspiracies too served a purpose. If it was absurd that the Clintons ordered a hit on #VinceFoster, it must be absurd that Clinton was a rapist too.
That would include his wife. So if you want to understand something about the hatred that @HillaryClinton inspires on the left, at least some part of it was generated at this moment. Whether you think that is fair or not is up to you.
But I now believe Juanita Broaddrick, and I applaud @SenGillibrand, my senator, for having said publicly that @TheDemocrats need to deal with their own complicity in this matter and the rage it inspired in many Republicans who read the Broaddrick dossier during the impeachment.
So look at this picture again: a campaign worker eager to speak to her candidate @ supporting nursing homes. Imagine being that woman, & the candidate proposing they meet for breakfast in Little Rock when she came for a conference in three weeks. Imagine how excited she was.
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