By Erick Erickson
The investigation began over a land deal that was known as Whitewater. Then then there was a travel office investigation, abuse of FBI files, and President Clinton’s behavior in a sexual harassment case.
Ultimately, the American public learned several things. They learned that Bill Clinton had loved women a lot. They learned that feminists did not really believe their rhetoric when it came to women treated badly by Bill Clinton. They learned that Bill Clinton had a sexual relationship with an intern and lied about it.
Bill Clinton’s undoing was his affair with Monica Lewinsky, the White House intern. The independent counsel concluded Bill Clinton committed perjury and Republicans in Congress voted to impeach the President. The United States Senate acquitted President Clinton at the beginning of February, 1999.
The predicate act to Bill Clinton’s impeachment was his affair with an intern and his lying to cover it up. Republicans said the President of the United States is not above the law and lying under oath to obstruct justice is an impeachable offense.
Seventeen years after Republicans impeached Bill Clinton for covering up an affair, they are handing their party over to a man who has openly bragged about his affairs. On the day the Republicans first meet in Cleveland, Donald Trump will be taken to court for allegedly defrauding hard working Americans through Trump University.
What voters have already learned about Donald Trump during the primaries should give them pause. Many of his business dealings have left others worse off while he has played the bankruptcy courts to keep going. While investors in various Trump enterprises lost money, Trump made fortunes.
On the campaign trail, Trump was more a pathological liar than Bill Clinton ever was. He smeared his opponents, their wives, and their families. He embraced 9/11 trutherisms that George Bush was to blame for the attacks, he peddled malignant, false stories about Ted Cruz’s father, and few Republicans ever called on him to account. Many gave him passes on the lies they would never give to Bill Clinton.
Republicans owe Bill Clinton an apology for impeaching him over lies and affairs while now embracing a pathological liar and womanizer. That apology will not be forthcoming. In fact, for years Republicans have accused the Democrats of gutter politics and shamelessness. Now the Republicans themselves have lost their sense of shame.
As Marco Rubio withdrew from the Republican primary in Florida, Trump supporters showed up to heckle him as he was giving his withdrawal speech. In South Carolina, a Trump supporter refused to help a disabled woman who had been in a car wreck because the woman had a Bernie Sanders sticker on her car. The man actually said he thought the Lord came to him. But these people have learned this behavior from their party’s new political leader.
If so much were not on the line, it would be somewhat humorous to watch. But the Supreme Court hangs in the balance; the relationship between the states and federal government hangs in the balance; and our relationship with our allies hangs in the balance. All of these things are at stake and the party that fancies itself as the grown up party has handed itself over to a huckster with a cult of ill behaved children.
Many conservatives and people of common decency will support neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump. They will hope for a third party. But even if all the Republicans voted for Donald Trump, he would make no more gains than Mitt Romney on the electoral map and is putting in play states that would otherwise be solidly Republican.
Angry voters made a terrible miscalculation in the Republican primary. They presumed that the rest of the nation shared their anger. They were wrong and now, with so much on the line, the Republicans will field as their Presidential nominee the least popular Presidential candidate in American history. God save the republic.