Sunday, October 09, 2016

Nothing's Shocking

Is there a statute of limitations on obscenity? Certainly changing public perception plays a part. The photographs of Robert Mapplethorpe don't  raise as many eyebrows as they used to, especially when compared to the images regularly found on Al Gore's Internet. What about adultery? Is there a moment in a marriage when past indiscretions figure into anyone's marriage vows. Bill Clinton knows a thing or two about that. He was impeached, and later acquitted, on charges related to his extramarital affair with Monica Lewinsky. At the time, a lot of people on the Democratic side of the aisle wondered if these kind of dalliances were the stuff of presidential politics. Back in 1998, there were plenty of folks on the other side who saw it as a chance to get rid of Mister Clinton.
Now it's 2016,  and the political and moral landscape has changed, as have positions on the sanctity of marriage. Donald "Dice" Trump would like us to know that Bill Clinton said much worse to him on the golf course, but  the significant point to be made here is that 1) he is not currently running against Mister Clinton, he is running against his wife and 2) he is arguing to be compared to someone who was on the verge of being removed from office because of his philandering.
Oh, and then there's this: When a Republican led Congress moved to bring charges of impeachment against Bill Clinton, Bill's fellow Democrats aligned with him. That is not what is happening with Donald Trumpottymouth. His party is racing for the lifeboats because of comments he made to an Access Hollywood host, Billy Bush. Please, control your snickering. Of course, that was eleven years ago, back when acting presidential was the least of his concerns. Now, the presumptive Republican candidate would like us to know that he is a changed man. A presumptive changed man. A thrice-divorced changed man. The only other divorced man to be elected Commander in Chief? Ronald Reagan.
Of course, that was another time, when we felt different about things. That was way back when President Ronald Reagan wanted to abolish the National Endowment for the Arts, in part, because of the photographs of Robert Mapplethorpe. Democrats fought back with the First Amendment,  also known as Freedom of Speech. So who's to say that Donald J. Trumpadump wasn't acting presidential when he was describing his conquest of a married woman to a tabloid TV host? Time will tell.

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