Liberals retroactively turn on Bill Clinton amid wide reckoning on the sexual misconduct of powerful men

 

  • The prominent Democratic senator Kirsten Gillibrand has spoken out against Bill Clinton.
  • Gillibrand,  who holds Hillary Clinton's old Senate seat, said Bill Clinton should have resigned over his affair with a young intern.
  • Other prominent liberals have begun criticizing the former president amid the #MeToo movement.
  • But Gillibrand has frequently praised and fundraised with Bill Clinton.
  • Some are now calling her a hypocrite.


The latest episode on the worldwide reckoning on the sexual misconduct of powerful men actually happened almost two decades ago — but important liberals have just now turned on the perpetrator, former President Bill Clinton.

On the same day that TV host Leeann Tweeden accused Democratic Sen. Al Franken of kissing and groping her without her consent, Kirsten Gillibrand, Democratic 2020 presidential hopeful and the Senator who holds Hillary Clinton's former seat, said that the former president should have resigned after his own sex scandal.

RELATED: Bill Clinton through the years

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Bill Clinton through the years
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Bill Clinton through the years
American President Bill Clinton gives his weekly speech for the radio, at the White House. (Photo by Jeffrey Markowitz/Sygma via Getty Images)
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Presidential candidate Bill Clinton campaigns in New Hampshire. Clinton would win the 1992 presidential election against incumbent George Bush, and be elected to a second term in 1996. (Photo by mark peterson/Corbis via Getty Images)
Presidential candidate Bill Clinton talks with reporters while campaigning in New Hampshire. Clinton would win the 1992 presidential election against incumbent George Bush, and be elected to a second term in 1996. (Photo by mark peterson/Corbis via Getty Images)
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Presidential candidate Bill Clinton campaigns in New Hampshire. (Photo by mark peterson/Corbis via Getty Images)
Bill Clinton greets a crowd of supporters in Hannibal, Missouri. Clinton on his Mississippi River Tour to campaign for the 1992 presidential elections. (Photo by � Ralf-Finn Hestoft/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
3/21/1979-ORIGINAL CAPTION READS: View of Governor Bill Clinton of Arkansas at podium.
Presidential hopeful Bill Clinton is joined by his daughter Chelsea (L) and wife Hillary during his campaign for the presidency. (Photo by Brooks Kraft LLC/Sygma via Getty Images)
Jesse Jackson (right), Baptist minister and two-time presidential candidate, listens as Arkansas governor Bill Clinton speaks to the press just before Clinton announces his candidacy for the US presidency. (Photo by ?? Jacques M. Chenet/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
Presidential hopefulls Bill Clinton and Robert Kerrey speak during a meeting of candidates for the Democratic nomination for the presidency of the USA. (Photo by Brooks Kraft LLC/Sygma via Getty Images)
Pres. Bill Clinton speaking at Family Leave Bill signing ceremony at WH, framed by listening VP Al Gore. (Photo by Dirck Halstead/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 31: U.S. President Bill Clinton (C) chats with New York Governor Mario Cuomo (R) 31 January 1993 at the White House while watching Super Bowl XXVII on television. At left is Texas Governor Ann Richards. Clinton's daughter, Chelsea, sits in the foreground and holds her cat, Socks. (Photo credit should read ROBERT GIROUX/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, : US President Bill Clinton speaks to the press at the White House in Washington 02 March after the defeat of the Balanced Budget Ammendment in the US Senate. Clinton, who was opposed to the ammendment, told reporters that the reason the defeat was the failure of Republicans to provide Democrats with a simple guarantee to protect Social Security. AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
OTTAWA, CANADA - FEBRUARY 23: Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien (L) escorts US President Bill Clinton (2nd L) and first Lady Hillary Clinton (R) accompanied by Chretien's wife Aline (2nd R ) 23 February during a state dinner at the Museum of Civilization in Hull, Quebec, CAN. (COLOR KEY: Aline wears violet dress). AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read PAUL J.RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
Hong Kong legislator Martin Lee (L) mtg. w. Pres. Bill Clinton (R) & & VP Al Gore at White House as return of Hong Kong to mainland Chinese rule draws near. (Photo by Diana Walker//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)
ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE, UNITED STATES: US President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton wave as they board Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base 14 September in Maryland. The Clintons are heading to New York for a fundraiser. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) AFP PHOTO/Joyce NALTCHAYAN (Photo credit should read JOYCE NALTCHAYAN/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, : US President Bill Clinton speaks to the National Farmers Union 15 September in the Old Executive Office Building in Washington, DC. Some Republican members of Congress have suggested today that a formal Congressional censure would not be punishment enough for Clinton's alleged crimes. AFP PHOTO/STEPHEN JAFFE (Photo credit should read STEPHEN JAFFE/AFP/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 19: President Bill Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak at news conference at the White House. (Photo by Harry Hamburg/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES: US President Bill Clinton (C), First Lady Hillary Clinton (L) and daughter Chelsea(C) hug after the president delivered his speech to the Democratic National Convention 14 August 2000 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. AFP PHOTO/Scott NELSON (Photo credit should read Scott Nelson/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES: US President Bill Clinton speaks to the Democratic National Convention 14 August, 2000, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. AFP PHOTO Lucy NICHOLSON (Photo credit should read LUCY NICHOLSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Russian President Boris Yeltsin (R) hugs U.S. President Bill Clinton before their talks at the Kremlin September 1. Yeltsin greeted Clinton with a bear-hug at the start of their two-day summit, which is expected to be overshadowed by discussion of Russia's worst crisis in years. MF/JDP
U.S. President Bill Clinton has a quiet word with his wife Hillary during a candle-lighting ceremony at the Israeli president's residence December 13. Clinton began today his uphill battle of salvaging the Wye RIver peace accords in the shadow of U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee vote to proceed with impeachement proceedings against him. DPS/ME
U.S. President Bill Clinton answers a question as he stands beside South Korean President Kim Dae-jung during a joint news conference at the Presidential Blue House in Seoul November 21. The two leaders discussed reports of North Korea having a secret underground nuclear complex, among other issues. BPS/JIR/KM
U.S. President Bill Clinton attends Jordan's King Hussein's funeral at an Amman royal palace February 8. World leaders are attending the funeral for King Hussein, who died of cancer February 7 after a turbulent 47-year reign at the heart of the Middle East politics and was succeeded on the throne by his politically untested son Abdullah. ES/WS
U.S. President Bill Clinton eats dinner with troops who are taking part in Operation Allied Force during his visit to Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany May 5. Earlier in the day, Clinton met with the three U.S. soldiers who were freed earlier in the week by Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic. KL/ME
U.S.President Bill Clinton shakes the hand of a supporter while addressing American farmers in Shakopee, Minnesota, May 12, 2000. The president highlighted the economic benefits to American farmers if permanent normal trade relations with China were passed in the U.S. Congress. REUTERS/Larry Downing LSD/SV
U.S. President Bill Clinton holds the hand of nine month-old Sandhya Balakrishna after he administed an oral polio vaccine to the baby during his visit to Mahavir hospital March 24. In a speech to employees of the hospital, Clinton said the diseases still plaguing India brought "human tragedies, economic calamities". Holding the baby is her mother Pushpalatha Balakrishna. KL/AA
U.S. President Bill Clinton grimaces on the first tee as he watches his ball land along the fairway at the Bellevue Country Club in Skaneatles, New York, August 31. The first family will spend the rest of the week vacationing in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. LSD/SV/AA
U.S. President Bill Clinton (L) and Bulgarian President Petar Sotyanov wave to the crowd after Clinton addressed tens of thousands gathered in front of Alexander Nevski Cathedral in central Sofia November 22. Clinton will travel to Kosovo tomorrow, the final day of his 10-day Mediterranean tour. KL/MMR/ME
President Bill Clinton waves to bell ringers atop Christ The Saviour Cathedral with the Kremlin in the background, June 4. The Cathedral was recently rebuilt after the original was destroyed by the Soviets in 1933. RTW/RCS
Tennis great Billie Jean King waves to the crowd after remarks honoring her by former U.S. President Bill Clinton (L) during a tennis match at Madison Square Garden in New York March 2, 2009. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES)
US Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain (R-AZ) laughs as former U.S. President Bill Clinton returns McCain's notes which he accidentally picked up off the lectern, before speaking during the Clinton Global Initiative, in New York September 25, 2008. Established by Clinton in 2005, the event is designed to bring donors together with people in need to try to solve global problems. REUTERS/Chip East (UNITED STATES) US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN 2008 (USA)
US Democratic presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton (R) (D-NY) gets a kiss from her husband, former President Bill Clinton, at the National Building Museum in Washington June 7, 2008. Clinton endorsed presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) to be the Democratic U.S. presidential candidate on Saturday and suspended her own White House bid less than a week after the Illinois senator secured enough support to win the nomination. Clinton's endorsement of Obama in a speech at the National Building Museum marked the beginning of efforts to reunite the Democratic Party after a long and divisive campaign battle that ended on Tuesday when Obama won the support of enough delegates to clinch the nomination. REUTERS/Jim Bourg (UNITED STATES) US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN 2008 (USA)
Chelsea Clinton (L) and former President Bill Clinton, listen as Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) speaks to supporters at her New Hampshire primary night rally in Manchester January 8, 2008. Clinton defied the polls and narrowly upset Barack Obama in New Hampshire on Tuesday, breathing new life into her U.S. presidential campaign after finishing third in Iowa. REUTERS/Carlos Barria (UNITED STATES)
Chelsea Clinton (L) and former US President Bill Clinton watch as US Democratic presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) speaks at the National Building Museum in Washington June 7, 2008. Clinton endorsed presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) to be the Democratic U.S. presidential candidate on Saturday and suspended her own White House bid less than a week after the Illinois senator secured enough support to win the nomination. Clinton's endorsement of Obama in a speech at the National Building Museum marked the beginning of efforts to reunite the Democratic Party after a long and divisive campaign battle that ended on Tuesday when Obama won the support of enough delegates to clinch the nomination. REUTERS/Jason Reed (UNITED STATES) US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN 2008 (USA) BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton (L) and U.S. President Barack Obama acknowledge the crowd as U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama waves during the Clinton Global Initiative in New York September 23, 2010. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Microsoft founder Bill Gates (L) and former U.S. President Bill Clinton speak during the Clinton Global Initiative in New York September 23, 2010. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton greets students and officials at Edison Middle School before speaking about the Alliance for a Healthier Generation in Miami, Florida January 21, 2011. The Alliance, a non-profit organization founded by the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation, announced industry agreements with 13 leading school meal manufacturers to combat childhood obesity by making available healthier choices in school meals across the country. REUTERS/Hans Deryk (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS EDUCATION HEALTH FOOD IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton embrace during the opening plenary session labeled "Reimagining Impact" at the Clinton Global Initiative 2014 (CGI) in New York, September 22, 2014. The CGI was created by former U.S. President Bill Clinton in 2005 to gather global leaders to discuss solutions to the world's problems. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton speaks with Jack Ma, executive chairman of Alibaba Group, during the Clinton Global Initiative's annual meeting in New York, September 29, 2015. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. President Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to former U.S. President Bill Clinton at a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, November 20, 2013. REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY PROFILE)
Chelsea Clinton holds her newborn son Aidan Clinton Mezvinsky with her husband Marc Mezvinsky, as U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton pose together as they exit Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, U.S., June 20, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton speaks at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. July 26, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her husband former president Bill Clinton react to the balloon drop after she accepted the nomination on the fourth and final night at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. July 28, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton greets Melania Trump ahead of the start of the first debate between Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, U.S., September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Former U.S. President Bill Clinton (L) and former U.S. President George W. Bush participate in a moderated conversation at the graduation class of the Presidential Leadership Scholars program at the George W. Bush Presidential Library in Dallas, Texas, U.S., July 13, 2017. REUTERS/Brandon Wade TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Five former U.S. presidents, Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, speak during a concert at Texas A&M University benefiting hurricane relief efforts in College Station, Texas, U.S., October 21, 2017. REUTERS/Richard Carson TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Former President Bill Clinton delivers a keynote address at Georgetown University Institute of Politics and Public Service symposium to mark the 25th anniversary of President Clinton's 1992 presidential election victory in Washington, U.S., November 6, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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Asked Clinton should have resigned after his affair with a young intern during his time in the Oval Office, Gillibrand replied "Yes, I think that is the appropriate response," the New York Times reports

Gillibrand clarified that she meant that Clinton's affair, if it happened in today's political climate, should result in a resignation, but Gillibrand's ties to the Clintons go back.

When Gillibrand endorsed Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential run, she wrote that she was returning the favor after being "truly honored that President Bill Clinton campaigned for me in my first run for Congress in 2006."

Gillibrand's reorientation with the established fact of Clinton's misconduct follows prominent voices in liberal politics, like Vox's Matt Yglesias.

In 2007, Yglesias wrote in an article discussing the prospect of impeaching then-President George W. Bush, that the case for impeaching Clinton almost a decade earlier was "very trumped-up and trivial," and owed at least in part to political motives.

But on Wednesday, Yglesias published a long article on Vox entitled "Bill Clinton should have resigned."

MSNBC host Chris Hayes, New York Times writer Michelle Goldberg, and Atlantic writer Caitlin Flanagan all similarly called on the Democratic party to reckon with Clinton's history of sexual misconduct during amid the #metoo movement. 

While liberal pundits have called for an organic reconciliation with the past, some have questioned the timing of the shift in tone.

Reacting to Gillibrand's statement's on Clinton, Philippe Reines, a longtime adviser to Hillary Clinton tweeted: "Over 20 yrs you took the Clintons’ endorsements, money, and seat. Hypocrite. Interesting strategy for 2020 primaries. Best of luck."

Besides the issue of the former president's legacy, Hillary Clinton's role at the top of the Democratic party has also come under scrutiny as former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile alleged in a new book that Clinton unethically controlled the party and skewed the primary against her challenger, Bernie Sanders. 

SEE ALSO: These are the sexual-assault allegations against Bill Clinton

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