Bill Clinton passes on golden opportunity



June 5, 2018 - 11:00 PM

Washington Post Writers Group

WASHINGTON — We didn’t know it at the time, of course. But in Bill Clinton were the seeds of Donald Trump.

With 20 years of hindsight, it is clear. To see the former president — now promoting a mystery he co-wrote with novelist James Patterson — sit down with NBC’s Craig Melvin was to see how Clinton’s handling of the Monica Lewinsky affair was a precursor of the monstrosity we now have in the White House: dismissing unpleasant facts as “fake news,” self-righteously claiming victimhood, attacking the press and cloaking personal misbehavior in claims to be upholding the Constitution.

The former president’s offenses were far less serious than President Trump’s. Trump’s many misdeeds — against women, law, facts, democracy and decency — are in a category of their own. But Clinton set us on the path, or at least accelerated us down the path, that led to today.

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