This is not one of those rhetorical questions where the answer is “no.”
But at an Upper East Side dinner party a few months back, Ms. Dunham expressed more conflicted feelings. She told the guests, at the Park Avenue apartment of Richard Plepler, the chief executive of HBO, that she was disturbed by how, in the 1990s, the Clintons and their allies discredited women who said they had had sexual encounters with or been sexually assaulted by former President Bill Clinton.
The conversation, relayed by several people with knowledge of the discussion who would speak about it only anonymously, captures the deeper debate unfolding among liberal-leaning women about how to reconcile Mrs. Clinton’s leadership on women’s issues with her past involvement in her husband’s efforts to fend off accusations of sexual misconduct.
This is significant. Hillary and Lena Dunham have basically been joined at their more-than-ample hips ever since the campaign got underway, campaigning for her, for instance, in New Hampshire and Iowa, areas which closely approximates Dunham’s conception of Purgatory. The Clinton campaign sees Dunham-as-alter-ego as a way of convincing young, skank-oriented women that Hillary is the candidate most like them.
The surprise here is not that someone at a Dunham dinner party dished to someone at the New York Times, I’d bet good money that more than a few of them are Bernie Sanders voters. The surprise is that the New York Times ran a story that is fundamentally damaging to Hillary.
And they don’t stop with just the talking out of school by one or more of Dunham’s friends. They recap Hillary’s role in stomping the women who were the victims of Bill Clinton’s raging libido and unbridled sense of entitlement. And they use sources that will be credible to leftwing readers who are prone to dismiss the various Clinton sex scandals as contrived political contretemps rather than the tracings of a sexual predator at work.
But the resurfacing of the scandals of the 1990s has brought about a rethinking among some feminists about how prominent women stood by Mr. Clinton and disparaged his accusers after the “bimbo eruptions,” as a close aide to the Clintons, Betsey Wright, famously called the claims of affairs and sexual assault against Mr. Clinton in his 1992 campaign.
Even some Democrats who participated in the effort to discredit the women acknowledge privately that today, when Mrs. Clinton and other women have pleaded with the authorities on college campuses and in workplaces to take any allegation of sexual assault and sexual harassment seriously, such a campaign to attack the women’s character would be unacceptable.
We have to destroy her story,” Mrs. Clinton said of one of the first women to come forward during her husband’s first presidential campaign, Connie Hamzy, in 1991, according to George Stephanopoulos, a former Clinton administration aide who described the events in his memoir, “All Too Human.’’ (Three people signed sworn affidavits saying Ms. Hamzy’s story was false.)
When Gennifer Flowers later surfaced, claiming that she had a long affair with Mr. Clinton, Mrs. Clinton undertook an “aggressive, explicit direction of the campaign to discredit” Ms. Flowers, according to an exhaustive biography of Mrs. Clinton, “A Woman in Charge,” by Carl Bernstein.
Mrs. Clinton referred to Monica Lewinsky, the White House intern who had an affair with the 42nd president, as a “narcissistic loony toon,” according to one of her closest confidantes, Diane D. Blair, whose diaries were released to the University of Arkansas after her death in 2000. Ms. Lewinsky later called the comment an example of Mrs. Clinton’s impulse to “blame the woman.”
What could motivate this behavior from the newspaper that has served as the newsletter of Bill and Hillary Clinton for a quarter century? Hillary losing the Democrat nomination… or conversely winning the Democrat nomination and then being arrested by the FBI. The longer that Hillary stays in the race the more of a zoo the ultimate nomination process for the Democrats becomes. The New York Times wants a Democrat in the White House. Hillary is looking unlikely. And they probably aren’t all that happy about Sanders. But a wounded Hillary Clinton, taking in water from not only her legal problems and her general lack of fitness to hold the office and hemorrhaging the demographic she must carry by a large percentage in order to win, limping into November virtually guarantees a President Trump or President Cruz.