Home Daily Blitz Monica Lewinsky Was My Intern. Here’s Why the Women Making Accusations Against Brett Kavanaugh Give Me Hope

Monica Lewinsky Was My Intern. Here’s Why the Women Making Accusations Against Brett Kavanaugh Give Me Hope


The following is an excerpt from JENNIFER PALMIERI | September 26, 2018 | Time.com |

For reasons I have yet to fully comprehend, I have found myself in the middle of some of the most tumultuous confrontations between politics, sex and power over the last 20 or so years. Early in my career, Monica Lewinsky was my intern in the Clinton White House. I testified in front of independent counsel Ken Starr’s grand jury and fought against Clinton’s impeachment as a deputy press secretary for the White House. I also worked for former presidential candidate John Edwards and his wife Elizabeth, and helped them both manage the press around his extramarital affair. Most recently, I was Hillary Clinton’s communications director in the 2016 presidential campaign. Between Donald Trump’s bragging that he assaulted women on the Access Hollywood tape from 2005, the accusations from more than a dozen women that Trump had sexually harassed or assaulted them and Trump’s own false attacks of Clinton as a “mean enabler” of her husband’s misconduct, the campaign often felt more like a primal battle between the sexes than a political contest. And the women’s side lost.

Judging from the Trump White House’s and Congressional Republicans’ efforts to intimidate the women who have accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault, it feels like the women are losing again. In their refusal to have the FBI investigate the charge that Kavanaugh assaulted Dr. Christine Blasey Ford in high school (which Kavanaugh denies), Republicans are treating Dr. Ford with even less deference than they did with Anita Hill 27 years ago. Their reaction to the new sworn declaration by Julie Swetnick, and the demand from her lawyer for an FBI investigation, will be similarly revealing.

For those of us concerned that Kavanaugh could be the vote that undoes Roe v. Wade, the Republicans’ actions are particularly galling: Railroading a woman for the purposes of putting a man on the Supreme Court to control her body. It’s easy for women to believe that the picture looks bleak; the patriarchy, strong.

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