Conservative: Too Little and Way Too Late on Bill Clinton

There’s a growing wave of articles and statements from notable liberals suddenly treating sexual-assault allegations against Bill Clinton seriously. Some are praising this belated “reckoning.” But The Federalist’s David Harsanyi suggests that “discarding the Clintons when they’re no longer politically useful” in order to “retroactively grab the higher moral ground isn’t exactly an act of heroism.” Fact is, “Democrats pay no political price for going after the former president, nor will Clinton face any consequences.” Two decades ago, Democrats and the news media decided that “whatever Clinton’s sins might be,” his fight against the so-called theocracy and the right “was well worth the degradation of a few women.” Says Harsanyi: “This isn’t a reckoning as much as it is a face-saving.”

Culture critic: Why Moore’s Backers Blame the Media

Most Americans by now should be convinced that Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore molested a 14-year-old decades ago “because the evidence is strong,” contends Kay Hymowitz at City Journal. But a lot of people also believe it “because Moore conforms to a broad stereotype those of us in a Northern, secular bubble feel no need to interrogate — the backward, Southern, holier-than-thou hypocrite.” Which puts “the otherwise incomprehensible irrationality of the judge’s stalwart supporters in a more comprehensible light.” These Moore supporters know the establishment media “see their religiosity through the filter of ugly clichés.” So “this sordid episode is yet another symptom of our dangerously polarized country.” And “regardless of the outcome, no one should be cheering.”

Foreign desk: Not Everything About Russia Is Complex

With the Trump-Russia story “becoming surreal,” Bloomberg’s Leonid Bershidsky suggests “pausing for a minute” and applying the principle that the simplest explanations are usually correct. Example: BuzzFeed’s “ominous” story on 60 money transfers from Russia’s foreign ministry to embassies around the world, most with the memo “to finance election campaign of 2016.” Moscow says this refers to Russia’s parliamentary elections, whose voters included 1.9 million expatriates. As Bershidsky notes, if the money was meant for the US elections, “would a Russian government agency openly transfer money to ‘finance’ it and label it as such?” Ditto for those exchanges between Trump volunteer adviser George Papadopoulos and Maltese professor Joseph Mifsaud — a case of “two self-promoters known for overselling their qualifications and achievements” trying to use each other for “more self-promotion.”

Policy wonk: Unsustainable Medicaid Is Out of Control

Medicaid “is at its breaking point” — which may be “one of the most underreported, underappreciated public-policy crises of our time,” argues Nicholas Horton at National Review. If left unaddressed, “this crisis will come at great cost to America’s most vulnerable.” Even pre-ObamaCare, Medicaid was “growing at an alarming rate.” Now it’s “growing even faster, siphoning more and more resources away from folks who truly depend on Medicaid for survival.” Indeed, Medicaid enrollment has more than doubled since 2000, the number of able-bodied adults enrolled has more than quadrupled and total spending has more than tripled, to $600 billion-plus. States need to impose work requirements for the able-bodied, and Washington must give states more flexibility over its programs. That would help “preserve resources for the truly needy.”

From the right: Peter Beinart Should Resign

Former New Republic editor Peter Beinart has written what The Weekly Standard’s Ethan Epstein calls “an exquisite, anguished, self-flagellating meditation” for The Atlantic, where he’s now a contributing editor. In it, he says he benefited at his old job because he is white and well-educated and enjoys “unearned privilege” that “served to exclude others” and “perpetuated . . . historic injustices.” And he pledges to now embrace “a world in which I lose some of my undeserved advantage.” Says Epstein: If Beinart now realizes that “he didn’t really earn his prominent role through merit,” he really has only one option: “He must resign from his role at The Atlantic, and from the City University of New York, where he holds a professorship.”

— Compiled by Eric Fettmann

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Bill Clinton’s ‘reckoning,’ Medicaid’s doomsday and other commentary