Conservative writer Dan Joseph sounds a common theme on the right when he argues that while reporters shrug over what Sanders wrote, if “Ted Cruz or Rick Santorum wrote something along these lines—even 40 years ago—the media wouldn’t stop talking about it for weeks.” Which is incontrovertibly true.
On the other side, a piece on the feminist outlet Jezebel attempts to thread the needle, both countering and conforming to Joseph’s challenge. In that article, the whole thing is written off as the weird-but-so-what ramblings of “an aging hippie who—theory—might have been stoned out of his gourd while writing.”
“It was intended to attack gender stereotypes of the ’70s, but it looks as stupid today as it was then.”
But here’s the thing: There is no statute of limitations in presidential politics. And if Senator Sanders wants to be taken seriously as a candidate for the highest office, then the right answer is to note that what he wrote about rape 43 years ago, at the age of 31, is seriously messed up.