Instead, Democrats embraced the narrative that the wrongdoing, though real, was ultimately not serious — or at a minimum, not a matter of public concern.
This was a mistake. Clinton admitted he was wrong but stayed tellingly cagey as to what exactly was wrong about it, before implicitly sliding to the stance that the problem was marital infidelity. Marriages, of course, really are private and, as they say, complicated. By the broader issue of men in general abusing positions of power to obtain sexual gratification is most certainly not a trivial issue or a private matter. If word had gotten back to the White House of an unmarried Cabinet secretary having a clandestine affair with one of his interns, the administration might have taken action or (perhaps more likely) might have tried to cover it up. But they certainly wouldn’t have played dumb and pretended not to see that there was a problem.
“My boss took advantage of me,” Lewinsky writes in the same article, a piece in which she correctly argues that the ensuring debate ended up entirely slighting highly relevant issues including “the balance of power and gender inequality in politics and media.”