The argument about all these men has been that they’re actually far from irreplaceable. Surely someone who hasn’t allegedly beat two ex-wives could schedule meetings in the West Wing. Surely progressive politics can produce a charismatic presidential contender who doesn’t think it’s funny to mime groping women’s breasts. Surely there are moviemakers who can capture New York and all its neuroses who don’t prey on their stepchildren.
With White, it’s more complicated. He is, definitionally, the best of all time, and he has the medals to prove it. America has the medals to prove it. This explains why so many are willing to gloss over all White’s griminess: It’s not only political partisans or studio execs who want to preserve a pristine image of White in all his gold-plated glory. It’s the whole country.