I’m recording this as exhibit No. 3,519,099 in our “partisanship is a helluva a drug” file. The two parties both seem to be reversing the views they had two decades ago — when a president of the other party was in the White House and faced accusations of affairs and misconduct.
In a CBS News poll from 1998, 77 percent of Democrats said that then-President Bill Clinton’s relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky was “a private matter” having to do with Clinton’s “personal life.” Just 16 percent of Democrats considered the affair a “public matter having to do with Bill Clinton’s job as president.” In contrast, 64 percent of Republicans cast the situation as a public concern, while 28 percent said it was a private matter.
Also in 1998, Gallup asked people whether they needed to know if a presidential candidate has had an extramarital affair in order to evaluate him or her — 55 percent of Republicans said yes, compared with just 16 percent of Democrats.