Traister references Clarence Thomas, but she ignores the elephant in the room. In the climate of 1998-2000, “sexual harrassment” meant “Bill Clinton,” the sexual harassment and affair-with-starstruck-young-subordinate story that had transfixed the nation for two years and dug the entire world of liberalism into a defensive crouch against female accusers of powerful liberals, complete with a theory of “compartmentalization” under which a man who did good for the movement could be forgiven his private sins, regardless of the trail of women he’d treated as disposable. The Clinton machine had nationalized the methods of destroying the credibility of women, even liberal women in good standing, who dared to speak out against The Big He. It’s no accident that, in this climate, many of Weinstein’s potential accusers got the message Clinton sent, and that Traister describes – that giving in to such men was a romantic devotion to The Cause (claim your free copy of Leaves of Grass here!) and that the liberal world of Hollywood would consider you a prude if you spoke out.
But now, while the mores of Hollywood may not have changed, the partisan climate had. Stories about Fox and Trump make it fashionable again for liberals to be against this sort of thing. In that sense, Weinstein isn’t totally wrong that right-wingers are behind his downfall, but not the way he thinks. There is finally a bigger target to whom he can be sacrificed.