Pelosi offers two justifications for going easy on Conyers. One is that the congressman is a civil-rights “icon.” By this logic, being a legend is a little like being a celebrity as described by Donald Trump in the Access Hollywood tape — it’s a free pass for gross behavior.

The other Pelosi rationale is that Conyers “has done a great deal to protect women.” This makes ideology rather than personal conduct the standard.

The controversy over Conyers arrives as some liberal Democrats now say that Bill Clinton should have resigned as president for his sexual misconduct. Of course, they could have said that 20 years ago, or even one year ago. The evasion over John Conyers makes it clear that if the Clintons had any political juice left, it would be a very different story.