Back during the scandal over his sexual exploitation of a young intern, Bill Clinton was pilloried in this space for his moral defects.
To which many liberals responded with derision. Morality? What did that matter? The economy was good, we were at peace and Clinton was hardly the first man to fool around and lie about it. As one reader put it, he was hired to be a president, not a pope.
At the time, that felt like a rationalization. A generation later, it feels like a portent. Indeed, it is often said that we are living now in Post-Fact America but truth is, we are also living in Post-Integrity America.
No, that’s not breaking news. But it’s been brought into painfully clear focus these last few days.
One watched — not with surprise anymore, the capacity for that being long lost, but surely with dread and fascination — as Donald Trump launched his post-impeachment purge of aides deemed insufficiently sycophantic. But that was just a prelude.