Jane Fonda has been alternately apologizing and making excuses for actions she participated in way back in the 1970s in Vietnam.
Those actions, which include posing for propaganda photos atop a Communist North Vietnamese anti-aircraft emplacement used to shoot down American pilots and sitting in on forced interrogations of U.S. POWs who were being tortured, haven’t held Fonda back from enormous capitalist success as an actress, author and celebrity in the decades since.
But it hasn’t made her any more willing to extend forgiveness and grace to her political adversaries who merely uttered some words she supposedly found offensive.
What am I talking about?
Last week, Fonda piled on Todd Akin for remarks he made in a 2012 interview while campaigning for the U.S. Senate seat in Missouri held by Claire McCaskill. Her intent was to hurt the re-election chances of North Carolina Rep. Renee Ellmers, who is being challenged by another entertainer, Clay Aiken.
That’s right – now it’s Akin v. Aiken.
Ellmers slipped up recently by making the following statement: “Men do tend to talk about things on a much higher level. Many of my male colleagues, when they go to the House floor, you know, they’ve got some pie chart or graph behind them and they’re talking about trillions of dollars and, you know, how the debt is awful and, you know … We need our male colleagues to understand that if you can bring it down to a woman’s level and what everything that she is balancing in her life – that’s the way to go.”
Now, according to Democrats, she’s joined the ranks of those waging a “war on women.”
Fonda then played the Todd Akin card.
“Now to Todd Akin,” she wrote. “Sure, Ellmer’s comments have sparked some controversy, but definitely not as much as if a man were to make the same comment. But are we supposed to give Ellmers a pass just because she’s a woman? As my friend Gloria Steinem wisely put it, ‘If Clay Aiken said women can’t read pie charts, it might lose him the election. It should lose it for Renee Ellmers, too.’ Where does that leave Clay Aiken? Todd Akin showed that out of touch politicians are vulnerable. It’s déjà vu with Ellmers. Clay Aiken should take note.”
Let me say this as a long-time Fonda watcher – and her former bodyguard. (That’s right. I briefly and regretfully served as one of her guardians during a New York-area swing by her misnamed Indochina Peace Campaign after she returned from Vietnam.)
So many on the left seek forgiveness and grace for their heinous acts. Yet they seem unwilling to give forgiveness and grace for their political opponents who the words they find offensive – or claim to find offensive.
Jane Fonda and Hillary Clinton are two recent examples of this kind of double standard.
- Did Todd Akin participate in the forcible interrogations of American POWs who were being tortured? No.
- Did he pose for propaganda photographs atop a Communist North Vietnamese anti-aircraft emplacement that was used to shoot down American pilots? No.
- Did he actively defend rapists in the courtroom by impugning the character of a 12-year-old girl? No.
So what gives people who did those things the moral standing to rage endlessly against Todd Akin for some words they didn’t like?
You have lived a good life when you have been called out by Jane Fonda and Hillary Clinton.
As for Fonda, it seems that the North Vietnamese knew how to take things down to a woman’s level:
In this clip from an episode of “Oprah’s Master Class,” she does so once again, calling her appearance in the photo “an unforgivable mistake” and sharing the details of how the photograph happened in the first place.
In the clip, Fonda explains that she was taken to a North Vietnam military site on the last day of her visit, even though she did not want to go. “I was an emotional wreck by [then],” she remembers. “I don’t know if I was set up or not. I was an adult. I take responsibility for my actions.”
That’s when a small ceremony began. “These soldiers sang a song; I sang a song in feeble Vietnamese,” she says. “Everyone was laughing. I was led to a gun site and I sat down. And I was laughing and clapping, and there were pictures taken.”
As Fonda walked away from the site, she suddenly realized how those pictures would look to the rest of the world. “I understand the anger about that,” she admits.
Do you really?
Then maybe, Jane, you should stop casting stones – and maybe you should re-evaluate the misguided and murderous ideology that persuaded you to do those things in the first place.
I won’t hold my breath, because it’s been more than 40 years.
In his book, “Firing Back,” six-term congressman Todd Akin describes in eye-opening detail what it is like to be an unapologetic conservative in a town dominated by media bullies, backroom bosses and liberals of either party.
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