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File photo by Joe Marquette of The Associated Press / In this Nov. 19, 1998 photo, Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr holds up his report while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington before the House Judiciary Committee's impeachment hearing.

WASHINGTON — Can a woman be president of the United States?

Hell, yes.

I've covered the men who run the world my whole life. And there have been a lot of screw-ups, from Vietnam to Watergate to Afghanistan to Iraq to pushing the economy off a cliff. There has also been plenty of creepy behavior, culminating in the news that Donald Trump, Ken Starr and Alan Dershowitz have joined together in a pervy, hypocritical cabal to argue that Trump did not smirch the Constitution.

So please, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar, stop whingeing about sexism and just show how you could wield power like a boss. Ibid: Nancy Pelosi.

When Steve Bannon called Pelosi a "total assassin," according to the hot new book "A Very Stable Genius," by Washington Post writers Phil Rucker and Carol Leonnig, he meant it as the highest compliment. You won't find Pelosi keening about gender; she's too busy taking care of business.

Hillary Clinton did not lose because she was a woman. She faced sexism, of course, just as Barack Obama faced racism. She lost because she ran an entitled, joyless, nose-in-the air campaign and because she didn't emulate her husband's ethos of campaigning till the last dog dies and the last bowling alley closes, and always make it about the voters. She lost because she and her campaign manager, Robby Mook, didn't listen to Bill Clinton, the world's leading expert on the white, male, rural vote, when he warned them that there was trouble and offered to help out.

Trump operates from the id, which is fitting because he represents a last-gasp primal scream from working-class Americans threatened by the changes transforming the country.

Trump's ascent does not make it harder for women to ascend — just the opposite. Look at the throng of women who were outraged enough about Trump to march and run and get elected in 2018.

Once a woman electrifies Democrats the way JFK, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama did — and the way Trump does his base — she will win.

Trump is once more doing his part to energize women voters. On Friday, we learned that the president will get help from Starr and Dershowitz for the impeachment trial in the Senate.

The Starr chamber was a shameful period of U.S. history, with the prissy Puritan independent counsel hounding and virtually jailing Monica Lewinsky and producing hundreds of pages of panting, bodice-ripping prose that read more like bad erotica than a federal report, rife with lurid passages about breasts, stains and genitalia.

Even Trump was appalled. "Starr's a freak," the bloviating builder told me back in 1999. "I bet he's got something in his closet." In other interviews, he called Starr "a lunatic," "a disaster" and "off his rocker," and expressed sympathy for Hillary having to stand by her man when he was "being lambasted by this crazy Ken Starr, who is a total wacko."

Starr, who once clutched his pearls over Bill Clinton's sexual high jinks, is now going to bat for President "Access Hollywood."

In 2007, Starr defended Jeffrey Epstein. By 2016, he was being ousted as president of Baptist Baylor University for failing to protect women and looking the other way when football players were accused and sometimes convicted of sexual assaults. In other words, he's a complete partisan hack who doesn't give a damn about sexual assault.

And then there's Dershowitz, whose past clients have included such sterling fellows as Epstein, Claus von Bülow, O.J. Simpson and Harvey Weinstein. How did he miss Ted Bundy?

The Government Accountability Office, a nonpartisan government watchdog, a few days ago deemed that Trump's slimy Ukraine gambit violated a law. Yet Dershowitz will somehow argue that it doesn't represent high crimes and misdemeanors.

He tweeted that he's nonpartisan because he opposed Bill's impeachment and voted for Hillary, even as he joined up with Bill's persecutor. Dershowitz said that he is participating "to defend the integrity of the Constitution."

That assertion may fly in Foxworld. But in the real world, it's ridiculous. You can bet that Trump and his buddies will continue to turn out the women's vote.

The New York Times

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