Last week, Donald J. Trump... criticized Mrs. Clinton over Mr. Clinton’s affairs and her response to them and said he might talk more about the issue..."in the final weeks before the election. That could be a treacherous strategy for Mr. Trump, given his own past infidelity and questionable treatment of women. Many voters, particularly women, might see Mrs. Clinton being blamed for her husband’s conduct. It could also remind voters of a searing period in American history, and in Mrs. Clinton’s life....The NYT, warning Trump that this "could be a treacherous strategy"? That means it's a good strategy, right? The NYT isn't trying to help Trump... although I'm reading the comments over there and they are lambasting the Times for helping Trump.
It seems to me that Hillary Clinton and her supporters have already attacked Trump as much as they can over Trump's "questionable treatment of women." Why shouldn't he throw back what he's got on the Clintons' treatment of women? Trump antagonists will mock him for taking the bait and keeping the focus off things that damage Clinton more, like the email controversy and the Clinton Foundation.
But there's no getting away from gender politics. So the key is to choose your best approach to gender politics. For Trump, it's not attacking Bill for cheating. Bill should be attacked for betraying liberal values relating to sexual harassment in the workplace and sexual violence against women. And Hillary should be attacked not for staying with a man even though he cheated, but for staying with him despite his victimization of women and for participating in that victimization.
But what are the facts? How much did she participate? The NYT says Hillary's involvement in the effort to discredit Bill's accusers in 1992 is "still the subject of debate": "By some accounts, she gave the green light and was a motivating force; by others, her support was no more than tacit assent." Her spokesman says: "Those who took the lead in responding to those attacks at the time have plainly stated that Hillary Clinton did not direct their work."
Does Trump need facts? He seems to get by — if he's getting by — with raising questions, saying what some people say, and observing that we just don't know. He's so careless, reeling out speculative ideas that he can get into trouble. His opponents will pick out the most far-fetched things — "Just wild accusations Hillary Clinton’s cheating on Bill?" That fits the template that's most harmful to Trump: He's a reckless hazard untethered to reality.