October 3, 2016

Is it "a treacherous strategy" for Trump to attack Hillary Clinton over Bill Clinton's sexual misdeeds?

From the NYT piece "How Hillary Clinton Grappled With Bill Clinton’s Infidelity, and His Accusers":
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.

59 comments:

MadisonMan said...

Trump needs to get back to talking about what makes America Great, and how Clinton and her policies threaten that.

Be positive. Talking about Clinton's Sex Life is not a winning strategy, IMO.

rhhardin said...

There's no getting away from gender politics.

Brought on by giving women the vote.

Women's vote is good for neighborhoods, bad for countries. Size matters.

But here they are, voting. What crap will they sieze on from the media, is the question.

The feminist lines are not necessarily the right ones to bring out. Women attack women, what else is new.

The state as good husband lines are likely to do best.

rhhardin said...

Iowahawk's "Make America great again, no fat chicks" line is probably not a winner with women. Men will like it though.

rhhardin said...

I'd go for a good sense of humor argument myself.

rhhardin said...

They don't call it a country for nothing. A good line for Hillary.

Terry said...

"Tacit assent"? Like when a boss (male or female) knows that a male employee is harassing a female employee and does nothing about it?

jr565 said...

The dems attacked Trump over calling a woman ms piggy 20 years ago (who had a weight clause in her contract and was in fact getting fat). But somehow Clintons serial philandering/sexual harassment/rape is off limits?
Considering Hillary helped facilitate all of that, and continued standing by her man every time there was a bimbo eruption while demonizing the women as trailer trash and/or crazy stalkers its relevant.

rehajm said...

The state as good husband lines are likely to do best.

We get caught up in supposed nuance and micro analyzing every communication but in the end it's usually one or two major themes that seal the deal: 'Am I better off?' or 'Finally, a black guy!'

I still suspect 'Hillary's not a boyfriend' could do her in.

BDNYC said...

Treacherous? That word makes me think of betrayal, not hazards.

holdfast said...

I think it is. Ultimately Hillary was the wronged spouse, not the cheater.

So maybe Trump's FEMALE surrogates can push the attack on Hillary's work to smear and marginalize these women. Generally low-status women who were first victimized by Bill, and then victimized again by Hillary and her smear merchants.

But it's not a line of attack that Trump, himself a cheater, can push.

eric said...

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.

We have been trained by the media to accept this. It's how they question politicians all the time. Instead of saying to someone, "Are you a racist?" They say, "Some people claim you're a racist. How do you respond to the charge?"

Or, they use unnamed sources. Whenever I read an article that says, "Sources say" I assume they are lying. I no longer believe the media, at all. But Trump is playing their game and they hate it.

David Begley said...

I'm more interested in how Hillary enabled ISIS, the female Egyptian god.

Clayton Hennesey said...

This is why Trump has surrogates. Trump needs to look noble, crossing the Delaware, saying nothing, while a worried looking anonymous young woman paid by MAGA 501(c)4 earnestly explains how Hillary held a victim down and separated her cheeks so that Bill could insert his cigar again.

readering said...

A town hall does not seem like the right forum for sexual mudslinging. Maybe if Trump is in poor straights at the third debate. It would be interesting if sex was brought up at the vp debate with the two altar boys recoiling.

rhhardin said...

Ultimately Hillary was the wronged spouse, not the cheater.

Hillary wasn't getting the job done.

EDH said...

Future NYT headline: "Trump's treachery has disgraced us."

Brando said...

Hillary (and Bill) should absolutely be attacked over this--the problem is this is very late in the game to unroll this strategy. The conventional wisdom among most voters (particularly the ones who aren't already pro-Trump) is that Bill cheated on Hillary, had some unseemly but not criminal affairs, and the Republicans got a bee in their bonnet over it and impeached the president for having a blow job.

To change the narrative and hammer home the attack that Bill was more of a predator and that Hillary was complicit in covering it up, this needed to be part of consistent messaging a year ago, so as to force the issue into the Democratic primary, and force this into the conversation. We would be hearing Hillary's denials and excuses around the same time nobody was believing her about the e-mails, and it would be sticking to her for months leading into the general election. It would defang her attacks over Trump's anti-woman comments.

This is why staying on message and being consistent is important--raising it now just seems like a desperate gambit at the last minute, and it won't get nearly the airtime it needs to become a real negative. The Clintons will do their usual defense strategy--claim it's old news, that others do it all the time, and that this is just another hysterical GOP attack. And they're likely to be successful at that.

Of course, almost anything would be better than spending a week trying to smear an old beauty queen. So it'd at least be an improvement.

robother said...

Republicans, and now Trump, have struggled with gender issues, mainly because of the double standard that the media applies to such matters. Clarence Thomas and now Trump are disqualified for merely saying sexist things to or about women.

Bill Clinton's repeated pattern of imposing (or exposing) himself on lower status women in his workplace is simply excused as "personal peccadilloes" in no way relevant to his qualification to be president. (Try to imagine if Miss Universe described anything like Monica Lewinsky's on the job activities--would the NYT really be dismissing it a mere infidelity, irrelevant to Trump's qualifications?) My guess is, no Republican will ever discover the right way to deal with this, so Trump's firing back is at least not going down without a fight.

Big Mike said...

No. Next question.

Hagar said...

Their reputation in Arkansas was that Hillary! instigated some of the "bimbo eruptions" to distract media attention from their financial dealings.

The Cracker Emcee said...


"I think it is. Ultimately Hillary was the wronged spouse, not the cheater."

Hillary was the enabler, not the cheater. And Trump isn't talking about affairs, he's talking about attacks.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ain't it funny how the Media is suddenly so shy about using the word rape?
For most of the year it's been rape crisis this and rape epidemic that...with of course a smattering of rape culture tossed in.
Now, though, we get "infidelity" and "accusers." Like, you know, the woman who has repeatedly accused Bill Clinton of rape? Oh, I should capitalize it: RAPE.

It's almost as though the Left and Media don't actually believe the things they say (about rape accusers' right to be believed, about the ubiquity and mass harm of sexual assault) and only hype those issues when doing so helps their political causes. Someone outta codify that axiom into a law.

Meade said...

New York Timesplaining.

marcwinger.com said...

Why attack the GOP nominee? Who indeed is the reckless hazard. Disappointing perspective here.

Matthew Sablan said...

Bill Clinton's sexual misdeeds conflates the consensual affairs with the rape/assault allegations. I think that's the problem for Trump, is making it clear, he doesn't care about consenting adults -- in those cases, Hillary is rightly uninvolved.

He has to tell a some what easy to squirrel argument about the actual allegations and what Hillary did to harm those women a second time [he will probably talk about it in terms of "rape culture," just to twist the knife.]

HoodlumDoodlum said...

But you know what? Screw it. Hillary's going to win, and she's going to win primarily by getting tons of votes from women. I'm not a woman and frankly it's sickening to see the "Republican" candidate try to out bid the Democrat in the "give free stuff to women so they'll vote for you!" contest.
They called compassionate conservative GWBush a misogynist, they called Mitt Romney a misogynist, and they call Trump a misogynist. They will always call the Republican a misogynist. What's worse is women--educated women!--buy that, every time. The contest is over a small portion of women who can be persuaded to let some other concern override that belief...but as far as I can see women, as a group, are happy to believe the Media story that non-Leftists hate women and are dangerous to women.
Again, at this point, I don't think that's going to change--I don't believe anyone can change that fact. The "life of Julia" shit is the future, and I get to pay for it!

Achilles said...

This needs to be discussed in context. In a decent society both Bill and Hillary Clinton would be in jail. Bill has raped and sexually assaulted multiple women. Hillary has repeatedly violated classified documents laws and both have set a record for numbers of times they have obstructed justice.

No decent human could argue any of this.

The context is that we are not a decent society and democrats are not good people. Trump should not avoid the truth even if it is treacherous. They impugn our motives, moral character, and treat us as enemies. We need to do the same. If we hold back they will and are not. We need to show them the contempt they have earned.

AprilApple said...

Hillary called them all bimbos. She ran to her husbands side. She didn't believe them. Instead she helped shame them. Hillary shamed rape victims.

Hillary is a fraud as a feminist. That's why.

Kevin said...

I would add that the level of her involvement isn’t even the biggest issue anymore, although there is plenty of evidence for that. The larger issue she faces in 2016 is that so many women were victimized by him while she stood by him through the whole thing.

She can’t say she didn’t know - you don’t know what’s going on all around you, yet you think you should be President? And you can’t say that you knew but did nothing, not in 2016 anyway.

Is she going to say that she knew, she tried to stop it, but was unsuccessful and stayed with him so he could do it again anyway?

I don’t see a good escape route for her.

khesanh0802 said...

How is Trump's "raising questions" any different from the hack job the NYT did on his 1990 tax deduction? "May have"." Could have". "Might have". "it's possible", etc. etc. The entire Democratic campaign is built on insinuation, not fact. Getting a little shoved in their face is a good thing. Bill Clinton is fair game. He's out campaigning as a surrogate for the sick one. Screw him. Trump should pile it as high as he can. As many have noted there is a whole generation of voters who are ignorant of the Clintons' ethical, moral and sexual transgressions.

traditionalguy said...

Julian Assange claims to have proof of Hillary arranging insider trading of Libyan arms for cash "gifts." This is probably why the Ambassador with inside knowledge had to die another Clinton Inc. cover up death.

But CNN will not report on it, other than to call the brave Clintons charitable geniuses.

damikesc said...

Republicans must play by the "rules", whatever they may be. Dems don't seem to need to. When Trump asks if he can kill a critic, I'll buy the equality nonsense.

madAsHell said...

I love the smell of desperation in the morning.

Larry J said...

damikesc said...
Republicans must play by the "rules", whatever they may be. Dems don't seem to need to. When Trump asks if he can kill a critic, I'll buy the equality nonsense.


Just last week, a prominent Democrat suggested Trump may be using cocaine. Seriously, hitting back is reasonable, especially if it's the truth.

EMD said...

"a prominent Democrat"

Methinks you a being a bit kind to Howard Dean.

Clayton Hennesey said...

Drudge isn't waiting for the answer.

Mike said...

Kathleen Willy came out this weekend and said "Hillary's been calling me a bimbo for 20 years!"

That's how it gets done. Now we need his surrogates to simply amplify and refer to her remarks. Her remarks about Hillary, not Don's.

n.n said...

Clinton's stable full of women and interns. It's a female (and male) chauvinist's dream.

Mike said...

Make that 19 years
that Hillary has been smearing women and calling them bimbos.

Nigel Tufnel said...

Grapple is an interesting word. Not sure someone as unsteady as Hillary ought to be grappling unless it is the definition behind door no. 3:

Definition of grapple
1 a : the act or an instance of grappling
b : a hand-to-hand struggle
c : a contest for superiority or mastery

It comes from a French word.

Origin and Etymology of grapple
Middle English grappel grappling hook, from Old French *grappelle, diminutive of grape hook

Mike said...

“The voting public will never see behind the Clinton mask. But if they could they would see what I saw behind closed doors all of those years ago. They’d see a completely different human being from the one presented to the voters. Because in Hillary they’d see a coarse, profane political operative. With no moral compass. And a complete willingness to manipulate the rule of law to her benefit. They would see a fearsome, paranoid individual with zero concern for the masses. She sees the voting block merely as a necessary evil to achieve her goals. She is a total impressive smoke and mirrors act.”

Link to Linda Tripp interview.

n.n said...

He responded in kind to the projections of female chauvinists, class diversitists, and JournoLists of the Fourth Estate. Now that the Left has it out of their system, we can discuss the issues on their merits, right?

rhhardin said...

Bimbo limbo.

AprilApple said...

HoodlumD.

Yep. You nailed it.

The GOP candidate has yet to point out the Hillary - or any democrat - will remove as much lower, middle and upper middle class income and private assets to pay for "life of Julia" - and America will continue to lose its economic vitality. As the elites grow richer. Until the GOp makes the connection - it's over. Probably over anyway.

Larry J said...

EMD said...
"a prominent Democrat"

Methinks you a being a bit kind to Howard Dean


No, I just brainfarted on his name and didn't want to take the time to look up the answer. However, his being a former Democrat presidential candidate and former head of the DNC does make him a prominent Democrat.

ObeliskToucher said...

"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."

Did she direct them to stop, though? Did she tell Carville "Get out there and apologize to those women that you insulted with your comment about dragging a dollar through a trailer park!"

No, I didn't think so...

Mary Beth said...

I think the media kind of wishes that Hillary had called the women her husband cheated with/attacked something like "Miss Piggy" instead of "trailer trash" or "bimbos". Then they'd be able to report that she called them by the name of a beloved Muppet. A Muppet! That's so much warmer than "I want to crucify her".

buwaya said...

"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."

Lies. Minions do as they are paid to do.

Darrell said...

Every one of Bill Clinton's rape victims had their homes broken into, thoroughly searched from the mess left, and odd stuff like answering machine tapes and correspondence stolen. Hillary started hiring private detectives in 1982, according to The Clintons’ War on Women.

This is the same woman who was allegedly fully aware of Bill’s 1978 alleged rape of campaign volunteer Juanita Broaddrick in real time. As we reveal in The Clintons’ War on Women, according to former Clinton insider Larry Nichols, Hillary came running into the Clinton HQ and said, “You won’t believe what the motherfucker [Bill] just did. He tried to rape some bitch!” That blockbuster quote is just one of many things in the book that the MSM has carefully tried to keep out of your eyesight.

damikesc said...

Did she direct them to stop, though? Did she tell Carville "Get out there and apologize to those women that you insulted with your comment about dragging a dollar through a trailer park!"

Were any fired for doing so?

Darrell said...

"For 41 years, Hillary Clinton has worked tirelessly to discredit and destroy women like that. Since 1982, she has been hiring private detectives to look into their lives and find anything that could embarrass them. Hillary once told private detective Ivan Duda to give her the name and addresses of all of Bill’s girlfriends, so she could “get rid of all these bitches he’s seeing.”

---The Clintons’ War on Women.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Trump should not go there: the bimbo eruptions, Bill's peccadilloes (tee hee) or any of it. Mainly because he will be accused of being crass, attacking Bill Clinton (not that he doesn't deserve it) but more importantly because it will be seen as the big bad mean ole MAN attacking the poor widdle woman.

Instead show Hillary's feminist hypocrisy in her support of and receipt of tons of money from countries and leaders who do horrible things to the women in their country. Mutilate the women, stone them to death, keep the women as prisoners in their homes, force them to be covered up like sacks of potatoes. The women in these countries are treated worse than humans, they are chattel, owned like animals, possessions and subject to any whims of the leaders and their religious dictators (ISLAMIC).

If Hillary was truly a feminist. If Hillary even cared about women's issues of any kind, other than as a tool to get some votes.....WHY is she supporting these people. Why is she accepting money for her foundation, WHILE Secretary of State I might add. Why is she not denouncing these actions that harm women?

Well, we know the answer. Because the only woman she cares about is herself. Hillary is not a feminist. She is harming women world wide by her inaction.

Much better than dragging up the sweaty images of Bill and Hillary's defense of him. Yes. They are despicable....possibly even deplorable. BUT. Trump wants to win and to go there is not going to be a winning strategy.

Take the high road and make Hillary defend her reception of funds from and her support of the oppressors of hundreds of thousands of women.

Kirk Parker said...


rhh,

"Women's vote is good for neighborhoods, bad for countries."

You've obviously never lived anywhere governed by a Homeowners Association. (Hint: it's bad for neighborhoods too.)

SukieTawdry said...

And a complete willingness to manipulate the rule of law to her benefit.

Hillary's supervisor on the Senate Watergate Committee said she would follow the law if it would support whatever outcome she desired. Otherwise, she would distort or outright ignore it. So she's been at this for quite some time.

Hillary's close friends report she usually feigns (my word) surprise when Bill gets caught with his pants down. Says things like "I thought he was through with all that."

I recently read (no verification) that the female interns at Bill's library frequently go up to his bachelor lair to massage his feet and swim in his above-ground pool. No hanky-panky suggested--just that Bill likes to be in the company of young women.

tim in vermont said...

Hillary's supervisor on the Senate Watergate Committee said she would follow the law if it would support whatever outcome she desired. Otherwise, she would distort or outright ignore it. So she's been at this for quite some time.

That's pretty much the same argument she made when she berated Vince Foster as a "hick lawyer" who would "never get it" a week before he killed himself. He had pointed out a legal problem with HillaryCare. This is not a woman to be trusted with the presidency.

The selective IRS leak (I am assuming it was them, given their history) tears it for me. The IRS has turned into a political tool of the Democrats. I am voting for Trump. I won't admit it among friends and family, but when the Democrats tried to impeach and remove Nixon for attempting to use the IRS in this way, I cheered them on. When all it really was was about seizing power.

tim in vermont said...

Imagine that. Fiercely loyal partisans to the the Clintons, who engaged in attacking their victims, deny any leadership from them. Sidney Blumenthal, who was put on the payroll at 10K a month by the Clinton "Charity" Foundation, attacked Juanita Broadrick's credibility in his book Lincoln.

It seems like if Hillary disapproved of this stuff, she might have not put him on the payroll, or at least might not have read and responded to so many of his emails.

damikesc said...

As Rush said, this is the same paper that was GIDDY to post Trump's tax returns but refused to print the Climategate emails. No Republican admin should provide the NYT press credentials.

damikesc said...

Imagine that. Fiercely loyal partisans to the the Clintons, who engaged in attacking their victims, deny any leadership from them. Sidney Blumenthal, who was put on the payroll at 10K a month by the Clinton "Charity" Foundation, attacked Juanita Broadrick's credibility in his book Lincoln.

I'd buy that she didn't condone it --- if she didn't hire Blumenthal after Obama specifically said to not do so. It doesn't sound like he did anything she disapproved of whatsoever. It could be a valid --- and easy --- line of attack.

None of Trump's associates are as scummy as Sidney. Nobody living is.

Daniel Jackson said...

There is a far greater question looming in the background namely, What exactly will Bill Clinton's role be in the future administration?

Forget the past: it is the future, stupid. Past is prolog. Are we looking at Bill as Secretary of State? Homeland Security? Equal Opportunity?

This guy is no saint; and it is THE critical question for all concerned voters of these two. Is Hill a front for Bill? are we getting a potential third term here?

This should be Trump's lead question directly to Hillary: What if any will be Former President Clinton's role in the potential future Clinton administration beyond First Spouse?