In a recent opinion piece for the Washington Post titled: “Trump is right: Bill Clinton’s sordid sexual history is fair game“, Ruth Marcus attempts to justify Donald Trump’s playing of the Bill’s Affairs card. She writes:
What is the relevance of Bill Clinton’s conduct for Hillary Clinton’s campaign? Ordinarily, I would argue that the sins of the husband should not be visited on the wife. What Bill Clinton did counts against him, not her, and I would include in that her decision to stick with him. What happens inside a marriage is the couple’s business, and no one else’s…
But Hillary Clinton has made two moves that lead me, gulp, to agree with Trump on the “fair game” front. She is (smartly) using her husband as a campaign surrogate, and simultaneously (correctly) calling Trump sexist.
Marcus just gets it REALLY wrong. First of all, whatever one thinks of Bill Clinton’s extra-marital affairs, they do not make him a sexist. In the case of Monica Lewinsky, the White House intern Bill took up with while President, she was 22 at the time, and an adult. As I’ve said before, unless she’d been cloistered somewhere, she knew she was fooling around with a married man; he just happened to be the President. If Ms. Lewinski had wanted to, she could have left the situation at any time, or gone public if she felt harrassed.
On the other hand, paramours tend to get a free pass when it comes to political campaigns. In the cases of Callista Gingrich and Cindy McCain for example, they weren’t lambasted for their parts in the affairs that broke up two marriages, because it was their husbands seeking office, not them. No one thought it a liability when they did campaign events for their husbands. Much as one might condemn infidelity, it is not sexism.
Which brings me to my second point: Donald Trump IS a sexist. He simultaneously denigrates women, while treating his wives like ornaments. He has referred to women as “pieces of ass“, gold diggers, Bimbos, Dogs, and Pigs. You can call Bill Clinton a lot of things, but woman hater isn’t one of them.
Marcus’ WaPo piece is not the first time someone has tried to hold Hillary partially responsible for her husband’s behavior. She has been called his “enabler“, and accused of ignoring his behavior to “reap the benefits of being the FLOTUS”. (Whatever the hell that means.)
President Clinton disappointed many people by tarnishing both the office of the President, and his legacy, with the Lewinsky mess. That being said, Bill may be a lot of things, but sexist isn’t one of them.
The fact is, Hillary would be crazy not to use Bill in her campaign; he regularly polls at a 60% Favorability Rating, can speak off the cuff to any issue, and is her biggest supporter. They’re a great team.
One final point: How Hillary Clinton chooses to handle her marital issues, including her reasons for staying with Bill, is nobody’s business. Whatever their relationship, it’s obvious they love each other. The only thing that matters in the end is that she is running for President, not her husband.