Bill Clinton Wrote the Book for Trump

By Debra Saunders Published on December 30, 2015

After lamenting Donald Trump’s “penchant for sexism” last week, Hillary Clinton announced to supporters that her former-president husband — her “not-so-secret weapon” — will be hitting the campaign trail for her in January. Characteristically, in all capital letters, Trump struck back on Twitter, where he observed Bill Clinton himself has “demonstrated a penchant for sexism.” The it-only-hurts-when-you-laugh part about this tiff is that The Donald and Bubba have so much in common.

Discussing the GOP front-runner’s style with The Des Moines Register, Hillary Clinton lamented that Trump has “no boundaries” and “keeps pushing the envelope.” But both men have degraded the public lexicon. Bill Clinton turned “Lewinsky” into a verb. Trump hit another low when he said the former secretary of state “got schlonged” in the 2008 presidential race. Wink, wink. The Donald tweeted that the term just means “beaten badly.”

Both men seem to come out of central casting for Mad Men. Despite their starring roles, they’re both maestros at playing the victim card so ably that their followers are driven to defend their every misstep. They tell lies and get other people to justify their falsehoods. Clinton made up his own version of the meaning of “sexual relations” — which spurred legions of Democrats to argue dutifully that oral sex isn’t (sex). Trump made up seeing Muslims celebrating 9/11 in New Jersey. There’s no video, no evidence that stands up, yet his groupies insist the tall tale is true. Clinton was absolved, supporters argued, because everyone lies about sex. For Trump, his falsehoods rang true because there were Muslims rejoicing somewhere else in the world.

Penchant for sexism? Where to begin? Trump has been known to brand women who aren’t ornamental as “losers.” When Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly asked him tough questions — starting with his, er, penchant for calling women fat slobs, pigs and animals — at the first GOP debate, Trump suggested that she had “blood coming out of her wherever.” (Minions dutifully went on cable news to argue Trump didn’t mean to suggest Kelly had been menstruating.) Trump seems to think that women exist to serve him.

Both men have had to pay to play. The billionaire paid divorce settlements to his exes. The former president paid tort damages and legal fees to mop up after his penchants. There was an $850,000 settlement in Paula Jones’ sexual harassment suit. Then there’s the affair with former intern Monica Lewinsky, which led to his impeachment. Clinton gave intentionally false testimony during the investigation, which led to his disbarment. Like Trump Republicans, Clinton Democrats always had excuses for their man’s poor treatment of women. The list includes Hillary Clinton.

Trump shares another trait with Bill and Hillary Clinton: All three brazen it out through scandals — and live to thrive another day. When opponents on the left or the right attack Trump, his fans take the approbation as proof that Trump is anti-establishment. He can lie. He can make faces during a presidential debate. They applaud Trump for being his own man.

Bill Clinton dragged this country through months of discord because he would not admit he had cheated on his first lady. Through it all, Clinton rose in the polls. Voters disapproved of Clinton’s detractors more than his crude behavior. The wronged wife won a U.S. Senate seat in a state where she had not resided before Lewinsky. The thicker the muck the stronger the Clintons emerge.

So when Trump tweets that Bill Clinton is “fair game,” my guess is that both Clintons are thinking, “Bring it on.” Or do they recognize the peril in charging into battle against someone who plays shamelessness as ably and recklessly as they do?

 

Email Debra J. Saunders at dsaunders@sfchronicle.com.

COPYRIGHT 2015 CREATORS.COM

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  • Nobody

    Lie ,lie, lie there is plenty if proof of 911 cheers . Police reports and vids . Read and do your job as a reporter before you write your lies.

  • Kietha Richey

    The Clintons do not “play recklessly”. It is well calculated so that someone else takes the fall and they stay as clean as the driven snow – if a little stinky!

  • Chris

    Big difference between the two. Trump doesn’t sexually abuse women. He treats women as equals, and that includes the tiffs he has with a few of them, just like he does with some men. You attack him, he attacks back. What makes me mad is some women who want to be equal with men but don’t want to be fought against like men. As soon as you say something against them they are “victims” and you’re a sexist. You can’t have it both ways. You need to speak to the many women to whom Trump has been a great blessing. Start reporting that too, the whole story, so the people can decide with all the information.

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