Creative corner

    Doctor Cleveland's picture

    Hillary Clinton and the First Wives' Club

    So, Camp Trump has decided, again, that the smart thing to do is to go after Hillary Clinton because her husband was unfaithful to her. When you're facing an opponent who has had trouble being taken as human and sympathetic, what better way to go?

    And of course, because I am a human being with a functioning brain stem, I wondered, "How does a serial adulterer on his third marriage go after a woman for having been cheated on?" Only this week did I realize the question was really, "How do THREE serial adulterers on their third marriages go after a woman for having been cheated on?" Because it's Trump, Gingrich, and Giuliani, with their nine marriages between them, harping on the disqualifying vice of having a husband betray you.

    Then it became clear: these men hate and fear Hillary Clinton exactly because she is a first wife. She reminds them of their own abandoned first wives, whom they hate and fear. And, because they scapegoat those wives, blaming the women they betrayed and abandoned for their own betrayal and abandonment, it seems only logical to them, as the night follows the day, that Bill's behavior is all Hillary Clinton's fault.

    Don't believe me? Here's a notorious tweet from Frank Lutz (a Republican), highlighting a text sent to him by a Republican Congressman:

     

    Text from a GOP friend of mine in Congress.

    I'm sorry, Congressman, but tonight Hillary is coming across as presidential. #DebateNight pic.twitter.com/DsEEV2FSho

    — Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) September 27, 2016

     

    What's striking about that, first, is that the Unknown Republican Congressman does not distinguish between his wife and his mother: both "bitchy" old women who make him feel anxious about his own authority. What's even more striking, on reflection, is that the Unknown Republican does not like his wife or his mother. He thinks of them both as bitches. I myself, happen to be fond of both my mother and my spouse, and have never had the least trouble telling them apart. But maybe I'm just some liberal.

    Trump, Gingrich, and Giuliani are counting on the electorate as a whole seeing things the way they do, on a pretty primal psychological level. They are counting on everyone else's hostility to first wives, to female authority figures, to mothers. That seems like a mistake. Part of what they are banking on is what Josh Marshall talks about as dominance and aggression, where the victims you mistreat are shamed for being weak enough to abuse. The thinking here is that Secretary/Senator Clinton is weak and contemptible because she let Bill cheat on her. But this leaves out the part where Hillary can routinely outdo all three of these chuckleheads. Note, for example, that Rudy Giuliani somehow never managed to become Senator for New York. Newt Gingrich hasn't won an election in twenty years. And Trump's last debate involved Hillary Clinton slapping him all around the room. If they're trying to brand her as a loser, they should really check their own resumes.

    But it's deeper than that. Men like Trump and his spittle-flying monkeys hate their first wives because they fear them. Those men, and I am using that term loosely, don't have the confidence or security to deal with strong, accomplished partners their own age. So they run to younger, weaker, partners who are easier to push around. Guys like Trump, Gingrich, and Giuliani couldn't even feel confident dealing with their second wives, and ran to a third.

     (In related news, they also traded in for overtly sexier partners, but this may be because the men's libido is waning as they age and they need much more stimulation than they used to. Libido isn't masculinity, but Trump thinks it is, and it's not clear he has the libido for a sexy older woman. Don't let the Slovenian model fool you: tweetmeister Trump isn't doing anything important in bed at 3 am.)

    This is not alpha male behavior. It's a desperate imitation of alpha male behavior, getting a series of younger and more easily controlled wives as "trophies" of the personal confidence they badly lack. Bill Clinton, for whom confidence has never been the big problem, has no problem dating a major world leader. He clearly enjoys it. His ego is not only strong enough to let his wife be the boss sometimes, but to let her be the boss of the free world for four to eight years.  Bill Clinton does not seem intimidated by that possibility in the least. But it obviously makes Trump's testicles shrink in fear, just like it makes Gingrich's and Giuliani's. Their response to Hillary Clinton is terrified rage.

    Trump is banking on the rest of the country feeling the same primal fear and hatred that he feels when a strong woman is speaking. And he's partly right. There are a lot of little men out there. The bad news for Trump is that the men who are most like him are losers.

    [Note: I have edited this post to remove a badly-thought-out jibe about Trump's testosterone levels, upon the advice of a commenter below.]

     

     

     

     

    Topics: 

    Comments

    Wow, Doc. I think you hit the nail on the head ... and drove it completely into the Republican plank.


    Five, Five serial adulterers against one First Wife. Those five are; Trump, Guiliani, Gingrich, Ailes and Bannon.  

    Trump's last debate involved Hillary Clinton slapping him all around the room.

    Hahahahaha... I know, right! 


    5 whores men of the hypocrilipse I suppose.

    You're known by the company you keep, and the invective you heap.


    Yuuuuuuuuup you got it Mac.

    And all of them are fat old men discussing the weight of beautiful women. hahahaha


    I'm a regular reader and appreciate your careful arguments,  but there's a careless assumption in this piece that testosterone levels matter for masculinity. There are millions of trans men that are hurt by these assumptions. If you wouldn't tell a friend who was a trans man that his masculinity was determined by how high his testosterone is, I don't think it's fair to tell even repugnant Republicans the same thing. 


    You know, anon? When you're right, you're right. That was careless, and thoughtless. When I am back near a device where I can log in, I will change the post. -Dr. C


    Doc this reminds me of my favorite First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt.

    She was the Bernie of her era; prodding and pulling and urging her spouse to do the right thing.

    Eleanor never ran for anything although HST appointed her as first? Ambassador to the newly established UN.

    Hillary saw an opening or openings for her celebrity status.

    And I applaud her for this.

    GOOD FOR HER.

    And good for this Nation if she becomes the first Woman President.

     

     


    Big ups to Eleanor Roosevelt.


    I think you are 100% right on the motivations of Trump, Giuliani, et al. At the same time, I'm afraid that the line is going to be "She was complicit in the maltreatment/suppression of Bill's victims after the fact," not just "She couldn't control her man." It's still hypocritical, it's disingenuous (Trump actually couldn't care less about the rights of people who bring sexual misconduct allegations, I'd bet), and it's still a totally invalid criticism in my opinion (nobody should be held accountable for defending his/her spouse--there's a reason for spousal privilege in court), but I'm worried that it's going to carry a little more heft than "It's her fault that Bill had affairs."


    It is a bit rich to be heard to complain of a betrayed wife that she failed to exhibit appropriate  sisterly sympathy for a rival when events culminated with a reconciliation in the marriage and end to the affair...


    Read it as "rich bitch" at first - need coffee. But yes, Hillary is always "expected" to do 3 times as much as anyone else - that's why it's so easy and delicious to be disappointed and scandalized by her whereas others might get a "pass". Wasn't that Police song written for her, "I'll be watching you"?

    BTW, Bernie never did release more than a year's taxes, but remains "most honest (and transparent) person alive". Trump's taxes are now getting some of their due finally, at least not too late.

    PPS for Ally McBeal fans (yeah, ok, I have kind of a soft spot for her as well....)

     

     


    Peracles ... Let's get in the wayback machine...

     

    Back 1993 to 2003... I worked as a stage/road manager for an underground band called THE COMA-TONES (youtube). We did quite few shows in the Hollywood clubs with this all girl band. Real "hip" and smart as a whip... JC Brandy guitar - Katie Harris bass - Claudia Rossi drums - Pauly Perrette vocals - Lissa Beltri guitar.


    Lo-Ball - Sex in the White House

     

    So they fired union Workers and literacy's down
    And David Cash is a free man
    Hollywood's defining politics
    A heel for a kick Conform or be damned
    He's got a gun in his hand now he feels like a man
    But he's only in grade school
    Still teaching your kids to hate a black or a gay

    Don't look up sky's falling down and everybody's talking about...

    Sex in the white house
    Sex in the white house
    Sex in the white house
    Sex in the white house

    Cuts bleeding social security more funds for the military
    Millions have HIV Scientists are breaking new ground
    I wonder how Dolly is doing now United States of AMedia distract
    We the People From the fact we've been had
    Repeat offenders are killing us No system of Justice
    And here comes a hurricane And everybody's talking about Sex in the white house

    Mother country Uncle Sam do you even know who I am... Sex in the white house...

    It's just sex in the white house
    It's just sex in the white house
    It's just sex in the white house
    It's just sex in the white house

     

    Read about David Cash The Bad Samaritan  @ Time - June 24, 2001

    ~OGD~


    Cool, so you were like that sleazy Kim guy with The Runaways, eh? ;-)

    (hadn't seen the Bad Samaritan story before, pretty grotesque)


    Peracles ... Uh yeah... But not sleazy...

    I did the sound and lights at the first live show of The Runaways at the Topanga Corral right after they signed with Mercury Records in '76. And yes. Fowley was quite a piece of work. I actually knew Fowley before The Runaways while working 2nd engineer with engineer/producer Richard Podolar at American Recording (Steppenwolf, Three Dog Night, Iron Butterfly) in 69/70.

    ~OGD~


    Whoa, Live at the Forum era...


    Well, that has been the line of attack: "she's a sexist who demeans her husband's mistresses." I think that line really only has traction with people who are looking for reasons to dislike Hillary.

    More importantly, mainstreaming that line of attack would take some subtlety, and that ain't Donald Trump. He's going to make a more ham-handed version of the attack, and it's not going well.


    Thanks for this, Doc!

    I didn't think he's be stupid enough to bring this up again given that he is a philandering, adulterous, accused rapist himself, but go figure. Here we are.

    Hillary did a good thing, forgiving him over and over, and FINALLY getting him to understand what he was costing them with his irresponsible behavior. 

    As a result, they have what appears to be a good relationship with their daughter and her family, and are able to enjoy their two grandchildren together, not as part of a warring, broken ex-family.

    This is really none of our business. He was a cad, but he was HER cad, and she got to decide what to do about him.

    As far as "being vicious" to the women who spread their legs for her husband goes, give me a break. No blood was shed. They were lucky she showed restraint. Women shouldn't do that to each other. They chose to do it anyway, with no regard for her or her child.

    I say "Bravo, Hillary!" And Donald, *&%$ you and the horse you rode in on. Okay, let's give the horse a break. Just you.

     


    Count on the Family Values Voters to respond enthusiastically when their candidate faults the integrated family for weathering the sort of storm that has left his own life littered with the detritus of heartbreak, affidavits of sexual violence and (no doubt, for the kids) hefty therapy bills.


    I think people can accept being angry at the person your spouse is cheating with. Part of how people respond to that is whether they're locked into the Hillary-as-scheming-robot fantasy or whether they're willing to see her as human and vulnerable.

    For the persuadables, I think a lot depends on whether she said things in public or private. If she said nasty things about Monica Lewinsky to her friends ... well, that's just human.


    Latest Comments