Everybody with a pulse knew that Hillary Clinton was going to play the gender card every chance she got in her pursuit of the presidency. Everyone knew that any slight real or imagined was going to be portrayed as a shot not just at her, but at all women everywhere on the planet.
So when, at a Democratic presidential debate, Bernie Sanders said that "all the shouting in the world" would not solve the problem of gun violence, this, somehow, became an example of Sanders' sexism.
"Well, first of all, I'm not shouting," Mrs. Clinton responded. "It's just when women talk, some people think we're shouting."
Bernie Sanders is a sexist pig. Who knew?
And when she was asked how her presidency would be different from President Obama's, she didn't talk about foreign or domestic policy. Instead she said, "Well, I think that's pretty obvious. Being the first woman president would be quite a change from the presidents we've had, including President Obama."
Then when Donald Trump did what he so often does act like a smart-ass kid in 9th grade and said that Hillary Clinton "got schlonged" a Yiddish word for penis by Barack Obama in the 2008 election … and that her bathroom break during the last Democratic presidential debate was "disgusting," she couldn't resist. Donald Trump, she told an interviewer, has a "penchant for sexism."
Never mind whether it's true or not. Didn't she know what she was unleashing?
This is the same Hillary Clinton, you'll recall, whose husband Bill, you might say, also had a penchant for sexism. In fact, Donald Trump took to Twitter to say just that.
"Hillary Clinton has announced that she is letting her husband out to campaign but HE'S DEMONSTRATED A PENCHANT FOR SEXISM, so inappropriate!"
I'm not at all sure this is good politics on Trump's part. After all, most Americans didn't care about what Bill Clinton was doing to women even while he was doing it. Are they going to care now? And is it fair to expect Hillary to answer for what her husband did?
According to the papers of Diane Blair, a political science professor Hillary Clinton once described as her "closest friend," Mrs. Clinton referred to Monica Lewinski as a "narcissistic loony toon." And in 1993, according to Blair's diary, Mrs. Clinton ridiculed a group of women who made claims of sexual harassment against Republican senator Bob Packwood. Blair wrote that, "HC tired of all those whiney women, and she needs him on health care."
Senator Packwood was heading up her husband's ultimately unsuccessful attempt to reshape the U.S. health care system.
And I don't remember Hillary Clinton coming to the defense of any of the many women who were called "bimbos" by Clinton's campaign team. Were they "whiney" too? Mrs. Clinton is nothing if not practical. She'll yell sexism if she thinks it'll help her, but stay silent when her husband was in the cross-hairs; one gets the impression not so much out of love or loyalty, but rather out of political expediency.
"I think he's fair game because his presidency was considered to be troubled, to put it mildly," Trump said. "Because of all the things she's mentioning to me. She actually said sexism, I don't know if you saw the following tweet, but I turned her words against her from that standpoint. She's got to be careful and fair. We all have to fight fairly and we have to fight for the good of the country, for the good of the people, for the good of everybody. But we have to fight fairly. And she's playing the woman's card. It's like, give me a break."
As I say, as a political matter, Trump may not win this one, but he's right. If Hillary is going to a) use her husband on the campaign trail to help her win the White House and b) throw around charges of sexism … she opened a "dangerous door," in the words of liberal Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus. "It should surprise no one that Trump has barged right through it."
So which is worse: Trump's language his words or Hillary Clinton's surrogate on the campaign trail, Bill Clinton's actions? It may indeed be sexist to demean Carly Fiorina's looks and talk about blood coming out of Megyn Kelly's "wherever." It may also be bad taste to chatter about "schlongs" and "disgusting" bathroom breaks. But Bill Clinton preyed on women, in the workplace.
If there's a war on women, who's the real guilty party here?
Yes, Donald Trump can be vulgar. But what Bill Clinton did goes beyond vulgar. And if Hillary plans to use him to help her get elected, Trump is on firm ground pointing that out.