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Republicans for Bill?

WaPo has an interesting article today about Trump supporters who loathe Hillary but love her husband Bill Clinton. According to polls, around a fifth of people who support Donald Trump view Bill favorably. During recent interviews, many Trump voters went out of their way to tell the author of the article that they abhor Hillary but admire Bill.

They believe Bill felt their pain; they see Hillary as heartless. They thought of Bill as an Arkansas outsider taking on the established order; they think Hillary embodies that order. (A surprising number of folks talk about the former secretary of state as if she’s a sitting president seeking reelection…)

Among Trump voters, 19% like Bill, but only 3% like Hillary. Negative views are even worse — 92% of Trump voters hold a “strongly unfavorable” view of Hillary, but only 55% feel the same way about Bill.

Across all Americans, 56% have a favorable impression of Bill, compared to 41% who have a favorable impression of Hillary.

The article says that there is definitely a “gender dynamic” (is that what people are now calling “sexism”?). Trump supporters, including women, say “I don’t think America is ready for a woman to run this country.”

Also interesting is that many Trump supporters acknowledge that he is an extremist, but justify voting for him because “The stuff people say he’s an extremist about is never going to happen. Congress is never going to let it happen.” They say they liked the dynamic when Bill was president, where Republicans in Congress kept him in check (was impeaching him a way of keeping him in check?). Unfortunately, they don’t seem to realize that Republicans currently control both houses and the Dems are extremely unlikely to wrest Congressional control from them.

Also published on Medium.



  1. Redjon wrote:

    I’ve heard from several friends that their main problem is exactly the fact that Hillary is a woman and just cannot wrap their heads around a woman being President of the United States.

    Then, there’s the courage of convictions issue… A man with a strong personality is credited with being “confident,” while a woman behaving the same way is simply, “a bitch.”

    Monday, September 12, 2016 at 1:33 pm | Permalink
  2. Wildwood wrote:

    It’s mostly the woman thing. Being old and female and having dealt with that my whole life, I can tell you that is the real reason for almost anyone, in spite of what comes out of their mouth. It’s a more hidden and subtle thing than outright racism that ethnic groups suffer, but it’s there all the time.

    I can remember being unable to get a checking account unless my father signed for it or get a loan for a car. My father telling me that he wouldn’t pay for college because I would just get married and have babies. After getting married, being unable to buy window screens for our house unless my husband was home to “help” me pick them out. I used to have great fun when men would call the house wanting to speak to my husband about something like insurance. I would tell them that I made all those decisions and they could talk to me. They would insist on him. I would say no they could not talk to him because it was my decision. “Well you can’t not let me talk to him.” “Yes I can”, and then hang up. Usually followed by a return call, with an irate man on the other end spouting threats. I was a stay at home mom and got bored. It was something to do when the kids were napping. I still like to torment unwanted callers. I think I have a “mean” gene.

    Monday, September 12, 2016 at 2:16 pm | Permalink
  3. Iron Knee wrote:

    Wildwood, it isn’t mean if it is well deserved!

    There is always hope. I didn’t think America was ready for gay marriage (I was ready for it, but I didn’t think the social conservatives would go for it), but it seems to have happened without too much problem.

    Monday, September 12, 2016 at 4:42 pm | Permalink
  4. Wildwood wrote:

    As I said, there’s more subtlety in this. Most young women today don’t really seem to realize it’s there. Nor do women stick together like they should. Often they are their own worst enemies. The increase in religiousity hurts as well. Most religions are inherently detrimental to women. Things like “Throws like a girl” or “Drives like an old lady” are subtle but common in society. Teachers who pay more attention to boys than girls, which results in girls feeling that math and science are “boy” subjects. It’s so hidden and seldom discussed. Look at all the people, including many women who initially refused to believe the stories about Bill Cosby and now again about Roger Ailes. The original articles about the Stanford rapist listing his swimming times as if that was the important part of the story followed by the judge, in essence saying boys will be boy and giving him almost no time in jail. The message is subtle but clear, women are liars, not very bright, not mentally stable, weak and need to protected from their own failings and lack of ability. So I don’t see it changing in my lifetime. Right now I’m just hoping to see Hillary Clinton sworn in as president.

    Sorry for the rant. It’s midnight and the gender thing will always strike a nerve for me.i often write responses to posts here but never submit them, but not tonight.

    Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at 12:36 am | Permalink
  5. Iron Knee wrote:

    Wildwood, your comments are always appreciated.

    I agree that sexism is going to be difficult because there is such a strong biological imperative influencing how most people relate to the opposite sex. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to work on it.

    Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at 6:18 am | Permalink
  6. Wildwood wrote:

    Thanks IK.

    I think it is very important to get Clinton elected for the reasons I stated above. The ultimate glass ceiling. It has to go and I don’t want it to go with the likes of Palin or Bachman. And I also want it to go while I’m still around to appreciate it.

    Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at 8:05 am | Permalink
  7. westomoon wrote:

    I agree, sexism is involved in this — anyone who can stomach Trump’s remarks, and lifestyle, is quite a ways down that road already.

    But it’s also worth remembering that Hillary has been the target of more than 30 years of orchestrated attacks in the right-wing media. The first time I ever listened to Rush Libaugh’s radio show was back in 1999, in his glory days. I was stunned by it — he did about a half-hour rant on Hillary Clinton, back when she was just the First Lady. And it was scurrilous, venomous, and really, really intense. Fictional, too.

    I hesitate to credit the Noise Machine with the prescience to see she’d be the first major female Presidential candidate, but they have been laying a foundation of hate under her feet for more than a generation. It’s not surprising people feel like she’s stale and untrustworthy.

    Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at 10:53 am | Permalink
  8. Iron Knee wrote:

    There is hope. The NCAA decision to pull all championship games from North Carolina was a great move. Yes, I know this is more about gays than women, but the NC GOP put their foot firmly in it with their sexist response:

    This is so absurd it’s almost comical. I genuinely look forward to the NCAA merging all men’s and women’s teams together as singular, unified, unisex teams. Under the NCAA’s logic, colleges should make cheerleaders and football players share bathrooms, showers and hotel rooms. This decision is an assault to female athletes across the nation. If you are unwilling to have women’s bathrooms and locker rooms, how do you have a women’s team?

    Maybe Trump can get away with saying stupid shit like this, but as other Republicans emulate Trump it will backfire horribly for them. Watch for other businesses to pull stuff out of NC. I predict HB2 will be repealed now.

    Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at 11:29 am | Permalink