Let me start by saying this: no matter what you think of Hillary Clinton as a person or candidate, you can still feel tired of seeing her get blamed for things she didn’t do while Donald Trump continues to blame everyone else for his own mistakes. Clinton certainly has her faults, like any politician — personally, I'm disappointed that she flip-flopped on some issues that are important to me, such as civil rights for same-sex couples and gun control measures. That said, though I was rooting for Bernie Sanders, I will be voting for Hillary this November just like I said I would in a piece I wrote for Bustle back in 2015 — because she's qualified, Trump is the literal worst candidate for the job to me, I'm quite liberal, and it’s about damn time for a female commander in chief.
But even if you're not voting for Clinton, you can still acknowledge the amount of blame she shoulders in the media for problems that she did not create is a shocking example of sexism in action. Clinton may have her faults, but blaming her for everything from Bill Clinton’s extramarital affairs to the birther movement to the attacks in Benghazi is simply not factually accurate. And in addition to being irritating as hell, it’s also sexist and more than a little troubling that Trump habitually fails to take responsibility for his own f*ck ups. If Trump is elected president of the U.S. this fall, what will his lack of personal accountability mean for our country? Hopefully, we won’t have to find out, but the idea is still chilling.
Clinton: Blamed For Her Husband’s Sexual Misconduct
More than once, Trump has not-so-subtly implied that Hillary was to blame for Bill's extra-marital affairs. Sadly, though, Trump's claims are neither the first nor the last time Hillary would face blame for her husband's infidelity.
Back in January, the typically left-leaning New York Times assigned partial blame to Hillary for Bill's misdeeds. The editorial, titled "Donald Trump Drags Bill Clinton’s Baggage Out," actually spends very little time discussing Bill's alleged abuse of women or Trump's comments toward Hillary; instead, the bulk of the article is spent painting Hillary as Bill's victim-blaming-enabler with passages like this one: "For decades Mrs. Clinton has helped protect her husband’s political career, and hers, from the taint of his sexual misbehavior, as evidenced by the Clinton team’s attacks on the character of women linked to Mr. Clinton."
Of course, as Bustle reported last spring, the idea of Hillary's alleged "attacks on the character of women" might carry some weight. But that doesn't make it any less sexist when the media (or Donald Trump) attempts to blame Hilary for Bill's affairs.
Trump: Blames The Media For The Offensive Thing He Says
Almost every time Trump has been called out for doing, saying, and/or tweeting something offensive — like when he suggested that Indiana-born U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel should excuse himself from presiding over a class-action lawsuit against Trump because "he's a Mexican," or when he tweeted an anti-Clinton image that included what critics pointed out was anti-Semitic imagery, including a six-pointed star that originated on a White supremacist website — he has blamed the media instead of apologizing for his actions.
When Trump told MSNBC's Chris Matthews that "there has to be some form of punishment" for women who've had abortions, he faulted Matthew's interviewing style and MSNBC's post-production crew for how they edited his segment after his remark drew public outcry. Both Matthew's question and Trump's response seem pretty straightforward, though, and the transcript of that interview proves it.
Clinton: Blamed (By Trump) For Her Husband's Signing Of NAFTA
As you might have witnessed during Monday night's debate, Trump and his campaign are now blaming Clinton for her husband's signing of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Though I feel it should be said that Hillary did vouch for NAFTA somewhat as First Lady, she has since called the trade agreement "a mistake," and cannot reasonably be held accountable for her husband signing off on it. According to Trump, however, Hillary Clinton single-handedly ruined the U.S. economy over the past 30 years, and NAFTA's failure is her fault.
Trump: Blames Clinton For Starting The Birther Movement That He's Helped Perpetuate Since 2011
Earlier this month, Trump said in a press conference that Hillary Clinton started the birther movement — a conspiracy theory that questions whether or not President Obama was born in the U.S. — during her 2008 presidential campaign. Here's the thing, though: there is literally no evidence that proves this. In fact, multiple nonpartisan fact checkers have debunked this claim.
Conversely, Trump started supporting the birther movement all the way back in 2011, and continued to question President Obama's status as a natural born U.S. citizen even after the president's birth certificate was released to the public.
Clinton: Blamed For The Death Of Four Americans In Benghazi
What happened in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 was awful, especially considering that a Senate Committee Intelligence report from 2014 shows that the attacks could have been prevented. However, while Hillary Clinton has taken responsibility for her failure to adequately protect the U.S. personnel who lost their lives in Benghazi, the deaths of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, State Department communications specialist Sean Smith, and CIA security contractors Glenn Doherty and Tyrone Woods don't rest solely on Clinton's shoulders. As MSNBC reports, Clinton has stated that "she was not involved in any decisions related to security in Benghazi leading up to the attacks." Moreover, even Colin Powell has called the political backlash Hillary Clinton has received over Benghazi "a stupid witch hunt." But this hasn't stopped people from blaming her, including Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence, who said ‘‘It was Hillary Clinton who left Americans in harm’s way in Benghazi and after four Americans fell, said: ‘‘What difference, at this point, does it make?’’
Trump: Blames His Recent Debate Loss On A Microphone
As NPR reported on Wednesday, multiple polls show that Clinton beat Trump in Monday night's debate — a CNN poll, for example, showed that 62 percent of voters thought Clinton had done a better job than Trump at the debate, while only 27 percent said the opposite. Unsurprisingly, Trump has had a difficult time accepting this loss. On Tuesday, the Trumpster took to Twitter to celebrate his win for "the movement." What's perhaps even more laughable, however, is the fact that Trump blamed his microphone for his unimpressive performance on Monday. In a post-debate spin session, Trump reportedly said, "They gave me a defective mic, did you notice that? My mic was defective within the room," Trump continued, "I wonder, was that on purpose, was that on purpose?"
Whether the microphone in question was, in fact, defective is something we still don't know for sure. But what we do know is this: Trump is incapable of taking responsibility for his own actions, and his defensiveness borders on paranoia. I don't know about you, but that's just not the kind of person I want to see leading America's military forces, helping select Supreme Court judges, or making decisions about my uterus.