SocraticGadfly: Hillary, AIDS, dogwhistles and Overton Windows

March 12, 2016

Hillary, AIDS, dogwhistles and Overton Windows

I said from the first I heard of Hillary Clinton's claim on Friday that Nancy Reagan was a leader in speaking out about AIDS in the 1980s that it wasn't just the "misspeaking" she later claimed. Being stronger, or harsher, on this than Brains, because I'm at the point where I naturally take the least charitable interpretation of things like this — one of those people who dings her in general for honestly and integrity — I think it was a dogwhistle.

(And, the claim of "misspeaking"? It was itself misspeaking; Reagan vetoed stem cell research, too.)

More examples of Hillary's dishonesty? She said today she didn't know where Bernie was on health care 20 years ago. Erm, he was ... "with her"!

Per Twitter, in case you're unaware:
There he was, right with you, just as pictured below.

I mean, with this issue on top of the AIDS issue, per Jaguar in comments, yes, it's a dogwhistle.

Or (and not mutually exclusive), per other links in Brains' piece, it's the old Overton Window:

Brains himself has added links in an update; Steve Thrasher agrees that it was a dogwhistle.

So, why? Cui bono?

Hillary herself benefits, or at least she thinks she does. That's the bottom line. Of course, she is less subtle about this than Bill.

To be more specific?
And, yes, establishmentarian pundits are trying to spin away the "misstatement" on AIDS by claiming establishment Dems thought that way in the 1980s.

No they didn't. Either that's two kiddos of the modern Inside the Beltway Brat Pack practicing something loosely related to journalism from being too young to know the 80s, or else, it's David Brock type spinmeistering. In either case, it's wrong.

Not just Ronnie, but a lot of Congressional Republicans were excoriated in the 1980s for their homophobia by Democrats. Maybe the party wasn't "gay friendly" in terms of promoting gay marriage 30 years ago, but it was gay friendly in the sense of calling out bigotry. Let's advance a decade and look at her own history, and Bill's, on DOMA, while we're at it. Democratic Underground has more.

Back to the Overton Window and dogwhistles plus today's spinmeisters.

Clinton's already adopted the strategy of trying to campaign past Sanders and campaign toward the general election, except in places like Rust Belt/Great Lakes states, where she's worried about him winning next Tuesday's primaries.

She's chasing those alleged centrist votes, espectially ones she thinks will shy away from voting Trump if the's the Republican nominee.

In other words, the same old shit that Democratic presidential nominees, and other A list national Dems, have done for 30-plus years. The reality is that most of Trump's support is from inside typical Republicans, just ones who haven't turned out to vote in past presidential primaries in some cases. Add that to repeated documentation that, at the Congressional level, Congresscritters of both parties think their constituents are even more conservative than is true, and Democrats who chase that Overton Window are on a mission as foolish as looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

But, Dear Leader also dogwhistled about his love for Ronnie eight years ago.

There they are again. So, did Hillary contract Alzheimer's from Ronnie?
Maybe Jean Houston forgot to "channel" this at Nancy's funeral?
On the health care?

As we look at another picture of Bernie quite clearly showing #ImWithHer in 1993?

Snark in the caption aside, this is no gaffe. It's a sign of desperation. It's a kitchen sink that she's now throwing herself, without benefit of, or "distancing" via, intermediaries. Such things are always dangerous politically.

Especially because of the polling that sites credibility as the No. problem people have with her.

1 comment:

paintedjaguar said...

Whatever this was, it wasn't "misspeaking". Even a casual observer of politics in the 1980s couln't possibly get this wrong, it was a major issue.

Now, per usual, Hillary doubles down and "apologizes" with another lie.

""While the Reagans were strong advocates for stem cell research and finding a cure for Alzheimer's disease, I misspoke about their record on HIV and AIDS," Clinton said in a statement. "For that, I'm sorry." - WaPost

The truth is that the Reagans were also against stem cell research until Ronnie himself lost his mind to Alzheimer's.

Best guess? Hillary is assuming her nomination and has already begun the expected gallop to the right.