In Hillary Clinton's fantasy world, Silence = Death never happened. But she (actually, whoever handles her Twitter account for her when she's otherwise occupied) acknowledged she had misspoken. And when people weren't quite satisfied with that, she issued a longer mea culpa. So all should be forgiven, right?
"Before [Nancy and Ronald Reagan started the national conversation about HIV/AIDS], nobody wanted to talk about it, nobody wanted to do anything about it."
How the fuck do those words come from the lips of a supposed LGBT ally? And starting out her sound bite of asskissery with "It may be hard for your viewers to remember," as if she's going to give us the T about how it really was back in the day, and then dropping that big ball of lies—how dare she?
The initial tweet sent in her name acknowledged that another illness, Alzheimer's disease, was (ultimately) of more importance to Nancy and Ronald Reagan. But as Michael Specter wrote in this post for the website of The New Yorker, there was still much wrong with that first stab at an apology: It didn't expressly say that the Reagans had willfully ignored the AIDS crisis for many years and that 25,000 Americans, most of them gay men, had died before President Reagan gave his first public speech about the disease. And Nancy embraced stem cells only when it looked like they could help her husband, her loved one. When other people's loved ones might have benefited from the medical promise of stem cells, she offered them only silence. Just as she did when those with AIDS were dying.
Those who lived through those years1 and lost lovers, friends, and relatives shouldn't forgive her for this "gaffe" and quietly move along as though this weren't yet another example of her showing her true, triangulating nature. I can't.
And I've never seen Tony so enraged over something a politician has said. Believe me, he's as horrified as I am at the shit coming out of the mouths of the Republican candidates. (And like me, he already wasn't on Team Hillary.) But this insult was supposedly coming from an ally. And as usual with the Democrats in general and the Clintons in particular, it was one seemingly designed to score points with right-wingers at the expense of those who are most inclined to be enthusiastic about her campaign.2
There's still too much silence about things that matter, still too much fear of saying the real truth.3 Look at this clip of Clinton speaking with Steve Harvey about the deliberate poisoning of Flint's residents by the Republicans of that state. "In older communities like Flint, you have these problems more likely to occur." I know she's no doubt saying that line because caustic water can't leach lead out of new pipes that don't actually contain lead. But Jesus H. Christ! You also can't have this particular problem without Republican Governor Rick Snyder switching the water supply from a clean source to one everyone knew goddamned well wasn't fit for public use.
And then there's the passivity of "when this happened to them" after the slight bit of outrage allowed in acknowledging that this was an "immoral" act.
Next up, we learn that doctors were the heroes, for sounding the alarm. And General Motors was too! When the fine folks at GM saw the toxic water was corroding engine parts, "they stopped using it" and (later, much later) they contributed some money to help address the problems that inevitably follow when you've started down the path of intentionally goddamn poisoning a whole city of people. I think what you meant to say, Hillary, was that the company got a special deal to get nontoxic water and said fuck off to the rest of the people in that city.
And then she said the deliberate poisoning of Flint was "the result of government neglect." As if it was just a matter of overlooking a problem that just sort of happened, not the purposeful, malicious act it really was.
And speaking of malicious acts: Truthout's Dahr Jamail reports the Navy has been secretly conducting electromagnetic warfare training in the Olympic National Forest and on nearby public roads for more than five years. As even a Navy study acknowledged, "exposure to electromagnetic radiation causes a myriad of human health problems, including corneal damage, tubular degeneration of testicles, brain heating, sterility, altered penile function, death, cranial nerve disorders, seizures, convulsions, depression, insomnia, chest pain, and even sparking between dental fillings," Jamail wrote.
And that fucked-up bullshit—yet another example of the Pentagon treating the world like its plaything, the consequences to human life and nature be damned—that sounds like something you'd expect during a Trump4 presidency is, of course, happening under Obama's watch.
One Facebook friend's default answer to any criticism of Obama or skepticism toward candidate Clinton is "the Supreme Court." Nothing is more important to him than who gets to nominate new SCOTUS justices.
We all know Antonin Scalia's body was barely cold before the Senate Republicans vowed to prevent Obama from appointing his replacement. That was outrageous, partisan politics at its most sickening, and many of my Facebook friends understandably posted petitions they'd signed demanding the Senate hold hearings on Obama's eventual nominee. I get it. I sign those kinds of petitions, too.5
But there was nary a peep among my partisan-Democrat friends when Obama floated the trial balloon that he might possibly consider nominating an anti-labor Republican governor to the Supreme Court. And now this morning, there's word Obama has settled on a judge Orrin Hatch, the longest-serving Republican on the Judiciary Committee, called "a fine man" and someone whom Obama ought to appoint to the court.
As you can read in the linked ThinkProgress story above, this judge, named Merrick Garland, was described in 2010 by SCOTUSblog's Tom Goldstein as "very unlikely" to "articulate a broad progressive vision for the law." Which is why he's Obama's perfect man to try to placate the Republicans! Or beat them at their own game. Or whatever clever or wise thing we're supposed to believe he's doing when he's once again actually offering to replace Scalia with yet another Republican-friendly corporate tool.
Hatch said he doubted Obama would consider Garland, opting instead for someone more acceptable to the president's base of supporters. Ha! What rock has that tired old queen been living under? Our Democratic leaders know only acquiescence to Republican demands. And until Democratic voters take a page from ACT UP's book and demand to be heard, that's all the people they vote for will ever do.
1I was only 11 on June 5, 1981, when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported on the first five cases of young, previously healthy gay men developing lung infections and showing other signs of compromised immune systems, so I didn't experience those early years of the epidemic in the same way as adult gay men did. So I don't count myself among this group, though I empathize greatly with those who are in that group.
2I mean, seriously, some of my gay male Facebook friends treat Clinton like she's their mother or grandmother. Or *eye roll* the embodiment of femininity who will singlehandedly bring peace and sexual equality to the world.
3Another example: The head of the Human Rights Campaign, which endorsed Clinton in January, didn't give the Hillary-related reason for why he was tweeting that Nancy Reagan "was, sadly, no hero in the fight against HIV/AIDS." He must not offer even a mild critique of Clinton's "mistake" in context.
4I'm with Glenn Greenwald in that I believe it's incredibly hypocritical for the mainstream media and politicians to be denouncing Donald Trump's worldview—which is very much in keeping with the way this country has been run for decades—even as I'm happy to see his repugnant words being denounced.
5I know it must be extremely rare that doing so results in justice being achieved—most of the petitions I endorse are about people being wrongly locked up or denied health care by an insurance company—but I do it anyway. I'm totally (and justifiably :-)) cynical as hell about most everything, but I can't help signing a lot of those things so I don't also feel totally powerless.
UPDATED LATER on March 16: The New York Daily News' Shaun King writes that Garland is to the right of Scalia on criminal justice issues. Holy shit! Who knew that was even possible?