So, everyone is rightly going nuts at Hillary Clinton stating that the Reagan’s- especially Nancy!- started a national conversation on HIV and AIDS in the 80s. This is shockingly, grotesquely untrue. The Reagan administration was deeply callous toward it, soaked as they were in the idea that anything outside the American “norm” was evil and should be disdained, which was baked into the notion that homosexuals deserved it. They laughed during a plague, and of all the crimes of that treacherous admin, that’s one of the highest.
Hillary has since said she misspoke, and since I can’t even begin to parse out the politics of this, I’ll believe her.
But then…what if she didn’t? What if this was intentional. After all, it created a huge firestorm where every left or center publication is practically breaking their fingers to chronicle Reagan’s disgusting response. Which leaves Republicans either defending Hillary Clinton (god forbid!) or agreeing with the accurate history. It basically boils down to this:
Hillary: Reagan was great about AIDS!
Right wing press: Wrong again, Hildebeast! He was terrible and didn’t care. Take that!
At the worst, it brings up a conversation reminding us just how terrible Reagan was, during a time of funerary nostalgia (in this case, sepia-by-proxy), and that every time a Republican says they are the true standard-bearer of his legacy, this is part and parcel of what they mean.
I don’t think that’s why she said what she did. It was probably a combination of muttering praise at a funeral, he ability to reach out to Republicans no matter what is right and good (triangulation!), or just a simple brain freeze. But isn’t it pretty to think so?