Hillary’s ‘Mean Scream’ Repels Sanders Supporters: Is This Her Howard Dean Moment?

Reno Berkeley - Author
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May 24 2017, Updated 5:09 a.m. ET

The screech is back. The stabby hand is working overtime. And despite her most fervent efforts to beat yet another opponent in the Democratic primaries, Hillary’s “mean scream,” as the Internet has dubbed it, is scaring people away, and it could be her Howard Dean moment.

In a glaring attempt to shift voters’ attention away from her persistent email scandal, she’s now falling back on the only line of attack she can: Bernie Sanders’ single payer health care.

At a campaign stop at Grand View University in Iowa on Friday, Hillary Clinton spoke to a room full of supporters. When the topic of Medicare-for-all came up, she became visibly angry and gesticulated with a pointed finger poling the air.

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“I want you to understand why I am fighting so hard for the Affordable Care Act. I don’t want it repealed, I don’t want us to be thrown back into a terrible, terrible national debate. I don’t want us to end up in gridlock. People can’t wait! People who have health emergencies can’t wait for us to have some theoretical debate about some better idea that will never ever come to pass!”

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The crowd of supporters politely cheered and clapped after she was finished with her tirade. After more than 20 years of advocating for a single payer system, Hillary’s “mean scream” is telling voters that change is just too hard; no we can’t.

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Her message is disingenuous. Sanders has never claimed to want to repeal the ACA. He wants to build on it and provide everyone with a Medicare-for-all health care system. For Hillary, it’s too much change.

She’s right…to a point. If Hillary Clinton were elected president, universal health care would never see the light of day in this country. But it’s not because it’s an unpopular issue (recent surveys show 58 percent of Americans want universal health care). It’s because Hillary herself is a polarizing figure. She is widely reviled among with both Democrats and Republicans, and although Bernie Sanders has been civil toward her, she chose to attack him on this topic.

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