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.
“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 I don’t want it repealed, I don’t want us to be thrown back into a terrible, terrible national debate.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!”
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.
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.
Why the complete 180-degree turnaround?
Look deeper and you’ll find a more sinister reason for the now-viral “mean scream.” David Sirota of IB Times pointed out that much of her campaign contributions have come from the health care and pharmaceutical industry.
In 1994, Clinton predicted that the United States would have a single-payer system in place, declaring it “inevitable” by the year 2000. Sirota points out that between then and now, she has received more than $13 million “from sources in the health sector.” About $2 million alone was given during the 2016 campaign.
Looking back at Howard Dean’s infamous scream, it was born out of a sense of optimism. It was not screechy, it was not angry. It was a crescendo to a motivating speech encouraging his supporters in the primaries. But the media took that scream and ran with it, and Howard Dean faded into obscurity. Hillary’s “mean scream” moment is now upon us.
It’s typical of Clinton to turn to mean and rancid attacks when her numbers are falling, but to imply that Bernie Sanders would strip away the Affordable Care Act and leave millions of people without health coverage is asinine. It’s dishonest. It’s a desperate attempt to smear Sanders.
Hillary’s “mean scream” that decries the possibility of universal health care flies in the face of everything she’s worked for up until this campaign.
Progressives are characterizing it as Hillary’s “Howard Dean moment.” Howard Dean was doing well in the polls in 2004 before a video of him eagerly yelling at a volunteer rally began making the rounds of television and the Internet. More importantly, the video of Hillary’s shrill scream seems to reveal just how far she has veered from her original brand of progressivism.
Only recently did Hillary voice support for same-sex marriage, while Sanders has supported it for at least two decades. She is so close to Wall Street that just days ago she attended fund raisers behind closed doors for her campaign. Who will benefit in a Hillary Clinton presidency? The wealthy.
Hillary Clinton voted for the Iraq war, which Sanders was vigorously against. She now says it was a mistake. Hillary’s ethics are questionable, with the email scandal having revealed more than a thousand classified documents and at least 22 top-secret documents on her home server.
Democratic National Committee chairmanDebbie Wasserman-Schultz attempted to hide Clinton from any substantial debates by scheduling only six of them, most of which were on weekends, during holidays or scheduled at the same time as high-profile football games. Only in the last several days, after tremendous pressure from Bernie Sanders and voters, did Wasserman-Schultz approve four more debates under Sanders’ conditions.
Hillary’s attack on single payer system is indicative of a cancer in her campaign, of willing to fling false attacks at opponents in order to win. Millennials who have lived through Bush and Obama can see through her, and older voters who’ve been exposed to her for years are swallowing the bitter pill that Hillary Clinton is quite simply, unpalatable and unelectable. And perhaps her “mean scream” is, indeed, her Howard Dean moment.
[Featured Image: Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images]