The backlash was swift Friday when Hillary Clinton, whose strong suit is evidently not history,bizarrely praised the Reagans for their "advocacy" and launch of a "national conversation" on AIDS, when in fact they infamously looked away as 20,000 people died on their oblivious watch. Clinton almost as swiftly apologized, noting that while the Reagans did advocate for stem cell research and Alzheimer’s disease, she "misspoke" about their record on H.I.V. and AIDS - "misspoke" being a quaint and quintessentially Clintonesque word for "lie," and one she apparently likes to use, like when she "misspoke" about being fired on by snipers while landing in Bosnia.
Still, she wasn't fast enough, or sincere enough, to head off an inevitable and richly deserved firestorm of criticism. Much of it came on social media, or as the New York Times called it before realizing how stupid they sounded, "gay Twitter." The most memorable tribute to Clinton's revisionist skills is the hashtag
#HillaryHistoryJ. Edgar Hoover introduced the idea for the free breakfast program to the Black Panthers." Others fondly recalled how Osama bin Laden started a national conversation about airline safety, all those "enterprising masters" helped start a national conversation around slavery, and George Bush helped start a national conversation about dead Iraqi children. Alas, the laughing stops when the reality - of the devastation of AIDS, and the Reagan Administration's ghastly negligence towards it - hits home. One response to video proving it: "History's a bitch when it's on record."