For some time now, it was clear to many that something was wrong with Hillary Clinton. The coughing alone was enough to raise eyebrows.
However, Clinton supporters immediately attacked those making comments about her health, accusing them of trying to undermine Clinton’s candidacy.
Yesterday, Clinton had to leave early from a 9/11 memorial service. Video surfaced of her almost collapsing as the Secret Service essentially dragged her into an SUV.
Hillary Clinton falling ill Sunday morning at a memorial service on the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks will catapult questions about her health from the ranks of conservative conspiracy theory to perhaps the central debate in the presidential race over the coming days.
“Secretary Clinton attended the September 11th Commemoration Ceremony for just an hour and thirty minutes this morning to pay her respects and greet some of the families of the fallen,” spokesman Nick Merrill said. “During the ceremony, she felt overheated, so departed to go to her daughter’s apartment and is feeling much better.”
What that statement leaves out is that a) it came 90 minutes after Clinton left the ceremony b) reporters — or even a reporter — were not allowed to follow her and c) the temperature in New York City at the time of Clinton’s overheating was in the low 80s. (A heat wave over the eastern United States broke last night/this morning.)
The New York Times argues it was in the high 70s when Clinton overheated, by the way. So it may well have been even cooler when she “overheated”.
The Washington Post describes comments about Clinton’s health as having been a “conservative conspiracy theory,” but now we can see that there was something definitely wrong. Why were none of Clinton’s supporters, the ones who should care most about her as a person, completely unphased by the warning signs?
Both sides of the political debate these days are so tribal in outlook that anything coming from the other tribe simply can’t be true. Clinton was hacking up lungs, but since it was the other tribe that saw it and said something first, it must be completely false.
The Clinton camp has now said she is suffering from pneumonia. That’s a fairly serious condition, though not a fatal one. Something was wrong, just like the other tribe said.
Now the Clinton tribe has to face the reality, but not a word of apology for the outright attacks on any mention of her health.
To be fair, the other tribe generally didn’t care about her health. They were attacks over her fitness to be president. That doesn’t change the fact that the criticisms were valid. She was ill.
Now, those attacks will point out Clinton hugging young children and shaking hands with elderly patients while suffering from pneumonia, questioning her judgement. Meanwhile, the Clinton tribe will rail against those attacks as well, despite the fact that they know deep down they’d be making the exact same argument if Trump were the one with pneumonia.
Hyper-partisanship and tribal politics is here, and it unfortunately looks like it’s here to stay. Thank goodness for SamePageNation and our “no tribes” philosophy.