Updated by Todd VanDerWerff
A lot of what seems inexplicable about Hillary Clinton often makes more sense when you realize her formative years in the public eye were largely spent in front of a religious right that spent a large portion of 1992 making television character Murphy Brown’s decision to be a single mother a national controversy.
Needless to say, there wasn’t much love for Hillary Clinton.
Everything from the title of her book to her supposedly wild and liberal political stances was dragged out for mockery. In some circles, she was trusted so little that essentially any goofy conspiracy theory that could be dreamed up attached itself to her with very little effort.
I have always taken this to be why the Clinton I first knew — the one who burst onto the scene in 1992 — has been replaced by a more halting and timid figure, who cloaks her progressive stances in what she believes is possible, and who seems intent on proving to everyone that she’ll be the toughest there is on questions of national security.
She developed into someone who didn’t just harden herself against conservative attacks but co-opted those that she could in real time. Even more than her husband, she was a walking example of triangulation.
But her mostly good nomination acceptance speech was as full of progressive bromides as any she’s delivered in years. The entire Democratic National Conventionwas. And what was remarkable was that the whole DNC seemed intent on one thing and one thing only.
It was going to reclaim everything from Christianity to family values to patriotism from the Republicans. Those, the Democrats argued, are our values now — and we’re rebranding them for a more diverse America.
This was an explicitly religious convention — and often an explicitly Christian one
Just think about how filled with forthrightly religious moments this convention has been, especially compared with previous Democratic conventions. Or think of how Christian it’s been, and how the convention tried to argue for Christianity as fundamentally liberal.