Jesse Helms — Leader Against HIV?

Ken AshfordCongress, Health Care, In Passing, Sex/Morality/Family ValuesLeave a Comment

What is Elizabeth Dole smoking?  From the Congressional Record dated July 14, 2008:

SA 5074. Mrs. DOLE submitted an amendment intended to be proposed by her to the bill S. 2731, to authorize appropriations for fiscal years 2009 through 2013 to provide assistance to foreign countries to combat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and for other purposes; which was ordered to lie on the table; as follows: On page 1, line 5, strike ‘’and Henry J. Hyde’’ and insert ‘’, Henry J. Hyde, and Jesse Helms‘’.

That’s right.  Elizabeth Dole wants to change the name of the

"Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008"

to the

"Tom Lantos, Henry J. Hyde and Jesse Helms United States Global Leadership Against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Reauthorization Act of 2008"

I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that Jesse Helms probably would like his name attached to a bill that seeks to rid tuberculosis and malaria.  But HIV/AIDs?  Jesse is rolling in his grave (as are, I suspect, thousands of victims of HIV/AIDs).  Jesse was no fan of AIDS prevention, as Joe My God notes:

Jesse Helms, the man who in 1987 described AIDS prevention literature as "so obscene, so revolting, I may throw up."

Jesse Helms, the man who in 1988 vigorously opposed the Kennedy-Hatch AIDS research bill, saying, "There is not one single case of AIDS in this country that cannot be traced in origin to sodomy."

Jesse Helms, the man who in 1995 said (in opposition to refunding the Ryan White Act) that the government should spend less on people with AIDS because they got sick due to their "deliberate, disgusting, revolting conduct."

Jesse Helms, the man who in 2002 announced that he’d changed his mind about AIDS funding for Africa, but not for American gays, because homosexuality "is the primary cause of the doubling and redoubling of AIDS cases in the United States."

This last bit is true.  Helms did come around (after two decades) to think we should fight AIDS in foreign children who aren’t, you know, teh gay.  Some moral epiphany, huh?

On the other hand, one could argue that putting Helms’ name on an AIDS prevention bill has a ring of justice to it — kind of a posthumous "fuck you" to a man who is too dead to complain. 

What’s next?  The George Wallace Civil Rights Act?