clinton_maddow

After being put in the political stocks by the sham of a Benghazi Committee and having to take verbal beatings by a bunch of vicious, dishonest Republicans, Hillary’s unflappable and calm demeanor throughout earned a degree of respect from me and doubtless many other Democrats who may not have been as enthusiastic about the prospects of her becoming the Democratic nominee for President.

Then the following day, an overconfident Hillary reminded everyone why she should continue to be distrusted. She appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show and unflinchingly delivered propaganda to shield herself from criticism due to her support  of and Bill Clinton’s signing of The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

To refresh memories, DOMA was a law signed by President Bill Clinton on September 21, 1996 that, according to Wikipedia:

[DOMA] defined marriage for federal purposes as the union of one man and one woman, and allowed states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages granted under the laws of other states.

By defining “spouse” and its related terms to signify a heterosexual couple in a recognized marriage, Section 3 codified non-recognition of same-sex marriages for all federal purposes, including insurance benefits for government employees, social security survivors’ benefits, immigration, bankruptcy, and the filing of joint tax returns, as well as excluding same-sex spouses from the scope of laws protecting families of federal officers (18 U. S. C. §115), laws evaluating financial aid eligibility, and federal ethics laws applicable to opposite-sex spouses.

Bill Clinton’s views on gay rights were actually very supportive and Progressive, he didn’t sign DOMA and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT, which allowed gays to serve in the military as long as they hid it from others) because he was homophobic or anti-gay rights. He did it for a reason that is quite familiar for Bill Clinton (and Hillary for that matter), because it was better for serving himself.

Why did a gay rights supporter like Bill Clinton sign such an institutionally bigoted law against gays? The clue is quite obvious when you look back at the date of the bill’s signing.

September 21, 1996. It was an election year, the year of a Presidential election, less than a month and a half before Bill Clinton hoped to win re-election.

It may be hard to remember just how unpopular gay rights were in the America of 1996 but less than 30% of Americans supported gay marriage back then. Many Democrats in Congress joined most (if not all) Republicans in being strongly against gay marriage. And no Presidential candidate, even up to and including President Obama, could come out in favor of gay marriage as a candidate without a potentially huge political price to pay.

So as was often the case with Bill Clinton, he triangulated what would benefit him most, put aside his principles and signed an oppressive law into place in order to win an election. He didn’t allow photos of the signing, it seems clear he wasn’t proud or happy about signing it…but in the end, he did sign it.

In 2013, Richard Socarides, who served as a White House Special Assistant and Senior Adviser in the Clinton Administration, wrote a piece for The New Yorker in which he described the reasons that Bill Clinton signed DOMA:

Inside the White House, there was a genuine belief that if the President vetoed the Defense of Marriage Act, his reelection could be in jeopardy. There was a heated debate about whether this was a realistic assessment, but it became clear that the President’s chief political advisers were not willing to take any chances. Some in the White House pointed out that DOMA, once enacted, would have no immediate practical effect on anyone—there were no state-sanctioned same-sex marriages then for the federal government to ignore. I remember a Presidential adviser saying that he was not about to risk a second term on a veto, however noble, that wouldn’t change a single thing nor make a single person’s life better.

During the campaign season, Clinton would sometimes complain publicly about how the Republicans were using the marriage issue against him. He said, derisively, that it was “hardly a problem that is sweeping the country” and his press secretary called it “gay baiting, pure and simple.” And that September, when the Defense of Marriage Act was passed, President Clinton signed it.

http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/why-bill-clinton-signed-the-defense-of-marriage-act

Socarides wonders whether a veto of DOMA would actually have made a difference in Clinton’s re-election, siting the potency of the anti-gay, Karl Rove driven, George W. Bush campaign attack on John Kerry in the 2004 Presidential race that helped rally The Right to get Bush re-elected. Also, Congress had passed DOMA with enough votes to override a veto. It is possible that some Democratic votes would switch to sustain a Clinton veto but we will never know.

Could it have been an added risk to Bill Clinton’s re-election to have vetoed DOMA, even if his veto could have been overridden? Possibly. Is it possible that risk could have been mitigated by the reason Bill Clinton gave for the veto? That’s possible too. Could he have at least stated that he would delay signing it because there was a question of Constitutionality to it, even if he wanted to say he favored it for political reasons? Of course, we know now that would have been accurate since DOMA was recently struck down by the Supreme Court for that reason. Bill Clinton and his advisers had to know that any law that takes away rights from a particular group of Americans has never stood a test of Constitutionality in the long term, they could have used this excuse to permanently stall signing it but Bill and his staff chose instead to play it “safe” and reluctantly sign bigotry into law, claiming it wasn’t bigotry.

Why does this matter now? Because instead of honestly recounting this  understandable, politically driven situation, that may make Bill and Hillary look self-serving but at the same time, affirm that even then, they personally supported gay rights, Hillary and her campaign have instead laid out a cover up using an inaccurate justification to try and make her and Bill instead look like protectors of gay rights for supporting oppression against them.

It’s the same kind of Karl Rovian twisting of the truth that many Democrats despised in the Bush years and Hillary’s comfort and ease in delivering it (as she did in the 2008 race) does not bode well for what one might expect from a President Hillary Clinton.

Here is Hillary Clinton’s new spin about why she supported DOMA and why Bill Clinton signed it as she presented it on The Rachel Maddow Show last week:

HILLARY CLINTON:  Well, I – I want to say a word about the – the issues you mentioned, because my – my – my take on it is slightly different.
On Defense of Marriage, I think what my husband believed – and there was certainly evidence to support it – is that there was enough political momentum to amend the Constitution of the United States of America, and that there had to be some way to stop that.

And there wasn’t any rational argument – because I was in on some of those discussions, on both “don’t ask, don’t tell” and on – on DOMA, where both the president, his advisers and occasionally I would – you know, chime in and talk about, “you can’t be serious.  You can’t be serious.”

But they were.  And so, in – in a lot of ways, DOMA was a line that was drawn that was to prevent going further.

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/transcript-rachel-maddow-interviews-hillary-clinton

It’s like police officers saying, “The reason we shot the innocent black man in the stomach is so other officers wouldn’t shoot him in the head! We were protecting him!”

It’s so insultingly dishonest that, at least for me, it has wiped out the sympathies that she earned in the Benghazi hearing. She once again appears as the calculating, dishonest politician who has a low opinion of the intelligence of voters and is quick to offer fabrications to them about anything as long as it advances her ambition.

This self-serving story that Bill was defusing the energy for a Constitutional Amendment against gay marriage has been occasionally floated by Bill Clinton and his camp since then as one of the excuses for joining with the homophobes in signing DOMA but it is completely at odds with articles written about this decision by insiders from the Bill Clinton Administration and campaign. It instead appears as a convenient and desperate straw man.

Constitutional amendments are virtually impossible to pass, take many, many years and go through an enormous, burdensome and failure-bound process. The Right Wing Evangelicals who strongly supported a Constitutional Amendment then (and still do now but to no avail) are a small minority of voters. Would a majority of those who opposed gay marriage in polls automatically support changing the Constitution to enshrine that?

There was not even enough energy behind passing an Equal Rights Amendment for women in the activist years of the 1970’s even though women represented over 50% of voters…and considering that amendment was first introduced in Congress in 1923 and couldn’t get passed in 50 years, there really didn’t seem any immediate threat from a Constitutional amendment against gay marriage.

And even if this story was taken at face value, supporting bigotry with the excuse that it might have prevented greater bigotry is still hugely unprincipled and cowardly.

If elected President, Hillary is saying that she may sign bills that harm Americans in order to prevent what she’d suggest are greater harms that could come if she didn’t do so.

But in fact, she is demonstrating that she has no guilt when she supports laws that oppress Americans, she instead just sees it as an inconvenient truth that needs to be covered up. She demonstrates no commitment to speaking honestly to Americans about such a situation that may be unflattering to her.

To be fair, Hillary Clinton reflects the traits of many other accomplished politicians. She is not unique in this respect. The powerful ambition, the self-serving dishonesty for political expediency, the lack of conscience when their decisions harm many of those they are supposed to serve. This is what many politicians do, not the ones who best represent those who put them in office but perhaps a majority who become politicians primarily for reasons of personal gratification.

At the same time, there is no question that any of the Republican field would make such traits look minor if they became President. The choice next November will be between a government, society and economic demolitionist from the Republican Party…and a self-serving, not always honest, corporate-friendly, well-experienced Hillary Clinton or a principled, populist, democratic socialist, Bernie Sanders.

The choice still remains obvious. Even if Hillary is the Democratic nominee, not voting for her and as a result, handing the Republican nominee the value of an extra vote is unthinkable. Hillary may not be the most trustworthy, may not keep her promises to The Left and may even sign a bill into law that hurts supporters of hers and other Americans while claiming it is “protecting them” from worse harm…but with a Republican, all of those plus so many more terrible things are assured.

I will vote for whoever wins the Democratic nomination for President but I will do so with eyes wide open, recognizing the true character of who that person is and never hesitating to criticize them as honestly as I would a Republican. That’s what I believe sets Dems and Progressives apart from Repubs, the willingness to honestly appraise and criticize our politicians when they do the wrong thing or we disagree with their actions.

One could only hope that with enough voters being vocal about their criticisms of their candidates’ negative traits, that it would give them less room to maneuver towards them along the way.

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enigma2
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enigma2

Hello everyone. I am the former enigma2 from the old days at Huffington Post. I have been a member here for many years but my account has been idle. I stopped in to say hello to a couple old friends. Hope you don’t mind me just dropping in.
Seems there have been some chances since I last visited. Is it common or should I say standard, for a WP PlanetPOV page to open, that certainly is new to me. Nice touch by the way. As I said, I wanted to say hello to some old friends. I would like to say a special hello to RSG music for one, and to any others I may not have seen. it was really nice to see some familiar faces here. Take care.

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escribacat
Member

hello there enigma. i remember you from huffy days. good to see you. (my keyboard is messed up, not just being lazy).

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enigma2
Member
enigma2

Thanks! I remember you as well. I am concerned though. I seem to have been allowed into the admin dashboard on this site. I don’t know how perhaps it’s because I am a mod on another WP site, but not as enigma2. I am hoping someone can tell me if this is standard or not. I don’t want to be in places I do not belong.

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escribacat
Member

We’re all able to post articles here so that’s probably why you’re seeing admin stuff on a limited basis, i’m guessing. but i’m not sure. Adlib is the techie guy and honcho — he’ll be around soon when the debate starts. You can join the chat room and discuss the mud being slung!

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enigma2
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enigma2

Thank you appreciate your help. I wondered how did I get into admin just posting a question. I may try to get back later. My address is on file here. it was good to see you, hope all is well with you and yours.

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monicaangela
Member

“This above all; to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”
~~~~~~~~~~~ William Shakespeare

Excellent article as always Adlib. I am of a different opinion when it comes to voting for the democratic nominee. I say this because just as Clinton lied about the reason for Bill Clinton signing DOMA, and the fact being clear to you, me, and anyone who saw that interview, we realize she is not a trustworthy candidate. At least Bernie Sanders record is clear and consistent with what he proposes today. Just as you feel about her lying about Bill’s reason for signing Doma, I would feel the same way justifying a vote for her, I would be lying to myself and doing something against my better judgment. I would have to come up with some sort of excuse like the one you give, well, I had to do it because if I didn’t the republicans might win. I refuse to vote for someone just because the consequences may be worse if I don’t.

In your article you state the fact that Hillary is trying to cover up what Bill did to serve herself. Well I would feel that voting for her would be admitting that I don’t have the backbone to accept whatever comes if there isn’t a better candidate than Hillary for the office of President meaning I would be in effect going against my better judgement to serve myself. In Ohio, things are so gerrymandered that you can almost be assured that your vote for a democrat is going to be a wasted vote, but I have learned to vote my conscience, and even if my candidate loses, I still feel good about my vote.

I suppose what I am trying to say is, I know that with Hillary, everything will center around what is best for her second term, and if compromising with republicans like Paul Ryan will help get her elected a second time, she will probably go so far as to implement Ryan’s horrible budget, or any of several horrible bills and policies the republicans want implemented and of course justify it by saying if she doesn’t, something much worse might be passed and implemented.

Supporting the party, and not ones ideals seems to be the obvious thing to do, because, well after all what is the alternative? A republican? I personally don’t believe I could bring myself to vote republican, but when I look at the politicians that are leading the pack, that would be Hillary and Donald, I don’t see much difference between the two of them. One, Trump, tells you point blank that he is going to do things you don’t like, and the other, Clinton, tells you she is going to do everything you like. I believe the truth is somewhere in the middle, and I don’t believe Trump will do the horrible things he says he will do, and I know Clinton will not do the wonderful things she says she will do. I just can’t see her putting up a fight against the republicans if she is challenged, and even if the numbers in congress changes and she gets a majority democrat congress, I still believe she will capitulate to special interest. I can see her in a backroom somewhere compromising, and then blaming anything that may be bad for the country on the lack of the republicans ability to compromise and their hatred for the American people while at the same time signing the bills that the republicans put forward, especially if those bills seal the deal on her re-election to office. Same thing if the congress is democrat, I can see her vetoing bills that some will scratch their heads and wonder why…explanation will be we can get a much better deal….etc., obfuscate, deviate, and carry water for those that you feel will help you win a second term, even if it goes against the wishes of your party and the American people.

Then there is the fact that we, just like before will have both Bill and Hillary in office again, and just as she was sticking her head and opinions into meetings where she had no business being, I’m sure Bill will be doing the same thing.

No, for me, voting for Hillary even if she is the nominee is a NO to the HELL NO, never. I refuse to allow myself to go with the flow, knowing the flow is leading right down the tubes. Better allow those who don’t mind voting for her the opportunity to do so, maybe that way she could get elected if she is the nominee, my conscience will be clear. As I have said before, I will do a protest write in vote if she wins the nomination, and if that helps the republican nominee so be it.

“Be yourself. Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish.”
~~~~~~~~~ John Jakes

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Nirek
Member

Excellent article, AdLib!

I too will vote for the Dem in November 2016 simply because if Bernie doesn’t get the nomination there is not a single Republican candidate I could vote for. That said, I feel sure that Bernie will win the nomination.

Your article describes “politicians” very well. They will say or do whatever will give them an edge.

Bernie is not the usual politician. He has always done what he felt is the right thing to do, not what he thinks will get him more votes. I have known Bernie all of his career because his career has taken place here in Vermont. Bernie has been making correct votes even when they were NOT popular. “Political expediency” is not what Bernie thinks of when doing his job. That is what is differentiates Bernie from all other politicians. It is also what makes Bernie the best candidate for President!

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funksands
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Ad, couldn’t agree with you more. I watched that interview and I think the words “f**king liar” came out of my mouth.

What most people (including me) had forgotten about the process to enact DOMA into law is that Congress didn’t call one federal agency representative to testify what this would do to federal benefits. Didn’t call 1 historian, 1 economist or any child welfare experts to testify about whether or not the bill was necessary or harmful.

Bill Clinton signed a bill that was passed after floor debate where Congressional Reps decried homosexuality as a perversion, a sin, immoral, depraved, dangerous and the death blow to the American Family. It was nastiness and bigotry codified into law.

Moments after reading your article, Rachel Maddow came on and gave commentary about that interview and to her credit stated that she was dubious about Hillary’s story. She followed that up with an interview with Bernie Sanders about his lonely vote against DOMA.

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Nirek
Member

Hi Funk, that lonely vote was not the only time Bernie has been right with his vote while almost all other Reps. and Senators were wrong.

Bernie is a different breed of politician. He is honest, has integrity, and morality, all of which seem to be missing in other politicians!

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RSGmusic
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RSGmusic

Hi Adlib good article and like all articles i have some questions that predicting the future is really hard to do.

Point one Doma is dead with the supreme court second ruling on same sex marriage. SHe can not sign into law to take it away. If she can the dem group will just filibuster it to death. SHe does need the parties cooperation to do the job. As far as firing people by being in the fine LGBT can not apply. that is a subset of US citizens. the emancipation proclamation take car of that.

Well She is not Bill Clinton!! It is really unfair to judge her by Bill actions, SHe does like the LGBT community.

point two
Next Tarp oh panic !!! no tarp started slowly and then created a whole lot of jobs Clinton is the biggest job creator of all! OH just to be sure i made a whole lot of money of tarp. i would bet you did also.

THe ttp will not be the monster everyone says it is. Here is why. it will only work for small items. larger cargo is very expensive and you can not just build sea going vessels in a yr. they cost 500 million to build. THen the price to rent space is going to be expensive.

You can forget about any cooperation from the GOP! It is just as important to take back the senate. 10 are fairly safe that leaves 16 if the dems take 10 that almost give the dems a passable senate 60 with independants.

Now i like what you said about no matter who gets the spot you will vote for. My point exactly.

She has to say some of this centrist view to draw votes . It does not mean she will carry them out. Example a CEO before he is CEO does not give away what he is going to exactly do. THis applies to politics even more.

If a dem does not win you can seal all sorts of religious laws that ruin america form religious judges. All the GOP rules on religious bias and for the party line. 2 to 3 judges may 4 will be appointed in the next 8 yrs Pro life will pass all thought it is already the perfect law. Each side gets there way. The passage of religious freedom laws are all unconstitutional except to designate a religion as a religion. AKA the American Indians religions are now recognized. THey do not have to have a law to build a church or religious business or anything else. Essential they are saying that a far right christian religion is better then every one else s. THe most corrupt supreme court on the conservative side pass hobby lobby to attack Roe vs wade!

Bernie has his faults!! i will not list them it is not my style to bash candidates at all. Just there good points.

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sillylittleme
Member

Thank you Ad for putting so eloquently what I found so mind-numbingly shocking (not) coming from the Hill herself. After all this is the woman who still misremembers her Bosnian trip.

Someone should tell her to stop speaking before she actually gets through to her adoring masses.

I brought this very thing up to be poo poo’d by a Hill supporter using exactly your argument.

This is yet another issue they could have gotten in front of but chose to hide behind the great right wing conspiracy, not aimed at the Clintons, but at the American public in general.

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RSGmusic
Member
RSGmusic

Hi Friend, what if Bernie losses? I like Bernie but he has some bad points.

Sayings of the child of Nature

for one the path of the future,
There is a time to go forth and see
the importance of what is called the
wilds, In these wilds are the things that
apex the future and pro long the things
that are necessary. Long have we gone
past that apex !

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LightningJoe
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LightningJoe

“That’s what I believe sets Dems and Progressives apart from Repubs, the willingness to honestly appraise and criticize our politicians when they do the wrong thing or we disagree with their actions.”

No, what sets Repugs apart, is their willingness to believe any old crap their Authorities tell them. As soon as that sh*t hits the fan, Repugs decide they actually like having spotted-brown faces.

To wit, any “honest” appraisal and criticism has been permanently weeded out of their very psyches, by the simple fact of who “has” the Authority in their world-view. Anything one of their Masters tells them IS the truth… until the story changes, and then the new story is the “new” “truth.”

Confused? That’s why they do it that way, dude… keeping track is SO much work and mental effort… may as well just “trust” what your Authority tells you is so…

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