Not So Gladd: Clinton Heckled In Receiving Award For Opposing Law He Created In Denial Of Gay Rights

225px-Bill_ClintonLast week, President Bill Clinton accepted GLAAD’s ‘Advocate for Change’ Award in Los Angeles last night but not everyone was buying Clinton’s latest change of heart over gay marriage. GLADD notably left out of the award that Clinton not only signed but helped push through the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). This was not in 1896 but in 1996. Clinton was heckled by some in the crowd as he accepted the award as a leader on gay rights, yelling “you signed it” when he referred to DOMA as if it was some alien or GOP legislation. What is truly annoying is Clinton’s “some of my best friends are now gay” rationalization.

Clinton called on the Supreme Court to strike down DOMA which he made law without acknowledging his key role. GLADD attempted to help him in this piece of historical revisionism not only with the award but the omission of his inglorious role. At the time of DOMA many people denounced Clinton and the Congress for codifying what was seen as an act of open discrimination.

Clinton quickly adopted the mantra of many Democratic and Republican leaders who suddenly became aware of gay rights or had a personal change of heart just as polls showed that they could now support it.

I have become increasingly irritated by politicians who have cloaked themselves in principle in supporting gay marriage after years of opposition . . . after polls showed a majority of voters supporting it. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D., Mo.) waited until after an election when this issue was raised to change her position. She was showered with praise by those who failed to ask why she opposed gay rights for years on the issue.

It is particularly maddening to see leaders who explain that they just didn’t understand the issue until one of their kids revealed that they were gay. That is the case with Sen. Rob Portman (R. Ohio) who changed his position when his son revealed he is gay. Dick Cheney changed his public position on gay rights generally when his daughter came out. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful thing if civil rights were recognized even without having a personal stake or interest in the matter? It is hardly redeeming to say that “I really didn’t think of the denial of basic rights to other people until my son was included in the disenfranchised group.”

As for Clinton, he says that he really did not understand why DOMA was such a big deal or a bad idea until his daughter Chelsea explained it to him:

“She has had a profound impact in many ways on the way I see the world. It’s sort of humbling when you get to be my age when your child knows more than you do about everything….Chelsea and her gay friends and her wonderful husband have modeled to me how we should all treat each other regardless of our sexual orientation or any other artificial difference that divides us. Many of them come and join us every Thanksgiving for a meal. I have grown very attached to them. And over the years, I was forced to confront the fact that people who oppose equal rights for gays in the marriage sphere are basically acting out of concerns for their own identity, not out of respect for anyone else.”

This is one of the classic methods of politicians to avoid personal accountability in their prior actions. By citing to a father’s love for a child, the politician raises positive images to counter the image of their prior role of leading the mob against an insular minority. Did Chelsea really have to explain this to Clinton? In 1996, thousands of people were in Washington asking to explain it to him. He did not want to hear it because it was politically popular to be against the gays and lesbians on the issue. You should not have to “have grown very attached to them” to recognize equal rights. That sounds a lot like “some of my best friends are now gay.” The test of true principle … supporting rights that do not directly benefit or personally appeal to you. That is one test Clinton never tried to pass as president.

I have to agree with the naysayers at GLADD. I think the omission of this role by the organization in its award is hypocritical and wrong. I also do not believe Clinton deserves any award or acclaim for finally and belatedly doing the right thing — particularly after leading the effort to deny this right to millions.

What do you think?

Source: Raw Story

94 thoughts on “Not So Gladd: Clinton Heckled In Receiving Award For Opposing Law He Created In Denial Of Gay Rights

  1. It’s tiring to hear people constantly whine and compalin about voting for people they don’t like. There are more choices than just two parties, or one party for you idealogues. And, you can always write in. I know, I know, “I don’t want to waste my vote” Lame!

  2. Nick: What people mean, when they say they do not want to waste their vote, is that they aren’t ready to surrender the chance to win.

    It takes an acceptance of loss to purposely make a move you know is a losing move. It is a simultaneous surrender and protest. I would liken it to a terminal cancer patient committing suicide; they have accepted they cannot win, so now they will control what they still can.

    Personally I have given up on the idea that we can fix the national or state level problems by electing “the right people.” The occasional white hats we find, those that really do seem to strive to do the right thing by the people, are routinely overwhelmed by the schemers and cons milking the system for a personal fortune, and to stroke their own egomania and thirst for deference and “respect,” and to live pampered and protected like royalty immunized against nearly all law.

    I do vote, because my vote still matters on the city and local level, but beyond that, involvement is rather pointless. In my view, the sociopathic criminals have prevailed.

  3. Gene: Perhaps that should be the Czar of Sinister Sarcasm, and the Avatar of Alliterative Allusion.

    Darren: I am a big fan of Occam’s Razor, despite having cut myself with it more than once.

  4. It’s not like a terminal patient committing suicide, that’s a flawed analogy and myopic. It assumes there will be no future elections. If people vote their protest instead of having their duopoly mindset it can create a movement. Both the Dems and Rep. have so many drinking the “waste your vote” koolaid because they have a much bigger fear than losing to the other party. They fear OTHER parties emerging. No one has spoken more eloquently about this than Ralph Nader. And PLEASE, don’t rehash the 2000 Florida vote..that is sooo played! You’re not being logical, which is your “religion.” And, w/ the athesit poll, have you set up an exploratory website?

  5. Nick: Yes it is like that, as far as the mentality of acceptance of loss is concerned, which is the only element I was invoking. All analogies are flawed if you try to extend them to far, because all situations that are not identical are different at some level, that is the definition of “not identical,” and describing the exact situation would no longer be an analogy.

    It is not myopic, however. Your claim that people voting their protest vote will create a movement is about 99% fantasy and 1% reality, and 100% bad logic. You and I agreeing that neither party is worth voting for does not imply we agree who would be worthy of both of our votes.

    The Democrats and Republicans do not fear other parties emerging; either side would be happy to see the other side split into factions; a new Ross Perot or Nader candidate that splits the other party is a godsend. What they worry about most is their own party being split along some ideological lines; it is why the Republicans scrambled to embrace the Tea party, in order to infiltrate and neutralize them. Mostly successful, btw.

    As for me being logical, it is not a “religion,” I attribute no supernatural properties to logic. Logic is not a religion any more than a microscope is a religion, they are both just tools for producing greater clarity and getting at some objective truth.

    And I am being logical. Listening to Nader isn’t “logic,” in fact listening to anybody else is not “logic,” it is just agreeing with somebody else’s logic. Logic appeals to the self-evident rules of logic, it does not appeal to the authority of what somebody else said. Logic does not rely on any authority except your own innate sense of the implications of causal necessity.

    As for the protest votes, here is more logic: It seems to me the parties are 50/50, give or take a point. If a true party with a loyal following of 60% of voters could be carved out of the existing voters, then one of the two parties, with 50% already, would jump on that, they would modify their message and forever dominate the House, the Senate and White House.

    Because these two parties are demonstrably not really ideological; they both embrace whatever is expedient, as Obama’s continuation of Bush policies proves without question (to me). But they have not done that, and they won’t do that, because they can’t do that, because there is already only one party; the corporatist party. It dominates the House, the Senate, and wins the White House every election. We have a few fringe seats on either side, but the corporatist party sets the agenda, writes the laws, stages the phony debate, the phony concessions, the phony battles, and ultimately gets what they want.

    Logically I see no way for a third party to gain a foothold without being crushed; not in our lifetimes. Hyper-partisanship deadlock is very good for the corporate party, and very good for politicians. This pretense that there is a “battle for the soul of America” (which can be used by either side) is great for fund raising, and a great excuse for why nothing gets done (except for whatever is first approved by our corporate masters behind closed doors).

    Some evolutionary theory applies here; namely that the political niches are already occupied by other species, and that (usually) prevents new species from arising that would consume the same resources. The new species would have to compete against highly evolved, expert consumers. A transplanted species, evolved elsewhere, might succeed, but a new party on its own is pretty much doomed. Like the Tea Party, they lost control of their brand, got outspent on events, and the originators so badly fumbled the ball that the sociopathic operatives of the Republican Party (like Newt Gingrich), with millions behind them, just stomped the Tea Party in its crib.

    Nor is it only on that side. Did “Move On” become anything more than a fund raising organ for the Democratic Party? In my opinion, No.

  6. I don’t want to get into a lengthy and nasty debate. So, I’ll just make a few blunt points. To think the duopoly is hoping for other parties is naive, at best. If that were the case, why do they make it so difficult to have 3rd parties become part of the process? Why are debates almost always just the duopoly by the rules they dictate? Additional parties create uncertainty. With the duopoly you know your opponent, 3rd parties are wild cards.

    How did you come up w/ the quite specific 99% fantasy 1% reality stats? If I’m 100% illogical, you’re 100% bullshit on this. You don’t know the %’s, nor does ANYONE. You shot from the hip or talked out of your ass on that. I’ll let you choose.

    Where did I say listening to Nader was logical? I merely pointed out Nader, who has been a 3rd party candidate, speaking from REAL WORLD EXPERIENCE,NOT THEORY, saying the duopoly stacks the deck against third parties. This is not a revelation to anyone except possibly yourself.

    Finally, in the corporatists dept., they fear additional parties because that means more palms to grease. Corporations know in business, the least competition you have the easier it is. But your contention that the duopoly doesn’t understand that fundamental truth is well…let’s say curious, to be diplomatic.

  7. Nick: “Quite specific?” There is the fuzzy qualifier “about” in there, perhaps you should learn to read.

    The “duopoly” is not “hoping for other parties,” they are each hoping the other side gets SPLIT by another party. As the Republicans were split by Ross Perot, as the Democrats were split by Naderites. Whether permanent or temporary, any significant split of the OTHER party would give them a clear plurality in voting. Do you not understand that advantage? Are you arithmetically impaired?

    The corporatists do not fear other parties, they fear ideological purists whose palms won’t be greased. They fear ideological purists in the existing parties, in new parties, as independents, whatever. The corporatists do not want people that believe in public service, they want sociopaths like themselves that act exclusively in their own selfish interest. Because that means they can cut a check and get their way, and it will be far cheaper than paying their taxes, keeping their employees out of harm’s way, not endangering their customers or not polluting the planet.

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