Thursday, March 22, 2007

Hey, Hillary. Remind me why I'm supposed to go to the mat for you again

when you sound this tepid (at best) about a good chunk of your base. Via Waiting for Dorothy, Hillary

sidestepped a question about whether she thinks homosexuality is immoral Wednesday, less than two weeks after telling gay-rights activists she was "proud" to stand by their side.

Clinton was asked the question by ABC News, in the wake of Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Peter Pace's controversial comment that he believed homosexual acts were immoral.

"Well, I'm going to leave that to others to conclude," she said.

...Clinton's spokesman, Philippe Reins, said the New York senator "obviously" disagrees with Pace and that everyone, including the general, "has the right to be wrong, but should not inject their personal beliefs into public policy."

Then Wednesday night, the campaign released a statement from the senator herself, saying, "I disagree with what he said and do not share his view, plain and simple."

"It is inappropriate to inject such personal views into this public policy matter, especially at a time in which there are young men and women in such grave circumstances in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and around the world," Clinton said.

However, it's her initial refusal to answer the question that did not sit well with some gay and lesbian activists.

"I assume that Senator Clinton -- who has spoken out strongly against military discrimination, who stands for civil unions and respect for same-sex couples -- understands that gay Americans are not immoral, and she ought to say so clearly," said Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry, a group that advocates same-sex marriage.

Other public figures have been more forceful in taking issue with Pace's comments, making Clinton's non-answer even more problematic.

Sen. John Warner, a conservative Republican from Virginia, said, "I respectfully, but strongly, disagree with the chairman's view that homosexuality is immoral."

John Edwards, one of Clinton's rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, said, "I don't share that view," when asked about Pace's comments.

She was warmly received by the Human Rights Champagne Campaign a coupla weeks ago; she's for domestic partnership (presumably this leaves DOMA safe) and gay adoption rights, is for repealing her husband's don't ask don't tell thingie ("oops. our bad."), and thinks it's just adorable that she shares their initials.

Meanwhile, here I am liking a conservative Republican from Virginia (at least without knowing anything else about him) better than the leading Democratic candidate for President.

Okay, Hillary. You get exactly as much enthusiasm and faith from me as you've given me and mine, how about that?

It's going to be a long two years, that's all I know.

x-posted at Big Queer Blog


Eli said...

Wow, way to take a stand, Hill.

It doesn't even make political sense - if she's advocating for gay rights *at all*, then she's already alienated the homophobe vote. Suggesting that she might not really mean it isn't going to help, and just reinforces the Republican meme that Democrats in general, and Hillary in particular, are panderers with no real beliefs.

Rootietoot said...

"should not inject their personal beliefs into public policy."

"It is inappropriate to inject such personal views into this public policy matter, especially at a time in which there are young men and women in such grave circumstances in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and around the world,"

I'm not surprised by anything she says.
Does that include her personal beliefs? How does one keep what one believes to be right and true out of their public policy? How do you seperate what you believe from how you behave?

ballgame said...

Meanwhile, here I am liking a conservative Republican from Virginia (at least without knowing anything else about him) better than the leading Democratic candidate for President.

OK, now that's just nuts ... unless of course you mean "liking" in the sense of "I'd talk to that guy at a party and not to Hillary, although of course I'm politically aware enough about the importance of the massive Republican-led redistribution of wealth upwards, and the Repub onslaught against the Constitution, and the criminal Repub indifference to the environment and global warming, and a half dozen other issues, that of course I'd never actually pull a lever for him over Hillary."

So if that' what you're referring to, sure, but otherwise ... WTF?

belledame222 said...

I mean, "respect for saying something I more would've liked to have heard from HRC than I actually did, in this instance." no more no less.

cicely said...

...and just reinforces the Republican meme that Democrats in general, and Hillary in particular, are panderers with no real beliefs.

Is there a corresponding Democrat meme? I read the latest Time magazine article 'How America's Right Went Wrong' today. Republican Romney - quote - 'has taken a whisk broom to his record in liberal Masachusetts, where he twice ran for statewide office as a pro-choice candidate dedicated to 'full equality for America's gay and lesbian citizens.' He now says he opposes Roe v Wade and describes himself as 'a champion of traditional marriage'. In Massachusetts, he bucked the National Rifle Association by supporting the Brady Bill and an assault weapons ban, boasting, 'I don't line up with the NRA.' Lately he brags that he has joined the gun rights organization as a life member. He did that in August.'

There's a bit in the article also about how 'McCain seems to have become much of what he used to fight against.'

Now your resident Nordic - Nordo (?) -phile -(excepting Sweden's legislation on sex work...) would like to share a contrasting picture.

Finland (where they rejected the Swedish approach to sex work, but do prosecute men who purchase sexual services from coerced sex workers) is awaiting the final results of yesterdays election. It seems that the outcome could lead to a centre-right coalition government, which would put the Social Democrats in opposition for the first time since 1995. But wait. Quoting an article in The Australian this morning...

'However, a possible change in government was not expected to yield major changes in the country of 5.3 million that is one of Europe's most homogenous societies.
There is broad agreement among the major parties on most policies, including on maintaining Finland's neutrality and its welfare system financed by high taxes.'

The country's President, a single mother when she was voted into office, and an ex-leader of a national LGBT advocacy organisation, will soon be formally naming a new cabinet. I know - I do go on - I just can't help myself...

I have to say that from where I sit US society appears to be so deeply and so bitterly divided on so many issues that the need to pander to voting blocs in order to win office is paramount - after the need to do so to raise money to run in the first place. That NY phrase 'whaddya gonna do?' seems horribly appropriate.

Eli said...

Is there a corresponding Democrat meme?

It is, or should be, that Republicans are corrupt, unethical criminals who view the government as their own personal piggy bank and billy club. (Adding, oh by the way, that they *only* want to shrink the parts of government that don't benefit them personally - millionaires have no need for a safety net)

R. Mildred said...

So if that' what you're referring to, sure, but otherwise ... WTF?

there appear to be more pro-choice, pro-SSM, anti-war repug politicians who aren't afraid to take a stand against their party's official policy, than there are democratic politicians who show similar qualities, and who appear to have graduated on a "throwing minorities under the bus" sports scholarship.

The republicans therefore are a more viable opposition to the republicans, than the democrats.

Which is broken and not shiney at all.

However, the dems have VERY DRY POWDER, and why do you hate catholics?

Anonymous said...

I wanted to say just what rootietoot did, except I don't give the benefit of a question mark. Although I am baffled by the practical problem of defining policies, when anything that is thought by any individual is off-limits. Computer generated policy, I suppose. Except, now that I've said it, I guess we can't do it.

Chuckie K said...

I accidentally hit enter, because I am a keyboard fumbleklutz. That is NOT anonymous, that is Chuckie K

ballgame said...

The republicans therefore are a more viable opposition to the republicans, than the democrats.

Really? We are talking about the AMERICAN Republican party, right? The one where everything it touches turns into a total clusterfuck? The one where 'independent' 'moderate' Republicans like Arlen Specter and Olympia Snowe like to talk a good game in front of the cameras, then turn around and meekly submit to the most misguided, stupid, extremist, and unAmerican president in our history when it really matters?

THOSE are the types of people you think are 'viable opposition' candidates?

You can't be fucking serious.

R. Mildred said...

THOSE are the types of people you think are 'viable opposition' candidates?

Can you provide anyone better than republicans who disagree with major republican positions, who better disagree with republican positions and who happens to be allowed onto the ballot?

The trick I'm using is that I said "viable", and I said "opposition", both words which, now matter how you measure the dems, do not apply to dems who do not actually oppose anything but float like jellyfish upon waves made by the republicans.

By this same principle however, a horse with no legs but who is very good at rollign from place to place, is better than an unconcious horse, if you're gonna pit them against each other in a race.

Arguements against how the legless horse moves from place to, or which are critiques of the fact that a horse that rolls from place to place looks silly and crushes many an aneasthetised vole that happens to be caught in its ponderous path, is moot if the problem is that the other horse doesn't move at all by any means what so ever.

Repugs who oppose repugs > than dems who do not, if the criteria by which we are judging certain politicians' ability to oppose thing, is on whether or not they actually oppose things put forth by the evil and villanous republican party.

Carpenter said...

What does Obama say?
I am sick of dems being affraid to stand up. I dont even think the data supposrt the idea that homosexuality works well as a wedge issue. Statesthat voted to ban gay marriage didn't have any more likelyhood to elect conservatives over liberals to state or national office. But even if they did.....Goddamn.
At least Pelosi hasn't backed down.

ballgame said...

Repugs who oppose repugs

Oh ... yeah ... unicorns ... and tooth fairies ... Santa Claus

On the national electoral level, there are good Democrats (Edwards, Feingold, the late Wellstone), and middlin' Democrats (Gore, Obama, Clinton I & II), and bad Democrats (Lieberman, arguably Clinton I goes here for NAFTA and welfare 'reform') ...but there are no good Republicans.

You can't pay attention to what they say, you have to pay attention to what they do. And when push came to shove, when the country needed them most, they demonstrated beyond a shred of a doubt that the congressional Republican Party is an organization stuffed to the gills with imbeciles, bigots, mediocrities, corporate whores*, and toadies — if not outright felons — with nary a vertebrate to be found amongst them.

Who didn't roll over, r.mildred? Which Republican actually stood up to Bush — in actions, not words — when it really counted?

Even the worst Democrat (Lieberman) nonetheless has enabled America to start prying the lid off the coffin housing the rotted corpse that is this administration's criminal legacy. Are you saying there's actually a Republican out there who would conference with the Democrats to enable them to issue the subpoenas that are essential to do this? You can't possibly believe that.

If you want to argue Green instead of Democrat, well there you'd score a lot of points. But it's inexcusable that anyone with a brain and an internet connection would still believe in the concept of a 'Republican opposition'.

* No offense intended towards the integrity of actual sex workers.

R. Mildred said...

Oh ... yeah ... unicorns ... and tooth fairies ... Santa Claus

...wyoming republicans...

That. Is. What. Belle. Was. Refferring. To. And. What. I. Was. Referring. To.

Not. Theoretical. "good" Republicans. Actual. Republicans. Who. Took. An. Actual. Stand. Against. Homophobic. Politics. Unlike. Hillary.

Do. You. Understand. Now?

hedonistic pleasureseeker said...

Wow, Hillary, you're such a . . . politician. Sigh.

(HPS spits, goes to the kitchen to rinse out her mouth with a martini)

ballgame said...

I. Asked. About. National. Congressional. Republicans. Who. Stood. Up. To. Bush.

I think it's great that some state-level Republicans in the one of the tiniest (pop.) states in the country publically espouse liberal/libertarian philosophies that recognize gays as equals.

Would you like to make a wager on the likelihood of their ascending to national prominence in the Republican Party in the next decade? I'll give you odds.

I'm not happy that Hillary is being calculating (possibly miscalculating) in her approach to gay rights. I only know that the nation's prospects — including the prospects of the LGBT community — will be vastly better with her at the helm than any of the declared Republican candidates. And I don't understand anyone who claims to be a progressive who thinks otherwise.

Eli said...

I'm with BG on this one. The Democrats disappoint me in a lot of ways, but at least within the Senate, there usually seems to be a core of about 20-25 votes against whatever reprehensible bill or nominee the Bushites put up. On the Republican side, it's usually somewhere between zero and one.

The Democrats have a long, long way to go before they are truly a 100% oppositional, people-centric party, but it's at least something I can *picture*, and some of them are mostly there already.

JackGoff said...

I only know that the nation's prospects — including the prospects of the LGBT community — will be vastly better with her at the helm than any of the declared Republican candidates.

Really? And what dynamic stand that Hillary has taken on LGBT rights are you using as evidence? I've only seen lying and misdirection, followed by vague assertions that she cares, really cares! It's like she's either getting advice from the same schmuck as her husband did, or she is actually incapable of taking a stand on this issue that isn't about a "let's just wait and see what'll garner more votes" method.

Eli said...

I'll go out on a limb and say Hillary will be better on LGBT rights than any of the Republican, but I won't say vastly so.

Ambivalent or indifferent is still better than actively hostile.

Anthony Kennerson said...

Sorry, BG, but I'm with Belle and R Mildred on this one....yes, the Repubs for the most part are nothing less than fascist shysters and crooks and homophobes; but that doesn't excuse Hillary and her (and her Democrat allies') constant crawfishing and backpedalling on such an important issue as basic human decency.

After all, the Repubs would not have gotten even halfway through their reign of terror and error were it not for the enablement of Democrats like Hillary (and hubby Bubba) who have basically sold progressive values down the river for the almighty dollar and the war economy. Take it from a resident of a state (Louisiana) where the most "progressive" Democrat is closer to neo-Republican Joe Lieberman than to even the average "moderate" Democrat.

"No good Republicans"?? Well, there's Chuck Hagel, who has gone further in opposing war in principle than any Democrat to the right of John Conyers has ever gone...and then there's Ahhnold the Gropenator, who single handedly handed Rush Limbaugh his head on a platter, which is more than I can say for many Democrats who simply duck and cover at the first sign of a Karl Rove attack ad.

Yeah, the Repubs are quite bad....but until the Dems get a brain, a spine and a heart transplant and actively act like an opposition party; they won't prove to me to be anything that much better. Between Hillary and St. John McPanderingCain...I'll cast my vote for Cynthia McKinney.


Anthony Kennerson said...

Eli: Ambivalent or indifferent is still better than actively hostile.

Not when you are for full equality, it's not.

And not when the only choice is to be stuck in an endless loop between "openly hostile" and "ambivalent or indifferent".

To quote Urvasi Vaid: Why settle for what you get when, if you really, really try, you can get what you truly want??

I say, dump the Democrats and build a real opposition party that stands for something...and play to win for once rather than not to lose. Lesser evil candidates only make the ensuing evil that much why not fight for good for a change??


cicely said...

I say, dump the Democrats and build a real opposition party that stands for something...and play to win for once rather than not to lose. Lesser evil candidates only make the ensuing evil that much why not fight for good for a change??

This sounds great, anthony, but aren't you in the same godawful position as in any democratic country where there's just two big parties with any hope of winning government? Can independents play any powerful role in the US government - or do you have any kind of proportional representation where say a social democrat, pro-choice, pro human and civil rights for everyone party could win some positions in govt. on a percentage of votes and have any 'balance of power' leverage?

In the absence of such things - there's no alternative to the Dems is there? If I was over there I guess I'd feel I couldn't afford not to vote for them and hope for the best when they're actually in power. There's certainly no way on anybodies earth I could vote Republican - even if my local candidate was unambiguously pro my human rights. I'd be really interested to know what alternative parties to the Republicans and Democrats actually do in the system at the moment to get their views represented. Probably an entirely different conversation though.

Eli said...

If we can't get government in the hands of someone who will steer us away from the cliff, we should at least vote in someone who will lighten up on the accelerator...

That being said, Hillary is still my dead last choice among even remotely serious Democratic contenders, and it's not because of electability.

ballgame said...

I don't have a lot of time this morning, AK, but I invite everyone to give Chuck "Mr. Big Bidness" Hagel's policy positions a real close look before they start thinking of him as a wonderful alternative to Hillary Clinton. Anti-abortion, cut environmental program funding, drill in ANWAR, eliminate the inheritance tax, build more prisons and throw more drug offenders in there, support NAFTA & GATT & GTO and trade w/countries regardless of their human rights records.

Oh, and vote with big business lobbies almost all the time.

And that's a "good" Republican.

midwesterntransport said...

on a completely different note: belle, your post labels are genius.

"Fuck YOU, motherfucker."

Ha! Love it.

Eli said...

BG, any love or respect I might have had for Hagel went out the window when he voted to *eliminate* the minimum wage.

Wasn't he one of only two senators to vote against repeal of the Specter provision in the PATRIOT Act that allows Gonzo to make indefinite "interim" appointments of US Attorneys?

DAV said...

She's trying to please everyone all at once.

Adorable Girlfriend said...

I would like to suggest something here, and it's only me thinking out loud: Could she have been trying to act like Bill with the 'Don't ask, Don't tell' plan. It might just be that she doesn't want the election to be about gay rights. Not that they aren't important or that she wouldn't support them, but look what happened in 2004.

Voters are clearly stupid! She might be trying to address that stupidity and getting into gay quarrels with others is not the way to reach out to the stupid voter types.

I don't know. I am just trying to think of some other plausible reasons why she might have said what she said.

Eli said...

getting into gay quarrels

I read this as "letting in gay squirrels".


Sorry. Pretend I'm not here.

CrackerLilo said...

She's as much a friend of LGBTs as she is a Yankees fan. That woman just irritates me crazy. She wasn't getting my vote before, anyway.

j said...

as far as i'm concerned if you're in politics and you're not interested in actively campaigning for FULL LEGAL EQUALITY for LGBT people, you're no ally, you're a roadbloack.

just because she's not overtly like a lot of the right-wingers, doesn't mean that she should be trusted.

belledame222 said...

well, see, this is my problem, AG nailed it, I think: in fact, voters are NOT stupid, at least i know -i'm- not. and i am ready to at least start with the assumption that my fellow voters have working brains and hearts, most of 'em anyway. because I'm looking at the results of what happens when politicians do NOT make that assumption, from the ruling Repubs to blatherskites like Hillary, and you know what? I don't like it. And I don't like her.

Yeah, of course on average the Democrats have had a better record than the Repubs. Of course I'd rather have Hillary, all other things being equal (which they very well may not be, btw) than any of the leading R's in the White House.

But it's early days, the primaries haven't even happened yet, and godDAM but if that woman doesn't need a boot in the rear. I am SICK of being taken for granted. Fuck that shit. And fuck her. I care about -me- and -mine-; i do not give a flying rat's ass about her personal ambitions or any other politician's. And it's about goddam time more of them started hearing that. They have a job to do. A deadly serious one. It isn't a fucking prom king/queen contest.

And no, I do not agree with Anthony that starting an entire new party from scratch is a really feasible idea right now, given the current system. But the top level D's and their sycophants need a serious smackdown -from their constituents.-

They do NOT need to simply lose to the R's; they're -really good at that,- and the only response they ever seem to have is to lean more to the right.

What they need--

Well personally I'm still really fond of my idea of a 'nad-O-gram, like a singing telegram except instead of a song, when they open the door the messenger kicks 'em in the nads, drops a cheery succinct note explaining "why" and who from on their writhing body, and departs. (We can improvise for Hillary).

Short of that--well, I'm open to suggestions.

belledame222 said...

And it's going to be "about gay rights" whether or not Hillary wants them to be, so she may as well drop the coy shit and spell it out right now. Know why? Because we make a TERRIFIC scapegoat. And frankly if it weren't marriage it'd be something else. Remember "special rights?" Yeah, that.

There are people who don't want us to EXIST. THESE are the people that are being pandered to by anything other than,

"Know what, they're citizens too, this is America, I support their full right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness,"

and frankly one would do a lot better at setting the agenda if instead of "I don't support their inhaling," something like the above followed by,

"now who wants to talk about the economy? Tell me o angry citizen, if gay marriage is outlawed, does this make your life any better? Is this really what you want to talk about? How's your bank account? How's your health insurance? Got a job? Got finanical security? How's the climate been where you live? Have any kids in Iraq? Of age to go? Huh, imagine that, there are ALL THESE PROBLEMS and all my opponent wants to do is talk about whether a couple of dudes get married. Which means that actually, my opponent -doesn't care about you.- Just hopes he can get enough people distracted and mad enough they won't notice how bad they've fucked up this country."

belledame222 said...

and, welcome, j.

ballgame said...

in fact, voters are NOT stupid, at least i know -i'm- not. and i am ready to at least start with the assumption that my fellow voters have working brains and hearts, most of 'em anyway.

Here's the problem: according to this month's poll numbers, somewhere between 30% and 40% STILL think Bush is doing a good job. MY GOD, WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?! WHAT ELSE DOES THE MAN HAVE TO DO?!?!? Lying the country into an expensive, futile, criminal, and utterly counterproductive war; gross fiscal negligence; spectacular incompetence in the face of national and planetary emergencies; alienating our allies; mind-boggling fiscal irresponsibility; violating the Geneva Convention; disregarding core assumptions about our civil liberties that have been sacrosanct for hundreds of years; what, they just didn't notice these things?

I find it hard not to conclude that vast numbers of Americans are stupid ... maybe not intellectually slow as much as they're functionally stupid ... disinclined to re-evaluate long-held opinions, or brainwashed by the corporate media, or short-sighted and wealthy, wev.

And I don't like her.

See, I just don't get the 'hate Hillary' movement AT ALL. Prefer Edwards, or Obama, or Kucinich, or Nader? Sure, make a case. I'm inclined to go with Edwards myself.

But you know something? Prompted by this blog post, I did some digging. These are Hillary's voting scores as given by the indicated organization, with Edwards's scores in parentheses. These are the latest scores for each person from that particular organization (and not for the same year). I picked orgs that I recognized and thought were important:

ACLU: 83 (60)
Public Citizen's Congress Watch: 76 (45)
NAACP: 95 (94)
Human Rights Campaign: 88 (100)
League of Latin American Citizens: 100 (na)
Christian Coalition: 0 (0)
NEA: 100 (83)
Nat'l PTA: 93 (na)
Def's of Wildlife Action Fund: 100 (na)
SEIU (union): 94 (na)
US Public Interest Research Group: 91 (81)
Friends Committee on National Legislation: 92 (50)
NOW: 100 (na)
Americans for Democratic Action: 100 (65)
National Journal Composite Liberal Score*: 80 (95)

"na" means I didn't notice a corresponding score for Edwards.

* means the National Journal considers Hillary to be more liberal than 80% of the Senate.

Now these scores aren't definitive — in isolated cases they went markedly up or down compared to previous years — but they accurately convey the fact that Hillary Clinton is one of the most liberal senators we have (and a lot more liberal than I realized). Like it or not, she may end up being the Democratic nominee in Nov. 08, and the only thing standing in the way of the Rethuglicans getting their 'fifth Beatle' on the Supreme Court. (That 'fifth Beatle' could have devastating consequences for all of us.)

Pissing on her now (as opposed to praising an alternative) just seems like a monumentally self-destructive thing for a progressive to do.

belledame222 said...

shrug. I'm tired of the numbers game, too. people "believe" all kinds of shit. they aren't reducible to how they answer on a poll, actually. and if that's how you (a professional politician) see people, then by God that's exactly what you're gonna get.

as for who they are--for all you know some of 'em are posting right here on this blog.

as far as "pissing on her"--you know what, right now I really feel like I'm returning the favor, cause you know? it's PERSONAL.

belledame222 said...

and yeah, the Supreme Court. well, we've still got a good year and a half left with this guy, and oh yeah, I remember making pretty much all these arguments up till and leading into '04.

i'm just really. really. tired.

you want praise for an alternative? when one of 'em starts exciting me enough to praise 'em, I'll praise 'em.

they have their machine. It works well enough for their purposes. I'm not feeding it any more; it's reached its limits as far as I'm concerned. Another way.

belledame222 said...

and once again, I have not said I won't vote for her if she becomes the nominee. I just don't see any reason to treat it as a foregone conclusion that she IS the nominee. yet.

and primaries really isn't the season for "if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all," if you've noticed. i am not holding myself to higher standards than her competitors for fuckssake. and hello, this is certainly the sort of thing that -could- be taken as CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM, if there were the slightest -fucking- chance that she'd/they'd pay any goddam attention.

Anonymous said...