December 23, 2007
Blade editor endorses Hillary
Posted by: Chris
It took me by surprise to see that Kevin Naff, the editor of the Washington Blade, had penned an editorial in this week's paper endorsing Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination. I know Kevin well, since I hired him on as the Blade's managing editor and worked closely with him for several years. He is smart, plugged in to politics and deeply committed on gay issues.
For all these reasons, I read his editorial with great interest to see where he thought Clinton was better on gay issues. Then I realized that he isn't saying that at all. In fact, he acknowledges the betrayal of gay rights in the administration of Bill Clinton, and the former president's role in 2004 advising John Kerry to back state constitutional amendments banning gay marriage. He even acknowledges that Barack Obama and John Edwards back full repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, while Hillary favors only half-repeal.
He could have added that Hillary has never said her husband shouldn't have signed DOMA. If she can't stand up to her husband on something so basic, will she do so when he (inevitably) advises her to our disadvantage as president? She also defended "Don't Ask, Don't Tell as a "necessary transition"; something longtime "FOB" David Mixner has called her out on:
Let us be very clear about this. Nothing could be further from the truth. This policy was never presented to the Congress, the LGBT community or to the press as a ‘transitional policy.’ The Clintons never indicated that they would revisit this policy nor did they for the rest of their Administration. They never ever brought it up again.
Despite all this, Naff endorses Hillary -- but for entirely different reasons. He argues that she is more experienced and better prepared to be president with the world so dangerous a place, and she is more likely to win the general election. He does tie that later point into gay rights, rightly pointing out that there is far more separating the two parties on gay issues than separates Clinton from Obama or Edwards.
I would disagree with Kevin on the experience issue, since Obama is no less experienced than Bill Clinton was in 1992, and Hillary Clinton's maddeningly cautious calibrations are unlikely to return the U.S. to a strong leadership position on the world stage. She also voted in favor of the Iraq war, a vote that was more about politics than anything -- which is deeply disturbing in and of itself.
As for electability, I said my piece yesterday, and I would add that nominating Hillary Clinton, or even electing her as president, only guarantees more of the divisive politics than have crippled this country for almost two decades. That may not be entirely her fault, but it's a reality nonetheless.
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