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    December 23, 2007

    Blade editor endorses Hillary

    Posted by: Chris

    Kevin_naff 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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    1. Kary on Dec 23, 2007 10:30:54 AM:

      Okay, I am sick of the assumption that it is OUR responsibility (progressives, democrats, etc) to "unite" the factions in this country. That's more of that lay-down-in-the-road crap that makes the Democratic party look like the wusses. Fuck that. It's time to take OVER the goddam country and screw the friggin republicans and rightwing Christians. They need to get in line and take a job application like everyone else. Unite, my ass! Who wants to be united with those assholes? And they HATE gay people, by the way. HELLO! And playing nice with them does NOT work, in case you haven't noticed.

    1. Andoni on Dec 23, 2007 10:57:46 AM:

      I think Kevin missed the boat on choosing the criteria to make an endorsement.

      The LGBT community absolutely cannot afford to have a Republican win in 08. With that said everything else is irrelevant. It doesn't matter who has the most experience, who supports repealing all of DOMA vs only Section 3. The name of the game is WINNING and I don't see how Hillary can win when she starts out with 49% negatives.

      The Blade editorial would have served the community better if it made the sole criterion WHO CAN WIN in 08. Everything else is irrelevant. The ivory tower subtleties between the candidates are meaningless. If we lose, we're dead! End of story.

    1. Citizen Crain on Dec 23, 2007 12:56:51 PM:

      It's partly a matter of editorial philosophy, Andoni. I think the most important role for a gay newspaper endorsement is to advise which candidates is best on gay issues. I agree with you and Kevin both that who is best poised to win in November is a key factor in making a choice, but I would make that point and then move on to the issues on which the gay press is the expert.

    1. Andoni on Dec 23, 2007 1:44:18 PM:

      At first, I was of the same opinion you are. A gay paper should advocate based on who has the best gay positions. Using those criteria, in my opinion that would be Kucinich, then Obama, Edwards, and Clinton in that order. If you add the pesky fact that you have to be realistic (national popularity as well as having the money to go the route), then it would be Obama, followed by Clinton, then Edwards and Richardson.

      I think the international experience Kevin sites as a reason for endorsing Hillary is definitely irrelevant for a gay paper to consider. However, after I started eliminating criteria, I figured that this election is so crucial that all criteria are irrelevant except....WHO CAN WIN.

      If the endorsement should be based solely on who is best on gay it issues, it would Kucinich, hands down. If you were the editor of the Blade would you have endorsed him?

      The question is how much practical reality should be put into the mix of endorsing? The minute you say Kucinich is unelectable, that is making electability more important than his great positions on gay issues. So where should we stop in considering electability? Half way? I would argue that the minute you inject electability to dismiss Kucinich, you've ruined the argument that a gay paper should endorse solely on which candidate is best on gay issues.

      If we don't get a gay friendly candidate this time, we are dead.

      That's why at the moment I boil it down to one and only one criterion and that is who can win in 08. At the moment the order looks like Obama, Edwards, with Hillary a "roll the dice" third.

    1. Double T on Dec 23, 2007 5:18:01 PM:

      I applaud Naff's independent thinking. I would have assumed everyone at the Blade would be in the ABC crowd.

      I totally don't understand how he came to his conclusion.

      Funny, at this point in the blog everyone is usually making some crack about lining up a job at the White House.

      Did I hear a pin drop?

    1. Kevin on Dec 23, 2007 10:55:28 PM:

      It's sad how little vision is left in the DC gay world. Our sights have been so lowered, and our cause so sold out, that this editorial by Naff is the culimination of it all. The ultimate deadening down of what we're supposed to hope and aspire to as gay people at this critical moment in history. Reading Naff's piece leaves one feeling that the presidency of the United States is just a glorified city council seat.

    1. The Gay Species on Dec 24, 2007 4:11:25 AM:

      First, few GLBT voters choose candidates based on a single factor. Just as our sexuality is diverse, so too are our political and social objectives, including different priorities.

      Second, choosing a chief executive should focus on (i) demonstrated competence, manifesting (ii) sound judgments. Most presidents confront issues which never hit the radar screen during the campaign.

      Third, on the two principal criteria, I assert Hilary is a failure. HilaryCare fiasco, standing by her man, supporting an immoral and unjust Invasion and Occupation -- until voter tides required her to do otherwise -- reflects a timid character, carefully scripted pablum, parceling out "special interest" favor (for which her husband's presidency was infamous), rather than exercising sound judgment, discretion of character, and effect the public will and common consensus.

      The chances of her being elected are the slimmest among the Democrats, and should she prevail, Republicans will continue to thwart the Democrats' special-interest through the undemocratic Senate and its undemocratic rule called the "filibuster." With 45% of the public consistently insisting it could never vote for Hilary, that does not leave much room for success in achieving any major policy objectives, assuming she has some, and intends to keep them.

    1. Double T on Dec 24, 2007 12:04:25 PM:

      Gay Spec,
      "her being elected are the slimmest" please, she has a real shot at this.

      I do fear that if elected, nothing will get done.

      I believe the country will become even more polarized. And the Republicans will begin a game entitled, "Whose going to take down Hillary". Endless investigations, subcommittees, on and on.

      No real problem would be addressed.

    1. Geena The Transgirl on Dec 24, 2007 8:39:05 PM:

      The Wash Blade endorsement shows an increasing problem for gay publications. Uniform positions by candidates leave endorsers grasping for issues to sway their views on candidate and party.

      If Wash Blade, New Hampshire Freedom to Marry, and gay publications are going to start endorsing candidates on economic populist viewpoints, a perception of the "dollar in a free-fall", then give us editorials on trade policy, fiscal policy, Iranian nukes, Taiwan vs China, and of course ENDA, DOMA.

      Andrew Sullivan is one commentator who goes wide and global in his issues. It's built him respect and weight as a political commentator.
      The GLBT blogs have offered more commentary on issues than the GLBT publications. The Blade and other GLBT papers should give us some true think tank perspective on issues beyond "Don't Ask, Don't Tell".

      The New York Observer, New Republic, Slate, Salon, they're leaving behind the Blade and others in their political influence.

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Dec 26, 2007 12:37:43 PM:

      If we don't get a gay friendly candidate this time, we are dead.

      What tripe.

      The fact that you're writing this now indicates that you're quite alive.

      Quite honestly, gays and lesbians were screaming the same thing during the 2000 campaign -- remember the "Republicans want to put gays in concentration camps" statements -- and nothing has happened.

      Meanwhile, all that did happen was that, as Democrats figured out gays were so pathetically desperate and easy that they'd give tens of millions of dollars to even FMA and state constitutional amendment supporters who bragged that they had the "same position" as the Republicans gays allegedly thought were out to kill them....Democrats headed off in that direction to get votes, just like they had done throughout the 1990s.

      And frankly, endorsements by Freedom to Marry and whatnot just make it clear that homosexuality is not a sexual orientation; it's a political position, and all gays are anti-corporate pro-abortion leftists, which should neatly begin the process of alienating the OTHER half of the country that hasn't already been.

    1. JDDC on Dec 27, 2007 8:37:22 PM:

      Obama no less experienced than Bill Clinton? Wasn't Bill a governor (i.e. Chief Executive) and Obama a relatively junior senator? If we're electing a Chief Executive for the US, I'd go with BC over BO on that one.

    1. Monster Beats Sale on Nov 26, 2011 3:21:23 AM:

      Chief Executive for the US, I'd go with BC over BO on that one

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