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Bill Clinton and Students in Spirited Exchange on DOMA

Lily Lamboy of the Smith College newspaper The Sophian recently questioned Bill Clinton about the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) at an MTVu roundtable. Clinton defended his record on gay issues and accused Melissa Etheridge of "rewriting history" when she said, during the Presidential Forum on LGBT Issues, that gays were "thrown under the bus" by his administration.

(Via Visible Vote)

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  1. Oh Bill You have become such a Turd.

    Posted by: ZWbush | Mar 24, 2008 5:40:33 PM

  2. As much as I loathed Melissa Ethridge in the GLBT presidential forum last summer and found her to make everything about her, I do think she has a point when taking issues with the Clintons.

    I was a strong Hilary supporter as few as 2 1/2 months ago. But honestly, the more I hear her and the more that I hear Bill speak the more turned off I am.

    I will not HOWEVER refuse to vote for her should she garner the nomination. As I do feel that she or Obama is 1000% better than McCain. This in-fighting amongst democrats is unbelievable to me. You rather have 4 more years of the same? Because if you don't vote which a new poll out today is suggesting will happen, then we unfortunately will get what we deserve.

    Posted by: Jim | Mar 24, 2008 5:44:33 PM

  3. That is exactly why I support the Clintons. It might be unsavoury, but it gets the job done.

    Posted by: Landis | Mar 24, 2008 5:45:13 PM

  4. Does it really get the job done, Landis? Clinton's campaign has been one of the biggest clusterfucks in recent memory.

    Posted by: Dan | Mar 24, 2008 5:54:37 PM

  5. Clinton's pragmatic approach may not please everyone, but he's correct that the end result is more chance for gay folks to get married and less opportunity for bigots to get traction on a discriminatory federal constitutional amendment.

    Without DOMA, gay marriage would have been banned nation-wide in 2003 or 2004, after folks got married in MA and then went back to their home states where the wingnuts would have had absolute meltdowns. I am sure that amendment would have been enacted and ratified at record speed.

    This is just like Barney Frank's exclusion of transgender from the revised ENDA legislation. No activists are happy about that either, but in the real world, polical progress is often made through compromises and incremenal improvement.

    Posted by: DC Guy | Mar 24, 2008 5:57:25 PM

  6. DOMA does much more than Mr. Clinton will admit:

    DOMA forbids the federal government from recognizing any gay marriage, even if it is recognized in a state. Therefore, as we saw in an article last week, a gay couple legally married will be denied the ability to file join tax returns, denied the ability to enjoy any of the usual spousal benefits of married couples, and be unable to enjoy any of the other benefits provided for by the federal government.

    He made it clear how he operates. He is not interested in taking firm, groundbreaking stands. He only prefers what is "pragmatic." Imagine if the same attitude were taken regarding race in the 60s. We would still have segregated schools in some places, but not in others. The Clinton are scumwads.

    Posted by: joe | Mar 24, 2008 6:01:34 PM

  7. Hmmm, Bill takes her to school on how things really get done. Fun times. Next time she should interview the Reverend Wright on the pummeling Barack Obama will get from the Black evangelical community if he tries to push through gay legislation of any type.

    Posted by: OzoneDude | Mar 24, 2008 6:09:36 PM

  8. In 2000 I moved to Washington D.C from Los Angeles to work for the Campaign for Military Service (CMS). For six months, CMS worked to assist the White House with the transistion to full inclusion of gays and lesbians in the US Armed Forces.

    I distincty remember the entire staff being completely blindsided by Pres. Clinton's capitulation Sen Sam Nunn, et. al.

    Pres. CLinton is the one trying to re-write history.

    Posted by: Jeff M. | Mar 24, 2008 6:13:34 PM

  9. The wisdom of Bill Clinton.

    Voting for Obama is rolling the dice.

    Obama's opposition to the war is a fairy tale.

    Hillary and McCain are the two candidates who love the country.

    Obama is just like Jesse Jackson.

    I did not have sex with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky.

    Mmm, tastes good.

    DOMA is actually progress.

    Posted by: Shame | Mar 24, 2008 6:19:30 PM

  10. Joe:

    I'd refer you back to wikipedia to see that there were no 'firm, groundbreaking stands' in the civil rights movement of the 60's:

    The Civil Rights Act of 1964, banned discrimination in employment practices and public accommodations; the Voting Rights Act of 1965, that restored and protected voting rights; and the Civil Rights Act of 1968, that banned discrimination in the sale or rental of housing.

    It took smaller, 'pragmatic', dare I say Clintonian steps to get this country towards racial equality.

    Posted by: dc8stretch | Mar 24, 2008 6:21:42 PM

  11. "Clinton's campaign has been one of the biggest clusterfucks in recent memory."

    ROFL!! That's a good one, Dan. As I see it, the Obama campaign is the biggest clusterfuck if there ever was one. There's nothing grand or outstanding with the guy -- sure he's smart and a good orator -- but he's got everyone hooked by just a couple of words and an enormous lot of promises. I just don't see it.

    That slimeball Bill Richardson is proof of the Obama clusterfuck -- a total hypocrite who ran on experience and the importance of strong foreign policy and leadership. Obama has none of those. I'm tempted to tread into the region of loyalty and friendship, but I'll give it a pass for now.

    Posted by: Marc | Mar 24, 2008 6:28:32 PM

  12. Ah, so sending the Army in to make sure a school was desegregated was not a firm, groundbreaking stand for what was right???

    Posted by: Joe | Mar 24, 2008 6:31:24 PM

  13. For those not yet trying to breathe with their heads up Obama's ass, per Joe, he must be a "scumwad," too, because his position on granting federal benefits to gay couples [and, unfortunately, continuted limitations at the state level] is the same as Sen. Clinton's.

    Joe Sweetie, if you actually KNEW ANYTHING about the long road to the 1964 and 65 Civil Rights Act you would know that there were innumerable compromises along the way that were agreed to by black civil rights leaders at the time from MLK, Jr., forward and backward.

    Dan, that Clinton clusterfuck campaign that you refer to has managed to repeatedly slow the canonization of St. Barack of Chicago. Mr. Messiah has been unable to "close the deal" despite his huge financial advantage and an endless forest of mainstream media legs in the air. Some 14 million voters so far have not deepthroated the Barackberry Kool AID despite that clusterfuck campaign. Yes, he will probably still get the nomination but one has to give credit where credit is due and, even if she loses, the greater credit goes to the person who was running against not just her announced opponents by the demonization by association with her husband, and the millions of dollars that were spent 15 years ago to crucify them both.

    Hillary = mudsplattered pants suit.
    Obama = empty suit.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Mar 24, 2008 6:32:46 PM

  14. Clinton at his disingenuous best. This is why Hillary gives me chills and I cannot support them now.

    First, I am for being practical, but the fact is DOMA DOES NOT take the issue of recognition off the table for other states. The Constitution-- not congressional legislation-- is the supreme law of the land. DOMA, like any federal law, can be declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. All you need is one state where gay's can get "married" where that marriage is on EXACTLY the same terms as straight marriage. Once that happens, someone will go to another state and try to have their relationship recognized on the same basis as a straight couples. The courts will then have to weigh in and try to explain why straight marriage should be treated differently.

    Second, Clinton's argument is the same argument that would have been made by those who said that African Americans should accept the legality of separate but equal because it's better than Jim Crow or slavery. I mean, wasn't segregation progress?

    Give me a break.

    Sometimes you fight the battle. You make the tough arguments. Sometimes you do lose, but having the dialogue is how you begin to forge a new political consensus. It is only through that dialogue that you change minds. Clinton ran from that battle in 1996.

    Third, DOMA and the ENDA aren't exactly analogous. In the case of DOMA, gays actually lost something. A new federal law was put ON THE BOOKS which basically says that states don't have to recognize the marriages in other states. The common legal view was that full faith and credit clause of the Constitution would require other states to recognize a legal gay marriage in another state. Constitutional issues not withstanding, you never want to be in the position of having to repeal a federal law. Conversely, ENDA is not law. Period. Gays, Lesbians, and Transpeople still lack federal antidiscrimination protection. ENDA was kind of a symbolic, let's see who will go on record vote.

    Bottom line. Clinton deserves to be called out for this. If I were him, I'd have just said: "You're right. DOMA sucked. Wish we could have done better." Instead, he responds with bluster and b.s.

    So sad.

    Posted by: Brandon | Mar 24, 2008 6:32:53 PM

  15. Oh, Bill -- once such a stalwart, if flawed, politician. Now, just another parrot whose only tune is "Rewriting history! BWAAAWWWK!!!!!" Hey, if the tune works on Obama, it'll work on some celebrity like Melissa Etheridge, right?

    Oh, and while we're speaking of "clusterfucks" -- Bill Clinton invented the term around almost exactly 10 years ago.

    Posted by: Frank L | Mar 24, 2008 6:36:13 PM

  16. He's asking people to believe that he signed DOMA in 1996 to stave off a republican proposal in 2004, eight years later !!! By that timetable and with those pragmatics we'll have equality when exactly ? I think Bill is the one re-writing history.

    Posted by: aidanc | Mar 24, 2008 6:37:10 PM

  17. Wow, you people are insane!

    Bill Clinton banning federal gay marriage is pragmatic and wise. But Obama saying that we need to stop using gay marriage as a wedge issue is throwing the gays under the bus.

    Only one candidate plans to fully repeal DOMA. Obama is essentially opening the way for country-wide gay marriage to become a reality in this country. In the meantime, he mentioned in Portland that this country needs federal civil unions. Hillary cannot hold a torch to Barack's gay rights platform.

    Posted by: oregonstudent | Mar 24, 2008 6:40:07 PM

  18. And once again, back to the democrat in-fighting of which candidate is the bigger douche.

    Let go of your egos. Both sides have good and bad points but remove your venom. This energy is misguided and should be used to take McCain to task.

    This really gets us nowhere in trying to move forward.

    Posted by: Jim | Mar 24, 2008 6:42:09 PM

  19. I don't think anyone (particularly on this blog) is not taking McCain to task. I find it hard to believe that anyone would argue that McCain would be a better president (on any issue, not just LGBT issues) than either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. The point is, yes, the infighting is tearing the Democrats apart.

    If you think the infighting is getting us nowhere, there's plenty of blame to go around, but Bill Clinton's sure no shrinking violet when it comes to tearing the Democratic Party apart.

    Posted by: Frank L | Mar 24, 2008 6:48:15 PM

  20. He just lost his wife another vote. I know voting for her isn't voting for him, but I used to love and respect him, now I'm just not so sure.

    Posted by: Bobby | Mar 24, 2008 7:04:31 PM

  21. Oregonmoron, just step away from the Barakberry Kook AID. Where the Jesus Fucking Christ are you getting that the Dali Obama is "essentially opening the way for country-wide gay marriage to become a reality in this country." You are essentially but really delusional. Having orgasmed while hearing His Holiness speak, can you tell us when he offered to trade his "marriage" for our "civil unions"?

    Obama JUST LIKE SEN. CLINTON supports a state's right to continue to do whatever they want in relation to banning [or recognizing] gay union performed in their own or other states. They're wrong—but they're BOTH wrong. Go to the ABC News link below if you don't believe me—then argue with his Constitutional law professor and supporter Lawrence Tribe about what Obama actually believes!

    "Obama believes states should be under no obligation to recognize same-sex marriages from other states."

    The same article will explain to BRANDON that he doesn't know the fuck what he is talking about either in relation to "full faith and credit."

    "Obama believes a long-recognized public policy exception to the Constitution's Full Faith and Credit Clause exempts a state from having to recognize a same-sex marriage from another state which runs counter to its own public policies.

    'Marriage is not something that states have ever been obliged to recognize if it's been against their own public policy', said Tribe, who has testified on the subject before Congress. 'Same-sex couples ...are neither better nor worse off with DOMA repealed'."

    AIDANC: Unless you have a reverse crystal ball that can prove that the antigay industry wasn't considering a Constitutional amendment at the time—a tactic they have tried repeatedly from banning abortion to flag burning—then all we have is your opinion. You're free to it. Add 4 bucks and you might get a cup of coffee.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Mar 24, 2008 7:09:00 PM

  22. Give me a break, Michael. One year ago, Hillary was just biding her time, patiently waiting for her coronation. And Obama? Hah! VP material, maybe. Fast-forward to the present and you've got the NYT saying that the only way Hillary could possibly wrest the nomination away from Obama would if a Watergate-level scandal cropped up. Hope springs eternal, right?

    And enough with the juvenile name calling. You pour all this time into elaborate (if convoluted) arguments, and then completely throw away any credibility you might have built up by using these childish taunts. Judging by your language, I'd be pretty surprised if you were actually of voting age.

    Posted by: Dan | Mar 24, 2008 7:27:35 PM

  23. There is more to life and politics than gay marriage.

    Posted by: I'mSad | Mar 24, 2008 7:27:48 PM

  24. The record is the record.

    On gay rights, Clinton set us back with DOMA. Enshrining such a set of discriminatory principles in law is what counts, not post-facto rationalizations (of which Clinton is the undisputed master).

    Clinton fucked over his wife, his colleagues, his party and his country. Quit supporting these amoral, vote-whoring monsters.

    Posted by: Fred | Mar 24, 2008 7:49:11 PM

  25. I'MSAD, to be able to have the right of civil marriage and have all the legal protections and benefits that come with it for both me and the man that I love and our kids is LIFE to me. It has nothing to do with politics. Both Obama and Hillary are WRONG!. I wonder if Obama would be so willing to look the other way if it was a racially discrimanatory policy or Hillary a gender based discrimantion. I'm not even going to try to rationalize Bill, he's just a pathetic loser at this point. When are the American people going to GROW UP? and that goes to some people on this forum also.

    Posted by: RLF | Mar 24, 2008 8:07:28 PM

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