Bill Clinton Heckled at Netroots Nation; Answers on DADT, DOMA

Transcript (via Andrés Duque at Blabbeando)

HUDSON: Mr. President, will you call for a repeal of DOMA and “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” right now? Please…

CLINTON: Hey, you know, you ought to go to one of those congressional health
care meetings. You did really well there. I’ll be glad to talk about
that. If you will… If you will sit down and let me talk, I’ll be glad
to discuss it. But if you stand up and scream I won’t be able to talk.
But the other guys would love to have ya. I wanna talk a little about
that too.

But anyway, so, here we are in a different world. Now,
it’s not like the 1990’s. You wanna talk about ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’,
I’ll tell you exactly what happened. You couldn’t deliver me any
support in the Congress and they voted by a veto-proof majority in both
houses against my attempt to let gays serve in the military and the
media supported them. They raised all kinds of devilment. And all most
of you did was to attack me instead of getting some support in the
congress. Now, that’s the truth.

Secondly – it’s true! – You
know, you may have noticed that presidents aren’t dictators. They voted
– they were about to vote for the old policy – by margins exceeding 80%
in the House and exceeding 70% in the Senate. The gave test votes out
there to send me a message that they were going to reverse any attempt
I made by executive order to force them to accept gays into the
military. And let me remind you that the public opinion is now more
strongly in our favor than it was sixteen years ago and I have
continued supporting it. That John Shalikashvili, who was Chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff under me, was against “Don’t A..” – was
against letting gays serve – is now in favor of it. This is a different
world. That’s the point I’m trying to make.

Let me also say
something that never got sufficient publicity at the time. When General
Colin Powell came up with this ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ it was defined
while he was Chairman much differently than it was implemented. He said
that, if you will accept this, here is what we’ll do. We will not
pursue anyone, any military members out of uniform will be free to
march in gay rights parades, go to gay bars, go to political meetings,
whatever mailings they get, whatever they do in their private lives,
none of this will be a basis for dismissal. It all turned out to be a
fraud because of the enormous reaction against it among the middle
level officers and down after it was promulgated and Colin was gone. So
nobody regrets how this was implemented even more… anymore than I do.
But the congress also put that into law by a veto-proof majority and
many of your friends voted for that, believing the explanation about
how it would be eliminated. So, I hated what happened. I regret it. But
I didn’t have, I didn’t think at the time, any choice if I wanted any
progress to be made at all. Look, I think it’s ridiculous. Can you
believe they spent – what did they spend? – 150,000 dollars to get rid
of a valuable Arabic speaker recently?

And, you know, the thing
that changed me forever on ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ was when I learned
that 130 gay service people were allowed to serve and risk their lives
in the 1st Gulf War and all their commanders knew they were gay, they
let them go and risk their lives ‘cause they needed them, and then as
soon as the 1st Gulf War was over, they kicked them out. That’s all I
needed to know, that’s all anybody needs to know, to know that this
policy should be changed.

Now, while we’re at it, let me say one
thing about DOMA, since you… The reason I signed DOMA was, and I said
when I signed it, that I thought the question of whether gays should
marry should be left out to states and the religious organizations, and
if any church or other religious body wanted to recognize gay marriage
they ought to. We were attempting at the time, in a very reactionary
congress, to head off an attempt to send a constitutional amendment
banning gay marriage to the states. And if you look at the Levin
referendum much later in 2004, in the election, which the Republicans
put on the ballot, to try to get the base vote for President Bush up, I
think it’s obvious that something had to be done to try to keep the
Republican congress presenting that. The President doesn’t even get to
veto that. It’s the Congress can refer constitutional amendments to the
states. I didn’t like signing DOMA, and I certainly didn’t like the
constraints it would put on benefits, and I’ve done everything I’ve
could, and I am proud to say that the State Department was the first
federal department to restore benefits to gay partners in the Obama
administration, and I think we are going forward in the right direction
now for federal employees, and I don’t like that eith… I don’t like the
DOMA.

But actually all these things illustrate the point I was
trying to make. America has rapidly moved to a different place to a lot
of these issues and so what we have to decide is what we are going to
do about it.

Comments

  1. says

    Now these answers sound real. No press secretary, no politics, just a real raw answer and I believe him. The president can’t just say well eff all of you, I’m doing what i want. Very often, he is at the mercy of Congress to pass the laws and compromise if there is a more extreme law that is to be passed.

  2. sparks says

    His explanations make perfect sense, and I do recall when DADT was first implemented reading that it would end witch hunts and discharges based solely on a service member’s sexual orientation.

    I also agree that the LGBT community needs to press their congressional representatives for support on our issues. It’s been a couple decades since we had any substantial national cohesion. Admittedly, HIV/AIDS brought with it a greater sense of urgency than, say, marriage equality or other civil rights.

  3. stephen says

    I’m not sure “heckled” is the correct headline. Clinton’s response is the most complete & likely honest answer we’ve gotten on both of these bad laws… ever?

  4. patrick lehman says

    As someone who was around then, Bill is telling it exactly as I remember it. I never understood the vilification of him, and (by extension) Hillary over this. Their intent was there, but they need Congress to pass legislation. If Obama loses the democratic majority in Congress in the midterms, he will lose the ability to effect health insurance reform, as well as all these gay issues. Both DADT and DOMA were defensive measures to prevent more draconian laws from being passed. Get ready to see the Great Black Hope make some disappointing compromises. Not because his heart isn’t in the right place, but because Laws require Congress.

  5. says

    I’m so sick of people saying the Clinton’s have a bad record on gay rights. No, they have a very good record and Bill especially deserves more respect from the gays. DOMA and DADT were NOT (absolutely NOT!) intended to harm gays or anything sinister like that. Congress would not allow gays to serve openly in the military, Clinton made a compromise that left us in the best situation possible. The same goes for DOMA; the intention was always to stop a greater evil (a total ban on gay marriage, which congress WOULD have passed back then and which would mean there would be 5 states that never could have legalised it). Cut him some slack already, he done the best he could!

  6. ian says

    President Clinton has been ridiculously clear and consistent when discussing these topics. People need to stop approaching him in this manner, because he honestly doesn’t deserve to be heckled with a question he’s answered SEVERAL times before.

  7. David D. says

    This is where we make ourselves look like a short-sighted self-serving ‘special interest group’ instead of a politically savvy cross-section of the populace. If we don’t get what we want exactly the way we want it at the exact time we want it, we instantly proclaim that we’ve been betrayed and thrown under the bus. We have to get over ourselves and do the hard work necessary to move these initiatives forward.

  8. Willie says

    BTW – the post supporting Clinton are the most sad examples of House Slave attitude I have seen in quite sometime …. have some self respect people — he just blamed YOU for his misdeeds.

    Stop being grateful for his handouts. You will never come close to having as much in life as this greedy selfish man.

  9. Jason Moreland says

    BTW – the post supporting Clinton are the most sad examples of House Slave attitude I have seen in quite sometime …. have some self respect people — he just blamed YOU for his misdeeds.

    Stop being grateful for his handouts. You will never come close to having as much in life as this greedy selfish man.

    POSTED BY: WILLIE | AUG 14, 2009 9:19:49 AM

    I’ll take Bill Clinton’s effort and clear explanations over Obama’s crumbs and dodging any day. Clinton at least attempted. I’ve yet to see any action or plan from Mr.Obama.

  10. says

    The lesson to take from this is that the President cannot change these things alone. For some reason many people here can only focus on one politician, the President. But we also have our congresspeople & senators, who have to be lobbied. Know where they stand. Support them if they’re on our side. Lobby them if they’re not (yet). Look at health care: just voting for Obama hasn’t gotten us there (yet).

    Work at the state level too, which is where marriage happens now: reps, senators, governors all need to be pressured.

    It’s too easy to blame DOMA and DADT on Clinton and too easy to blame not repealing them on Obama. Two sides of the same coin.

  11. says

    I wish Clinton would get out there to the general public and more specific communities (like gay, black, et al) and provide background explanations about more of the issues of his presidency.

    Too many Americans either didn’t have a civics class or were asleep during it, instead learning what they “know” from idiotic talking TV heads. Too many Americans have almost no clue how the government works – especially between the executive branch and the congress – or bother to learn about an issue they’re upset about, including Hudson.

    President Clinton could do a tremendous service to this country by opening an ongoing discussion of how the federal government works using his own administration as an example. Maybe some of the morons that watch FOX News will actually learn something rather than just showing up at public forums and shouting down the people that are there to discuss the concerns of the attendants that have legitimate concerns about Obama’s proposals…

  12. says

    Lane Hudson’s moment in the spotlight is obscuring a more important aspect of Clinton’s appearence: He came out vigorously for Obama’s health care proposal, and implored the crowd to not allow Obama’s plan get defeated the way Clinton’s was in 1993.

    Bill Clinton, like him or not, is still enormously persuasive – more than any living former President. The Obama administration should use him to stump for the health plan.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/08/13/clinton-urges-progressive_n_259298.html

  13. Adam says

    My fav comments to Lane @ HuffPo:

    First:

    photo

    I hope you feel better but, Bill Clinton has no more power to influence DADT or DOMA than you. So your clamoring to “debate” as opposed to listen has given you something to brag about but has not advanced the debate. Look, the history of DADT is crucial in this “debate”. Clinton had a military and a congress who did not want to discuss the issue AT ALL and the nation was tepid , at best. So what the GLBT community now sees as the biggest affront since Plessy v. Ferguson, was seen at the time as a great victory. DADT was intended to allow gays to stay in the military so long as everyone looked the other way. that was progress at the time; trust me! Now, I agree, that now it seems like a terrible insult that demands a remedy; but with some perspective, the GLBT community must stop attacking the President for not tackling this hot potato head on and create a climate where his support for your cause will not damage his popular support for other legislation, Health Reform, for example . Lyndon Johnson told Dr. King that the art of governing is the favorable timing between the power and the politics. YOU NEED TO STOP YELLING AND GO AFTER THE GENERALS. An order from the president will get you another result just as intolerable as DADT unless the Generals and Sergeants are made to support the idea. ANYTHING ELSE IS JUST YELLING!

    Second:

    You only stood up and yelled out to become the story, not to get an answer. Plain and simple. Other than the location you are not to much different than the town hallers.

    Third:

    Well, bully for you. You asked a question. Bill answered you. It wasn’t bad to ask the question, but Bill’s answer was much more interesting, and actually true.

    I think Bill’s speech was much more interesting, and it was full of home truths that everyone should realize, especially at netroots. The part where he quoted Machiavelli was absolutely brilliant. And it was also apparent that there was a real longing in the man, and a real willingness to greet the new day. The part where he talked about 40 years in the wilderness for liberals was absolutely true. And that it’s important to fight with each other, and then move forward doing as much as you can do.

    For my own opinion…not one thing was said in Bill’s answer that we didn’t already know.

  14. Josh G. says

    Lane Hudson is a self-promoting lightweight.

    House slaves? Mary, please. We act like spoiled children instead of working the system like every other group.

    We just look like fuckwads when we stamp our feet and hold our breath.

    I read Hudson’s posts on a couple of private listserv’s every day. He is insufferable.

  15. Zeke says

    I appreciate President Clinton’s answers to these questions. I even believe his answers to be mostly true, if a bit colored by time and recollection.

    What I DON’T understand, and I wish Lane would have asked him to clarify, is why he, ON HIS OWN, recorded a radio spot aired in the South for his 1996 re-election campaign, where he BRAGGED about signing DOMA and “protecting marriage”. Somehow I don’t believe these ads were referring to protecting gay marriage from a constitutional amendment. His actions in that campaign, along with the rumors that he encouraged Kerry to support the MA marriage amendment during the 2000 election, tend to make me question if his true reasons for supporting DOMA are as he recalls them now that he has years between him and his presidency, times have changed and his legacy is at stake.

    Regardless, for what it’s worth, I’m glad Lane asked the questions and I’m glad President Clinton answered them. I would still like to hear him explain the radio ad.

  16. Bobby says

    Lane Hudson rocks! With more people like him something might be done.

    I don’t hate Clinton, but he still could have refused to sign DOMA and DADT.

    One had washes the other in D.C. and I’m sure Mr. Clinton got a few things he wanted out of the deal.

    Face it, it’s easy to throw gays under the bus and then blame someone else.

    I do think Clinton did more for gays than any POTUS before him, but still it’s not enough and Obama is not acting fast enough either.

  17. steve says

    Speaking of Prop 8, have I missed TR’s coverage of the latest development from Equality California? They’re pushing for the vote in 2012. Pretty big story that I haven’t seen here.

  18. Pee Town says

    Its clueless bloggers who misrepresent the history of DADT. I’m glad Bill is willing to stand up and defend himself. I hate revisionist history. Next we’ll be blaming Gavin Newsom for failing to enact gay marriage.

  19. says

    “Bill Clinton has no more power to influence DADT or DOMA than you”

    Really? He wasn’t “The Commander in Chief”?
    Apparently the military refused to take orders from him re DADT. This should have led to mass court martials. Why didn’t they take place?

    (crickets chirping)

  20. Keith says

    Whether you like Bill or not, the answer he gave is accurate and true. The worst part, we’re repeating history with the current administration. It’s time to start holding our Congressional leaders to account or we will never move forward in the repeal of DADT/DOMA, or enact ENDA. It’s time to put our campaign dollars to work. . .that’s what will win us the day in the end in politics.

  21. Mike K says

    As I sat in the audience thinking about how Netroots Nation is about celebrating the most open forum of discussion ever to exist, it occurred to me that we were nothing more than a captive audience being talked to. Yes because god forbid you might actually listen to the Rhodes Scholar and two term president that you’ve invited to speak.

  22. Ozu says

    So DOMA was good for us! Gee thanks Bill, now I understand why you bragged about signing it during in the 96 campaign.

    Note how the bastard STILL doesn’t say he supports the repeal of DOMA, much less marriage equality for all.

    I’m so tired of the adoration this clown gets from so many gays and lesbians. What in the world did he ever do for us execpt pay lip service and take our money?

    Now it’s happening all over again, lackey queers still line up to moon over a do-nothing Obama just like they did Clinton. To hell with both of them I say.

  23. says

    Bill’s answer is disingenuous in the extreme.

    This is the moment where he loses ALL credit with me for talking about this in such depth and putting all the blame on gays.

    He made campaign ads praising himself for signing DOMA and asked John Kerry to gay bash in the 2004 election. Leaving out those facts makes his statement about as credible as the ones that come from Sarah Palin.

    That the commenters here buy his line of utter bullshit is embarrasing.

  24. says

    1. Given the many people working their own agendas in 1993, and how isolated any President is, it appears that Clinton is still unaware that people working for him were telling gays such as David Mixner to NOT try to raise support for overturning the ban, that everything was going smoothly, not to worry. Even gay Congressman Gerry Studds, with years of experience in Washington, believed admin reps that things were on track…until it was too late.

    2. Common denominator then and now: Rahm Emanuel. Senior Advisor to Clinton; Obama’s Chief of Staff.

    “Marsha Scott, a straight woman who worked closely with Emanuel when she was chief of staff in Bill Clinton’s personnel office (Scott also served as Clinton’s first liaison to the LGBT community), says, ‘Rahm can never stop thinking about winning elections. Rahm is good at governing effectively, but he’s not good on social justice issues. Rahm’s goal is to not lose one seat in Congress at midterms’.” – The Advocate.

    3. And, yes, Clinton should be encouraged to join the wide variety of people actively lobbying for repeal of both DADT & DOMA.

    AND for an executive order by Obama freezing discharges. His refusal to use this legal option, given him by Congress that trumps DADT, is inexcusable when, in his own words, such discharges “weaken national security.”

    “President Obama appears to have absorbed an unfortunate—and incorrect—lesson from the Democrats’ alienation from the military since Vietnam: that to earn the trust of the brass, the president must plead with the uniforms for a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Yes, Dems must win over the military; no, that is not done by having the president ask permission to act like Commander-in-Chief; it’s done by showing the world that the president knows how to lead. Sometimes moral and political leadership really are one and the same. Ending the needless firing of gay troops is one of those times.” – Nathaniel Frank, DADT expert and author of “Unfriendly Fire.”

  25. Adam says

    What Bill Clinton said actually echoes today. Lane would rather stand up and yell for an answer, or a quick moment in the spotlight, rather than bring the members of Congress to Obama. Chilling how spot on it is.

  26. says

    Landon, he may be culpable for his ignorance OR disingenuousness re community support in ’93 re the gay military ban, but he has denied the charge by mercenary political hack Bob Shrum [who also accused John Edwards of being antigay, then retracted it] that he advised Kerry to “gay bash” as you call it, and Kerry, himself, never said he did.

  27. Willie says

    The answer he gave is a LIE.

    As Commander in Chief he could end discrimination based on sexual orientation – in the exact same fashion as when the military was desgregated by an earlier much better Presdident, by Presidential Decree.

    President Obama could also do the same.

    Keep taking crumbs and that is what you get…. while Bill and Barry become MULTI-MILLIONAIRES with equal rights you DO NOT HAVE. (And yes that BENEFITS THEM!)

  28. Patric says

    While I agree that Clinton did more for gay people than any President before him (hardly a high bar to clear) and especially that we allowed ourselves to get outhussled in the ’94 midterms and paid the consequences for the next 12 years and that we cannot allow that to happen again next year, Zeke’s comment above is the one that strikes me as most on the mark. Let’s not be gullible. Give Clinton credit where it is due (and certainly his Presidency was a dream compared to what followed over the next eight years) but he is a politician who is attempting to mold his legacy, to make amends with progressives on one of the topics where he most disappointed us and perhaps also to bolster his wife’s standing with our community in case she elects to run in 2016. His version of what transpired is only partially true and avoids any mention of the very significant facts Zeke notes regarding those ads in the South, the reported advice to Senator Kerry (a man who too many of us forget was one of only 13 Senators to vote against DOMA) in 2004 and the fact that, since becoming a private citizen but prior to his wife’s defeat by then-Senator Obama last year, both he and she had repeatedly continued to express their opposition to marriage equality, and not in the less offensive terms used by some like Governor Richardson (the country isn’t ready for it yet; we need to take an incremental approach to achieving our ultimate goal of equality) but by stating that their position expressed their own personal view of what constitutes a marriage. Having said that, I agree wholeheartedly with those above who’ve said that, if we really want to make progress and allow President Obama to go on the offense for us after the health care debate has concluded, we need to make sure that we do our part to make sure that progressive Democrats are elected to Congress in 2010. As frustrated as we may occasionally be with them, 1994 should be a lesson that the alternative is so much worse for us. Besides, many of our victories will come through the federal courts and not legislation and there is a world of difference between the judges we’ll get with Dems or with the Neanderthals.

  29. Willie says

    GET A LIFE CLUESS PEOPLE … CLINTON AND OBAMA could do the same thing “Give Them Hell” Harry Did.

    They just DO NOT CARE TO.
    We are expendable. They do NOT consider our equality as important as other things they want to do. We are second rate to them.

    He is lying.
    And you are spreading his lie by supporting him in your comments here.

    Fifty years ago, on July 26, 1948 President Harry Truman issued Executive Order 9981. The order brought an end to racial segregation within the ranks of the United States military forces. The written document contained six paragraphs with less than 250 words.

    Executive Order 9981 addressed four areas: First, it declared the President’s policy of equality of opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin. Second, it created the President’s seven-member Committee on Equality of Treatment in the Armed Services. Third, it authorized the Committee to examine existing rules and determine what changes would be necessary to carry out the policy of integrating the services. And fourth, it directed all executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government to cooperate with the Committee in its work.

    President Truman held views about race and civil rights similar to other southern politicians of his time. This being the case, why was he different? What was the driving force behind his decision to integrate the military? There is no simple answer, or maybe there is.

    One year earlier on June 28, 1947, while speaking at the Thirty-eighth Annual Conference of the NAACP, President Truman provided delegates a glimpse of the future. In his speech about “civil rights and human freedom,” Truman congratulated convention delegates gathered at the Lincoln Memorial for what he called “the effective work for the improvement of our democratic processes.”

    He won their allegiance when he said, “It is my deep conviction that we have reached a turning point in the long history of our efforts to guarantee a freedom and equality to all our citizens… And when I say all Americans–I mean all Americans.”

    In February of the next year, (Feb. 2, 1948) President Truman did something no previous President had ever done: he sent Congress a special message on civil rights. He proposed a ten-point program, which included provisions for an anti-lynching law, an anti-poll tax law, a permanent Fair Employment Practices Commission, a Commission on Civil Rights, home rule for the District of Columbia and desegregation of the armed services.

    The morning he sent his message to Congress, Truman wrote in his diary that members no doubt would receive his message coldly. “But it needs to be said,” the President concluded. He underestimated the reaction in the congress. Critics on Capitol Hill easily stopped his proposals.

    But the issue of civil rights rose again at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in early July 1948. Minneapolis Mayor Hubert Humphrey stunned party regulars when he engineered the adoption of a civil rights plank that was stronger than the one proposed by Truman. In response to Humphrey’s coup, many of the southern delegates walked out of the convention hall.

    Some historians believe President Truman had hoped to unite the Democratic Party by promising civil rights to African Americans, but not pushing so fast as to alienate segregationists. That was not to be the Truman legacy. Instead, renegade southern Democrats formed the Dixiecrat Party and nominated South Carolina Governor Strom Thurmond for president.

    Despite all these events, and with his civil rights legislative proposals bogged down in congress, President Truman decided to desegregate the United States Armed Forces by executive order. This decision surprised both liberals and conservatives. Army General Omar Bradley, warned, that it was not the business of the armed services to conduct “social experiments.”

    Notwithstanding General Bradley’s public admonition, the armed services marched forward and implemented the desegregation policy. By the end of the Korean War in 1953, the U.S. military was almost completely desegregated.

  30. Acronym Jim says

    According to the transcript of this post, the question posed by Mr. Hudson was “Mr. President, will you call for a repeal of DOMA and “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” right now? Please?”….not “why did you sign DADT and DOMA into law.

    No part of Clinton’s disingenuous explanation definitively answered Mr. Hudson’s question.

  31. says

    I think this is very rude of young Mr. Hudson, interupting former President Clinton during a speech. I was annoyed myself back in 1993, with several events that seemed to be failings. Now, with the advantage of history to look at, I see that President Clinton was right in what he said.
    Instead of picking on him, why isn’t Mr. Hudson causing a commotion at these vicious, staged “town hall meetings” on health care reform??
    Having said all this, seeing Hudson’s picture, I wish to indicate that I would not be averse to a nice political tete-a-tete over pit barbeque and ice tea. He can name the restaurant, and be as rowdy as he wishes. (grin.)
    – Tab

  32. Bill says

    Go Lane and Willie for speaking the truth!

    Can gay people think on their own? Everytime there is some gay person said-hatero person said situation gay people always side with the hatero even if everything they said was flat out lies. Get a brain and a spine!

  33. says

    I’m surprised – and pleasantly so – to see so many comments in support of Bill Clinton. It’s about time we in the LGBT Equality movement learned to fight for our own and not stomp our feet like wet, angry babies whenever straight people in power don’t do just what we want.

    Hero worship – whether directed at Bill Clinton or Barack Obama – eventually leads to disappointment. But throwing our allies under a bus when they fail to move heaven and earth in our favor just because we asked them nicely does us no good. When we have an ally in power, it’s up to us to work with that person for change. We should have done a better job with Bill; I hope we do a better job with Barack.

  34. Ozu says

    ADAM SAID:

    *Has Lane apologized for being no better than right wing town hall nutter yet?*

    I won’t argue that it wasn’t rude to interupt Clinton, but how is simply asking a question “Do you support the repeal of DADT and DOMA?” a “nutter” question? Are you so self-loathing that you actually agree with Clinton that we’re second-class citizens?

    The comments I’m seeing here make me sick to my stomach. It’s 2009 and we’re still apologizing for the hateful things this man did to us. That he treated us marginally better than Bush is hardly a reason to stand up and cheer for this awful man. As late as 2004 he was actively encouraging John Kerry to support constitutional bans on gay marriage.

    Also remember that he STILL does not support full equality for gays and lesbians. This is not “just politics”, Bubba ain’t running for office again so he has nothing to lose by supporting us, and yet he does not.

    If anything said was “nutter” in nature it was Bill’s non-answer to the question. Notice he went on a self-defensive diatribe rather answering the question. Why? Because he does not support the repeal of DADT nor DOMA. He might as well be a Republican for all we get from him.

  35. Wimsy says

    This is a big steaming load of tripe, and Clinton can’t be allowed to get away with it. He sold us down the river repeatedly, and yet starry-eyed gays kept believing what they wished was true. He made no effort whatever to stop DOMA, and and pushed DADT. During the Bush II election, he advised Kerry to abandon gays to pick up conservative votes, and that’s exactly what that stinking opportunist, Kerry, did. Clinton is a low-down hound dog, and I don’t believe a word he says. He did NOT have sex that that woman – remember?

  36. says

    GO BILL!

    I’m glad the question was asked so that Bubba could finally say what was on his mind!

    “House Slave”? Please. That is so out of place here. If you’re going to throw around Negro insults, make sure they are appropriate.

    And YES he is right. WE didn’t support him. Not just The Gays, but, progressive America. He got his butt tamped after trying to do the right thing.

    Now, wonder if the current President is worried about the same thing?

    I want my equal rights. Hells yeah I want them. But, we have to work within the system to get them. We must write letters to and support local candidates who support our rights. Then they can have the cojones to go to the President and provide cover. If Obama just goes out and does everything we want on his own without a broad base of support, you can kiss healthcare, the economy and the future of our nation Buh Bye.

    I LOVE YOU BILL!

  37. Alex says

    Thank god…after what, 13 – 16 years since that legislation was signed, gays are actually acknowledging the answer Bill Clinton has given time and again over why he signed those laws. This is not the first time he has said this. I’ve heard this before. So the commenters who are commending him for finally being straight with us (no pun intended) are delusional. It’s simply the first time you’ve bothered listening. I knew Lane Hudson when I lived in DC and I’m not shocked that he would act like a belligerent little toad yelling like some lunatic to get attention. His question is not new. And neither is Clinton’s answer. Pat yourself on the back Lane…you’ve managed to make me think you are a bigger d-bag than I already did.

    The nancies in here who need someone to blame will alwasy vilify Clinton. It’s so easy to forget the political climate of 1993/1996 and pretend like Bill Clinton had the public support behind him that our current president does today. I can only hope that if Obama fails to deliver he will be admonished even more so than Clinton b/c he has the good fortune and opportunity to pass legislation Clinton never did. My guess is we will be the victims of a compromise on getting his socialist healthcare “reform” passed and repeal of DADT won’t see the light of day.

  38. Zeke says

    For those of you who are attacking Lane Hudson and heaping unquestioning praise on former President Clinton, I would like to hear SOMEONE respond to the following. It is the actual transcript of Clinton’s campaign ad, run on Christian television stations in 1996:

    CLINTON CHRISTIAN RADIO AD
    TRANSCRIBED OCTOBER 14, 1996

    “Protecting religious freedom. It’s the foundation of our nation.”

    “When the Justice Department went after a church to gather the parishioners’
    tithing money, the government was stopped cold because President Clinton
    overturned the government’s policy and protected us.It’s not the only time
    he’s defended our values. Don’t be misled by Bob Dole’s attack ads.”

    “President Clinton wants a complete ban on late term abortions except when
    the mother’s life is in danger or faces severe health risks, such as the
    inability to have another child.”

    “THE PRESIDENT SIGNED THE DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT, supports curfews and
    school uniforms to teach our children discipline.”

    “The President enacted the V-chip to block out violent TV programs. His
    crime bill expanded the death penalty for drug kingpins. Bob Dole opposed him
    and is resorting to untrue negative attacks. PRESIDENT CLINTON HAS FOUGHT FOR OUR VALUES AND AMERICA IS BETTER FOR IT.”

    “Paid for by Clinton/Gore 96″

    [EMPHASIS MINE]

    Gay leaders BEGGED Clinton and his campaign to pull the ad but they refused claiming that it was an accurate representation of his beliefs, his policy and his record. As such I don’t believe that his new recollection of why he signed DOMA holds ANY water.

    On the issue of advising Kerry to run on a pro marriage amendment platform, I have no idea if Clinton advised Kerry to support anti-gay marriage amendments or not. He denies it. However, I have NO doubt in my mind that if we didn’t have audio and transcript PROOF that Clinton made this 1996 campaign ad he would deny that he ever made it and he would deny that he ever said what he said in it. Love the man or hate him, he is the ULTIMATE politician who will lie even when the truth sounds better.

    I find it interesting that the same people here who are RIGHTFULLY going after Obama for his lack of action on gay issues, AND the same people who daily complain about the lack of spine so often found in our community, almost IN THE SAME BREATH are making blind excuses for Clinton’s missteps and slamming a person from our community that had the balls to stand up and rightfully demand some answers from our former president.

    I think we should be praising Mr. Hudson and joining him in holding ALL of our leaders’ feet past and present, to the fire.

    I fully supported Clinton and got burned. I fully supported Obama and it’s deja vu all over again.

  39. Beef and Fur says

    Way to go Bill! Perfect answer! And he’s right. If more of the silly party bois would get up off thier knees and get out, come out and work for something other than another weekend at the bar, our community might actually become cohesive and actually produce the gay MLK that all of us are looking for.

    But no. Too many fractuted groups, self serving individuals and self centered attitudes will always be the norm, I’m afraid.

  40. Derrick from Philly says

    It’s good to read your comments again, Zeke. I know that you are very disappointed in the President’s dragging his feet (sexy long feet) on gay marriage equality (and DADT), but it aint over yet. Next to abortion, gay marriage equality is the most earth-shaking issue in this country. Even if a majority of Americans were to say that they support equal marriage rights for gays, the opposition is not only vehement; they are insane with hatred. You know that.

    Just like Eisenhower and Kennedy were slow on civil rights/voting rights for Black Americans, Obama is moving tepidly on today’s most volatile issue: marriage rights for gays.

    Everybody aint no Lyndon Johnson, Zeke.

  41. Patric says

    To Wimsy, who claims that “that stinking opportunist” John Kerry abandoned us in 2004, how exactly did he do that? Perhaps it’s because of frustration over how poorly he fared as a candidate but I am always disappointed by the lack of appreciation of so many in our community for our true friend Senator John Kerry, one of only 13 Senators to bravely stand against DOMA in 1996. While the Clintons have shown themselves willing to put politics before principle when it comes to our rights, Senator Kerry has resisted the temptation to do so. He deserves far more appreciation from our community than he’s received.

  42. DaveAave says

    Bill Clinton is a Liar! He should take responsibility for his actions and not blame us! If he was so concerned about the sanctity of marriage he should not have gotten blown in the oval office by someone other than his wife! It’s a shame to see all the Queers on here buying his B.S. too!

  43. says

    Lame (typo intentional) Hudson is SUCH a self-promoting fool, as others have touched on.
    Everything that comes out of his d–che mouth isn’t worth any attention.
    At least Clinton can now say he’s seen the world’s largest d–chebag.

  44. DJ says

    Alex, do you even realize you are doing to Obama what Clinton is saying folks did to him. Instead of whining about Obama, call your Congressional representatives!!

  45. Bill Perdue says

    At this point there are only a few diehard morons who still argue that Clinton was trying to do us a favor championing DADT and DOMA.

    Michael Bedwell is the most prolific of that swiftly dwindling troop of diehard Clinton cultists because the evidence against Clinton is so overwhelming. Even Bedwell is pretending to be just a tiny bit critical of his idol and admitting things he’s denied or ignored for years.

    The truth is this. Clinton championed and signed DADT and DOMA not to protect us from a federal DOMA, that’s simply a lie, but because he’s a redneck, religious bigot.

    Champion: To fight for, defend, or support as a champion. An ardent defender or supporter of a cause. In Clinton‘s case the causes were deregulation of predatory banks, union busting, draconian cuts in welfare,
    killing Iraqi children and promoting bigotry by making it into law.

    His bigoted support for DADT and DOMA was not out of character, not a misstep and not isolated. Even though much of the legislation Clinton championed was written by Republicans he was its most important supporter. Clinton the Dixiecrat was a thoroughgoing right winger, a right centrist to be exact.

    DOMA and DADT wouldn’t have passed without his support and the support of most Democrats and Republicans in Congress. Clintons bigoted ad boasting about support for DOMA also promotes restrictions on abortions and supports the rights of cults to gouge – tithing. The as was an appeal for the bigot vote and it was withdrawn after it served its purpose.

    Clinton also championed NAFTA, draconian cuts in welfare and the deregulation of predatory banks and lenders. Now he’s collecting huge fees for speaking at events sponsored by the same predators, sometime, as in San Diego, crossing union and LGBT picket lines to collect his twenty pieces of silver.

    Clinton promoted a humanitarian nightmare. Lying, Clinton claimed that Saadam Hussein was stockpiling WMDs to attack US interests and imposed an embargo on food, medical supplies and sanitary supplies on Iraq. Roughly half a million Iraqi children died as a direct result of his murderous embargo. Clintons Secretary of State Madeline Albright defended the murders in this chilling interview with Leslie Stahl on CBSs 60 Minutes on May 12th, 1996:

    Lesley Stahl “We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?”

    Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it.”

    Clinton is a rightwing Dixiecrat, a right centrist to be exact. Claims that he didn’t betray GLBT folks, unions, workers, and consumers or that he didn’t kill a lot of Iraqi children are lies.

  46. says

    Wow! I’ve never seen such a bunch of sad Clinton apologists! Slick Willie did not have to sign DOMA…but he did under cover of nightfall then used it in commercials to garner support from Xian right wingers. What he should have done was veto it. He flubbed the entire gays in the military issue by not issueing the promised exectuive order on day one. Even if Congress had overridden it, such an order would have put the executive branch on record in support of gays serving openly. Now we have Barry O following the same lame CLinton playbook, terrified of gays, afraid to lead, to do the right thing by signing a stop loss order to end the dismissal of gay and lesbian servicemembers. Wake up girls.

  47. Philip Wester says

    Bill finally openly stated what I and other (non-stupid) people have been knowing and saying for years.

    None of this is news to anyone who’s actually looked into either matter. People just look at “DADT and DOMA passed under Clinton” and use it to vilify him (and, incomprehensibly, Hillary) instead of looking at the bigger picture.

    You haters no longer have any ground to stand on. Without anyone to help him, Bill explained, eloquently and in great detail, why things happened as they happened. He did not have the time to sit back for 15 minutes to think out an answer, he did not have anyone whispering in his ear he should say. What he said was the truth, like it or not.

  48. hephaestion says

    Clinton is 100% correct about the facts. He was forced to do what he did by a Republican Congress which wanted to fuck us over in FAR FAR FAAAAAR worse ways.

    What Clinton left out is that he COULD have used the bully pulpit more to try to convince America that justice for gay citizens was the right thing to do. But the rabidly anti-gay Republicans had a veto-proof majority then so that probably would not have helped all that much.

    Still, Clinton should not have pointed an accusing finger as he explained this.

  49. stevielee says

    Mr. Bill “I steal your pain” Clinton is one of the best historical revisionist bullsh*tter’s I have ever witnessed. What a tour de force crock of self-absolution that was. He can still slather then up and slap them out as good as he ever could.

    LGBT’s – in our eternally unrequited quest for our basic Civil Right – have always been an easy mark for the oligharcal “centrist” triangulation strangulation tactics that the Demi-bupulicans (Think DLC here) have used time and time again to suck some of our “community” in – only to spat us out like bad food after they have gotten what they wanted from us – which is our all of our MONEY HONEY!!!

    “But…but, but we really, really did TRY to help you poor, put upon gay folks – truly we did. It’s just those mean ol’ right wingers who made us “settle” for the codification into Federal law – a full and complete abrogation of your fundamental constitutional rights for the forseable future. But hey, it could have been soooo much worse than DOMA, DAT, or whatever other acronym that we can compromise your rights away with. Don’t you LGBT people realize that we have much, much bigger fish to fry than losing our quest for our parties (faction) power over your “special” rights? It’s just not a hill that any of us DLC “realist” are gonna die on!” Now, ya’ll just keep those $$$$ rolling in and who knows – maybe one day we’ll throw you a bone and invite ya’ll into another of the Prez’s ‘cock’tale’ parties.

  50. RB says

    I have been back and forth in a love/hate relationship with the Clintons for the past few years. However, with hindsight being 20/20 I have recently changed my tune. I loved Bill while he was in office but I was a closeted repub. After coming out, and apparently not that far out, I began to loathe him for what appeared on the surface was our sell out.

    As I look back with a more open mind, I see exactly what he is saying now and I 100% truly believe him. I have returned to being one of his staunchest supporters and Hillary’s as well.

    I have typed some nasty, vile words on Towleroad about the Clintons in the past three years and given the state of my mind during that time I have to own them. However, having recently “seen the light” and removing myself from a very closeted relationship as well as the republican party I have an admiration and understanding for President Clinton.

    HE DID WHAT HE SAID HE WOULD DO ALMOST IMMEDIATELY UPON ENTERING THE WHITE HOUSE! That alone is more than we can say for our recent president who promised us the moon and we have gotten a fist full of sand.

    Bill and Hillary Clinton have been long standing allies to the LGBT community, even when I couldn’t see it. I owe a lot of my new understanding to Zeke. It was his patience and sometimes vitriol when needed approach that made me think outside the box. Bill Clinton deserves the respect that our current president only wishes that he could have. Until Obama steps up, and soon, he will be nothing more than a promise what you want to hear and then leave you at the door step politician. I so hope that I am wrong but Obama is the one that deserves our anger and disgust NOT Clinton!

  51. nic says

    lane hudson is a clueless little shit. even the most basic of rhetoric and/or journalism classes dictate that one should get his facts straight before making oneself look foolish. prez clinton put him in his place in a long off-the-cuff response that would have made reagan “the great communicator” blush. (i won’t even bother mentioning the bushes.)

    i am so sick of young, silly sissies and old fags who should know better — i’m talking to you, bill perdue and you, leland/beckwell — spouting revisionist, if not delusional, history about the clintons. were it not for them, we would not be arguing for gays in the military or a universal heath care system, still.

    alas, we will always have some stupid, persnickety, irascible, wiener dogs nipping at laudable people’s heels. look at how they are yip-yapping after obama.

    what is dispiriting to me is that so many of those wieners are among us. my apologies to dachshunds for the negative comparison.

  52. Stevie Lee says

    With comments like the one above from “Nic” – who knew that our “community” has so many “house homos” that are ready, will and eager to be the demi-publicans butt-boys.

    Ya..that’s the spirit Nicky…you go after that “clueless little shit”, and get all righteous about your ol’ pal Slick Willie being challenged about his “policies” concerning his and his political faction selling us down the river for the umpteenth time.

    I am also “so sick” of kiss-ass, institutional apologist like yourself that attack anybody, and anyone who has the temerity to shout out a couple of questions to your high and holy Mr. $150 mil Bill.

    You’re the sort who would have – and probably did – denounce direct action groups like ACT-UP for being “silly sissies and and fags who should know better” and just shut up and just go off somewhere to quietly disappear and die. And do you think that next time – you might try and come up with a phrase that would highlight your own raging homophobia even better???

    You also probably think that the Lloyd step and fetch it Gay character on thge hugely homophic show “Entourage” is all in good fun as well.

    We really are our own worst enemies and you Sir are living proof of that…

  53. nic says

    @STEVIE LEE,

    what’s with all the needless quotation marks?

    you, sir, are rambling. i give you a 4 zoro-like snap. now, go sober up, girl.

    si’down, bee-atch. you ain’t got this.

  54. Stevie Lee says

    Thankfully…lil’ Nicky, you are NOT the arbiter of what can, or cannot be said here, or anywhere else….So you and snap yourself into a “zero-like” frenzy. I’ll continue using the “needless quotation marks”, while you go on and continue to use your “needless” self-hating homophobic rants against us “sissies and old fags”.
    And then you go on to use the tired, hacky snarks: “girl”, “si’down”, and the hackiest of all: “bee-atch”.

    You’re correct monsieur Nicky – I “aint got this”, and I never will. You’ve ” got” and suffer from “it” all by your itty bitty lil’ self. And you can “Quote” me on that!!!

    No, off you go to butt kiss some other bone throwing het polititian.. who so very easily “steals your pain”, your money, and any semblance of what might be remaining of your Gay dignity.

    Oh…right…you have none. Sorry!

  55. Stevie Lee says

    “silly sissy”…really???

    Is that all you’ve got as a retort: “silly sissy”?

    Oh my lord we are so f*cked as a community.

    Homophobic right wingers have nothing on you, do they herr Nicky?

    If you weren’t hiding behind some texting devise that doesn’t allow the use of CAPS – I’d luv to haul your homophobic ranting ass off to a GLAD sensitivity training seminar.

    Now, before you go and hurl another couple of homo-hating bon mots in your unhinged replies – just remember that this is a LGBT site and not a Fred Phelps pep rally!

  56. Nick says

    sorry, we need to riot, carry guns and posters of obama as hitler, act stupidly and defiantly and with great hostility. we need enraged revolution, not long overdue policy justifications. i look at the teabaggers and these nuts at the health care rallies–look at the attention they get. seems they’re gonna take down healthcare, too. working the system gets you nowhere: look at maine, california, look at washington, look at alaska just yesterday. legislation can go through the system, but it chews it up and spits you back. look at new york!! we need queers in the system…

  57. AERES says

    Pleasantly surprised to see so many approving comments on what was an eloquent and correct recitation of the facts as they existed when Bill was in office.

    I also enjoyed his plug for the State Department’s (i.e. Hillary’s) restoration of benefits for gay employees.

    Many of the haters are so entrenched in their own beliefs they’ll never be moved by reason. Thats unfortunate.

    For better or worse, Bill did in fact make gay rights an issue right out of the gate when he arrived in DC. He upheld his promise, even if it was politically painful.

    I’m not one of the people willing to throw Obama under the bus for his less-than-enthusiastic LGBT effort thus far. But I am worried that his window of opportunity for taking legislative action is closing as rapidly as the 2010 mid-term elections approach.

  58. GRivera says

    I do not understand his reason for changing his mind.

    How about “gays and lesbians” are people and tax payers too! We deserve equality – no matter what deals you politians make with each other!

    Equality is not about dying on the field!

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