Friday, March 08, 2013
Big Dog's Duh on DOMA
Maybe it's as simple as Hillary Clinton's stratospheric public approval and acclaim for her Secretary of State role. Meanwhile hubby William J. Clinton kind of labors much more obscurely. As front man for his humbly named William J. Clinton Foundation, he smiles a lot and aims to do big things in world health and such. The man is still competitive and still polishes brass plaques for his legacy trophies.
His short opinion piece in the WaPo smacks of lawyerly speciousness. It calls to mind his Lewinsky-related testimony about depending on what the meaning of is is.
He writes that DOMA is wrong now, but he can't, simply can't, admit he was wrong about it back in 1996 when he pushed it and signed the bill into law. It was his and he brought Congress and the nation along with him.
Instead, he lawyers up again and again. Oh, it was bipartisan. Oh, a bunch of people figured it would "defuse" the drive to flat outlaw same-sex marriage nationwide (and remove the right to control marriage from states). Oh, only 81 Senators and Reps opposed DOMA. Oh, oh, oh.
For a man who dearly loves himself, he shied away from write I in this piece. He could have written, "I took a gamble, led a compromise, let the chips fall every which way, and buried the issue. I let the anti-gay types think they won something by guaranteeing no federal tax or other benefits for homosexuals. I wanted the pro-equality types to think they could hold shreds and threads of hope if they were willing to fight for one, two or more decades."
That would have been both analytic and candid.
Instead, in his WaPo It's time to overturn DOMA piece, the former President linked to his weasel-worded signing statement that accompanied the bill. Therein, he writes in the first person, opening with "Throughout my life I have strenuously opposed discrimination of any kind, including discrimination against gay and lesbian Americans." He concludes the brief statement with DOMA does not "provide an excuse for discrimination, violence or intimidation against any person on the basis of sexual orientation. Discrimination, violence and intimidation for that reason, as well as others, violate the principle of equal protection under the law and have no place in American society."
DOMA is discrimination legalized and codified. It has led directly to cases before state, federal and now the SCOTUS. It has punished millions with unequal treatment, a.k.a. discrimination. It was and is a vicious, mean-spirited betrayal of LGBT Americans. It was Bill Clinton's easy way out that has not been at all easy for homosexual couples nationwide ever since.
It's positive that he eventually reversed his one-man/one-woman thinking. He got there before VP Biden and Prez Obama, but not by much. His current call too may help a little. I have to believe it would be a lot more effective if he started with the truth, the whole truth.