Sunday, February 22, 2015

Hillary Hovers and Hedges

Hillary Clinton will surely have a states-rights problem come the campaign for Prez. The clearest evidence of that is in — of all subjects — same-sex marriage.

This should certainly be a Dem gimme. Many GOP pols, including Presidental hopefuls, have chosen to admit defeat here. While the deft and delusional keep at it, half of Republican bigs accept it's  a done deal. On the other side, many Dems pushed for marriage equality and get to claim the high ground with the recent, very recent, sweeping victories. Plus, the SCOTUS seems poised to mandate nationwide marriage equality this summer.

So it's all too obvious that she should join the victory lap, even though she only stepped into the race in the last few yards. Instead, she stupidly clings to her adopted Southern heritage of states rights. That's a bad sign in several ways. Not only is that no longer relevant to this particular issue. It also puts her at odds with most Dem and independent voters, most notably those her daughter's age and younger. Moreover, it reflects poorly on what we might expect in policy should she become President.

You can check for yourself. Start with last June's interview by Terry Gross on NPR. While Gross fairly demanded that Clinton admit she'd been wrong on marriage equality, only changing for expedience, Clinton would have none of it. Much has been made of her continuing defensive posture

Yet lost in the personal here, Clinton's statements on states rights are astounding. Consider from that interview:
.... So for me, marriage had always been a matter left to the states. And in many of the conversations that I and my colleagues and supporters had I fully endorsed the efforts by activists to work state by state. And in fact that is what is working.... And then leaving that (Secretary of State) position I was able to very quickly announce that I was fully in support of gay marriage. And that it is now continuing to succeed state by state. I am very hopeful that we will make progress and see even more change and acceptance...

There you have it, politics fans. As late as the middle of last year, she wanted it all ways. Moreover, she based it on states rights. We know historically how incredibly poorly that works for civil rights.

There is, of course, the personal irony here of her upbringing. From Illinois and then to undergrad in MA and law in CT, she didn't get to the states-rights turf until she was nearly 30. While she and future husband Bill Clinton dates at Yale Law, she didn't agree to marry him until she moved with him to Arkansas when she was 28. 

States rights have been and continue to be big in AR. When her hubby was Gov. then President Clinton, he played the let-the-states-decide card many times. She has been in tune.

So there you have it. Come the SCOTUS decision, she'll be able to do the cliché of it's settled law. Yet I suspect she'll continue by adding unnecessarily that she would have preferred if the states individually could continue to legislate marriage to suit each.

We deserve a President with more courage and vision and, well, morality. The correct answer is, "I support this and we are doing this because it is right." If she feels the need to waffle on such important and fundamental issues, she should stifle it. 

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