Hillary, Bill, DOMA and Revising History

This is a really terrific investigation by Chris Geidner on BuzzFeed about Hillary Clinton’s recent comments about DOMA. You should read it. Geidner’s combed through White House documents and has not found any evidence that Clinton (Bill) acted from a defensive position in signing DOMA like Clinton (Hillary) indicated that he did in her Rachel Maddow interview.

In fact, after the interview aired, I tweeted as much:

tweet

The reason that I remember this so well is that I had only been all-the-way out for several years, I was living in D.C., young and politically charged, and I was very active in the Democratic party. To my memory, no one ever advanced the idea of a Constitutional amendment on marriage or the argument that DOMA was the lesser of two evils. That’s Bernie Sanders’ recollection, too. Not only has he called Hillary out on this, he also voted against DOMA.

Bill and Hillary Clinton may be pro-marriage equality today — and good for them; they should be — but the record is pretty clear: in the 90s, Bill Clinton did not support same-sex marriage.

I’m not terribly sure, with nearly 20 years of hindsight, that he should be pilloried for that, given the tenor of the times, but let’s not engage in fantasy revisionism. It’s okay to change your mind; that’s kind of the whole underpinning of the United States.

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