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:
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.
Excellent piece by Saeed Jones on BuzzFeed. If you’re not familiar, the great Maddow went over the top on the air (and rightly so) criticizing Politifact for refusing to actually say that Martina Navratilova was correct — even after they checked the facts and found out she was correct — and called her response “half true.”
No one does righteous indignation as good as Maddow. This is probably because it is the province of the uber-smart and witty, which absolutely describes Maddow to a tee.
But Jones is no slouch, it seems, in that department. Here’s how he sums up:
And I have this unfortunate habit of needing to write essays when I’m angry. I sit at my computer, grating my teeth, hearing Zora Neale Hurston say over and over again, “If you are silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it.”
Supposedly objective dismissal of inconvenient facts as “half truths” or dramatics is more than galling; it’s oppressive. The questions, “Why does this matter?” and, “Why are you so angry?” are conjoined twins, both hissing that we don’t even have a right to our own outrage.