Atlantis Alumni

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Clintons And Civil Rights

Hillary is out there comparing herself to Lyndon Baines Johnson on civil rights. But what is the real Clinton record on civil rights? Andrew Sulivan nails it - their record is horrible:

"In the 1990s, we saw a burst of grass-roots activism, protest and rhetoric
in defense of gay and lesbian equality. Out of the ashes of the AIDS epidemic,
the gay rights movement rose like a phoenix. And the Clintons, seeing a
fund-raising opportunity, reached out to some in the movement to finance their
own campaign. Those donors trusted them. I wrote the TNR endorsement. But as
soon as the gays had performed their role - financing the Clintons in power and
supporting their campaign - the Clintons turned on us. They dropped their
promise to end the military's ban instantaneously and then presided over a
doubling of the discharges of gay servicemembers under the hideous "Don't Ask,
Don't Tell" policy. They then used the other emerging civil rights issue -
marriage equality - to triangulate against gay couples. They ran ads on
Christian radio stations bragging about the Defense of Marriage Act that
president Clinton eagerly signed. And the only gay people they embraced were
those willing to continue to trade money for access - and loyalty to the
Clintons. Who helped them devise this anti-gay strategy? Dick Morris. Who
recommended hiring him in the first place? Hillary Clinton.
Johnson risked
his entire coalition on the issue of civil rights - a heroic act that still
reverberates today. The Clintons wouldn't risk a smidgen of a percentage point
in a Mark Penn poll for the duration of a news cycle. That's the difference. "


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