Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Pot. Kettle. Clinton.

I'm not a "Clinton hater," but I am a bit bugged by his recent comments concerning a gay GOP operative who is going after his wife, former First Lady and current Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. The operative, Arthur Finklestien, has worked on many a Republican's campaign, including the very anti-gay for Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina. Finkelstien was secretly married in Massachusetts a few months ago to his partner of 40 years. The Bay State, of course, is the only state in the Union that grants marriage to same-sex partners (and the state STILL has not slipped into the ocean because of that).

The former president came to his wife's defense, saying Finkelstien was "self-loathing." Here is the quote:

"... He went to Massachusetts and married his longtime male partner and then he comes back here and announces this," Clinton said at a Harlem news conference.

"I thought, one of two things. Either this guy believes his party is not serious, and is totally Machiavellian in his position, or there's some sort of self-loathing there. I was more sad for him."

While I don't approve of Finkelstein's hardball tactics, I don't see where his work in a so-called "Stop Hillary" campaign means he is "self-loathing." Furthermore, Clinton seems to be falling for the same argument that many liberals tend to spew: why would any self-respecting gay person would belong to a party that hates them? In their eyes, gays should leave the GOP and join the Democrats where they would be welcomed. Nevermind that gay conservatives may not agree with their Democratic brethren on many issues. That line of argument then continues that any gay person that is a Republican, must surely hate themselves since they choose to remain in a party that doesn't like them.

Of course this is all rubbish. I don't think Finkelstein or any other gay Republican is self-loathing. I for one am a proud gay Republican. I'm proud to be who I am. Finkelstien can be faulted for working with anti-gay politicans like Helms, but if we are going to use the self-lothing label, there are gay Democrats who continue to work for politicians who sell the gay community out when the going gets tough. That label should be used on them as well.

The liberal Americablog, has post that takes the former President to task for his remarks. However, Americablog is a bit too soft on the 42nd President. They explain away his vote for DOMA as one where he was backed into a corner by the GOP. That may well have been, but that never stopped Clinton from supporting abortion rights when the far right tried to limit that right. Clinton was always willing to expend political capital on that issue, but when it came to gays, we were sold down the river. And what of the fact that last year, he told John Kerry last year to support amendments banning gay marriage?

And what about they fact that the gay community supported John Kerry even though he said he would have voted to stop his home state of Massachusetts from granting marriage licenses to same sex couples? Was that self-loathing?

I won't defend my party's record on gay rights. That's why I'm trying to change it. But with all due respect, on the issue of gay rights, the former President should keep his mouth shut. He has not been the friend to the gay community he pretends to be.


Post a Comment

<< Home

!-- End .box -->