Saturday, December 22, 2007

Washington Blade endorses Hillary

by shamanic

Concluding that "Clinton has earned the support of gay voters in 2008," gay weekly the Washington Blade endorses her bid for the White House.

In so many ways, elections these days are simple for gay voters. One party will work against us in crass and hurtful ways, and the other party will basically leave us alone. If you're a (straight, old school) Republican, you might recognize the dichotomy and understand why gays overwhelmingly turn out for Democrats.

But is Hillary the best candidate for us? The Blade is right to note her experience, her political ability, and her willingness to build alliances with her political opposites, but to me all of these point back to the old Clintonian willingness to toss gays and lesbians under the bus when it is expedient to see us flattened.

If we are a community that seeks to be left alone, Hillary Clinton might be the right candidate for that. But 2008 seems likely to bring with it a widely expanded Democratic majority in the Congress, and the time for us to dream of what a government that takes us into account looks like is upon us.

Hillary Clinton, for all the ways that she is incredibly courageous, is not the candidate who will advocate for us when it matters. She's a Clinton, and she learned from the master.

2009-2010 is likely to be a congressional session when we can have almost anything we want. Eleven months out, every poll and pundit I've seen for the last year has predicted a broad victory by Democrats at every level. The repeal of DOMA is on the table, and that long-standing smear on gay families crafted by Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich may finally be erased from the books. Unlike the other Dem candidates, Hillary Clinton doesn't support a full repeal of DOMA, only one piece of it.

This classically Clinton approach -- caution and incremental change -- is not what is needed from what may be the most gay-friendly congress in history. Gay and lesbian Americans today need a leader who will advocate sensibly and speak to those who may not have come all the way around on these issues. We have a real opportunity to make the kinds of legislative changes we've been dreaming of for decades. We shouldn't squander it by supporting a careful candidate who's spent those decades being tutored in the art of triangulation.

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