enough of Hillary

As long as we're talking marriage and stuff, let me talk about Hillary, or rather let me report the noble Michelangelo Signorile talking about Hillary. Last week Signorile very efficiently answered a reader who was unable to reconcile New York's junior senator's very public statement's opposing gay marriage with what many people imagine to be her private opinions.

It honestly doesn’t matter what Hillary Clinton really thinks, since, on the record, she is opposed to same-sex marriage, end of story. To cut her any slack because she might truly have no problem with same-sex marriage but is being politically pragmatic would be no different than cutting George W. Bush slack for having gay friends yet supporting sodomy laws or the federal marriage amendment because he has to pander to the religious right.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m in no way comparing Bush to Hillary, and she is light years ahead of him on gay civil rights. But politicians should only get points from us for what they’re willing to expend, not what they truly believe but don’t act on. In fact, they should get points deducted for not following through on their convictions.

I agree that Hillary’s opposition to same-sex marriage seems totally insincere. And I don’t believe for a minute that Bill Clinton believed in the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)—but he signed it nonetheless. It’s an annoying, sometimes enraging aspect of the Clintons, where they wimp out just when it really matters. And in the end, it usually turns out that they could have taken the chance with no repercussions. Does anyone really believe, in hindsight, that Bill Clinton would have suffered if he didn’t sign DOMA? If Hillary Clinton were truly a leader among the Democrats, as you describe her, she would be moving them on this issue. She has a lot of admirable traits, and she can count me as a fan in many respects. I also accept political pragmatism; sometimes it’s the way you have to go. But no, it doesn’t comfort me to imagine that Hillary does support same-sex marriage but is lying and in the process passing religious judgment—“It’s traditionally been between one man and one woman”—on us. And it shouldn’t comfort you either.

Lest I myself be accused of fomenting a one-note anti-Hillary campaign, can I remind all of us that she voted for the Patriot Act and the Iraq War resolution? Moreover, her responsibility, which her husband must share, for the failure of health care reform during President Clinton's administration is almost as profound as that of the drug and insurance lobby.

I'm sorry, I can see absolutely no reason for her popularity with any groups or individuals today, just as I still cannot understand why she was once so viciously demonized when she was the wife of a governor and later of a president.