It seems everyone wants me to blog on Bill Clinton’s latest attack on a Republican. This time, the former has accused an openly gay GOP campaign consultant of being “self-loathing.” Two people mentioned it in comments to my last post. A guy I’ve been dating e-mailed me the same link that a reader sent me. A couple people commenting to my last post were eager to hear my thoughts. Naturally, I was flattered by the interest in my ideas. 🙂
So, instead of giving my brain a rest after much studying, writing and reading, I’ll share my thoughts with you. Once again, we see Clinton returning to his basic campaign tactic, what I call, the “reverse-offense defense,” where he attacks those who criticize him. As he recycles his old standard, I am reminded of the words Ronald Reagan used in his debate with Jimmy Carter in 1980. “There you go again.” There Bill goes again, taking the low road. Engaging in invective instead of answering the charges.
Except in his case, no charges have yet been leveled against his wife. All that’s happened is after marrying his longtime partner in Massachusetts, political consultant Arthur Finkelstein has launched the “Stop Her Now” campaign, a “527” advocacy group (like those which raised millions to defeat our man W), reportedly raising $10 to prevent Hillary Clinton’s reelection to the U.S. Senate. Perhaps, the former president should note that his wife, the Senator Finkelstein is working to defeat, opposes gay marriage.
It’s comedic watching Clinton — of all people — tar a gay man as self-loathing, Clinton who made promises to gay people as a candidate that he didn’t keep as president because keeping them would have hurt him politically. Will any gay group criticize this man for calling an openly gay man self-loathing?
Well, one has. Log Cabin Political Director Chris Barron shows how this Democrat has always put politics ahead of gay interests, noting that Clinton is
the same President who signed the Defense of Marriage Act, implemented the military’s discriminatory ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy, and encouraged John Kerry to support anti-gay state Constitutional amendments, thinks he has any credibility passing judgment on the life of Arthur Finkelstein or any other gay and lesbian American.
To think that some gay activists see this man as a hero is beyond me.
How would he know that this man is self-loathing? Once again, we confront the narrow-mindedness of certain partisan Democrats who refuse to understand gay Republicans. Clinton’s smear confirms the point I made in my most recent (substantive) post, that conservatives “are stigmatized by many on the left who assume that being a part of some minority, be it one of race, religion or sexual orientation requires one to adopt the principles of contemporary American liberalism. Without bothering to consider our ideas, these liberals just assume we are self-hating. Clinton’s smart enough to know better, but his political instinct is to attack his opponents, rather than engage them.
He smears anyone who would threaten his own political survival–and now that of his wife. Since Finkelstein is intent on taking on his wife, Clinton responds by calling him names. To be sure, Clinton has every right to defend his wife against charges leveled against her. Indeed, the loyal husband of a politically ambitious woman should do that.
It’s one thing to challenge the points this man raises in his campaign to defeat Mrs. Clinton; it’s quite another to attack him personally, as Mr. Clinton has done.
If Clinton were really concerned about helping gays, if he really were the hero so many gay activists claim him to be, wouldn’t he be delighted that an openly gay man, a man who married his partner was taking such a visible role in what promises to be a popular campaign among Republicans? Finkelstein could become a positive gay role model for the GOP, helping defeat a woman many Republicans revile. And a legally married gay man at that. Hmm…. seems his visibility here might cause some Republicans to reconsider their views on gay marriage.
Yes, Clinton was the first presidential nominee of a major political party to address a gay group as he did in LA in 1992, but then he needed gay votes to get elected. Once, in the White House, however, he realized he could be hurt politically by repealing the ban on gays in the military. So, instead of standing firm to principle and doing the right thing, he backed “compromise” legislation which made things worse. In the year he was up for re-election, he signed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) so as not to lose the votes of socially conservative Democrats. And last year, he encouraged Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry to back state initiatives precluding gay marriage, not because it was the right thing, but because it was the political expedient thing.
For, Clinton it’s all about politics. He’s only concerned with gays insofar as we can help him achieve his political goals. And yet mention the name Clinton in a group of gay activists and they get all googly-eyed. Perhaps, if gay activists looked at his record and not that mesmerizing (D) after his name, they might see him for the political opportunist that he is.
And might see his smear of Arthur Finkelstein for what it is, just another example of Bill Clinton putting the game of politics ahead of any concern for the welfare of gay Americans.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com
UPDATE; I changed a sentence in the post because I fear some might have misinterpreted this sentence (as it appeared in the original draft): “Once again, we confront the narrow-mindedness of the partisan Democrat who lacks the insight and imagination to understand gay Republicans.” I did not mean to suggest that all partisan Democrats lack the insight and imagination to understand gay Republicans. Many Democrats do have such insight and while understanding gay Republicans remain fully committed to their party and its candidates.
I have rewritten the sentence: “Once again, we confront the narrow-mindedness of certain partisan Democrats who refuse to understand gay Republicans.”
Please understand that I wrote the original post late at night — and was then already overtired. Nonetheless, I apologize for any misunderstanding the original language may have caused. GPW