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Log Cabin Faults (Bill) Clinton for Attempting to Rewrite History of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell

Just as his wife attempted to rewrite the reasons for her husband’s support for the Defense of Marriage Act in the Logo Debate (claiming it was to stave off an amendment enshrining the traditional definition of marriage in the federal constitution), so too is Bill Clinton trying to rewrite the record of his (or should I say “their” given the experience she claims?) Administration. The former president’s latest whopper is claiming that when he signed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” he hadn’t expected that “anti-gay forces in the military” would start “using it as an excuse to kick people out.

Log Cabin did not mince words in taking issue with Clinton’s latest lie. Organization President Patrick Sammon said:

“President Clinton either didn’t understand the legislation he signed or he’s lying. . . . If he actually thought the military wasn’t correctly implementing ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ why didn’t he do anything about it for the seven years he served as President after signing the legislation?  Clinton apparently forgets he was Commander-in-Chief.

Given the way his wife’s been campaigning, in the unfortunate event she wins election, she’ll forget she’s chief executive if things don’t go as she wants. And she’ll just try to pass the buck.

Citing a 1993* Department of Defense press release announcing the new policy, Sammon noted further:

From the very beginning of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,’ there was no doubt what the law meant—gay and lesbian Americans could only serve if they lied about their sexual orientation or kept it a secret.

We’re pleased to see Log Cabin taking on a Democrat. Indeed Sammon finds the former president’s latest misrepresentation just “another example of the Clintonian excuses and re-writing history.” Ms. Hillary is running on experience. Yet, just like her husband, she’ll twist her actual experience to fit the narrative of the moment, turning, for example, a goodwill mission abroad to a diplomatic initiative.

For the Clinton’s facts aren’t the way things were, but the way they want things to have been to fit their latest campaign narrative, to please whatever audience they’re addressing at the time, whose votes they need to win the election at hand.

If Hillary is running on her experience, then her experience is her husband’s record. And we know all too well what that means to the gay community. As Patrick Sammon puts it, Clinton is “a man who gladly took support and money from gays and lesbians and then delivered ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and the so-called ‘Defense of Marriage Act.”

Kudos to Log Cabin for taking on this dishonest Democrat. Let’s see if any of the other gay organizations take note of Clinton’s attempt to twist his record on gay issues to suit his purposes.

ADDENDUM: At least one gay blogger has taken note. Chris Crain writes that it’s Déjà Bill all over again.


*A year when Democrats controlled the White House and both houses of Congress.

UPDATE: Chris Crain has more on Bill Clinton’s weasley ways, commenting in a second post on the former president’s misrepresentations on DADT:

It is incumbent on the media and gay rights groups, whatever their presidential candidate affiliation, to call Bill Clinton out on his misrepresentation of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and correct the record once and for all.

He also links a post providing video of the former Democratic president’s latest fib. As with anything by Chris Crain, read the whole thing because even when he’s wrong, he’s got a point to make. This time, he pretty much gets it right.

UP-UPDATE: Even Barack Obama has noted the former president’s dishonesty, commenting, “He continues to make statements that are not supported by the facts.” (Via Baldilocks via Instapundit.)



  1. The DADT “compromise” did show poor judgment and foresight on Clinton’s part. It was the political equivalent of trading Kevin Garnett for a stack of journeymen. I know I’ve defended it in the past, even on these boards I think, but Clinton’s current spin is nothing more than an attempt to put lipstick on his pig. While he still gets credit for trying, as well as the nominal improvement DADT brought, the overall compromise was a poor decision that has hampered further progress.

    Comment by Chase — January 21, 2008 @ 4:58 am - January 21, 2008

  2. #1
    That reminds me:

    What DADT is is another example of liberals pretending to give a damn about the gays and then screwing them over ASAP.

    Seriously. How many times do gays have to get smacked around before they realize the DNC doesn’t love them?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 21, 2008 @ 5:48 am - January 21, 2008

  3. DADT and DOMA are both examples of Bill Clinton caving when pressured by the right. Neither of those were his idea. But he signed them rather than fight for gay rights.

    Clinton is outright lying about DOMA. It was an election year stunt by the Republican Congress. If Clinton had vetoed it they would have used it against him in the 96 campaign. But it’s not just that he signed it, but he actually bragged about signing it in radio ads in the south during the 96 election. So it’s total BS that this headed off a constitutional amendment. The Republicans didn’t have the votes for an amendment and even if they did all he had to do was veto it.

    You’re right. The Democrats don’t love us. It’s just that the Republicans hate us, or rather pander to those who hate us to get votes.

    Comment by Houndentenor — January 21, 2008 @ 7:58 am - January 21, 2008

  4. The Republicans didn’t have the votes for an amendment and even if they did all he had to do was veto it.

    The President has no Constitutional role whatsoever in the amendment proposal or ratification process.

    It’s just that the Republicans hate us, or rather pander to those who hate us to get votes.

    Let’s get down and dirty here. The “gay vote” is so small that it is not significant in all but a few national elections. The democrats throw small bouquets to the gays as a message to the huge numbers of liberal voters. Liberals just love to feel that their vote is doing world-embracing good. For the democrats, it is a peck on the cheek and nothing more. Just try moving the activities of P-Town to Martha’s Vineyard and see how tolerant the democrat leaders are.

    No Republican I know hates gays and I would imagine that the actual vote from people who hate gays is so small that it is not worth going after.

    I would be interested to know exactly what gays are being denied in this society. Every time I have this discussion with my gay friends and associates, it always boils down to respect.

    Comment by heliotrope — January 21, 2008 @ 9:55 am - January 21, 2008

  5. #3. When Clinton signed DADT, Democrat Sam Nunn was chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. That´s who Clinton caved into.

    Comment by Roberto — January 21, 2008 @ 10:10 am - January 21, 2008

  6. We have already lost the fight for same-sex marriage. It is time to move on to a fight we can win: achieving the all of the rights of marriage under the title of federal civil unions.

    Same-sex marriage with all of the rights, benefits and obligations of marriage cannot exist in the United States in the near future. Here is why: Forty-five states have laws (19) or constitutional amendments (26) prohibiting same-sex marriage. (Source: Human Rights Campaign) Almost two-thirds of 48 million votes cast on same-sex marriage in 29 states were against us. As the noted gay historian and professor at the University of Illinois, John D’Emilio, observed in his 2006 article, The Marriage Fight Is Setting Us Back, “The campaign for same-sex marriage has been an unmitigated disaster. It has created a vast body of new anti-gay laws.” There has already been, in effect, a national referendum and we have lost……BIG.

    Real Marriage Does Not Exist in Massachusetts
    Despite the title, “marriage”, same-sex marriage with all of the rights, benefits and obligations of marriage does not even exist in Massachusetts. Massachusetts’s same-sex marriage, California’s domestic partners, and Vermont and New Jersey’s civil unions all have the same federal benefits of marriage: zero.

    Massachusetts’s same-sex marriage is a success only if:
    1. You think it is fine to have the name “marriage” but not the 1138 federal benefits of marriage,
    2. You think it is fine that the fight over the word “marriage” has cause Massachusetts to have four constitutional conventions and cost the LGBT community and Massachusetts taxpayers millions without adding one right that civil unions/domestic partners affords us, and
    3. You think it is fine that lesbians and gay men across the country have paid for Massachusetts “marriages” with laws and state constitutional amendments which outlawed both same-sex and civil unions & domestic partners.

    The Myth About Same-Sex Marriage
    There is a myth that marriage has more rights and benefits than civil unions/domestic partners. That myth is born from the fact that civil unions/domestic partners have only been passed by states. States have no power to grant the 1138 federal benefits of marriage. However, a federal civil union policy would. Senators Clinton, Obama & Edwards have pledge to support a federal civil union policy.

    Separate May Be Equal
    Anecdotal reports of inappropriate or anomalous implementation of California’s three year old comprehensive domestic partner laws would not be solved by changing the title to marriage. Lesbians and gay men in Massachusetts have reported problems with their state’s implementation of same-sex marriage. Like California, Massachusetts’s legislature is having to plug some holes because both of these policies are new. Any new and comprehensive policy, no matter how well written, will have bumps along the road to implementation. (The Gay & Lesbian Review 5/2007 page 6, Marriage Equality Not a Reality In Mass. by Dale Mitchell, Cofounder, LGBT Aging Project, Boston, MA)

    Separate but Equal Argument is Historically Incorrect
    Same-sex marriage activists will say, “Separate is not equal.” Analogy to Brown v. Board of Education (1954, US Supreme Court) is a common error which ignores the historical facts. “Separate but equal” was invented by white supremacists in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896, US Supreme Court) to oppress African-Americans. Domestic Partners was invented by a gay man, Tom Brougham, in 1982 and advanced by lesbian and gay organizations to obtain the benefits of marriage when most lesbians and gay men viewed marriage as a discredited patriarchal institution. Indeed, the acceptance of civil unions/domestic partners is more comparable to Brown than to Plessy.

    Facing Reality: The Way Forward
    A clear majority of voters support civil unions with all the same rights, benefits and obligations of marriage but oppose support same-sex marriage. Illogical? Yes! But it is a fact we must live with. (Bloomberg/Los Angeles Times poll of 10/28/2007: 30% support same-sex marriage, 26% support civil unions, 38% oppose any legal recognition for same-sex couples.)

    There have been no successful direct challenges to statewide domestic partner or civil union policies. Domestic partners and civil unions have been overturned only when they were included in ballot propositions whose primary purpose was to ban same-sex marriage. As a result, one hundred million Americans already live in states where civil unions are prohibited. This is the “collateral damage” of our failed fight for “marriage.”

    No State Can Grant Marriage Equality
    Many lesbian/gay organizations such as Vermont Freedom to Marry and Equality California claim that state sponsored same-sex marriage is “marriage equality” even though it does not include the 1138 federal rights of marriage. They deny that a federal civil union policy, which would include the 1138 federal rights of marriage, is “marriage equality” because it would not have the word “marriage.” This is a perversion of language. Just the opposite would be true: federal civil unions would grant marriage equality. Unfortunately, no state has the ability to grant federal rights. Therefore, no state has the ability to grant marriage equality. We must return to the successful strategy of attaining our rights through civil unions and domestic partners which has worked well for over 20 years.

    Federal Civil Unions = Marriage Equality
    All of the rights, benefits and obligations of marriage are attainable, with public support, under the title civil unions or domestic partners. Same-sex marriage is not. We may not like that fact, however, it is none-the-less a fact. Why the leaders of our community do not see the obvious is beyond understanding. It is time that someone in the lesbian and gay community tell our leaders that their strategy on same-sex marriage has failed. Same-sex marriages void of federal rights is not marriage equality.

    Our community has lost it’s way. We must tell our leaders to abandon a policy which, primarily, has brought us defeat and more legal barriers. We can choose to return to a more successful strategy, which in the short run may appear slower but, in the long run, will help us achieve our goal of marriage equality much quicker.

    Who among us will be brave enough to say, “The emperor has no clothes” before we are all stripped naked of our rights.

    Comment by Leland Traiman — January 21, 2008 @ 11:05 am - January 21, 2008

  7. Pressured by the right, Houndentenor? Hardly, he was looking at the polls and considering his own political prospects.

    Recall (as I noted in the post above) that when he signed DADT, he signed a bill passed by a Democratic House and Senate.

    Don’t blame the right on this one. Blame the shameless politics of the family Clinton.

    Comment by GayPatriotWest — January 21, 2008 @ 11:14 am - January 21, 2008

  8. This wasn’t even about marriage, but that post by Leland is too pessimistic to let slip by! (and on Dr. King’s birthday, no less!) As far as the marriage amendments go, nothing that’s been legislated today can not be undone tomorrow and everything that has been legislated will be undone. Nearly all needed a simple majority to pass. Give us time, let us continue to educate, as we bolster our numbers and we will go back and repeal every single one. The day will come, not too far in the future, when we’ll begin collecting signatures to put constitutional amendments on the ballots to repeal these constitutional amendments. If they can get 50+1, so can we.

    Don’t be so defeatist.

    Comment by Chase — January 21, 2008 @ 3:13 pm - January 21, 2008

  9. Chase, you need to take a little time to learn what a Constitutional amendment is and how they are proposed and ratified. Here is what Article V of the Constitution says:

    “The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress;….”

    Comment by heliotrope — January 21, 2008 @ 3:39 pm - January 21, 2008

  10. I would be interested to know exactly what gays are being denied in this society.

    Heliotrope, I’m going to take a wild guess that you yourself are not gay, because I cannot imagine any gay person who is not constantly reminded of what he is she is “denied” by virtue of whom they love.

    Just to cover a very small tip of a very large iceberg, how about joint tax-filing status, next of kin, hospital visitation, immigration status, the right to fight for one’s country without fear of being hounded out over sexuality, etc. etc. etc.?

    No, it’s not like we’re being rounded up and sent on the trains to Montana, as some seem to fear, but it’s absurd to suggest that we aren’t denied certain things that others are entitled to only if God made them straight.

    Comment by Matt — January 23, 2008 @ 5:19 pm - January 23, 2008

  11. I dont feel like I”m denied anything. I certainly dont look to the government for validation of my life or what I do.. in fact I perfer they stay out of it.

    People craving the entire society give them a thumbs up and a pat on the back have serious problems. You give people power they shouldn’t have.

    Looking for everyone else to validate you is a recipe for disappointment.

    Comment by Vince P — January 23, 2008 @ 6:03 pm - January 23, 2008

  12. Just to cover a very small tip of a very large iceberg, how about joint tax-filing status, next of kin, hospital visitation, immigration status, the right to fight for one’s country without fear of being hounded out over sexuality, etc. etc. etc.?

    Presumably, you loaded the biggest issues ahead of the etc, etc, etc.

    Joint filing status allows you to suffer the marriage penalty built into the tax code. You can take care of this by just making a further donation on your tax return.

    Next of kin is a state issue and it has been resolved in many states.

    Hospital visitation may be a problem from one hospital to the next. They all set their own rules. However, the state government is the place where rules of consent are written.

    I guess, by immigration status, we are talking about getting the spousal advantage to a lover. I will cede you that one. The whole immigration regulation mess is nearly beyond control. It is corrupted with convenience marriages.

    Clearly you can fight for your country. Clearly, you can marry someone of the opposite sex who is not your parent or a sibling.

    Vince P (#11) speaks my thoughts better than I can state them. You can be gay and keep it strictly your own business. But being actively gay (also known as the gay lifestyle) is an action. It is the action of love, affection, flirting, sex, and commitment to one of the same gender.

    The public square is a place where culture is tested. (Try putting up a statue there that features a nude man with a huge erection.) Gays who want to have an open and robust lifestyle in the public square have carved out a number a places where they can feel quite at ease. Many straights simply ignore them or stay away.

    We are talking about the clash of cultures and what is respected and what it not. So, my original point still stands:

    Every time I have this discussion with my gay friends and associates, it always boils down to respect.

    Comment by heliotrope — January 24, 2008 @ 10:45 am - January 24, 2008

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