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“Better Late Than Never”…

Jim Burroway

July 14th, 2009

…is a cliché that’s rarely spoken of with any real sense of satisfaction. More often, it’s said in exasperation over the fact that the late is just barely better at all than the never. And there are times when you don’t even want to acknowledge that much, like when former President Bill Clinton says this:

Asked if he would commit his support for same-sex marriage, Clinton responded, “I’m basically in support.”

This spring, same-sex marriage was legalized in Iowa, Vermont, Connecticut, Maine and New Hampshire. In his most recent remarks on the subject, Clinton said, “I think all these states that do it should do it.” The former president, however, added that he does not believe that same-sex marriage is “a federal question.”

Now he says he’s “basically in support.” He’s out of office, his political career is over, and what he says and thinks carries all the weight of the latest Elizabeth Hasselbeck outburst on The View. This president, who now believes that same-sex marriage is not “a federal question” is the very president who made it a federal question when he signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law — and then he used that to brag about how “pro-family” he was in campaign commercials on Christian radio.

But now he’s “basically in support” and does not believe that it should be “a federal question.” The president who hasn’t held power in almost nine years is now better on the issue than the one who does. Thanks. Better late than never, I suppose.

Comments

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Matt
July 15th, 2009 | LINK

Old Klingon proverb:

Fool me once, shame on you.
Fool me twice, shame on me.
Fool me three times, prepare to die.

Nancye
July 15th, 2009 | LINK

What the..??? “What does basically in support mean” ??????

scotte
July 15th, 2009 | LINK

I’m not a Clinton fan, but it has been 13 years since DOMA and it is possible Clinton has learned a few things in the meantime (hey, Senator Robert Byrd has gotten a 100% rating from the NAACP in recent sessions, so learning is possible). And while Clinton is no longer in power his views carry a lot of weight in many Democratic circles. (Or maybe I’m just on a leftover high from the Episcopal House of Bishops vote).

Andrew Conte
July 15th, 2009 | LINK

Scotte,
Yes it has been 13 years. However, for Clinton to say that he “basically supports us ” is like being “basically pregnant. And “this should not be a federal question” ???? That is a real slap to the face. It is a federal question because it is a federal question….thanks to Bill (and Hillary who only feels that only HALF of DOMA should be eliminated. The Clintons are not and NEVER have been friends of the gay community. Anything short of a heartfelt apology is totally useless.

Bruce Garrett
July 15th, 2009 | LINK

“I have a vision for America, and you are part of it…” Just not while I’m president…

Ben in Oakland
July 15th, 2009 | LINK

“What the..??? “What does basically in support mean”

It all depends…

on what the definition of “is” is.

Burr
July 15th, 2009 | LINK

Yeah well I’m “basically in support” of half-assed supporters like Clinton, but this should not be a question of me VOTING for them.

Ephilei
July 15th, 2009 | LINK

For the sake of argument, it’s very possible, even likely, Bill changed his mind. Think of how many other politicians have changed their mind in the past 13 years.

And “basically” means he has some minor objections that he doesn’t care to share.

cd
July 15th, 2009 | LINK

Oh, come on. I hate the constant revisionism applied to the Clintons.

The argument in favor of DOMA in 1996 was that if we didn’t pass a federal statute, the Republicans and Religious Right would be able to get an amendment to the Constitution to bar gay marriage entirely. The animus of the RR and the math was correct, judging by all the mini-DOMAs that were later passed by over 3/4 of all the states. One could even imagine that DOMA was written in such a way that the courts could be expected to find it bad law.

Clinton couldn’t exactly walk away from DOMA after “championing” it. He’s a smart guy, he knows how to slip away slowly.

ravenbiker
July 16th, 2009 | LINK

I am a big Clinton fan and if DOMA wasn’t insulting enough, he now says it’s not a “federal” issue? Last I looked. DOMA is a federal mandate made into law.

But he’s right (reading between the lines of what he is trying to say). Marrage is a states rights issue. The federal government ought only to step in when 2/3 of the states passes new marriage law. However, Mr. Obama has cold feet when it comes to removing DOMA and DADT. He’s the one needing punished and not Clinton’s bend-over-and-hold-you-ankles-so-that-the-religious-right-infected-congressional-Republicans-can-f**k-you misstep.

Tom in Lazybrook
July 16th, 2009 | LINK

Nah..I’m tired of politicians saying they support us after they leave office.

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