Saturday, August 15, 2009

CNN Coverage of Bill Clinton's Netroots Nation Showdown with Blogger Lane Hudson Not Very Forgiving

CNN covered the now widely talked about interruption of Bill Clinton's keynote speech at Netroots Nation. Blogger Lane Hudson stood up and shouted, "Mr. President, will you call for a repeal of DOMA and Don't Ask, Don't Tell? Right now?"

Clinton snapped back, placing blame back on the LGBT population. However, CNN calls Clinton's take "classic Bill Clinton version of history - 'It wasn't my fault.'"

CNN isn't alone.

Blog Godless Liberal Homo takes extreme umbrage with Clinton's portrayal of Don't Ask Don't Tell's passage.
Let's start with the military ban. Bill Clinton claims that the problem with his deceptively labeled "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy was with its implementation despite the fact that he deliberately designed it to increase the number of discharges and witchhunts. Queer veterans groups at the time were warning people that this version was even worse than the version Reagan put in place as an Executive Order.

Clinton also lied about congressional support to sustain a veto of a military ban. In 1993, 35 Senators voted to lift the ban completely with no support from the Clinton White House. It only takes 34 Senators to sustain a veto.

Here are a couple of facts about the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that you may not know.

1) Military commanders are allowed to launch investigations of sexual orientation without anyone coming out based on any or no evidence. These witchhunts even have involved placing undercover military police in gay bars.

2) If a soldier tells her mother she is a lesbian, she is violating "DADT" and is subject to discharge.

3) If a marine tells his boyfriend he is gay, he is violating "DADT" and is subject to discharge.

(That's why it pisses me off when people call it "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" itself is one of Bill Clinton's homophobic lies.)

Bill Clinton also lied about DOMA. He said he didn't want to sign it, yet he ran campaign ads in 1996 on fundamentalist Christian radio bragging about signing it. Oops!

Given now that we have another president who claimed to be a "fierce advocate" in his campaign but shows less action while in office, this debate about Clinton's legacy seems very timely, especially with talk that Obama hesitates making moves on LGBT rights because he fears making the same mistakes Clinton did.

It's all about context. Like Clinton said at Netroots Nation, that was 16 years ago.


  1. I'm also taking umbrage - at Lane Hudson for his lame attempt at invoking ACT UP only to come off like Queer Nation on The Arsenio Hall Show.

    What also didn't help matters any was, one, the other bloggers who were there and sat there with their thumbs up their ass, and two, Lane with his "I meant to do that" blog posting on Huffington Post.

    And people wonder why I'm critical at the arbiters of the The Dallas Principles.

  2. NG - I couldn't agree with you more. Lane Hudson is a shameless self-promoter in the movement. Worse, his question wasn't even a good one. Bill Clinton has long been opposed to DADT and he has already stated his support of same sex marriage. But Lane is acting like he got Bill to say something for the first time. If Lane read the paper instead of his own press, he'd realize that nothing was accomplished here other than a debate within the movement about whether he was rude to shout out like that. If I were Bill I would have been defensive too. I would have been like, "Lane, please go read up on the issue before you start pontificating about it." Now, if Lane would go yell at a target that mattered, it might be newsworthy. And by a target that matters, I mean one that actually has something to do with making laws.

  3. anonymous: "DADT" is Bill Clinton's baby. He created it and wants it to stay in effect, regardless of any lies he is telling now. I'm surprised anyone is fooled by Bill Clinton after his repeated lies on queer issues and other issues while in the White House.

    general comment: Lane Hudson deserves tremendous credit for what he did. We need to start supporting queers who speak out against vicious and evil bigots like Bill Clinton.