Saturday, December 03, 2005

Palmer Compares Hillary Record to Kerry's

Michael Oates Palmer, whose biography includes writing for The West Wing, compared Hillary Clinton to John Kerry at the Huffington Post. While we have often seen some unfair characteriztions of Kerry's record at that site, Palmer gets it right on this one:

Well, we now have a Hillary Clinton record. Four years in the Senate. But I’m not asking you to tell me if that record's conservative or liberal. All I’m asking is for you to show me an instance when she has taken a policy stand that was courageous, not cautious. When she was willing to voice a position on any issue where her stance was brave, and not just following Penn and Schoen’s pulse-taking on the current vox populi. She sure hasn’t been doing it on gay marriage: I saw her on television recently explaining why she was against it – and the senator represents a state where gay-friendly Republican politicians may as well be the state bird. (And if she's suddenly going to come out for Iraq withdrawal now -- it's only a matter of time before that stance will be the equivalent of her wearing a mesh trucker hat in the East Village on Bridge and Tunnel night.)

If a Hillary supporter can point me to one decision or vote she's made in the last four years where she took a stand that went against her best political interests – I’ll buy the first beer. (Obligatory disclaimer: Literally, the first beer to one lucky reader. I'm not buying five thousand people their first beers of the evening. End of obligatory disclaimer.)

Say what you want to about John Kerry – and lord knows, I’ve said a lot of things about John Kerry, occasionally even without the presence of alcoholic beverages in my system or my fists belligerently waving at the heavens -- but he was one of only 14 Democrats who had the courage to vote against the so-called Defense of Marriage Act – a bill of prejudice and fear encouraged by a Democratic president in 1996, a presidential election year, as a little hateful shotglass of Dick Morris triangulation.

In that one vote, Kerry made a choice that he would not be seen by later generations the way we today look upon Orval Faubus and George Wallace, barricades on the road of another civil rights movement’s progress.

In that one vote, Kerry would not stand in the doorway against progress, but instead stand for equality. Even though he had ample presidential ambitions. Even though he himself was in the fight of his senatorial life that year against a very popular Governor Weld. Even though he knew his vote would be red meat for the fund-raising letters and “family values” platforms of a hundred GOP grass roots pamphlets when he would eventually run for president – and so it was.

Say what you will about John Kerry. But when he voted against DOMA, he did the right thing when few others did.


Post a Comment

<< Home