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Hudson V Clinton - was Lane heckling the former President on DOMA and DADT at Netroots Nation?


So... I don't know if you heard about this whole Netroots Nation Bill Clinton getting heckled rigmarole, but in case you hadn't heard, legendary blogger (and my bud from way back) Lane Hudson, got up and started loudly questioning Clinton during his speech at the Pittsburgh liberal bloggers conference, because he was frustrated that there would not be a question/answer section.

Lane confronted Clinton on DADT and DOMA--in polite language, but with a sort of eye-of-the-tiger confrontational look on this face (and a LOT of finger pointing), and Clinton DEFTLY handled his answer in what may go down as one of the single most important LGBT-related videos of the last month... if not year.

Clinton--in no uncertain terms--called for the repeal of DOMA and DADT and VERY SMARTLY explained his role in the entire process succinctly and smartly (albeit abdicating a little more responsibility for DOMA than he probably should have).

A lot of the bloggosphere is lining up either behind Hudson or behind Clinton--was Lane being out of line? Is Clinton just shirking responsibility?

I say they're missing the point.

Regardless of whether or not you like Lane's method, we wouldn't have gotten THAT PERFECT no-beating-around-the-bush response out of Clinton had Lane not pissed him off.

Towleroad gives us a nice, efficient summary of the entire exchange.

Of course, Chris Geidner, our favorite LawDork, really breaks it down. I love when he gets to DOMA:

Finally, some more extended thoughts about Clinton’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and Defense of Marriage Act statements, both of which were quite remarkable.

As I described after watching the clip the first time, it’s clear that Clinton is genuinely angered about the way that his role in today’s implementation of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is viewed. Sure, it’s a politician’s gloss, but his passion here is genuine, and I feel for the guy.

But, then there’s DOMA, where Clinton becomes far less passionate and far more political. Citing the 2004 post-Goodridge, Bush-re-election year anti-marriage amendments as proof of the need for the 1996 DOMA is just lazy, and Clinton knows it. There might very well be proof, but that’s not it...

Geidner says so much more good stuff, you gotta read it.

I posted my feelings as a comment on LAWDORK's site. You can read it right here.
I love Lane, and he’s a good guy and a friend, but I feel he was caught up in this moment and let his anger boil over inapporpriately. THAT SAID, I’m glad he did, because this answer was absolutely PERFECT! Its going to get forwarded around all over the web, and I think make a deep impact.

I love his reminder that Presidents aren’t dictators. Chris, that’s what your blog seems to try to remind people every day. Its good to hear it from a primary source! We’ve all forgotten at times exactly WHAT system we live in–a Democracy. We put all of this energy and faith behind one person to elect, and then get angry when they don’t fix the things we thought they were going to fix.

Putting pressure on them is good, but don’t forget whose job it is to WRITE the laws they sign–CONGRESS!

Many activists want to work against Congress rather than with them. Clinton reminds us that this is a bad idea. Working with Congress is slow and GRUELING, and frustrating, but that’s how we will get FEDERAL LAW changed.

We also need to be really upfront with our Reps and Senators, though: Public support of LGBT rights is the highest its ever been. Noone is going to be able to make it a re-election issue anytime soon if you’re a Democrat. If you’re a Moderate Republican, maybe it will be a tiny primary issue, but probably not enough to make waves. It won’t be an election issue. We’ll work with you, but just know we’re expecting you to KEEP your promises THIS term.

People want to go to one extreme or another, but they don’t realize to get anything done we need a LITTLE ACT-UP AND a LITTLE HRC. Neither can do it without the other! We need a little Lane Hudson to get Clinton heated enough to make that statement, a little Chris Geidner to chide him, and we need a little Joe Solmonese to write a sappy letter thanking Clinton for his statements (and encouraging other politicians to come out in favor of overturning the policy as emphatically).

Til next time, Ameriqueers!


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