Hillary Clinton’s Bad Week Continues

Oh dear, this just is not very good at all:

Hillary Rodham Clinton tersely defended her initial opposition to gay marriage, denying in a radio interview that political reasons were behind her shift last year to supporting same-sex marriage. She accused the host of the show of ‘‘playing with my words.’’

‘‘I did not grow up even imagining gay marriage and I don’t think you did either,’’ Clinton told National Public Radio’s Terry Gross during an interview broadcast Thursday on ‘‘Fresh Air.’’

‘‘This was an incredibly new and important idea that people on the front lines of the gay right movement began to talk about and slowly, but surely, convinced others about the rightness of that position,’’ she added. ‘‘When I was ready to say what I said, I said it.’’

[. . .]

In 2008, Clinton, Barack Obama and other Democratic presidential candidates opposed legalizing same-sex marriage, although they endorsed versions of civil unions.

[. . .]

The NPR interview became tense when Gross asked Clinton repeatedly about her shift to support gay marriage. At one point, Clinton told Gross: ‘‘I think you’re being very persistent, but you are playing with my words and playing with what is such an important issue.’’ Gross said she was trying to clarify Clinton’s views on the issue.

‘‘No, I don’t think you are trying to clarify,’’ Clinton responded. ‘‘I think you are trying to say that I used to be opposed and now I am in favor and I did it for political reasons. And that’s just flat wrong. So let me just state what I feel like you are implying and repudiate it.’’

Clinton added: ‘‘I have a strong record. I have a great commitment to this issue and I am proud of what I’ve done and the progress we’re making.’’

Gross noted that Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, signed the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as a union between one man and one woman and denied gay couples a range of federal marriage benefits.

The former New York senator said the nation is ‘‘living at a time when this extraordinary change is occurring and I’m proud of our country.’’ She said that in 1993, at the start of her husband’s presidency, ‘‘that was not the case.’’

More here. Anyone who wasn’t born yesterday knows full well, of course, that Hillary Clinton’s switch on this issue is entirely political. She didn’t object when her husband signed the Defense of Marriage Act into law. As the excerpt above mentions, both she and Barack Obama opposed same-sex marriage when they ran in 2008. She only came out in support of same-sex marriage when it was politically advantageous to do so. Terry Gross’s skepticism regarding Clinton’s stance on the issue was entirely justified, and she had Clinton dead to rights.

Especially hilarious is Clinton’s statement that the signing of DOMA during the Clinton administration could be excused because while we are currently “living at a time when this extraordinary change is occurring,” during her husband’s administration, “that was not the case.” Query: Would it be appropriate to excuse, rationalize or explain away discrimination against African-Americans, Jews, or women simply because that discrimination might have occurred during a time when it “was not the case” that our country was “living at a time” when “extraordinary change” that might have made such discrimination impossible “[was] occurring”?

It is weeks like this that undermine any claim of “inevitability” relating to Hillary Clinton’s coming campaign for the presidency. Maybe Clinton has not yet found her sea legs, but she is bumbling and stumbling in public just like she did back in 2008. What’s next? A claim that she survived sniper fire from AT-AT walkers during the Battle of Hoth?

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