(Some) Sanity From Peter Rosenstein

I’ve had cause to criticize him on more than a few occasions – but in his latest piece for Queer Channel Media, he’s pretty much on the mark.

I remember the Bill Clinton vs. George H.W. Bush race in 1992. David got some promises from then-Gov. Clinton after holding the first million-dollar LGBT fundraiser for him with his wealthy friends. It allowed the LGBT community to become a player in the election.

But I also remember the election itself. Clinton was pummeled for not serving in the military and for getting a deferment from the draft. It was a three-way race and Clinton was elected without winning a majority of the votes. Not much of a mandate. For Mixner to suggest as he did in a recent blog post from Turkey Hollow, N.Y., where he lives, that all President Clinton had to do was call in the Joint Chiefs of Staff, including General Colin Powell, and threaten to fire them all if they didn’t allow gays to serve in the military is ludicrous.

When Clinton was interrupted recently by Lane Hudson at the Netroots conference (and as much as Lane knows I admire him, that was rude and really served no purpose), the former president spoke a partial truth about that fight in the early ‘90s. Of course, Clinton couldn’t resist revising history a little, but the reality is (both then and now) that we didn’t have the votes on the Hill to get what we wanted after Mixner forced the president to move on gays in the military before he had any real credibility on the Hill.

In 1993, when the homophobic Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) said in essence that gays would serve in the military over his dead body, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was born as a way to keep Nunn from potentially passing a law banning gays from the military entirely.

AS FOR THE Defense of Marriage Act, which Clinton also addressed at Netroots, it passed overwhelmingly (and in bipartisan fashion) in Congress, and we were later able to use it to stop the movement to pass a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Clinton also used it to get re-elected in 1996, but let’s be honest, would we rather have had Bob Dole?

Well – the Log Cabin-oids…

But I digress.

For the most part, Rosenstein’s only misstep was a bit of praise for the eternally-unpraiseworthy Rhode Island Avenue Cesspool.

I wonder what his thoughts are on Tim McFeeley’s revisionism.

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