Clinton Says He Felt Pushed Into Gay Policy

Clinton Says He Felt Pushed Into Gay Policy
Posted by FoM on December 07, 2000 at 07:40:56 PT
By John Kifner
Source: New York Times
President Clinton, in an interview to be published today in Rolling Stone, says the Republicans outmaneuvered him into a flawed policy on gays in the military, calls some current antidrug policies unfair and confesses a sneaking empathy for a disgraced predecessor, Richard M. Nixon.The Republicans "didn't want me to have a honeymoon" in his first days in office, Mr. Clinton said, and so forced the issue of his campaign promise to allow gays to serve openly, knowing they had the votes in Congress to defeat it.
"And it was only then that I worked out with Colin Powell this dumb-ass `don't ask, don't tell' thing," Mr. Clinton said in the interview, one of several he has granted recently looking back on his eight years in office.He said that policy resulted in "several years of problems where it was not implemented in any way consistent with the speech I gave at the War College  of which General Powell had agreed with every word."Still, Mr. Clinton, the master tactician, conceded, "it was a brilliant political move" on the part of the Republican leader, Senator Bob Dole, whose "top priority was making this the controversy that would consume the early days of my presidency."The interview, conducted by Jann S. Wenner, Rolling Stone's editor and publisher, included a reference to the main controversy that marked Mr. Clinton's tenure, his extramarital affair with a White House intern.In a discussion of the impeachment that ensued, Mr. Clinton was asked if the outcome was a sort of "referendum on the nature, morality or character" of America."Not really. People strongly disagreed with what I did. I did, too," the president replied.On the subject of drugs, Mr. Clinton, who famously claimed not to have inhaled, said, "Most small amounts of marijuana have been decriminalized and should be."Going further, he said mandatory sentences for drug use should be re- examined along with the distinction in sentencing between crack and powdered cocaine."The disparities are unconscionable between crack and powdered cocaine," Mr. Clinton said. "I tried to change that. The Republican Congress was willing to narrow but not eliminate them, the theory being that people who used crack were more violent than people who used cocaine."What they really meant was: People that used crack were more likely to be poor  and, coincidentally, black or brown. And therefore not to have money. Those people that used cocaine were more likely to be rich, pay for it and therefore be peaceful."Mr. Clinton said that he had invited Mr. Nixon to come back to the White House for a visit and that he treasured a "lucid, eloquent" letter the former president had written him from Russia just a month before Mr. Nixon's death.During the visit, Mr. Clinton said, "he told me he identified with me because he thought the press had been too hard on me in '92 and that I had refused to die, and he liked that." "He said a lot of life was just hanging on. We had a good talk about that," Mr. Clinton said.Mr. Nixon, driven from office by the Watergate scandal, could have been, Mr. Clinton said, "a great president if he had been more trusting of the American people."Mr. Clinton attributed the bitter, partisan atmosphere in Washington to what he said was a Republican belief that "they had found a foolproof formula to hold on to the White House forever."Mostly, it's just because I won," he said, adding: "I think, secondly because I was the first baby-boomer president. Not a perfect person  never claimed to be. And I opposed the Vietnam War. I think that made them doubly angry, because they thought I was a cultural alien and I made it anyway."Oh, and by the way, Mr. Clinton predicted in the interview, conducted before the election, that Vice President Al Gore would win Florida and the presidency. Source: New York Times (NY)Author: John KifnerPublished: December 7, 2000Copyright: 2000 The New York Times CompanyAddress: 229 West 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036Fax: (212) 556-3622Contact: letters nytimes.comWebsite: Article: Clinton: Pot Smoking Should Not Be Prison Offense
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Comment #2 posted by ras james rsifwh on December 07, 2000 at 10:51:49 PT
living in hell
THE I agrees with every point...except what bill clinton said about marijauana. I-MAN takes the spiritual warnings of all religions seriously. MAHADEVI (the great mother) of the HINDU FAITH states clearly, "the ones who scandalize the marijuana users will burn in hell until the sun does not shine." could the "hell" clinton has paid in the last eight years have anything to do with the horrible treatment of cannabis users, growers, and sellers under his administration. the way the rastaman sees it...there is only one way out for bill and barry and others...embrace the eternal redemption of JAH RASTAFARI...AND ACCEPT CANNABIS SATIVA AS THE SACRED "TREE OF LIFE"...if not there will continue to be alot more mystic hell to pay. ras james would like to help bill and barry, but as one zen master put it; "it's like pissing. you have to do it for yourself." give all praise and thanks to JAH RASTAFARI.
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Comment #1 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on December 07, 2000 at 09:37:50 PT
Dumb-ass indeed
>>"What they really meant was: People that used crack were more likely to be poor  and, coincidentally, black or brown. And therefore not to have money. Those people that used cocaine were more likely to be rich, pay for it and therefore be peaceful."  Or at least corporate criminals, not street criminals. Street criminals don't make campaign contributions.  Hey, at least he's got a grasp on the anti-drug-war argument. Now why didn't congress get to hear this? Telling Rolling Stone is like preaching to the converted. 
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