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Bill vs. The Democrat Base

- July 26, 2016

Bill Clinton’s Legacy Is Far Out Of Step With Today’s Democrat Party And Even Hillary Clinton


TOP TAKEAWAYS

  • Financial deregulation ruled the day during Bill Clinton’s time as president, but not his party wants to reintroduce the stringent regulations he repealed
  • Bill Clinton made NAFTA one of his marquee policies while president, now the Democrat based has turned against trade deals and wants them renegotiated.
  • After spearheading anti-crime measures, including three-strike laws and mandatory minimums, Bill Clinton has repeatedly been confronted on the campaign trail.
  • Restricting LGBTQ rights during his presidency, Bill Clinton’s legacy is an embarrassment to today’s Democratic party.
  • Bill Clinton forged close ties with Israel while president, but a growing movement within the modern Democratic party wants to create distance with our closest ally in the region.

WHILE THE DEMOCRAT BASE WANTS TO BREAK UP BIG BANKS, THEN-PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON FOUGHT TO DEREGULATE WALL STREET

"Financial Deregulation" Characterized Clinton's Tenure In Office. "President Clinton's tenure was characterized by economic prosperity and financial deregulation, which in many ways set the stage for the excesses of recent years." ("25 People To Blame For The Financial Crisis: Bill Clinton," Time, Accessed 7/26/16)

In 1999, Bill Clinton Signed The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, Which Repealed Glass-Steagall. (S. 900, Signed Into Law 11/12/99)

  • Bill Clinton At The Signing Ceremony For Gramm-Leach-Bliley: "Today What We Are Doing Is Modernizing The Financial Services Industry, Tearing Down These Antiquated Laws And Granting Banks Significant New Authority." BILL CLINTON: "So I think you should all be exceedingly proud of yourselves, including being proud of your differences and how you tried to reconcile them. Over the past seven years, we have tried to modernize the economy. And today what we are doing is modernizing the financial services industry, tearing down these antiquated laws and granting banks significant new authority." (President Bill Clinton, Remarks At The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act Signing Ceremony, Washington, DC, 11/12/99)

In December 2000, Then-President Bill Clinton Signed The Commodity Futures Modernization Act (CFMA), Which "Effectively Shielded [Over The Counter] Derivatives From Virtually All Regulation Or Oversight." "In December 2000, in response, Congress passed and President Clinton signed the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 (CFMA), which in essence deregulated the OTC derivatives market and eliminated oversight by both the CFTC and the SEC. The law also preempted application of state laws on gaming and on bucket shops (illegal brokerage operations) that otherwise could have made OTC derivatives transactions illegal … The CFMA effectively shielded OTC derivatives from virtually all regulation or oversight." ("Chapter Three: Securitization And Derivatives," The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, January 2011)

  • CBS News' 60 Minutes: The CFMA "Was Passed At The Height Of Wall Street And Washington's Love Affair With Deregulation, An Infatuation That Was Endorsed By President Clinton At The White House." "[The CFMA] was passed at the height of Wall Street and Washington's love affair with deregulation, an infatuation that was endorsed by President Clinton at the White House and encouraged by Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan." (CBS News' " 60 Minutes," 10/26/08)

In 1995, Bill Clinton "Loosened Housing Rules By Rewriting The Community Reinvestment Act." "President Clinton's tenure was characterized by economic prosperity and financial deregulation, which in many ways set the stage for the excesses of recent years. Among his biggest strokes of free-wheeling capitalism was the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which repealed the Glass-Steagall Act, a cornerstone of Depression-era regulation. He also signed the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which exempted credit-default swaps from regulation. In 1995 Clinton loosened housing rules by rewriting the Community Reinvestment Act, which put added pressure on banks to lend in low-income neighborhoods." ("25 People To Blame For The Financial Crisis: Bill Clinton," Time, Accessed 8/1/14)

  • Bill Clinton's Affordable-Housing Push "Destroyed Lending Standards." "The people who destroyed lending standards by driving subprime lending blamed banks, greed and deregulation for causing the financial crisis. But a review of the banking laws adopted since 1980 reveals that not one single safety and soundness measure was repealed." (Phil Gramm and Mike Solon, "The Clinton-Era Roots Of The Financial Crisis," The Wall Street Journal, 8/12/13)

But The Democrats' 2016 Platform Rails Against Wall Street, And Obama, Sanders, And Warren Have All Slammed Bill Clinton's Financial Deregulation As President

The Democrats' 2016 Party Platform Calls For Strict Regulation Of Wall Street And Other "Policy Prescriptions Championed By The Progressive Wing Of The Party." "Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren may not end up in the White House, but their efforts to influence the Democratic agenda seem to be paying off. A recently approved draft of the Democratic Party platform strikes a populist tone on Wall Street reform, calling for policy prescriptions championed by the progressive wing of the party." (Clare Foran, "How Democrats Moved Left On Wall Street," The Atlantic, 6/30/16)

  • The Washington Post's James Downie On The Democrats' 2016 Platform: "Can You Image The New Democrats Of The 1990s Putting Illegal Behavior And Wall Street In The Same Sentence?" "Though the 2012 platform repeatedly criticized inequality and - to a lesser extent - discrimination, it had none of the stridency of the 2016 draft version. 'The greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street must be brought to an end,' it declares. (Can you imagine the New Democrats of the 1990s putting illegal behavior and Wall Street in the same sentence?)" (James Downie, Op-Ed, "The Democratic Platform Is Far More Liberal Than Four Years Ago. Here's Why That Matters," The Washington Post , 7/7/16)

Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) Has Argued That The 1999 Repeal Of Glass-Steagall "Led To The Financial Crisis Of 2007 To 2008." "Debating with Hillary Clinton Thursday night, Bernie Sanders argued that Congress's decision to repeal an old law called Glass-Steagall over his objection led to the financial crisis of 2007 to 2008." (Matthew Yglesias, "Bernie Sanders Says If Congress Had Listened To Him, There'd Have Been No Financial Crisis," Vox, 2/4/16)

  • Bernie Sanders' Campaign Website: "The Argument That Glass-Steagall Didn't Cause The 2008 Financial Crisis Is Wrong." (Richard Eskow, 5 Reasons Glass-Steagall Matters, Bernie 2016, 11/16/15)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) Has Introduced Legislation To Reinstate Glass-Steagal. "Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said Friday he supports a bill championed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) designed to break up big banks. Earlier this month, Warren offered legislation to re-instate Glass-Steagall, a Depression-era banking law that divided commercial and investment banking. 'Today, not only must we reinstate this important law, but if we are truly serious about ending too big to fail, we have got to break up the largest financial institutions in this country,' Sanders said in a public statement." (Kevin Cirilli, "Sanders Backs Reviving Glass-Steagall," The Hill, 7/17/15)

THEN-PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON CAMPAIGNED FOR NAFTA "AS IF HIS LIFE DEPENDED ON IT," SIGNING THE TRADE DEAL INTO LAW AND PROMISING IT WOULD BRING A MILLION NEW JOBS

Bill Clinton Signed NAFTA Into Law In December 1993. (H.R. 3450, Signed Into Law 12/8/93)

Bill Clinton Campaigned For NAFTA "As If His Life Depended On It." "Though Clinton did, in fact, inherit NAFTA from the Bush 41 regime, he campaigned for its passage as if his life depended on it, taking on the out-front protectionist bloc in the Democratic Party at a time when his standing was far from solid-an act of considerable political courage and even greater political skill. After pushing through the deal, Clinton described it as representing a seminal decision by the country not to retreat from a world in which 'change is the only constant.'" (John Heilemann, "Marital Discord," New York Magazine, 7/16/07)

1993 Clinton White House Press Release: "NAFTA Will Be A Positive Force For Creating American Jobs." (Press Release, "President Clinton Proclaims World Trade Week," The White House, 1/19/93)

But The Base Of The Modern Democrat Party Has Lashed Out At NAFTA, Saying It Has Led To American Job Losses And Lower Wages

"Many Democrats Have Long Blamed Free-Trade Deals For Big Job Losses And Depressed Wages." "Many Democrats have long blamed free-trade deals for big job losses and depressed wages, especially in the industrialized Midwest, which has been battered over the years by competition from lower-cost manufacturing centers in countries like Japan, Mexico and China." (Bob Davis, "Free Trade Loses Political Favor," The Wall Street Journal, 3/9/16)

  • The 2016 Democrat Party Platform Says That "America Has Signed Too Many Trade Deals That Have Not Lived Up to The Hype," Often Boosting "The Profits Of Large Corporations" While Failing Workers. "Democrats acknowledge that for millions of Americans, global trade has failed to live up to its promise-with too many countries breaking the rules and too many corporations outsourcing jobs at the expense of American workers and communities. Over the past three decades, America has signed too many trade deals that have not lived up to the hype. Trade deals often boosted the profits of large corporations, while at the same time failing to protect workers' rights, labor standards, the environment, and public health." ("2016 Democratic Party Platform," Democrat National Convention, 7/21/16)

Sanders Has Attacked Hillary Clinton For Supporting NAFTA. "Appearing before a boisterous crowd here of about 4,500 people in a hockey arena, Sanders touted his long record of opposition to trade deals and said that as first lady Clinton 'thought NAFTA was a good idea' when it was passed in the early 1990s. 'I was right. She was wrong,' Sanders said. 'I understood that American workers should not be forced to compete against desperate people making pennies an hour,' Sanders said. 'I want to see poor people around the world do better, but that does not mean we have to destroy the middle class of this country.'" (John Wagner, "Sanders Knocks Clinton For Supporting NAFTA While First Lady," The Washington Post, 2/23/16)

On The Campaign Trail In 2008, Obama Was "Harshly Critical" Of NAFTA, Calling It "Devastating" And "A Big Mistake." "It's true that Obama has been harshly critical of NAFTA on the campaign trail, citing shortfalls in its protections for workers and the environment. He has used words like 'devastating' and 'a big mistake' to describe the agreement. Obama was particularly critical of NAFTA in February in the run-up to the Ohio Democratic primary. In a debate, he said, 'We should use the hammer of a potential opt-out as leverage to ensure that we actually get labor and environmental standards that are enforced.'" (Alexander Lane, "Obama's Been Critical Of NAFTA," PolitiFact, 10/15/08)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) Has Said That Trade Deals Like NAFTA "Were Just Another Tool To Tilt The Playing Field In Further Of Multinational Corporations Against Working Families." "The report follows recent statements by President Obama that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will be 'the most progressive trade bill in history' and that it will have 'higher labor standards, higher environmental standards,' and 'new tools to hold countries accountable.' Similar statements were made by previous Presidents of both parties about every major U.S. trade agreement, from NAFTA forward. 'Supporters of past trade agreements have said again and again that these deals would include strong protections for workers, but assurances without strong enforcement are just empty promises,' Senator Warren said. 'The facts show that, despite all the promises, these trade deals were just another tool to tilt the playing field in further of multinational corporations and against working families.'" (Press Release, "Senator Warren Releases Report Highlighting Decades Of Broken Promises And Failures To Enforce Labor Standards In Trade Agreements," Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 5/18/15)

AS PRESIDENT, BILL CLINTON SPEARHEADED CRIMINAL JUSTICE POLICIES THE DEMOCRATIC BASE NOW REVILES

In 1994, President Bill Clinton Signed Into Law The Crime Bill, Which Called For Harsher Sentencing And A Stronger Police Force In Communities

In September 1994, President Bill Clinton Signed Into Law The 1994 Crime Bill, Saying That "Law-Abiding Citizens Of Our Country Have Made Their Voices Heard. Never Again Should Washington Put Politics And Party Above Law And Order." "The $30 billion crime bill signed into law today by President Clinton responds to the country's rising fear of crime, but law-enforcement experts contend that it is a symbolic swipe that does not go far enough toward stopping the kind of street violence that is increasingly haunting America… 'Today the bickering stops,' Mr. Clinton said at a White House signing ceremony attended by police chiefs, big-city mayors, members of Congress and relatives of crime victims. 'The era of excuses is over; the law-abiding citizens of our country have made their voices heard. Never again should Washington put politics and party above law and order.'"

The Bill Accounted For Billions For States That Enacted Longer Sentencing. "The other half of the $8.7 billion for prison construction is to go to states that enact "truth in sentencing" laws that guarantee that individuals convicted of violent crimes serve at least 85 percent of their sentences. On average, people convicted for violent crimes serve 55 percent of their sentences, according to the Justice Department and others who have studied state sentencing practices." (David Johnston and Steven A. Holmes, "Experts Doubt Effectiveness Of Crime Bill,"The New York Times, 9/14/94)

The Bill Created Tougher Penalties For Drug Offenders And Appropriated $30.2 Billion For Cities To Hire More Police Officers And Build More Prisons. "Mrs. Clinton faces a similar burden - in her case, by association. Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, signed the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, the most significant crime legislation ever passed and a measure that critics say contributed to a climate of police abuse. The 1994 law included $30.2 billion to bolster cities' law enforcement rosters and build dozens of new prisons. It also created tougher penalties for drug offenders and expanded the number of crimes that could be punished by the federal death penalty." (Michael Barbara, "Baltimore Forces Presidential Hopefuls To Confront A Jarring Crisis," The New York Times , 4/29/15)

Jeremy Travis, President Of The John Jay College Of Criminal Justice, Said The 1994 Crime Bill Incentivized States To "Punish People More Severely." "These days, Jeremy Travis is president of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. But 20 years ago, he attended the signing ceremony for the crime bill - and joined the Clinton Justice Department. 'Here's the federal government coming in and saying we'll give you money if you punish people more severely, and 28 states and the District of Columbia followed the money and enacted stricter sentencing laws for violent offenses,' Travis says." (Carrie Johnson, "20 Years Late, Parts Of Major Crime Bill Viewed As Terrible Mistake," NPR, 9/12/14)

The Clinton Administration Also Enacted The Three Strikes Policy

The Clinton Administration Implemented The "Three Strikes" Policy On A Federal Level. "The Clinton Administration today issued its version of a 'three strikes and you're out' crime measure, which officials estimated would incarcerate only 200 to 300 prisoners a year for violent Federal offenses. Despite that estimate by Administration officials, Vice President Al Gore said at a White House news conference that the proposal would make a 'huge dent' in crime. Under the measure a felon convicted of a violent Federal crime for the third time would be sentenced to life in prison." (Gwen Ifill, "White House Offers Version Of Three-Strikes Crime Bill," The New York Times, 3/1/94)

"Three Strikes And You're Out" Laws Mandate Life Sentences For Individuals Who Commit Any Crime, "No Matter How Minor," If They Have Two Previous Convictions For Crimes Defined As Serious Or Violent. "In 1994, California voters enacted the 'Three Strikes and You're Out' law in response to the tragic murders of Kimber Reynolds and Polly Klass. The law imposed a life sentence for almost any crime, no matter how minor, if the defendant had two prior convictions for crimes defined as serious or violent by the California Penal Code." ("Stanford Three Strikes Basics," Stanford Law School, Accessed 4/29/15)

The Prison Population Grew More Under Bill Clinton Than Any Other President

Federal And State Prison Populations Rose More Under President Bill Clinton Than Any Other President. "The federal and state prison populations rose more under former President Bill Clinton than under any other president, according to a report from a criminal justice institute to be released today." (Greg Krikorian, "Federal And State Prison Populations Soared Under Clinton, Report Finds," Los Angeles Times, 2/19/01)

More Federal Inmates Were Added To The Prison System Under Clinton's Term Than Under Presidents Bush And Regan Combined. "In fact, the analysis of U.S. Justice Department statistics by the left-leaning Justice Policy Institute, a project of a San Francisco-based justice center, found that more federal inmates were added to prisons under Clinton than under presidents George Bush and Ronald Reagan combined." (Greg Krikorian, "Federal And State Prison Populations Soared Under Clinton, Report Finds," Los Angeles Times, 2/19/01)

  • The Total Prison Population Rose By 673,000 People Under Bill Clinton. "The explosion of the prison system under Bill Clinton's version of the 'War on Drugs' is impossible to dispute. The total prison population rose by 673,000 people under Clinton's tenure - or by 235,000 more than it did under President Ronald Reagan, according to a study by the Justice Policy Institute." (Jeff Stein, "The Clinton Dynasty's Horrific Legacy: How 'Tough-On-Crime' Politics Built The World's Largest Prison System," Salon , 4/13/15)
  • The Federal Incarceration Rate Was 61 Percent Higher Than At The End Of President H.W. Bush's Presidency. "The federal incarceration rate in 1999, the last year of the Democrat's term, was 42 per 100,000 - more than double the federal incarceration rate at the end of President Reagan's term (17 per 100,000), and 61 percent higher than at the end of President George Bush's term (25 per 100,000), according to JPI." (Jeff Stein, "The Clinton Dynasty's Horrific Legacy: How 'Tough-On-Crime' Politics Built The World's Largest Prison System," Salon , 4/13/15)
  • The Black Prison Population Increased Over 50 Percent. "Under former President Bill Clinton, the black prison population grew over 50 percent as violent crime rates peaked. In response, Clinton signed an omnibus crime bill in 1994 that established mandatory minimum sentences, even for minor offenses, and a federal "three strikes" provision that imposed life sentences for anyone convicted of a violent felony after two or more prior convictions." (Samantha Lachman, "Hillary Clinton Continues To Distance Herself From Her Husband's Crime Policies," The Huffington Post , 8/19/15)

Even While Campaigning For His Wife This Year, Bill Clinton Continues To Defend His Support For The Crime Bill

In April, President Bill Clinton Was Interrupted By A Black Lives Matter Protest Questioning His Support For A Crime Bill Passed While He Was President. "Former President Bill Clinton repeatedly defended himself from criticism about his support of his controversial crime bill from a series of protestors during a rally for his wife's presidential campaign. The protestors interrupted the president's stump speech, shouting criticism of his support of the 1994 crime bill that raised mandatory minimum sentences, with one holding up a sign that said 'Clinton crime bill destroyed our communities.'" (Ben Kamisar, "Bill Clinton Clashes With Protesters Over His Crime Bill,"The Hill , 4/7/16)

Clinton "Pushed Back Against The Criticism" And Defended The Legislation, Arguing That It Benefitted The Black Community. "Bill Clinton pushed back against the criticism by pivoting away from his typical stump speech and launching into a series of arguments about ways the crime bill did help the black community and times when Hillary Clinton worked on civil rights reform. 'I talked to a bunch of African-American groups [in 1994], they think black lives matter. [The groups said] to take this bill because people are being shot in the street by gangs. We had 13-year-old kids planning their own funerals,' Bill Clinton said at the Philadelphia rally." (Ben Kamisar, "Bill Clinton Clashes With Protesters Over His Crime Bill,"The Hill , 4/7/16)

Clinton's Comments Invoked "Some Of The Same Tough-On-Crime Rhetoric Of The 90's That Protestors Criticized." "So Bill's comments fail to get at the actual criticism of policies both he and Hillary supported and actually invoke some of the same tough-on-crime rhetoric of the 90's that protesters criticized. For justice reformers, this seems to validate one of the biggest concerns they have about a President Hillary Clinton. (German Lopez, "Bill Clinton Just Gave Criminal Justice Reformers Another Reason To Be Cautious Of

Clinton's Criminal Justice Positions Have Been The Reason For Multiple Campaign Protests And Is Out Of Step With The Current DNC Platform

The 2016 Party Platform Calls For Prioritizing "Treatment Over Incarceration." "Similarly, the new platform endorses specific reforms of the criminal justice system - closing private prisons, giving police training in conflict de-escalation and body cameras, 'banning the box,' prioritizing "treatment over incarceration in tackling addiction" and so on - all new in 2016." (James Downie, "The Democratic Platform Is Far More Liberal than Four Years Ago. Here's Why That Matters," The Washington Post , 7/7/16)

At An Event In August 2015, Clinton Was Forced To Meet With Black Lives Matter Activists Who Wanted To Question Clinton's "Involvement" In The "Violence That Has Been Perpetuated" Against Black Communities. "Hillary Clinton met with five Black Lives Matter activists behind closed doors following her campaign event here Tuesday evening after the group tried to disrupt the forum but arrived too late to get past security. The group - affiliated with Black Lives Matter organizations in the Boston area - asked Clinton about 'her and her family's history with the war on drugs both at home and abroad, and how she felt about her involvement in that violence that has been perpetuated, especially against communities of color and against black folks,' member Daunasia Yancey said afterward. 'We wanted to know her reflections on her involvement as first lady, as senator, and as secretary of state.'" (Gabriel Debenedetti, "Clinton Meets With Black Lives Matter Protestors," Politico, 8/11/15)

At A Campaign Stop In October 2015, Black Lives Matter Protestors Interrupted A Clinton Event To Call On Her To Produce A Criminal Justice Platform, "Particularly In Regard To Policing." "Friday evening, #AUCShutItDown, an Atlanta-based group affiliated with Black Lives Matter, said in a statement that they protested Clinton's event so they could press her to directly address issues facing the African-American community, particularly in regard to policing. 'Unfortunately, rhetoric DOES NOT save us, nor does it give confidence to black voters that we can trust Hillary to prioritize the necessity of ensuring our safety,' the group said. 'We've been waiting for weeks to see the platform that addresses these issues from Hillary Clinton's campaign. We will wait no more.'" (Dan Merica, "Hillary Clinton Protested By Black Lives Matter," CNN, 10/31/15)

At A Fundraising Event In February 2016, Clinton Was Interrupted By Black Lives Matter Activists, Who Wanted To Question Her "Super Predator" Comments. "A pair of Black Lives Matter activists interrupted Hillary Clinton Wednesday night at a private fundraiser, confronting the Democratic presidential candidate with past statements she made about youth in gangs. 'We want you to apologize for mass incarceration,' Ashley Williams said at the Charleston, South Carolina, event. 'I'm not a 'super predator,' Hillary Clinton.'" (Eugene Scott, "Black Lives Matter Protestors Confront Clinton At A Fundraiser," CNN, 2/25/16)

In April, President Bill Clinton Was Interrupted By A Black Lives Matter Protest Questioning His Support For A Crime Bill Passed While He Was President. "Former President Bill Clinton repeatedly defended himself from criticism about his support of his controversial crime bill from a series of protestors during a rally for his wife's presidential campaign. The protestors interrupted the president's stump speech, shouting criticism of his support of the 1994 crime bill that raised mandatory minimum sentences, with one holding up a sign that said 'Clinton crime bill destroyed our communities.'" (Ben Kamisar, "Bill Clinton Clashes With Protesters Over His Crime Bill,"The Hill , 4/7/16)

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At Another April Campaign Event In Philly, Black Lives Matter Activists Protested Outside, Calling On Clinton To Pardon Victims Of The 1994 Crime Bill. "A group of 10 protesters stood outside her Philadelphia roundtable on Wednesday passing out letters that called for Clinton to pardon 'all current and former federal prisoners unjust convicted or sentenced as a result of the '94 crime bill.'" (Dan Merica, "Hillary Clinton Talks Race: 'We All Have Implicit Biases'," CNN, 4/20/16)

At The Next Campaign Event That Night, Clinton Was Interrupted By Protesters Chanting 'Don't Vote For Hillary! She's Killing Black People!" "Several black protesters were escorted out of a Hillary Clinton rally in North Philadelphia on Wednesday night. The protesters chanted, "Don't vote for Hillary! She's killing black people!" as they were led out of the Fillmore Theater." ("Several Protesters Chant 'She's Killing Black People' At Hillary Clinton Rally In Philadelphia," The Associated Press, 4/20/16)

While Campaigning In Los Angeles On Cinco De Mayo, Clinton Faced Hundreds Of Protesters, Some Of Which Focused On Her Use Of The Term "Super Predators." "The protesters -- some of whom carried pro-Bernie Sanders signs -- spanned the spectrum in terms of their key issues: Some were protesting Clinton's refusal so far to release her speaking engagement transcripts and her ties to Wall Street, while others took issue with Clinton's "super-predator" remarks in 1994, and the crime bill her then-president husband signed that year. Others also headed to Clinton's rally to protest her involvement in the 2009 Honduras coup, and to accuse her of pandering to the Hispanic community." (Liz Kreutz, "Hillary Clinton's Cinco De Mayo LA Rally Anything But Festive Due To Protesters," ABC News, 5/6/16)

Then Again In May, Bill Clinton Was Challenged For His Support Of The 1994 Crime Bill. "The former president, out stumping for his wife in Paterson, New Jersey, launched into a combative back-and-forth with an audience member, who pointedly asked Clinton, 'Why did you put more people in prison?'" (Nolan D. McCaskill, "Bill Clinton Gets Into Combative Exchange Over Crime Bill," Politico, 5/13/16)

  • "Bill Clinton On Friday Was Forced - Once Again - To Defend The 1994 Crime Bill…" "Bill Clinton on Friday was forced - once again - to defend the 1994 crime bill he signed into law that has stoked the ire of protesters and dogged him and Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail." (Nolan D. McCaskill, "Bill Clinton Gets Into Combative Exchange Over Crime Bill,"Politico , 5/13/16)
  • Politico Headline: "Bill Clinton Gets Into Combative Exchange Over Crime Bill" (Nolan D. McCaskill, "Bill Clinton Gets Into Combative Exchange Over Crime Bill,"Politico , 5/13/16)

The Weekly Standard Headline: "Angry Protester Again Confronts Bill Clinton About Crime Legislation" (Jennifer Lifhits, "Angry Protester Again Confronts Bill Clinton About Crime Legislation," The Weekly Standard , 5/13/16)

BILL CLINTON'S LEGACY ON GAY RIGHTS IS AN EMBARRASSMENT FOR DEMOCRATS

As President, Bill Clinton Signed Into Law The Defense Against Marriage Act

In 1996, Clinton Signed The Defense Of Marriage Act. "He had further sealed his centrist credentials by signing the Defense of Marriage Act at the end of September… Bill had decided in May - with Hillary's agreement - to back the legislation after [Dick] Morris's polling showed 'overwhelming support.'" (Sally Bedell Smith, For Love Of Politics, 2007, p. 257)

DOMA Banned Federal Recognition Of Gay Marriages And Allows States To Ignore Same-Sex Unions. "The First Lady reluctantly waded into the issue in response to questions, saying she backed her husband's signing of the GOP-sponsored Defense of Marriage Act of 1996, which bans federal recognition of gay marriages and lets states ignore same-sex unions licensed elsewhere." (Joe Siegel, "Hil Nixes Same-Sex Marriage," The [New York] Daily News, 1/11/00)

In A 1996 Radio Ad Bill Clinton's Reelection Campaign Touted His Decision To Sign DOMA. NARRATOR: "Protecting religious freedom, it's the foundation of our nation. When the Justice Department went after a church to gather the parishioners' tithing money, the government was stopped cold because President Clinton overturned the government's policy and protected us. It's not the only time he's defended our values. Don't be misled by Bob Dole's attack ads. President Clinton wants a complete ban on late-term abortions except when the mother's life is in danger or faces severe health risks, such as the inability to have another child. The president signed the Defense of Marriage Act, supports curfews and school uniforms to teach our children discipline. The president enacted the v-chip to block out violent TV programs. His crime bill expanded the death penalty for drug kingpins. Bob Dole opposed him and is resorting to untrue negative attacks. President Clinton has fought for our values and America is better for it." ("Ad Promotes Clinton's Record On Religious Freedom, Gay Marriage Ban," The Associated Press, 10/14/96)

Bill Clinton's Administration Instituted "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) And Protected The Policy's Constitutionality In Court

In December 1993, Bill Clinton's Defense Department Codified "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Via DoD Directive. "DODD 1304.26: This December 21, 1993 Department of Defense Directive updates the Qualification Standards for Enlistment, Appointment, and Induction to include the Provisions Related to Homosexual Conduct which became known as 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is a policy, not a law. The directive became effective February 28 , 1994." ("DODD 1304.26," University Of Washington, Accessed 9/29/14)

In May 1993, Bill Clinton Personally Endorsed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," And Emphasized That His Government Was Not "Endorsing A Gay Life Style." "On Thursday, Clinton endorsed the 'don't ask, don't tell' approach, though the president emphasized that the government should not 'appear to be endorsing a gay life style.'" ("Clinton Seeks Compromise On Homosexuals In The Military," Agence France Presse, 5/28/93)

Clinton's DADT Policy Led To An Increase In The Number Of Gay Service Members Being Discharged. "Two years after the Clinton administration put in place a policy it said would make it easier for homosexuals to serve in the military, more gay service members are being discharged than before it took effect. The Defense Department discharged 722 gay service members in fiscal 1995, compared with 597 in 1994 and 682 the year before that, according to Pentagon figures." (Dana Priest, "Military, Despite Policy Shift, Discharged More Gays In '95," The Washington Post, 2/28/96)

In March 1995, After A Federal Court Ruled That Discharging Gay Soldiers For Violating DADT Was Unconstitutional, The Clinton Administration Decided To Appeal The Ruling. "The Clinton Administration has decided to appeal a Federal judge's ruling that the Pentagon's 'don't ask, don't tell, don't pursue' policy on homosexuals in the military is unconstitutional, the Justice Department announced today. Solicitor General Drew S. Days will take the case to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in New York, a department spokesman, Joe Krovisky, said. A week ago, Judge Eugene H. Nickerson of Federal District Court in New York barred the Pentagon from discharging six homosexuals in the first court ruling on President Clinton's policy." ("Administration To Appeal Ruling On Homosexuals In Military," The New York Times, 4/7/95)

In April 1996, A Federal Appeals Court Ruled In Favor Of The Clinton Administration - Effectively Upholding DADT. "A Federal appeals court in Richmond today upheld the Clinton Administration's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy for homosexuals in the military, saying it was inappropriate for the Federal courts to tell Congress and the President how to deal with such an issue. In a 9-to-4 decision, the full United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit became the highest court yet to rule on the issue of how homosexuals may be treated by the military. The majority opinion emphasized that the policy as set by the White House was based on a law enacted by Congress and that courts were traditionally obligated to defer to the other branches of Government, particularly when the matter involved military policy." (Neil Lewis, "Court Upholds Clinton Policy On Gay Troops," The New York Times, 4/6/95)

Bill Clinton's Gay Rights Policies Are In Stark Contrast With The Party's Positions Today

The Party's 2016 Platform Calls For Policies That "Should Advance The Ability Of All Persons To Live With Dignity, Security, And Respect, Regardless Of Who They Are Or Who They Love." "Democrats believe that LGBT rights are human rights and that American foreign policy should advance the ability of all persons to live with dignity, security, and respect, regardless of who they are or who they love." (Will Drabold, "Ready What The Democratic Platform Says About Guns, Abortion, And Immigration," TIME, 7/25/16)

The Party Vowed To Stand With LGBT People. "We will continue to stand with LGBT people around the world, including fighting efforts by any nation to infringe on LGBT rights or ignore abuse." (Will Drabold, "Ready What The Democratic Platform Says About Guns, Abortion, And Immigration," TIME, 7/25/16)

In 2012, The Party's Platform Included Language Supporting Gay Marriage And Specifically Opposing DOMA . "That is very much the case with the response to the announcement that the Democratic Platform Drafting Committee, on which I served last weekend, proposed language supporting the right of people of the same-sex to marry, and specifically asserting our opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)." (Barney Frank, "The Democratic Platform And The Right To Marry," The Huffington Post, 8/2/12)

Sanders, Who Voted Against DOMA, Said The Legislation "Was Simply Homophobic." (Senator Bernie Sanders, Twitter Feed, 10/25/15)

Clinton Has Been Criticized By LGBT Donors For Not Discussing LGBT Issues While Campaigning. "Clinton was criticized last spring, including by LGBT donors who were concerned, because she wasn't discussing LGBT issues. Later in the year she was called out for revising history, claiming that she and her husband Bill supported DOMA in 1996 - he finally reversed and came out against DOMA just before the Supreme Court struck it down in 2014- because they were trying to forestall a constitutional amendment." (Michelangelo Signorile, "Stop Straight-Splaining Bernie Sanders And Hillary Clinton To LGBT Voters," The Huffington Post, 2/13/16)


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