Steve Ralls

The Very First Diva-In-Chief?

Filed By Steve Ralls | September 24, 2007 9:06 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Hillary Rodham Clinton, marriage, president, steve ralls, The Advocate

Why do we love Hillary? It’s a question being debated in the LGBT community in advance of a much-talked-about Advocate interview with the junior Senator from New York. Clinton does not, the article points out, support same-sex marriage. (And, according to at least one commentary on the interview, she went to great pains to tell us just how much she doesn’t.) She also, as it turns out, isn’t a lesbian. But she does enjoy an almost cult-like status in the gay community and is doing quite well fundraising in our neighborhoods, too.

So why does a politician who hasn’t yet come around on marriage, and whose husband was responsible for both the Defense of Marriage Act and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” enjoy so much support from gay America?

The answer is simple: We love a diva, and Hillary is well on her way to becoming the first diva president (or diva-in-chief).

You know you’ve made it in the gay community when you no longer need a last name in WeHo, SoBe, Dupont or Chelsea. America’s gay men did away with Madonna’s ‘Ciccone,’ and Cher’s ‘LaPiere.’ Being a one-name wonder is the first sure sign of attaining diva-dom, and Hillary’s campaign signs show just how quickly she’s moving up the gay icon ladder; she hasn’t just dropped the ‘Clinton,’ but the ‘Rodham’ is gone, too. Now, she’s just Hillary or Hill . . . and once in a while, to paraphrase Ms. Jackson, maybe Ms. Clinton . . . if you're nasty.

So while Hillary may not support full marriage equality, she’s on a first-name basis with the gays in a way that must leave even Kucinich and Gravel looking on with wonder.

She has also earned her diva badge in the Gay Scouts of America via the tried and true route that so many before her have traveled: She’s been a scorned wife; a driven working mother; and a political lightning rod. She’s channeled Eleanor Roosevelt, quoted Tammy Wynette, had more re-inventions than Madonna and been the center of more heated debates than just about any woman since Mary Magdalene.

Hillary may the closest thing we’ll ever have to America’s very own Eva Peron. And we know how much gay men love Eva Peron.

In his interview with Clinton, The Advocate’s Sean Kennedy writes that, “Like a blushing schoolgirl, we take the varsity jock’s flirtations at face value, deluding ourselves into believing he’s going to ask us to the prom, when in reality he’s just using us to get to our sexy friend who will actually put out.”

Well, not quite. In fact, it’s more like Hillary is our sexy best friend . . . the political prom’s most glittering gay sidekick . . . the straight-but-not-narrow Grace to every gay man’s Will.

During her appearance on the LOGO presidential forum, Hillary (see how it just rolls off the keyboard without the Rodham Clinton?) told us all that if we want a true friend in the White House – someone who will cut the military jocks who try to keep us out of the service down to size, for instance – she’s “your girl.”

Or, more accurately, girlfriend.

And I say it’s about time. Condi’s boots notwithstanding, we’ve been missing political fierceness for far too long now.

No, she doesn’t support same-sex marriage (yet), but she’ll damn well give a toast at your civil union ceremony that you and your partner won’t soon forget.

So scoot over a little, Ms. Bono, because there’s a new diva to add to the list. (And she’s even won a Grammy, too.) The boys might still dance to Madge at Splash, but they’re marching to the ballot box chanting Hill . . . Hill . . . Hill.


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And I thought the Advocate piece was effusive! Do you like Hillary much Steve? I feel her nom is a foregone conclusion, but she's really starting to grow on me too.

I just wonder how the Dems/progressives who have demonized her are going to spin their undying support for her after she gets the nod.

Man, I know I'll end up a "Hillary supporter," but she's still not my #1 candidate. I think she'll end up with the nomination too - with Sen Evan Bayh from Indiana as her Veep. It just bothers me too much that if she wins we could possibly end up with 28 years of rule by two families in the United States. I just don't think that's healthy. Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton is just too damn much like aristocratic rule to me...

I feel her nom is a foregone conclusion, but she's really starting to grow on me too.

Why do you feel like that? There hasn't been ONE primary election... yet she's already being crowned? Honestly Jerame, if you support her... you deserve what you get. This woman won't repeal DADT and doesn't support marriage equality. How the hell could you vote for her?

I just wonder how the Dems/progressives who have demonized her are going to spin their undying support for her after she gets the nod.

Honestly, if she gets the nod, I'm not sure I could vote for her. She doesn't support our community and she wants to keep us in Iraq. Where is the breaking point? I don't think I've heard any Democrat demonize her. She has such high negative numbers, I'm not sure if she can win the election.

"Man, I know I'll end up a "Hillary supporter," but she's still not my #1 candidate. I think she'll end up with the nomination too - with Sen Evan Bayh from Indiana as her Veep. It just bothers me too much that if she wins we could possibly end up with 28 years of rule by two families in the United States. I just don't think that's healthy. Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton is just too damn much like aristocratic rule to me..."

Senator Bayh will never be VP. The vice president will be someone from the south. Funny thing is, there's not a lot of difference in so many ways, with BCBC. Only GW has ruled from the extreme right. The rest of legislated from and to the middle.

I think comparing the clintons to the bushes is like apples to oranges. GWB got in because he was GHWB's son, rode on his privilege his whole life, and has governed from the position of a spoiled brat. Hillary has at least worked on her own to get where she is, and I think that the position of a "wife" is really different from that of a "child" (I know, I know, here I go all feminist on people).

I still don't like her politics much, what with voting for the war and saying that nuclear first strike of Iran is still on the table. And I don't like her health care plan. But every time the right makes a sexist attack on her and she responds with grace, well, I soften a little. I know, I know, that isn't substance or whatever, but I still like it.

And I wouldn't say she's a forgone conclusion, Jerame, Barack's doing a lot better in the fundraising department, and the primaries haven't even started. Oh, yeah, and Dodd got the firefighters union's endorsement, and they worked to get Kerry the nom last year. AHHHHHH!!!!!

Good post, Steve. This is a phenomenology that needs to be better examined, since Hillary's politics aren't all that great for us.

Steve, it's interesting that you'd use the word cult-like to describe Clinton followers. Cult-like is an apt description. They're being indoctrinated not to use their critical thinking skills or substantively question authority.

True, Clinton is favored by some of the more establishment queers, either because they prefer shallow diva-worship to actually thinking about policy or because they favor her pro-establishment policies.

She's part of the same corporate elite Democrat establishment that pushed the democratic party far to the right on economic issues, thus eliminating substantive discussion of economic issues and thus fueling red-state anti-gay sentiment (which often is just economic tension mapped onto the politics of sexuality). Given her lack of a populist economic perspective, it's not surprising that Hillary is the preferred candidate of the corporate-owned media, and that includes the corporate-owned gay media. But that's not a bandwagon I want to be on!

And she wants to keep us in Iraq!

Hillary has at least worked on her own to get where she is, and I think that the position of a "wife" is really different from that of a "child"

Yeah, they're even closer relationships. Bush I & II couldn't have pillow talk.

And Bayh for VP? It'll be Edwards or Bayh. She doesn't like Edwards at all. Hence, Bayh. She needs a nice white guy that plays well in Republican-lite circles. She has to appeal to the soccer moms.

What do the others bring to the table? She despises Barack and will get the black vote automatically. Same for Richardson - the hispanics will vote Democratic too. She needs someone that can win moderate/Republican states. Edwards couldn't carry NC last time. Bayh sweeps Indiana each time with some of the highest turnouts and cross over votes possible. He'd take Indiana for her. And probably Arkansas and Ohio. Add the votes - put him on the ticket and she wins. It's all a numbers game.

Bah. I'm not a Hillary supporter. I doubt I'll vote for her in the primary, but as a Hoosier, my vote very much doesn't count in the primary. But I still think she'll get the nomination. My point was simply that all the folks saying "I won't vote for her if she wins" is just like saying "Mitt Romney (or Giuliani or Thompson) is our guy." And we know where saying "there's no difference between the two" got us the last time!

I think they have the campaign machine and the plan to pull of a win. I think if we're going to be supporting a Democrat for president in '08, it's going to be Hillary. And I don't hate her. I think she's wrong on any number of issues. I think there are definitely candidates who are better on OUR issues. But her stance is no different than either of the other two who are the front runners. Edwards, Obama, and Clinton. What is the difference between their stances? Obama comes off as by far the least supportive of our issues. So who is this Democratic dream candidate who supports our issues and is "electable"? John Kerry was supposedly electable too. *spits*

Besides, if you notice. I was teasing Steve for giving his own fluff to Hillary. It was a tongue in cheek response to a somewhat tongue in cheek post.

That is all.

Doesn't Believe in Messiah | September 24, 2007 7:21 PM

"She doesn't support our community"? Huh? Rather an erroneous black and white statement, Marti. Really, you must get out more. Or at least read Jerame's post in which he correctly points out that her positions are virtually the same as Edwards and Obama.

And he is also right about the challenges of getting everyone to back the final nominee, whether it's Hillary or not, after all of this childish pre nomination in-fighting. We so often make it so easy for the Republicans to win while we tear ourselves apart.

Marti. Really, you must get out more. Or at least read Jerame's post in which he correctly points out that her positions are virtually the same as Edwards and Obama.

That's incorrect. First of all, she's said she'd only repeal parts of DADT... not the entire thing. Secondly, she's not explained what her "civil unions" would consist of. Obama has said that his CU would give gays and lesbians all the rights of marriage. Clinton hasn't said that. In the Logo debates she backed her husband in passing DADT and DOMA. I don't think Obama or Edwards have.

And he is also right about the challenges of getting everyone to back the final nominee, whether it's Hillary or not, after all of this childish pre nomination in-fighting. We so often make it so easy for the Republicans to win while we tear ourselves apart.

Oh yes, centrist politics have done so much for the Democratic Party. "We" need to support the best candidate, regardless of Party. The most important part of the next election isn't the President anyway, it's the Congress. If we get solid majorities in the Congress, it doesn't matter who's in the White House.

Oh Marti. It very much matters who is in the White House. The President can make all sorts of trouble that the Congress has little to no control over. While Congress holds the purse strings, the President can deploy troops for 30 days without Congressional approval (is that still the current law? I'm pretty sure that's right.)

What about the application of policy and the following of laws passed by Congress? Bush has set the precedent of using signing statements to circumvent the will and intent of Congress over 800 times. Since he has yet to be punished for this, it seems that Congress has usurped this authority and the Executive Branch grew stronger.

Seriously, need I go on? Who gets in the White House is always important. A congressional majority may only last two years. We may never get a 60 seat majority in the Senate, which is the only true way to get a progressive agenda through there. We already have a sufficient majority in the house to push whatever progressive agenda we wanted. But the Senate will be a long hard battle to turn filibuster or veto proof - and it won't be happening by 2008. With only 1/3 of Senate seats up for grabs and many fewer than that truly in play, we will most likely pick up seats, but I haven't seen anyone who believes we'll have 60 Dems in the senate before 2010 or beyond.

Marti~

I think you're referring to DOMA, not DADT, when you're talking about removing parts of it. Not that it's all that important, as I doubt if she had a bill before her that got rid of the whole thing that she'd veto.

I dunno.


Doesn't~

Stop making up new SN's, dude. We can tell in like 3 seconds that you're Leland Frances/Michael Bedwell based on your writing style, and it's trollish behavior. Pick a handle and stick to it.

"First of all, she's said she'd only repeal parts of DADT... not the entire thing."

Actually, that's not true. From everything I've heard Senator Clinton (and SLDN has listened closely to all the candidates' statements), there's no doubt that she would wipe out DA, DT completely . . . she has been very clear and consistent that she favors allowing gays to serve openly . . . no ifs, ands buts.

In fact, I'd say Hillary has been as clear-cut in her opposition to the military's ban as is possible.

I've never heard her say she'd only repeal part of the law. I don't think there's a quote from her - anywhere - that backs that up.

Alex is right, my bad. :) Still, the rest of my comment stands. Her husband has a history of saying one thing and doing another. She still to this day supports what he did. Her comments in response to Mellisa Ethridge's "throw us under the bus" comment was telling.

Interesting poll results released today by Gallup Poll:

Should Bill Clinton Play Active Policy-Making Role as First Spouse?
A recent USA Today/Gallup poll finds 53% of Americans saying they would like Bill Clinton to play an active policy-making role in Hillary Clinton's White House administration, if she is elected president in 2008. Americans were less supportive of Hillary Clinton having an active policy-making role in Bill Clinton's administration after his election in 1992. Most Republicans would not want Bill Clinton to be actively involved in policy work in his wife's administration; most Democrats would.