Barney Frank calls Chuck Hagel “aggressively bigoted” in his opposition to the nomination of James Hormel:
“I cannot think of any other minority group in the U.S. today where such a negative statement and action made in 1998 would not be an obstacle to a major Presidential appointment.”
But that obscures the point, doesn’t it?
Does Barney know of any other minority group whose image has shifted so quickly since 1998? Gays were still among the last despised minorities back then – which helps explain why president Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act, enforced the ban on HIV-positive tourists and immigrants, and doubled the rate of discharges from the military on grounds of homosexual orientation. But Clinton – who ran ads in 1996 bragging of his opposition to marriage equality – is a civil rights hero now, because he has evolved. And the president is congratulated for evolving as well. Whereas Hagel, a Republican, cannot even have an apology accepted, and is penalized for his past views.