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Maddow on LGBT rights: ‘Thanks for nothing, Bill Clinton’

By David Ferguson
Friday, August 30, 2013 7:55 EDT
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Thursday night on “The Rachel Maddow Show,” host Rachel Maddow marveled at the changes in federal policy on same sex marriage and toward states that are legalizing marijuana. She said that the new laws are so significantly different from the norm that the situation is like “cats chasing dogs, like pigs flying.”

Maddow began by discussing the incredible strides made in this country by advocates for same sex marriage. On Thursday, the U.S. Treasury announced that legally married same sex couples can now jointly file their taxes. This is a sea change from just nine years ago when George W. Bush’s re-election team used the issue of stopping same sex marriage to drive conservative voters to the polls.

“Democrats were terrible on the issue as well,” Maddow said, pointing to Bill Clinton’s two major anti-LGBT legacies, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

“Thanks for nothing, Bill Clinton,” she said, adding that it seems almost inconceivable in hindsight that things would change so quickly.

She moved on to Thursday’s historic change in marijuana laws. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the federal government will not be taking action for now against Colorado and Washington for legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational use. The Department of Justice sent a memo to U.S. Attorneys with new guidelines on marijuana prosecution, urging them not to prosecute low level users.

Maddow pointed out that this comes after decades and decades of federal action against marijuana users and suppliers, that these policy reversals constitute a seismic shift in U.S. drug policy.

“This is a big deal in one day’s news,” she said, “but in the context of a lifetime’s worth of the futile, ever-more-aggressive war on drugs, what the administration just did today feels unimaginable. It feels like cats chasing dogs. It feels like pigs flying. It feels like the Harlem Globetrotters losing. It happened. It’s done. Adjust your expectations for what is within the realm of the possible in our country.”

Watch the video, embedded below via MSNBC:

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David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
 
 
 
 
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