Wednesday, August 01, 2007

One more (BIG) strike against Hillary

At one point, even just a couple of months ago, I said I would never, ever vote for Hillary Clinton for president, no matter what. Well, in that time, she has gone on to dissuade my fear a bit, and she's actually said and done some things I really liked. However, I read on Politico today that Obama favors lifting a ban on federal money for needle exchange programs, while Clinton still wants to stick to the safe status-quo:

Obama was quick to say at his July appearance he supports lifting the ban on federal funding for needle exchange. Clinton, by contrast, performed what King called "an interesting waffle" at her April 23 event.

The differences in their answers reflect their different relationships to a hot-button issue of the 1990s, which has since cooled and faded from the public debate. Clinton linked herself to her husband's 1998 compromise between public health activists and anti-drug crusaders, while Obama sided solidly with the advocates of what are seen as "preventive" services.

In the unusual 1998 compromise, Clinton Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala announced that the administration's scientific review had found needle exchanges safe and effective -- but that the administration would nonetheless maintain a federal ban on funding them.

That reveals so much about them both, doesn't it? I'm impressed with Obama. This more than makes up for his pretty skittish (dare I say "spineless") committment to human rights. I like to call myself a 3-issue voter: environment, health care, and "human rights," i.e., gay rights. Probably in that order. And everything that those things entail.

This is a huge boon to Obama in my book. Way to go.

PREVIUOSLY: Needle Exchange

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