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They said it

I'm taking a break from fretting over Washington's winter wallop -- and how my refrigerator looks more like Holly Golightly's than Paula Deen's -- to point out things that were said or written over the last week that shouldn't be overlooked or forgotten.

President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton take a stand against Uganda's vile anti-homosexuality bill at Thursday's National Prayer Breakfast. Obama:

We may disagree about gay marriage, but surely we can agree that it is unconscionable to target gays and lesbians for who they are, whether it is here in the United States or... more extremely, in odious laws that are being proposed more recently in Uganda.

Clinton:


But we are also standing up for girls and women, who too often in the name of religion are denied basic human rights. And we are standing up for gays and lesbians, who deserve to be treated as full human beings. I recently called President [Yoweri] Museveni, who I have known through the prayer breakfast, and expressed the strongest concern about a law being considered in the parliament in Uganda.

Charles Krauthammer made a good point about how "cynical obstructionism" and "dissent" are defined by where you sit.


This belief in the moral hollowness of conservatism animates the current liberal mantra that Republican opposition to Obama's social democratic agenda...is nothing but blind and cynical obstructionism. By contrast, Democratic opposition to George W. Bush -- from Iraq to Social Security reform -- constituted dissent. And dissent, we were told at the time, including by candidate Obama, is "one of the truest expressions of patriotism." No more. Today, dissent from the governing orthodoxy is nihilistic malice.

The Post's Steven Pearlstein did a service Friday in reminding Republicans and Democrats on how compromise is supposed to work.

The only way a democratic system like ours can work is if the majority party acknowledges that winning an election means winning the right to set the agenda and put the first proposal on the table, though not the right to get everything it wants. By the same logic, if members of the minority party want to influence that policy, they have to understand that it will require them to accept some things they don't like to get some things they do. All this is rather elementary stuff, but trust me when I say that until recently, you'd have trouble finding anyone who seemed to understand it.

And I never had my own personal war hero until Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee why "don't ask don't tell" should be overturned.

I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens....For me it comes down to integrity -- theirs as individuals and ours as an institution.


By Jonathan Capehart  | February 7, 2010; 7:39 AM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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