Bill Clinton! Saying words!
The former United States president popped by The Daily Show to promote his new novel, The President is Missing, alongside co-author James Patterson. After interviewing them about the book, Daily Show host Trevor Noah started asking Clinton about a Virginia restaurant owner asking Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave her establishment on behalf of gay employees, as well as the calls for civility that have followed. Clinton told Noah that, while he sees the value in such disruption, he believes that protest and civility “are not inconsistent” with one another:
When we were in church once and Chelsea was about 14, we were in a church that was a welcoming church, that is, they welcomed people without regard to their sexual orientation or identity. This man got up and protested and said we should do more about AIDS. We should have been doing more about aids, and he was absolutely right. So, we wound up doubling funding for treatment and research and paying for about 25-30% of the global effort at the time. It was still nowhere near enough. I thought that was fine.
That protester was Luke Montgomery, aka Luke Sissyfag, who interrupted the Washington, D.C., Easter Sunday church service the Clintons attended in 1994. Clinton was, indeed, apparently not bothered by Montgomery’s actions, although the same could not be said about a similar interruption two years prior by ACT-UP activist Bob Rafsky. “What are you going to do about AIDS?” shouted Rafsky. “You do not have the right to treat any human being, including me, with no respect because of what you’re worried about,” Clinton said back following a tense exchange. “I have treated you and all the people who’ve interrupted my rally with a hell of a lot more respect than you’ve treated me, and it’s time you started thinking about that.”
Anyway! Back to The Daily Show. Clinton eventually started talking about Sarah Huckabee Sanders again:
Would it be better if that didn’t happen?
I think it would.
But, you know, a lot of poison has been poured down America’s throat since that 2016 campaign started. It started off [with Trump] calling Mexicans rapists and murderers. It’s hard to pour that poison down someone’s throat and not have some of it bubble up…I wound up with a lot of respect for [the restaurant owner], but also I had a lot of respect for the way Sarah Huckabee Sanders handled it. She didn’t chew ‘em out. She didn’t pitch a fit. She didn’t call ‘em ‘immigrant-loving thugs’ or whatever. She just got up and left and offered to pay.
Would’ve respected her more if she stepped in some dog shit, personally.
Bill keeps talking:
Sooner or later, people need to quit tearing each other down and go to work, but I think you can’t foment as much hatred as has been fomented by the [current] administration without having a blowback. So if they want to have more civility, they need to stop the name calling and take the lead.