Proof that outliving those who defame and denigrate you for who you are is the very best revenge:

President Barack Obama today announced his appointment of Roberta Achtenberg, an out lesbian, to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

In 1993 Achtenberg became the very first openly LGBT American appointed by a U.S. president to a Senate-confirmable position. President Bill Clinton tapped her to become an assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

When she was considered for that position by the United States Senate, the always-charming but now-dead dean of North Carolina bigotry, Jesse Helms, had this to say:

San Francisco’s Roberta Achtenberg was nearly prevented from being the federal official overseeing fair housing because of her sexual orientation; Sen. Jesse Helms famously referred to the former city supervisor as “a damn lesbian” prior to her confirmation hearing. And though she was confirmed, Achtenberg was unable to eliminate federally funded bigotry against homosexuals.

Congratulations to Roberta Achtenberg, as good a person as San Francisco politics has ever produced, on her new appointment to federal service. Now lets see who steps up in the GOP Senate caucus to fill the role previously held by Senator Jesse Helms.