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05/28/2010

Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal: The Family Research Council's intellectual Waterloo

by Jeremy Hooper

FRCThe Family Research Council's Tony Perkins has a raging case of the bitters this morn'. Ya know, because granting all tax-paying citizens the ability to defend and possibly die for the nation is a "radical" notion:

"The hard left of the Democratic Party, led by President Obama and Speaker Pelosi, have chosen to put a political constituency with a radical agenda - the homosexual lobby - ahead of the well-being of our men and women in uniform."

Oh please. A broad Democratic coalition in the House, happily joined by five Republicans, passed an amendment which itself was sponsored by Blue Dog Patrick Murphy. And the 15 repeal-backing Democrats on the Senate Armed Services Committee, joined by Republican Susan Collins, are hardly the upper house's lefties! Evan Bayh? Mark Udall? Bill and Ben Nelson?!? Dude, these are MODERATES!

If we wanna talk about hard partisanship: How about the fact that out of the 456 lawmakers who chose to vote on DADT yesterday, only SIX Republicans (out of the 185 potential GOP "ayes" to be had among those who actually voted) broke from the party and supported basic fairness for American soldiers! Opposing DADT repeal is a hard-right stance, one that is wildly out of touch with where the American public is on this. And yet for the GOP's congressional delegation, it is a consensus opinion? *That* is true partisan politicking!

So just stop it, Tony!

"Tonight Speaker Pelosi and the House Majority ignored the pleas of the military, including all four service heads -- those who lead the men and women who actually understand what it means to selflessly serve. Speaker Pelosi also denied the request of the majority of military associations who asked that she show respect for our military commanders by holding off debate until the review process is completed."

Ignored the pleas? Well yes, we all ignored the completely offensive ones, like Gen. James Conway's suggestion that gays would have to be housed in separate barracks, or any of the others that are clearly motivated by entrenched, unchangeable bias. Just the same way we'd hope the American military would ignore the Family Research Council's suggestion that gays, who are all supposedly "being held captive by the enemy" anyway, should be exported or criminalized so that they won't rape sleeping soldiers. In this marketplace of ideas, we place premiums on the deserving and devalue the cheap shots.

But let's not kid ourselves into believing that the military is being undermined here. Much testimony has been shared. Many considerations have been made. All voices (including numerous unfairly discharged soldiers, Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, former Joint Chiefs Chairs Colin Powell and General John Shalikashvili, Iraq war vet Patrick Murphy, former Defense Secretary Dick Cheney, the Commander in Chief, etc.) have been heard. This forward movement has been done because of fair-minded assessment, not instead of it!

"Unfortunately, for our brave servicemen and women, the liberal majority chose to advance the social agenda of a radical special interest group without giving an opportunity for the military to finish its own study of the issue. Concern, not for the troops but for their own political hides, is moving the Democrats to act with such expediency.

Not given the opportunity to finish the study?!? PUH-FRIGGIN'-LEASE!!!!! This repeal deal *demands* study completion before anything can move forward! In fact, the compromise's deference to the Pentagon study and a subsequent certification stipulation is the reason why many on the "hard left" have spoken out against this repeal compromise!

It's of course convenient to the anti-homosexual agenda to act like this is all being done under the cover of darkness, with Nancy Pelosi using a rainbow-colored bully club against our brave men and women in camo. But in truth, this repeal deal is allowing for OVERCAUTION! OVERSENSITIVITY. It is Tony and Co.'s intellectual dishonesty that's negligent!

"According to a recent Zogby poll, the American people by a three to one margin believe that military leaders should make this decision rather than Congress. These politicians have seriously miscalculated if they believe they can use the military to advance this radical social policy without being held accountable."

We addressed this (FRC-initiated) Zogby poll here, so we aren't going to rehash. But in short: STOP. PITTING. CONGRESS. AGAINST. THE. MILITARY! The two bodies are not at war, despite FRC's latest negligent efforts to put them in one! Top military leaders are making this decision alongside Congress. The American public supports repeal (*notice FRC's Zogby doesn't ask the respondents whether or not they support). What people are sick of are the radically discriminatory social policies that the Family Research Council self-righteously claims as "God's work!"

Hey, Tony Perkins: Please find a hobby that doesn't involve stuffing G.I. Joe voodoo dolls in the closet, hoping they'll lie there and shut up! You continue these anti-American, national security-weakening charges at the peril of your own "culture war" mission!

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