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02/04/2011

Thomas More Law Center ups the disingenuous video-making

by Jeremy Hooper

Last week, we showed you a video in which the anti-LGBT Thomas More Law Center claimed that because the Joint Chiefs didn't clap during the Don't Ask Don't Tell portion of this year's State of the Union, it indicates they are against "forced open homosexuality in the military." And at the time, we made the point that the lack of clapping was really indicative of nothing, because Joint Chiefs, like the Supreme Court justices, rarely clap at anything. Thus the reason why in that same Thomas More clip, one could see Elena Kagan also sitting with tamed hands...

Screen Shot 2011-02-04 At 8.02.54 Am

...even though the Justice is widely assumed to be a sympathetic mind on the subject of DADT repeal. These apolitical officeholders simply do not tap their palms together on anything that could be considered divisive, partisan, or deeply political. Almost never. This is not up for debate: It's an easily verifiable fact.

But now, in a rush to "stick it" to those of us who criticized the initial vid, the Thomas More Law Center video makers are just plain embarrassing themselves. Check out the new one:

Uhm, yea -- they clapped in 2010 during a call to "secure vulnerable nuclear materials around the world so that they don't fall in the hands of terrorists." In that same speech, they also joined the bi/nonpartisan claps when President Obama called on troops having our full support when they come home, rose at the mention of military families, and lent their smaked-hand approval to helping Haiti rebuild. Because these are not divisive political conversations -- they are hopefully no-brainer places where we can find shared agreement! Personally, I want my Joint Chiefs happy about securing nukes!

But because of the misguided work from groups like the Thomas More Law Center, the should-be no-brainer conversation of DADT repeal *is* political. It *is* divisive. It *is* more hot button than even conversations about hot red buttons. And therefore: It *is* a place where the Joint Chiefs (and the Elena Kagans) of the world feel like they must sit stone-faced. Because what would've happened had these unelected clapped? Well, the Thomas More Law Center would be making another kind of vid: One that ham-fistedly called for any member of the military top brass who lent his own meathooks to this cause.

So nice try, Thomas More. But the only thing you repudiated was our assumption that your organization's own apolitical reads of situational realities might just trump your politics. Don't worry: We won't let it happen again.

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