Saturday, December 18, 2010
DADT repealed. This is historic.
After 17 years of making patriotic, dedicated people who happened to be gay serve their country in a camo closet, DADT is ended. And it is about damn time. Although there will be a period of transition, it will be a memory of a time when as a nation, the US wrongfully dismissed capable, highly-trained, committed individuals on the basis of who they loved, and it will be only that: a memory.
As with many civil rights victories, there are many people to thank. I really have to mention Rep. Murphy as a great ally, and give real props to Senator Lieberman. I've had my issues with the positions he has taken on many things, but on this he showed great character.
Of course, I don't celebrate in the salon of my liberal bastion without calling out someone who, basically, took the ever-loving cake today with an impassioned speech that put him on the wrongest possible side of an issue, one Senator John Sidney McCain, of Arizona (Really, Arizona? Really?). Let's give a listen:
That was the part I actually found slightly less disgraceful. This piece of fly-blown mental crap was quite despicable, echoing the paranoid fears that homophobically-distracted troops will somehow forget all their training and may get wounded or killed as a result, especially since, when the Marine Commandant made those remarks, the most on-point response came from former Marine Staff Sgt. Eric Alva, who in fact did lose a limb, and is gay. Gay and lesbian service members take the same risks, and deserve the same rights. It is that simple.
But the infamy that McCain covered himself with today is a sort of lie of omission. Ta-Nehisi Coates addressed this one before I could get to it, but McCain's dig at "liberal elites" who might not have even served or even known a person in the armed forces, absolutely "disappears" the activists on behalf of DADT repeal who did serve and the allies in Congress like Patrick Murphy who served. The reality that gays and lesbians (and transgendered people like Autumn Sandeen, who I absolutely look up to as a blogger, and the issues vis a vis military service for the "T's" of the LGBT community are not yet resolved) served is eliminated from McCain's outlook. Because there just isn't room in his world-view for these people. Disagreeing with them is one thing. Blatantly disregarding their existence is a whole other thing. And a shameful one when their service is honorable and meaningful in its own right.
And by the way--I'm calling him out for his bullshit amendment to the START treaty that failed hard, too. Missile defense? STAR WARS, for reals? Which has no hope of working ever in the way that anti-proliferation treaties like START actually would? M'kay. You lose.
This back-bench hacktacular sore loser really could have been president (until Palin put something on the stairs of the White House for him to trip on--maybe kidding!). Ugh. Just, ugh.
But repeal of DADT and the advance of the cause of justice for more people--YAY! More like this, please!