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GOP Proves Their Organization

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Today, Senate Republican leaders demonstrated their  willingness to leverage their party’s strengthened position in the coming session,  by announcing that they intend to block all bills that enter the chamber until the issue involving the Bush tax cuts is resolved. Proving their willingness to throw their weight around, they announced this resolve through a letter signed by all 42 Senatorial members of the GOP, saying “…legislative scheduling should be focused on these critical priorities.”

Regardless of your stance on the tax cuts, there is no denying the impressive organization of the GOP. When the Democratic party ruled the Senate, there seemed an undercurrent of chaos and an unwillingness to take a strong stance on major issues for fear of electoral consequences. Even during the landmark Democratic victory on healthcare, many seemed uneasy with the force required to pass the bill. There was no cohesion or unity amongst the party to project a sentiment of strength and determination.

I hope that the battle over the tax cuts is resolved quickly so that the Senate can tackle other important issues before the coming recess, the most dire being the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” It is saddening that an issue of finance is taking precedence over the fundamental civil liberties and discrimination of an entire class of people, but that is often how the political theater is played today.

When a more heavily Republican Senate is sworn in following the recess, it is clear that, for better or worse, the organization of the GOP will have a serious impact on the practices of the chamber. Despite personally holding a stance on certain issues that align closely with the Republicans, I worry what the impact this will have on issues of LGBT rights, something I hold near and dear to my heart. While I don’t believe that discrimination is a fundamental tenet of the Republican party, this current crop of politicians seems particularly bent against concerning issues.

I can only hope I’m proven wrong.

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About healeyb

  • Arch Conservative

    You do realize that “don’t ask don’t tell” most likely isn’t even in the top five of issues for the average American don’t you?

  • http://www.bryanhealey.com Bryan

    First of all, I certainly hope that isn’t true and am curious what leads you to believe that. Do you have polling statistics to support your assertion? It is a bold indictment of the American people to say that a fundamental concern for civil liberties isn’t of issue for the average American.

    Second of all, even if polling numbers do happen to not indicate a majority interest over the issue, it wouldn’t matter. Matters of civil rights should not require a popular majority to be addressed in a constitutional republic.

    And finally, polls seem to indicate that you are simply wrong, with a poll administered by CNN in May of this year showing that 78% of all Americans favor a repeal of DADT.

  • Doug Hunter

    Let’s see, taxes effect every worker in the US in a real and meaningful way such as whether they will have enough money to pay the bills or put away for retirement or fund their children’s education or open or exapnd a business while ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ effects a small percentage of a small minority of the population (gays who want to serve in the military and feel the need to broadcast their sexuality). To me, DADT is about as important as the issue regarding TSA screening at airports, again a small minority of people opposed to being touched who choose to fly. DADT should be repealed and TSA screening procedures should be made more sensitive and less intrusive, but by no means are they important issues in any way but symbolism.

    I’m into the practical, not the symbolic.

  • http://www.bryanhealey.com Bryan

    Doug: I’m not arguing, nor have I ever argued, that the tax cuts should be disregarded. I am in favor of the tax cuts and want them to be extended, and I do think they are important. I just feel that issues of civil equality are also very important, and I take issue with your assertion that the repeal of DADT is equivalent with the TSA screening procedures.

    While the number of LGBT people who wish to serve in the military openly may be small, it is the principle behind the policy that is of concern. Discriminatory practices exercised by the government should never be taken lightly, and DADT is only one element in a vast national epidemic of mistreatment toward LGBT people that needs systematic breaking. Repealing DADT is not the sole solution, but it is a step in the process.

  • Baronius

    The old policy of zero tolerance was discriminatory against people. The current policy of DADT doesn’t exclude anyone from service; it just puts restrictions on their behavior. It’s a matter of discipline, not discrimination.

  • Doug Hunter

    Civil liberties are important, acceptance of gays is important, DADT is mostly just a symbol. I’d be frustrated too if I wanted to join the military and was gay, but you know what, everyone gets screwed one way or another.

    I’m frustrated because I know I can’t own a casino even though it’s a thriving industry in the area, I can’t send my kids to Pre-K because spanish speakers and low income get priority even though I fund the school with a disportionate share of taxes, my small business is at a competitive disadvantage for government contracting because I’m not a woman or minority… the bottom line is life’s not fair for any of us.

    I’m not suggesting DADT is right, I just don’t get worked into a tizzy quite as easily over these issues politicians use to push our buttons (except race of course, that works like pavlov’s bell on everybody!). I’m absolutely for a race/origin/sex/orientation/religion-blind society to the extreme… treat everyone equal first then replace “don’t ask don’t tell” with “don’t ask don’t care” and bring the hammer down hard on any that do.

  • http://www.bryanhealey.com Bryan

    Baronius: What behavior is being prevented by DADT that is pivotal to good discipline? And if it somehow could possibly be a disciple issue, why then, as cited in Judge Phillip’s initial overturning of DADT, were outed soldiers allowed to complete tours of duty before being discharged under DADT?

    The idea that homosexuality is in someway exemplary of a poor behavioral pattern or is in anyway disruptive of normal military procedure is part of the national infection of discrimination that is evident in the existence and persistence of DADT.

    Doug: While I understand your point of view, and absolutely agree that life is not fair for anyone, I can’t justify using that belief in not giving the potential repeal of DADT, and other LGBT concerns such as marriage, the attention it rightly deserves. While DADT may be a symbol, its repeal can act as a public step in the right direction for governmental policy.

    There are, of course, other things to work on. There is rarely, if ever, a single issue of utmost concern that deserves undivided attention. The tax breaks is important, as are other issues of Senatorial concern, such as the DREAM Act. But DADT should be amongst that mix.

  • Baronius

    “Baronius: What behavior is being prevented by DADT that is pivotal to good discipline?”

    I don’t know. I don’t know why military haircuts are standardized, or what the benefit of square meals is. I can see how sexual tension could cause a problem for unit cohesion, but I’m not going to pretend to know how pivotal it is or how a unit could work around it.

    “And if it somehow could possibly be a disciple issue, why then, as cited in Judge Phillip’s initial overturning of DADT, were outed soldiers allowed to complete tours of duty before being discharged under DADT?”

    Absolutely no good reason I can think of. That’s clearly unreasonable.

    “The idea that homosexuality is in someway exemplary of a poor behavioral pattern or is in anyway disruptive of normal military procedure is part of the national infection of discrimination that is evident in the existence and persistence of DADT.”

    My point is that DADT isn’t about homosexuality; it’s about conduct. A gay soldier can have an active social life off-base without violating any rules. But no one, of any preference, should make their sexuality into an issue at work.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “A gay soldier can have an active social life off-base without violating any rules.”

    Sorry, but that’s wrong. You should read up on it because your understanding is incorrect.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    My point is that DADT isn’t about homosexuality; it’s about conduct.

    Nonsense. DADT is about homosexual conduct. If you don’t know that much, you have no business discussing DADT, here or anywhere else.

  • Baronius

    EB and Alan, my understanding is that “don’t ask” essentially takes homosexuality off the table unless the individual makes his orientation known, through word or action. A closeted soldier faces no real risk of exposure. If I’m wrong on that, please clarify.

  • http://www.bryanhealey.com Bryan

    Baronius: That is correct, and that is exactly the problem. Why can a straight man happily talk about his wife and children and provide benefits for his loved ones, but a gay man who is making the same patriotic sacrifice as the straight man, have to keep quiet and pretend he is something he is not?

    Furthermore, a soldier who is seen even outside of his serving duties, such as at a bar or movie theater, engaging in anything recognized as homosexual (perhaps kissing his boyfriend?) by a fellow service member, he can be discharged. It is not a policy that only regulates the conduct of a serving soldier.

    Finally, in what way can you recognize DADT as anything but an LGBT specific bill? It does not merely regulate military discipline or conduct, but only requires that the soldier not make known his orientation only if he is gay. It does not require that all soldiers keep their relationships private, only those who are gay. And therein lies the problem.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Baronius, you have exceeded the normal quota for misinformation on a Blogcritics commentary thread. I herein quote from federal law 10 U.S.C. §654, better known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

    In comment #5 you state: “The current policy of DADT doesn’t exclude anyone from service; it just puts restrictions on their behavior.” False.

    Fact: §654 (b) Policy. A member of the armed forces shall be separated if that member has …
         (1) engaged in, attempted to engage in, or solicited another to engage in a homosexual act;
         (2) stated that he or she is a homosexual or bisexual, or words to that effect;
         (3) married or attempted to marry a person known to be of the same biological sex.

         (c) Entry Standards. (1) The Secretary of Defense shall ensure that the standards for enlistment and appointment of members of the armed forces reflect the policies set forth in subsection (b).

    Discussion: DADT thus excludes anyone from service, whether by discharge or denial of enlistment, who has demonstrated or stated a preference for homosexuality. This does not require a servicemember or enlistee to make an admission, since sexual orientation can be inferred from matters of public record such as marriage records or free speech reported in the media.

    In comment #8 you state: “A gay soldier can have an active social life off-base without violating any rules.” False.

    Fact: §654 (a).
         (9) The standards of conduct for members of the armed forces regulate a member’s life for 24 hours each day beginning at the moment the member enters military status and not ending until that person is discharged or otherwise separated from the armed forces.
         (10) Those standards of conduct, including the Uniform Code of Military Justice, apply to a member of the armed forces at all times that the member has a military status, whether the member is on base or off base, and whether the member is on duty or off duty.

    Discussion: Your fundamental misperception is that members of the armed forces enjoy the same legal privileges and protections as anyone else in our society. You could not be more mistaken.

  • Clavos

    Baronius, you have exceeded the normal quota for misinformation on a Blogcritics commentary thread.

    Keeping score, Al? Congratulations on your appointment to the BC Misinformation Police.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Is that a branch of the BC Grammar Nazis or an unrelated organisation?

  • Baronius

    I usually ignore the quota until the end of the month, then have to cram in a lot of misinformation in the last week or so. I figure that I’ll be doing some travelling over the holidays, so I’m trying to get in as many errors as possible early on. Never put off ’til tomorrow what you can do wrong today.

    As a practical matter, a soldier’s sexual preference can go unnoticed if he’s reasonably careful. As you note in the first discussion, one’s sexuality becomes known by word or deed; in other words, by behavior. It doesn’t seem to me that it would be difficult to avoid detection, especially since officers aren’t supposed to pursue any indications of homosexuality.

  • http://www.bryanhealey.com Bryan

    Baronius: It’s not difficult to avoid detection with a little effort, but they shouldn’t have to exert that effort. A gay man shouldn’t be terrified to go out to dinner with his boyfriend because he worries his commanding officer might be there.

    The same argument substituted with religious beliefs would be immediately and vehemently attacked by most, I would think. Imagine being afraid to attend church services for fear of being noticed walking into the building (assuming you hold religious convictions).

  • Clavos

    @# 15:

    Entirely unrelated, Chris. They did apply to become affiliated with us, but we felt their association would cheapen our image.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    That’s one of the things I love most about Blogcritics “editors.” Everybody’s a comedian. Nobody gives a shit about the facts.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    That’s one of the things I love about Alan Kurtz. He makes things up rather than give a shit about facts. Luvverly!

    Baronius, you seem to be spouting off with extra energy these days. What are you taking?

    Whatever it is, it doesn’t seem to be helping you track things too well. Why the hell should a gay person have to be “reasonably careful” about their life?

    Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell has always been a bullshit hypocritical policy, like so many things in the USA these days…

  • Baronius

    I’m listed as having 7 comments in the last 24 hours (this’ll be 8). That’s maybe high for me, but usually there are enough people in the double digits that I don’t make the Top Commenters list. It’s kind of a Sunset Boulevard thing – I’m no bigger than usual, but the boards have gotten small.

    On that note, I noticed that Healey is a new writer (hi Healey), and I didn’t want the thread to wither and die. This isn’t a topic that I’m well-versed on, and I’d usually pass it by, but every new writer should kick up a dust storm.

  • Clavos

    …a bullshit hypocritical policy, like so many things in the USA these days…

    Quoted for Truth.

  • Cannonshop

    #20 “…. Why the hell should a gay person have to be “reasonably careful” about their life?”

    Um, because there are douchebags who’ll assault them just for being who they are? It’s like being down-town after dark alone-it’s not reasonable to expect someone else to protect you, so you best take reasonable care to protect yourself.

    In the case of the UCMJ, you have a problem in that being sexually active and gay is a short route to a Bad Conduct Discharge. DADT was supposed to provide a means to PROTECT gay service members from harassment and permit them to serve, but like all half-assed solutions, it’s generated more problems than it “solves” (term used loosely-it doesn’t solve a damn thing-it just covered up the problem with a new coat of paint.)

    The PROBLEM is in the UCMJ, and until the UCMJ is corrected to reflect reality (That is, that Gay doesn’t mean a threat to unit cohesion and discipline, or bad fighter, or lousy soldier), which requires an act of Congress signed by the Chief Executive, the problem will remain even after DADT is repealed.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    Baronius, you shine because yours truly has been silent of late.

    Just kidding.

  • http://www.bryanhealey.com Bryan

    Cannonshop: While I agree with your tragic and humiliating sentiment that being gay in America is still dangerous today, I don’t know what point exactly you are making by the rest of your statement? It seems only a summary of the reality of DADT today.

    Baronius: Hi!

  • Dan

    It’s a little damaging to the gay crusade that the treasonous soldier at the bottom of the wiki leaks scandal was a homosexual.

    If gays made up 5% of the military, you’d need 19 examples of straight soldiers to similarly disgrace their uniforms to every one Bradley Manning in order to dispel the common notion that military performance suffers when gays are in it.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    How is it damaging? Are you insinuating that PFC Manning (if guilty, which is by no means certain) leaked classified documents because he is gay (if he is, which is by no means certain)? If so, please explain how homosexuality contributed to that offense.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    Dan, your comments are a little damaging to the argument that humans are smarter than other animals

  • http://www.bryanhealey.com Bryan

    I am guessing that you misspoke, Dan, so I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you mean unfairly damaging, much in the same way rational religious leaders worry about popular perception of their church when some radical blows up an abortion clinic.

    Nonetheless, I think it would be a difficult argument for even the most ardent bigot to connect Manning’s sexual orientation to his security breach. Even if he is convicted and found to be gay, I don’t think it will impact the debate much, or at all.

  • Dan

    Don’t blame me for noticing. But the argument made by some commanders who are in positions to know is that gays present an emotional instability risk that leads to the sort of behavior Manning is accused of.

    Mannings alleged treason strengthens that argument.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    What commanders might that be? Do they have names or are they figments of your lurid imagination?

  • Dan

    Admitedly, most active commanders bow to political correct convention, expressing their disdain for gay social engineering experimentation in ambiguous terms like “military cohesiveness”.

    Ronald D Ray, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, decorated Vietnam veteran, and Colonal USMCR published an analysis in 1993 called “Military Necessity and Homosexuality” where he more precisely stated:

    “…evidence exists that homosexuals, as a group or subculture, can and do turn against their country simply on account of the nature of homosexuality and its hostile attitude toward the existing moral order”

    Anyway Alan, perhaps you could explain to me why I detect hostility from you over my pointing out the obvious logic that a gay (yes, he’s quite gay) traitor is a set back for the gay inclusion in military movement?

    I haven’t stated any particular position on the issue. Why the angry denial of a simple, logical observation?

  • Jordan Richardson

    Probably because the fact that he’s gay doesn’t have shit to do with whether or not he’s a “traitor,” Dan. But here you are trying to float this idiotic, offensive argument that his sexuality has something to do with his actions as a “traitor.”

    Also, that Ronald Ray “analysis” is one of the most spineless and chilling piles of crap I’ve ever read. His suggestion in the bigger picture is that homosexuality is somehow not in line with American morality and that homosexuals in the military represented, in effect, a “security risk.”

    He also goes on to say how the federal government is working to install a New World Order and that the NWO has its own morality in which all manner of deviancy, like homosexuality, is permissible. In perhaps one of the most astounding statements, Ray states that homosexuality is “predatory in nature.” (All of these extrapolations are taken from Ray’s Gays and lesbians in the military: issues, concerns and contrasts)

    Vile trash from a vile man.

    And, by the way, if “bowing to political correct convention” means fostering a more tolerant view of things, call me a PC thug.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    It’s a subtler argument than that, Jordan. It’s a person’s mindset and character which have a shit to do with whether or not they’re a traitor. Homosexuality is just a trigger, a predisposing condition, a formative influence.

    Got to give Dan more credit than that.

  • zingzing

    “the nature of homosexuality and its hostile attitude toward the existing moral order.”

    huh. from the look of things, i’d say the “existing moral order” is far more hostile to homosexuality than the other way around. if you’re going to say that his homosexuality is at the very center of his decision to do what he did, you might as well get the relationship right. it’s the “existing moral order” that silences them. it’s the “existing moral order” that tries to pass constitutional amendments that deny them freedoms. it’s the “existing moral order” that ties them to a post and beats them to death.

    besides, that video of the airstrike needed to be shown. also, and here’s the shocker, before he was arrested, manning described his reasons for doing what he was doing. (and no, it wasn’t about getting some dick. not about dadt! not about his homosexuality!)

    basically, he was worried about not only how much he was being lied to, he was worried about how much the iraqi people were being lied to and he was worried about how much the world was being lied to. “I want people to see the truth … because without information, you cannot make informed decisions as a public,” he said. it wasn’t because he was fed up with dadt.

    dan is trying to make a point out of nothing. dan and the military are going to say “oh, he was just some fucked up gay,” ignoring the fact that the documents and videos he leaked show just how fucked up the united states handling of foreign relations has become. they’re killing reporters, hunting down scholarly critics of the iraqi puppet government, using diplomacy as a spy tool, etc, etc.

    the homosexuality thing is a shroud the military and fools like dan want to throw over this thing. because it’s embarrassing to the united states and it shows our government that they just can’t get away with shit like that.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Got to give Dan more credit than that.

    No. I really don’t.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    Sarcasm intended, Jordan.

  • Dan

    I’ll assume that Alan is satisfied with the answer to his rudely presumptive question, but lacks the courtesy to respond in kind. That’s typical for BC.

  • zingzing

    you still believe ray to be “in a position to know” rather than just a run of the mill homophobe. that’s typical for you.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Dan (#38), I felt no need to respond to your comment #32 because Jordan Richardson (#33) promptly tore it to shreds. Why should I pile on? What I will say, though, is that you answered nothing. In #30, you referred to “commanders who are in positions to know.” In #31, I asked, “What commanders might that be?”

    In response, you produced only a single name, and cited an article by that person from 1993. Mr. Ray hasn’t been in a “position to know” since the Reagan administration! I’m still waiting for you to name those fictitious “commanders who are in positions to know.” But I won’t hold my breath. You haven’t produced any evidence yet that homosexuality leads to treason, and I’m doubtful that you ever will.

  • Dan

    That’s OK Alan, you don’t need to answer. I understand where your hostility comes from.

    When a person invests so much in a false, or even just a forced reality, any evidence that threatens that investment is likely to spawn some irrational anger. Political correctness is simply a defense mechanism for a rigid, conformist, societal doctrine.

    To advance the doctrine, it’s often proclaimed, without example, that gays have served, and are serving, with honor and valor. In a healthy society, consideration would be given for when the opposite actually occurs.

    In the case of PFC Manning, It could certainly be infered that “homosexuality leads to treason”. Manning was not just gay, but a fully feathered gay activist. Apparently DADT wasn’t being enforced to begin with.

    There are now published photographs of Manning holding up a sign with rainbow colors demanding “equality on the battlefield” and participating in a gay pride parade. According to some reportage he apparently came up with the idea of stealing and releasing the classified information to WikiLeaks as a way to get back at the military over the recent setback to scrapping DADT.

    Of course, understanding the dogmatists that you, Jordan, and zingzing are, I don’t expect you to grasp that I’m not definitively ruling out the possibility that gays in the military can work. It was simply my observation that PFC Manning does considerable damage toward that cause.

    And all the pretentious caterwauling does nothing to change that.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    How is a “gay activist” different from an activist, especially if gay-related issues are not part of the agenda? Aren’t you loading the dice somewhat?

    Of course his being gay is harmful to the cause – the question Alan chose not to deal with – if for no other reason that it provides ammunition to all those who were and are already predisposed to oppose the repeal of DADT. But that goes without saying, doesn’t it?

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    When a person invests so much in a false, or even just a forced reality, any evidence that threatens that investment is likely to spawn some irrational anger.

    You said it, Dan. That’s exactly what homophobia has spawned in you.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    And in Roger, too, I see.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    You have a right to your own opinions, Alan, but it does come across at times that in your fervor to win an argument you do suffer from severe reading comprehension now and then. And it kind of flies in the face of your ambition to be Mr. Precision. At the very least, you are sending out conflicting messages.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Roger, why don’t you do something that Dan has steadfastly refused to do? In plain language, please explain to me how homosexuality caused PFC Manning to betray his country.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    I never argued that point. That’s Dan’s presumption, but you seem to lump him with me by association.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    There’s another presumption as well, sort of hidden, namely that PFC Manning’s action constituted betrayal.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Of course his being gay is harmful to the cause …

    That’s what you wrote, Roger (#42). Isn’t that equivalent to saying that homosexuality caused him to betray his country? Why else would it be harmful to the cause?

  • Dan

    that’s not my presumption roger. It’s only alans strawman.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    Select quoting, Alan. You conveniently omit the rest.

  • Dan

    “That’s what you wrote, Roger (#42). Isn’t that equivalent to saying that homosexuality caused him to betray his country? Why else would it be harmful to the cause?”—Alan

    It’s harmful to the cause in the same way that assertions of gays serving with honor and valor intend to help the cause.

    good grief roger, you say this guy wins arguments?

  • Dan

    “How is a “gay activist” different from an activist, especially if gay-related issues are not part of the agenda? Aren’t you loading the dice somewhat?”—roger

    I was calling attention to the mans openess. In accordance with DADT he shouldn’t have gotten in.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/an roger nowosielski

    I see your point.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/irene-athena irene athena

    What I don’t understand is why DADT has become a more important issue these days than examining why gays or ANYBODY in the military is in Afghanistan in the first place. Another HUGE distraction for the Democratic (pre-January 2009) antiwar activists.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    It’s harmful to the cause in the same way that assertions of gays serving with honor and valor intend to help the cause.

    That’s an incoherent sentence, unless you mean “tend” instead of “intend.” Or do you even know what you mean?

    My point is that gays serve with honor not because they are gay, but rather because they are good soldiers. Being gay has nothing to do with it.

    Likewise, if a gay commits treason, it’s not because he is gay, but rather because he’s treasonous. And again, being gay has nothing to do with it.

    Unless, of course, you can tell us in plain language how homosexuality causes treason.

  • Dan

    irene #55, I think we’re there because of all the investment Obama and Democrats made bashing Bush’s Iraq war while claiming afghanistan was the place to be. There’s no good reason, just cover for Dem’s hatred of Bush.

    Alan #56 how’s this: It’s harmful to the cause in the same way that people who make assertions of gays serving with honor and valor intend to help the cause.

    have I made any petty spelling errors you wish to correct? That’s always a good way to go when you have no argument.

  • http://www.bryanhealey.com Bryan

    My goodness, what happened in here?

    My take on the matter is this: PFC Manning’s action will undoubtedly give opponents of the repeal of DADT something to shout about. They will be wrong, of course, as his sexuality had nothing to do with his actions (something he has publicly stated), but they will shout nonetheless. When you’re fighting an irrational battle, you look for anything that sounds even remotely like a valid argument.

    And as for Irene: Yes, there are other issues worth debating, and I don’t know that many would argue otherwise. But that is a constant. There is rarely, if ever, a single issue to focus all energies on. You need to battle the current battle, and switch gears when appropriate.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Bryan, could it have anything to do with the prospect of effecting change? Most opponents of the war in Afghanistan have long since given up any realistic hope of a U.S. pullout. So we focus instead on smaller issues, such as repealing DADT. Opponents of DADT have this year taken heart from Judge Phillips’s decision and from the Pentagon’s Working Group survey. So they agitate for repeal. Unfortunately, theirs is wishful thinking. There’s no more chance that DADT will be repealed or overturned by the courts than there is that Obama will get us out of Afghanistan within the foreseeable future, no matter what he has pledged about drawing down troops next summer. Nevertheless, many people continue seeing what they want to see, not what’s actually out there.

  • http://www.bryanhealey.com Bryan

    Alan, I think that’s definitely possible. There is a sense that the issue is immediate and has a chance of reality, and that energizes people. I won’t take a solid stance on its genuine potential, but I fear you may be right, which is a damn shame.