Yes, it’s time for another exciting episode of “Goddamn White People”…
WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans on Tuesday blocked an effort by Democrats and the White House to lift the ban on gays from serving openly in the military, voting unanimously against advancing a major defense policy bill that included the provision.
The mostly partisan vote dealt a major blow to gay rights groups who saw the legislation as their best hope, at least in the short term, for repeal of the 17-year-old law known as “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
If Democrats lose seats in the upcoming congressional elections this fall, as many expect, repealing the ban could prove even more difficult — if not impossible — next year. The Senate could take up the measure again during a lame-duck session after the elections, but a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he hasn’t decided whether to do so.
“The whole thing is a political train wreck,” said Richard Socarides, a White House adviser on gay rights during the Clinton administration.
Okay, let’s break this down, item by item.
-First off, kudos to Sen Jim Webb (D-VI.) who despite initial reports, did not join the Republicans in their filibuster. I know he’s been publicly in favor of continuing the policy but the fact that he chose not to join the GOP in blocking the vote shows he knows the difference between respectful disagreement and total dickishness.
-Anti Kudos to Mark Pryor and Blanche Lincoln for voting with the GOP and reminding me why I donate directly to candidates I like as opposed to the DNC. Lincoln is expect to get trounced by her opponent John Boozman this October so this craven pandering will not go unpunished.
-And of course John McCain continues to remind everyone within earshot why Obama won in the first place.
What McCain clearly forgot about was the case of Major Mike Almy.
While the Defense Department did adopt higher standards for discharging gay and lesbian soldiers in March, the military has dismissed servicemembers after discovering their sexual orientation in email records. For instance, Major Mike Almy — a 13-year veteran of the Air Force — was relieved of his duties after a routine search of computer files uncovered emails to his same-sex partner.
In fact, as Almy explained in testimoney before McCain’s own committee (Senate Armed Services): “In Iraq, during the height of the insurgency, someone in the Air Force ordered a search of my private emails solely to determine if I had violated “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, and to gather whatever evidence could be used against me.” “I was relieved of my duties, leading nearly 200 Airmen, my security clearance was suspended and part of my pay was terminated. Even as my commander was relieving me of my duties, he assured me this was in no way a reflection of my performance or my abilities as an officer,” Almy testified.
Translation: John McCain is an old man who can barely remember what he had for breakfast, let alone what someone said in his committee months earlier.
Alternate translation: John McCain is a bitter old man who will do anything to screw with the man who kept him out of the Oval Office.
Another alternate translation: John McCain is a bitter old man who hates everyone and gays are just one line item on that list.
Whatever the translation, he should be ashamed of himself. His opponent is Rodney Glassman and ActBlue has a page for him here.
Let’s give him a hand and put McCain’s political career out of our misery.
-And for the love of Pete Seeger, what does it say that the person pushing the hardest for DADT isn’t the President but this woman.
It’s always been my belief that celebrity is a generally useless thing but if Lady GaGa wants to use her fame to stop a hateful policy, I say more power to her.
The down side? I may now have to buy a couple of her albums to support her. Seriously, I’ve never heard any of her stuff. Is she good? (And stop giving that look, I’m turning forty-five in October for frack’s sakes. I’m more of a Carole King man.)
Seriously, unless Obama’s in the mood to be shamed by a woman who wears meat dresses, he needs to step up and issue an executive order stopping implementation of the policy.
Because Goddamn it, I’m in no mood to start a “Lady GaGa/2012” page on Facebook.