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Memo to GOP: Ignore the Gays

During the course of the 2010 campaign, I was working on a blog post/op-ed with the title I use for this post.  But, as I followed the messages of Republican candidates across the country, I realized that, well, they had already gotten the message.  It didn’t seem necessary.  And since it wasn’t a winning issue in the campaign, it shouldn’t be a defining agenda when the 112th Congress convenes in January.

Thanks in part to the unpopular, big-government initiatives of the Obama Democrats and the concomitant (given popular opinion) growth of the Tea Parties, most Republicans campaigned on fiscal issues.  Those who made an issue of gays (or appeared to do as much) didn’t do as well on Election Day as polls forecast.

Now, our good friends at GOProud “and some Tea Party leaders” are pressing Republicans to stay true to their campaign rhetoric and “to keep social issues off” the agenda:

“On behalf of limited-government conservatives everywhere, we write to urge you and your colleagues in Washington to put forward a legislative agenda in the next Congress that reflects the principles of the Tea Party movement,” they write to presumptive House Speaker John Boehner and Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell in an advance copy provided to POLITICO. “This election was not a mandate for the Republican Party, nor was it a mandate to act on any social issue.”

When Chris Barron of GOProud contacted Bruce and me about the project, each of us eagerly signed on.  His letter is exactly in the spirit of the ideas this blog has been promoting for six year — and that I have been promoting for at last fifteen.  Social conservative Tea Party folk are also signing up:

“When they were out in the Boston Harbor, they weren’t arguing about who was gay or who was having an abortion,” said Ralph King, a letter signatory who is a Tea Party Patriots national leadership council member, as well as an Ohio co-coordinator.

King said he signed onto the letter because GOProud seemed to be genuine in pushing for fiscal conservatism and limited government.

“Am I going to be the best man at a same sex-marriage wedding? That’s not something I necessarily believe in,” said King. “I look at myself as pretty socially conservative. But that’s not what we push through the Tea Party Patriots.”

Nice to see a gay conservative group actually working within the framework of conservative groups to keep the focus on the issues which have defined our party at least since the rise of Reagan — and have helped Republicans win elections in 1980, 1984, 1988, 1994 and now 2010.

Even the Advocate has picked up on this.  Guess the message is that a gay Republicans can get media attention without attacking their own party.

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140 Comments

  1. D’oh, Livewire. You beat me. OK, I’ll settle for 101. Quite telling that this debate reached this many posts. If this gets the Tea Party supported gov’t that much closer to focusing on the solutions we elected them to, all the better.

    Comment by PopArt — November 16, 2010 @ 4:14 pm - November 16, 2010

  2. TL, your #100 was cleaner and more useful than several of the preceding 99.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 16, 2010 @ 4:30 pm - November 16, 2010

  3. Let’s leave the lap dog echo chambered antics for just a second and return to the thread’s real topic… sigh… the likely incoming RNC Chair, Michigan’s Saul Anuzis, had a press conference at the Natl Press Club today and he opined that the GOP should, indeed, stay away from soc con issues and stay on economic, pocketbook and kitchen table issues to get America back on track. “There’s nothing back there that can help us get ahead today” -Saul.

    I guess if RNC Chair Steele hasn’t gotten his own “Ignore the Gays” memo, it’s getting ready to be served up with a termination notice.

    Comment by Michigan-Matt — November 16, 2010 @ 5:34 pm - November 16, 2010

  4. […] UPDATE II: Gay Patriot chimes in. […]

    Pingback by Fighting Over the “Truce” | Blogs For Victory — November 16, 2010 @ 9:55 pm - November 16, 2010

  5. AE, you’ve been a total dick ever since your first comment. You came in with a hostile attitude and you’ve kept it throughout.

    1) I dont think I was being a dick, and I was the one who made the comment, so I should know,
    2) Other peole dont agree with you :

    1) AE’s right. In order to truly call a cease-fire on social issues, then these issues ought not be raised on either side.

    2) That’s the issue I see, AE, tho I feel we have issues with it for different reasons.

    3) Very well put, AE. And yes, Dan will now conveniently stop replying to comments in this thread

    4) AE, I just want to state that I find your arguments lodged here are appropriately pointed and I don’t get the sense that you’re putting words in anyone’s mouth or misstating the relevant aspects of DADT as mostly a social issue… nor the notion of how it plays into the toic… “Memo to GOP: Ignore the Gays”.

    And you think THIS is being a dick?…

    Okay, here’s the consistency/credibility test:

    (1) Will Dan, Bruce and GOProud go on record saying that congress must NOT overturn DADT no matter what the conclusions of the military report say? And that congress must not for any reason overturn DOMA?

    (2) Will Dan, Bruce and GOProud fight to get congress to drop the issues should they take them up?

    (3)If the answer to any of the above is “no”, or anything short of a definite, unqualified “yes”, how can you claim to have any credibility whatsoever on the matter?

    (If history is any indication, Dan will now conveniently stop replying to comments in this thread.)

    To quote Christie, if you think that’s being a dick, you should see me when I’m angry. Whats being a dick about calling out a blatant, hypocritical contradiction, that other people and other blogs see too? Because I also called Dan out on his long history of conveniently ignoring people who disagree with him when they have actual election results, exit polls, demographic trends and other facts that contradict his argument? Other people have noticed that tendency too, as I highlighted above.

    So, yes, I suppose my comments on the subject have been getting more and more in Dan’s face to force him to actually respond to the facts that contradict his argument, and his very clearly illustrated hypocrisy.

    If you want to see me being as sweet as pie on the subject, go back several months, ever since Dan has been arguing that Republicans should not run on/should ignore social issues, when I started posting exit polls, demographic trends, election results, etc, that contradicted his arguments, and you’ll also notice that that is where Dan stopped responding to my comments, precisely because they were backed up much more convincingly than his own.

    Dan has been advocating and arguing for gay marriage (even though he claims to be ambivalent about it, every post he writes is about how to get it passed, or why its a good idea, or why he voted for it, or why he supports repeal of prop 8, and how people, candidates and congress who appose gay marriage shouldn’t actually do anything to keep the courts from dictating it, etc…) and repealing DADT as long as I’ve been coming here, and while Bruce claims hes is closer to my opinion on DADT (which is that it should only be done if it wont harm effectiveness or recruiting, and that we shouldn’t be distracting the military with it at all during wartime) yet he celebrated when courts ruled it unconstitutional and was bouncing off the walls when the Democrat House voted to repeal it in the middle of two wars, LONG BEFORE any report, and, most hypocritically, in the middle of the SAME recession that he has called on Republicans to ignore social issues because the economy is whats important.

    Anyway, I’m glad this Clinton-era, legislated discrimination is on the pathway to repeal. Earlier this afternoon, the Senate Armed Services Committee voted 16-12 to move toward repeal of DADT.

    …In all seriousness, I am pleased at this momentum — though there is much more to go before a repeal is complete.

    ~Bruce, last May, in the middle of the very same recession that he now claims is reason people should ignore social issues.

    (not to mention Obamacare, which is welfare and the mother of all social issues! Are they suddenly going to stop advocating its repeal?)

    So they push gay issues out of the one side of their mouths while they call on others to NOT address “gay issues” in the headline, and “social issues” in the letter.

    They are telling everyone else to go huddle up and talk about “fiscal issues NOT social issues”, while they continue moving THEIR social issues down the field applauding both court and congressional actions that help push their favored policies.

    Guess the economy isn’t that important when it comes to their favored social issues.

    Sorry, that’s blatant hypocrisy, and I am not the only one to notice. Several commenters here agreed with me, and as I pointed out, other bigger, mainstream blogs noticed the hypocrisy too.

    its what Democrats do! One standard for them, and a different standard for people who disagree with them.

    What I have dont is broken the cardinal rule of GayPatriot, which is not to disagree with the hosts, especially if you present evidence that contradicts them. In that case they will simply ignore you, and then call you names when you squawk loud enough that they cant ignore you any more.

    So much for meaningful discussion. And talk about childish.

    Sorry, I am very nice, but I wont just sit down and shut up when I think someone is wrong. I dont brown-nose, I try very hard to stick to my principles, be honest, and I call out dishonesty, errors and hypocrisy where I see it.

    That is apparently not welcomed on this blog, what is welcomed, are brown nosers and people who keep quiet when they think the bloggers are wrong.

    the same little clique that turns on anyone that dare disagree with Bruce or Dan. Sorry, I’m not here to be an up-sucking sycophant. And if that earns me Bruce’s ire, so be it. I thought he had more character than that. But whatever. Hes got ILC.

    Comment by American Elephant — November 17, 2010 @ 1:14 am - November 17, 2010

  6. I often agree with Bruce’s and Dan’s posts, and I am glad they host this blog -for its posts and commentators. Thanks, guys. But AE, in all his brusqueness, hit the truth.

    Co-signing a letter calling on a moratorium on social issues, while celebrating and encouraging events and legislation that address social issues (and some of the Gay Left’s intermediate and ultimate goals), doesn’t jive. There’s some cognitive dissonance occurring here, and I’m not sure which views are truly believed, and which are convenient.

    Dan and Bruce, will you guys put a moratorium on your social issues, too?

    Comment by Brendan in Philly — November 17, 2010 @ 2:25 am - November 17, 2010

  7. I’d also point out that the tactic of ‘not fighting the guys attacking’ was last pioneered by Trotsky in WW I, we saw how well that worked.

    A ‘true’ cease fire would be to not bring it up, but if the other side does, then you open up with every tool in the arsenal to bring it down. So no talk of a federal marriage ammendment, and no talk of DOMA, as an example.

    I’ll leave DADT out of it, since I consider that more a military question than a social question.

    I want the budget cut, no DREAM act snuck in.

    I want Obamacare repealed, no DOMA language stuck in.

    If the House could honestly presetn streamlined bills, w/o pork or payouts, it would run a lot smoother and transparent.

    Comment by The_Livewire — November 17, 2010 @ 8:19 am - November 17, 2010

  8. From GOProud site in regards to the letter:
    Already, there are Washington insiders and special interest groups that hope to co-opt the Tea Party’s message and use it to push their own agenda – particularly as it relates to social issues. We are disappointed but not surprised by this development. We recognize the importance of values but believe strongly that those values should be taught by families and our houses of worship and not legislated from Washington, D.C.

    It is also interesting that the list of those supporting this letter lists
    both Dan and Bruce as ‘Conservative Activist and Blogger’.

    Comment by rusty — November 17, 2010 @ 8:26 am - November 17, 2010

  9. It’s a sad day when any GP commentor is reduced to quoting Seane-Anna smears as a defensive measure.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 17, 2010 @ 8:59 am - November 17, 2010

  10. ILC,

    Stopped clocks and all that 😛

    Seriously, there are things SA and I agree on, and things we disagree on, same as you and I. I’ve been vocal in my defense of marriage as being between a man and a woman, ‘you people’ can go Fred. I’ve also been opposed to judicial interference but supportive of legislative creation. Some posters support ‘by any means’ on their issues. I have a stand, I’m also smart enough to know I can’t win everything, and what I want isn’t always the only constitutional answer.

    AE does have a point. To say ‘you can’t use this on social issues, well social issues we agree with’ is wrong. Would you expect the ‘right’ to stay quiet if the issue of reperations was dragged up? After all, that’s a social issue. Securing the border is a ‘social issue’ to some, so should the conservatives let the DREAM act pass w/o a protest?

    The 2010 election was a mandate for TEA. But to roll over on ever other issue, to have ‘no war – no peace’ would be as useful for the conservatives as it would be for the Soviets.

    Comment by The_Livewire — November 17, 2010 @ 9:11 am - November 17, 2010

  11. Dan and Bruce, will you guys put a moratorium on your social issues, too?

    Brendan, asking with great respect, could you be more specific about the issues you would have in mind?

    Take DADT. Many on all sides here have expressed, in essence, that it should only be pushed if it turns out the military wants it. We could be having a ‘violent agreement’ on that.

    What else? Have Bruce and Dan pushed too hard for, say, DOMA repeal? To they extent they may favor it (and I’d have to check the record), does the cease-fire concept mean that people must not state their opinions? I expect not; stating one’s personal conviction and setting legislative priorities are two different things.

    Just FTR, you said earlier that “I say we (conservatives) should all stick the issues of redefining marriage and allowing abortion in their proper venue: state legislatures.” I think I can agree. I am probably to the left of you on abortion, but I think it would be more constitutionally faithful if Roe v. Wade fell at least in part, so that more aspects of it were a State issue. Likewise, on gay marriage, I have said for several years now (even if I didn’t in the 1990s) that it should be a question for State legislatures.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 17, 2010 @ 9:24 am - November 17, 2010

  12. TL: As regards SA, perhaps I should have put some highlighting on the word “smears”. I had in mind a comment of SA’s that could only be characterized as incorrect/unfair.

    Would you expect the ‘right’ to stay quiet if the issue of reperations was dragged up? After all, that’s a social issue. Securing the border is a ‘social issue’ to some, so should the conservatives let the DREAM act pass w/o a protest?

    With friendship TL, you’re getting into Straw Man territory. Let’s go back to what GOProud’s letter actually says.

    “On behalf of limited-government conservatives everywhere, we write to urge you and your colleagues in Washington to put forward a legislative agenda in the next Congress that reflects the principles of the Tea Party movement,” they write to presumptive House Speaker John Boehner and Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell in an advance copy provided to POLITICO. “This election was not a mandate for the Republican Party, nor was it a mandate to act on any social issue.”

    Nothing in that says you should stop having or expressing your conviction against gay marriage; or for that matter, for it. Nothing says you should stop having your conviction for or against DADT repeal. Nothing says you should meekly submit to absurdities like reparations or the DREAM act, when leftist nutjobs try to put them on the legislative agenda.

    It says in essence that Tea Party issues should be brought to the top of the legislative agenda. As opposed to, say, abortion or gay teacher bans (if it’s true that DeMint proposed one; I’ve still neglected to check). Or Terry Schiavo, a State issue if there ever was one.

    So, it doesn’t say to stop having your convictions. It doesn’t say to stop fighting nonsense. It says, there is a limited amount of time on the legislative calendar and let’s have Tea Party / fiscal issues at the top of it. OK?

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 17, 2010 @ 9:39 am - November 17, 2010

  13. Well I don’t think I’m getting into straw man territory, your milage may vary 🙂

    My point is, with a senate still in Democrat hands, we will see their social agenda set forth. The Socons shouldn’t shut up and sing when they see it, they should blast it to hell.

    I can understand and agree with the Republicans not putting So-Con issues to the fore (like I said, I’m a social conservative, but would like to have a country to be a So-Con in). But to say that So-Con issues shouldn’t be addressed, is a disservice to those people who did vote for the social cons.

    Like I said, fix the country first, then we’ll fight over the Social issues, and the stupid ones too. We all have our blind spots, and I at least appriciate when people point mine out to me.

    I would say let’s call a truceand go back to laughing at Levi, gillie and Dooms, but they’ve been quiet of late.

    Comment by The_Livewire — November 17, 2010 @ 9:55 am - November 17, 2010

  14. My point is, with a senate still in Democrat hands, we will see their social agenda set forth. The Socons shouldn’t shut up and sing when they see it, they should blast it to hell.

    fix the country first, then we’ll fight over the Social issues…

    let’s call a truceand go back to laughing at Levi, gillie and Dooms

    We can strongly agree on the points I’ve quoted.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 17, 2010 @ 9:59 am - November 17, 2010

  15. As for DeMint, I finally looked it up. According to CBS News, he has not proposed or supported a gay teacher ban in his capacity as Senator. He said something off-the-cuff showing it’s his true opinion; but when it caused a controversy, he apologized for the controversy i.e. from 2010 campaign issues, which we know were basically fiscal / Tea Party issues. Until I’m told otherwise, I will think it *possible* that DeMint could even agree with GOProud’s letter.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 17, 2010 @ 10:05 am - November 17, 2010

  16. Sorry, typo, “for the controversy i.e. -for the distraction- from 2010 campaign issues”

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 17, 2010 @ 10:06 am - November 17, 2010

  17. Off the cuff. . .Guess Jimmy and Chris thought different:

    Homosexual activists, GOProud attack Jim DeMint: “Trying His Best to Make Alvin Greene Look Sane”
    GOProud ^ | Oct 5, 2010 | JImmy LaSalvia

    Posted on Wednesday, October 06, 2010 6:58:08 PM by DesertRenegade

    On Friday, United States Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) told a crowd in South Carolina that he supports barring openly gay teachers, as well as sexually active unmarried female teachers, from the school system. “Jim DeMint’s comments can only be described as outrageous and bizarre. The idea that someone who says they believe in limited government would support the government weeding out gay teachers and unmarried sexually active female teachers simply defies logic,” said Christopher R. Barron, Chairman of the GOProud Board. “Jim DeMint is doing his best to make Alvin Greene look sane.”

    “A real limited government conservative would be talking about getting the government less involved in education – not more involved. Instead of talking about shutting down the Department of Education, supporting school choice and protecting parents’ rights to homeschool their children, Jim DeMint instead wants the government even more involved in our education system, and involved in a way that would invade the personal lives of every teacher in this country,” continued Barron.

    DeMint’s comments come on the heels of increased media attention to the problem of bullying of gay teenagers and the tragically high rates of gay teen suicide. “At a time when we need to be having a serious discussion about the silent epidemic of gay teen suicide, Jim DeMint’s comments send a powerful and disturbing message to people all across the country,” said Jimmy LaSalvia, Executive Director of GOProud. “For a man who speaks a great deal about morality, Jim DeMint’s comments represent some of this most morally reprehensible comments made by a politician in modern history.”

    “It is clear that the socially conservative big government wing of the Republican Party is desperate to undermine and co-op the message and enthusiasm of the tea party movement. After a year and a half of attacking the tea party movement for not being focused on their pet issues, it is clear that Tony Perkins and his crowd have embraced a new strategy – if you can’t beat’em, join’em. The tea party movement is about limiting the size and scope of the government and empowering indiviudals. The grassroots tea party activists should reject attempts by Washington Republicans like Jim DeMint to corrupt the movement’s conservative message,” concluded LaSalvia.

    Comment by rusty — November 17, 2010 @ 10:45 am - November 17, 2010

  18. One last thing. NDT’s link at #82: http://northdallasthirty.blogspot.com/2010/11/open-letter-to-goproud.html

    I frankly disagree with some of it… but I can recommend it as well-written and thought-provoking. NDT, I’d encourage you to be more visible, in this thread.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 17, 2010 @ 10:49 am - November 17, 2010

  19. rusty, hmmm. I suppose that after being called less sane than Alvin Greene, DeMint might be inclined to avoid agreeing with GOProud.

    It’s true that banning gay teachers is a terrible idea (especially if done Federally). But it’s also an idea that almost no one can take seriously. I am going to criticize GOProud there for being unnecessarily intense; perhaps burning a bridge” unnecessarily. DeMint is a great leader on the fiscal issues,

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 17, 2010 @ 10:57 am - November 17, 2010

  20. ILC, I’m referring to whichever issues the GOProud letter is referring to. It’s not specific about which issues need to be hushed up, so I cannot be more specific. But if it’s expected on one side to stop trumpeting, then it should be expected on both sides.

    Comment by Brendan in Philly — November 17, 2010 @ 12:02 pm - November 17, 2010

  21. Brendan – That’s a fair answer; they weren’t specific either (or first).

    I would note (yet again, sorry) that Barron goes on to explain in his quotes to Politico, that one example of what he meant was DeMint’s belief that we should ban gay teachers. Which I have now criticized both of them for. (DeMint for having a bad idea, Barron for possibly overreacting or taking it too seriously.)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 17, 2010 @ 12:08 pm - November 17, 2010

  22. Social engineering lives on in Liberal-land, and especially in intrusive government legislation. I don’t see how social issues can be avoided. Push back or you’ll get run over!!!

    Comment by anon23532 — November 17, 2010 @ 12:36 pm - November 17, 2010

  23. “I don’t see how social issues can be avoided. Push back or you’ll get run over!!!”

    Anon is saying something very important here. While we’re busy playing “gotcha” over the supposed contradictions in the bloggers’ stand, we may be ignoring the very purpose for which the blog was created to begin with.

    Are we to completely stop talking about whether the American military should function according to its own professed principles? Are we to allow it to punish people for things they have not even done yet — on the principle that they MIGHT do it? That is neither “progressive” nor “conservative.” It is insane.

    Perhaps, springing from our discussion of whether actual malfeasance in the military (as elsewhere) will be punished, to whether even potential (and possibly imagined) malfeasance will be fanatically rooted out, we may enter into one over whether we will continue to allow rapists, gang-bangers, murderers, drug addicts and white supremacists to continue in our military — as indeed they now exist.

    I don’t support imposing silence on social issues. I support considering them in a more rational light, and talking about them differently — more thoughtfully.

    This must include, I think, allowing our enlisted men and women to be honest about who they are, yet holding their behavior to a high standard and permitting no misbehavior. Their committed relationships with other consenting adults would, therefore, not be our concern. Our concern would be justice in the military and right conduct by those who serve in its ranks.

    No one group of people — be they on the political Left OR the Right — possesses the wisdom necessary to rule over everybody else. It is this principle that makes libertarians advise small and limited government. The object of “societal good” makes petty little tyrants attempt to seize power to hold over the rest of us. These people are collectivists, and true conservatives have the humility and wisdom to understand that.

    I don’t wish to put words in the mouths of the bloggers. But I see at least the potential for changing the game at this crucial point in our history, and I suspect this might be the direction they are intending to go. I have more goodwill toward them than to think a simple game of “gotcha” against them is fair, or serves the conversation they are trying to encourage.

    Comment by Lori Heine — November 17, 2010 @ 1:55 pm - November 17, 2010

  24. Lori, your post is well thought out and articulates your points beautifully.

    However (you knew one was coming…) I disagree with this part as it appears to be written:

    This must include, I think, allowing our enlisted men and women to be honest about who they are, yet holding their behavior to a high standard and permitting no misbehavior. Their committed relationships with other consenting adults would, therefore, not be our concern. Our concern would be justice in the military and right conduct by those who serve in its ranks.

    We *do* restrict behaviour of consenting adults in the military for good reason. Officers dating enlisted, soldiers dallying with married women, etc. When it comes to a volunteer army, these restrictions are needed, even if all parties are ‘consenting adults’

    (nothing scarrier than a jilted Ex with a rocket launcher!)

    Comment by The_Livewire — November 17, 2010 @ 3:39 pm - November 17, 2010

  25. […] Memo to GOP: Ignore the Gays […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » The political & practical limits of ignoring social issues — November 17, 2010 @ 3:40 pm - November 17, 2010

  26. Yes, Livewire, but we don’t restrict heterosexuals in the military from having committed relationships. The question is not whether any sort of behavior will be restricted at all, but which sort.

    This is, of course, the crux of the argument. Not whether they are “consenting adults,” per se, but what sort of a relationship they have. Restricting them from building stable homes is not making their behavior toward one another any more ethical, orderly or responsible. If anything, a good case can be made that it is eroding the very foundation for ethical, orderly and responsible behavior.

    Does the question of whether the picture in a soldier’s wallet is of someone of the opposite sex or the same sex have as great a bearing on good conduct and — that magic word — “cohesiveness” as that of whether he or she is an avowed white supremacist, or whether he or she has habitually engaged in violent crime?

    The latter question should certainly be a part of the debate, too.

    Comment by Lori Heine — November 17, 2010 @ 3:52 pm - November 17, 2010

  27. It’s reasonable to ban relationships/proclivities which undermine unit effectiveness. Hence, for example, the ban on fraternization and on adultery. (As well as on rape, which is obviously a crime, and the bans on many other crimes.)

    In 2010, do same-sex relationships/proclivities per se still undermine unit effectiveness? Someone brought up the unique situation of Marines. What about the other branches? But my answer here again is: I want to know the military’s input.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 17, 2010 @ 4:45 pm - November 17, 2010

  28. Took the words right out of my mouth, ILC.

    Lori, I’m saying the military can and does restrict relationships between two consenting adults. Is being in a relationship with someone of the same sex a military concern? *shakes magic 8-ball* signs point to ‘no’, but if there is a reason from a military standpoint then we need to consider that.

    Comment by The_Livewire — November 17, 2010 @ 4:58 pm - November 17, 2010

  29. ILC and Livewire, I like and respect you both. I’m not trying to be difficult. But I still want to know what sort of a “military” mind regards it as more disruptive to cohesiveness that some gay or lesbian soldier quietly lives his or her life with a committed partner — not bothering anybody else — than it is to allow white supremacists and criminal thugs into the armed forces.

    I’m not saying that cohesiveness, order or morale are not legitimate concerns. I merely want to know how gays and lesbians can be considered a greater danger to the military than anyone else?

    Perhaps we should commission a study about that. Just sayin’.

    Comment by Lori Heine — November 17, 2010 @ 6:32 pm - November 17, 2010

  30. Lori, here’s my two c-bills,

    DADT and the laws on sodomy in general, are relics of the past. Back in the 50’s-90’s, when we had a) a united enemy and b) homosexuality was still condemned publicly being a closeted gay/lesbian/BDSM type was harmful to cohesion and a security risk.

    To this fat and happy civilian, that time is in the past. But… and here’s the qualifier. if the military determines it to be an issue, that has to be considered. Just as a loving committed relationship between officers and enlisted would be an issue.

    Hope that makes sense.

    Comment by The_Livewire — November 17, 2010 @ 6:55 pm - November 17, 2010

  31. Livewire, I do not disagree that ultimately the military must decide the issue and not politicians or uninformed civilians. So I really don’t disagree with you.

    But as one whose taxes are being used to support that military — as well as a citizen whose safety it exists to protect — I can assure you that if cohesiveness, order and readiness are used as excuses to continue to ban gay and lesbian people from the military, I intend to be one of those who will rise up to demand that this concern for cohesiveness, order and readiness be carried out across the board.

    If these values truly matter, then they should matter all the time and not merely when gays and lesbians are involved.

    Comment by Lori Heine — November 17, 2010 @ 7:16 pm - November 17, 2010

  32. I merely want to know how gays and lesbians can be considered a greater danger to the military than anyone else? Perhaps we should commission a study about that.

    Agreed.

    When I say, let’s get the military’s input here in 2010, I mean just that. I am personally inclined to lift DADT, i.e. to permit openly gay soldiers (who are otherwise willing to be good soldiers and follow the rules). I just recognize my lack of expertise in this matter, and the impracticality (both political and military) of proceeding on it, without it being something the military says it wants.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 17, 2010 @ 7:18 pm - November 17, 2010

  33. ILC, you and I agree — to a point. I just want to explain something.

    On an almost daily basis now, my gay and lesbian friends are asking me to explain why I have become a libertarian-conservative and joined the Republican Party. I have been telling them that conservatism — properly understood — is not against us. That it supports the concept of one standard — the same one — for everybody, rather than different standards for different little groups of people.

    Then they point to the way the military treats gays and lesbians differently than everyone else — supposedly in the name of order and discipline, but very obviously not so, given what the military allows other people to get away with — and honestly, I don’t know what to tell them.

    The military clearly has a discipline problem in a general sense. What seems to concern it is that skinheads and neo-Nazis and rednecks who don’t like gays are going to harm them. I do think this is at the core of why many in the military don’t want us there — in a sense, they want to protect us. It doesn’t make them bigots. It does show that they have a problem with discipline, in a larger sense, that they don’t want to deal with.

    Same thing as what’s happening in the schools. Gay kids should not be treated as a special class and protected merely because they’re gay. But there’s been a general breakdown of discipline in the schools — which is why bullying (of anybody) is a problem in the first place.

    The political Right has gained the reputation of defending and coddling bullies. If those on the Right are waving the white flag of surrender to the spoiled brats in society who insist on more coddling — or they’ll make trouble — I simply fail to see what the hell is so conservative about that. Conservatives have always claimed to stand for order and discipline. All I’m saying is that it’s high time they started showing it.

    If I, as a lesbian, joined the Navy expecting my tour to be like an Olivia cruise, and used my time at sea to harrass my straight comrades-at-arms, I would very rightly be tossed out on my butt. I think that’s the way it should be. But if the real reason I might be discharged is because some neo-Nazi wants to kill me and the Navy doesn’t want to deal with the problem of neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other thugs and criminals in their ranks, I would like to hope all right-minded Americans would have a problem with that.

    Is in really “impractical” to have gays and lesbians serve openly in the military, or has it become impractical for the military to keep order and discipline in its ranks in general? Is it “impractical” to crack down on bullying in the public schools, or is it impractical for those who are supposed to be the adults in our society to keep student culture from degenerating into “Lord of the Flies?”

    I want to know what to tell my progressive friends when they ask me those questions. Thus far, the answers I myself have gotten, when I ask them, have been unclear.

    Comment by Lori Heine — November 17, 2010 @ 8:09 pm - November 17, 2010

  34. Thank you Brendan (and others),

    I can accept “brusqueness”, I was definitely brusque. I call it exasperation.

    But I agree with Dan and Bruce (and GOProud) most of the time too, I just believe they are wrong here. they are slapping social conservatives in the face for no good reason whatsoever, throwing your friends under the bus rather than standing up to your adversaries lies about them, and being more than a little bit hypocritical on social issues. It’s nice to see so many people agreeing with me, despite my brusqueness.

    Its just a point I have been making, with lots of supporting evidence for months, and that has been dutifully ignored just as long. It does get exasperating.

    Comment by American Elephant — November 17, 2010 @ 9:39 pm - November 17, 2010

  35. Lori, thanks for your thoughtful response! It’s late now, I may have thoughts in the morning.

    I did notice this poll on HotAir. They’re Christian-owned, they’re reputed to have a social-conservative readership… which agrees with the GOProud, Tea Party approach by a margin of 3 to 1: http://hotair.com/archives/2010/11/17/in-tea-party-poll-fiscal-issues-beat-out-social-issues-by-a-lot/

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 18, 2010 @ 2:28 am - November 18, 2010

  36. Lori,

    Have to be brief, but I’m not clear on something.

    I’ve been informed it’s more of a security issue, a relic from the 60’s. I’ve not seen data that they’re concerned about blanket parties for just being gay, as opposed to acting inappropriately towards another soldier. Do you have any links on the issue you could point me to?

    BTW, not all ‘rednecks’ are gay beating hicks. I’m damn proud to be a redneck. 😉

    Comment by The_Livewire — November 18, 2010 @ 7:16 am - November 18, 2010

  37. But if the real reason I might be discharged is because some neo-Nazi wants to kill me and the Navy doesn’t want to deal with the problem of neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other thugs and criminals in their ranks, I would like to hope all right-minded Americans would have a problem with that.

    If that’s the real reason, I would have a problem with it too. But I’ve been told by military people here and there (by no means all) that the real reason is what you could call the “showers” issue – that the unavoidably intimate situations of military life just work better when everyone can pretend that no one present would be sexually interested or even secretively/involuntarily getting jollies from it.

    I’m not taking a stand on whether that is the “real reason” or (in 2010) even a good reason. Just reporting.

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 18, 2010 @ 9:42 am - November 18, 2010

  38. (And, emphasis on “pretend”. Gays always have been covertly present; a good chunk of straight people covertly have at least a little bit of ‘bi’ interest as reflected on the Kinsey scale; yadda yadda.)

    Comment by ILoveCapitalism — November 18, 2010 @ 9:49 am - November 18, 2010

  39. Livewire, the only “links” I can provide is testimony from friends who have served in the military themselves and somehow made it through though they are gay. They report they were well aware of the other gays in uniform because they tended to talk to each other — as young people thousands of miles from home will naturally do. Most of the sexual misbehavior was, they assure me, being indulged in by the straights. Most of the gays were too scared to fall out of line.

    I guess real people don’t count as “links.”

    And the shower thing is ridiculous. In junior high and high school P.E., we showered with others of our sex because it was expected of us. If we were paranoid about being peeped at, we were told to grow up and get over it. If the military cannot do the same, then yes indeed, they have a discipline problem.

    I’ll bet our troops are worried about more imporant things than that.

    Seriously, Livewire and ILC, I understand the argument being made. I just see a larger trend at work. It’s probably not just a Right-wing trend, because we see it on the Left as well. Those who act up and create the ruckus are not regarded as the problem, because the authorities are afraid — for whatever reason — to ruffle their feathers. So they pick on the gays instead.

    It’s not your fault, of course. I’m just noting the trend. I suppose if the Catholic Church can get away with it, the military thinks it can, as well.

    Comment by Lori Heine — November 18, 2010 @ 12:48 pm - November 18, 2010

  40. It’s ok. My understanding of the army’s all anecdotal, since I’m a civilian, and my brother’s the soldier.

    Comment by The_Livewire — November 18, 2010 @ 4:39 pm - November 18, 2010

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