Maybe those bums in Congress ARE good for something
There’s always going to be reasons to complain about Congress. Even today, there are. Senate Democrats rolled over on the omnibus spending bill the other day, and the Dream Act, which would provide a path to citizenship for children who were brought to the United States illegally by their parents, was shot down this afternoon. We’ll see what happens with the ratification of the New Start Treaty next week.
Folks like me who are fans of justice, equality, empathy, fairness, having a fully functional and prepared military, and not being a backwards country can’t help but be pleased today. The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy was repealed today. Whenever President Obama signs the bill, he’ll be fulfilling a campaign promise that most liberals considered to be a slam-dunk, no-brainer, but actually turned into a long, hard slog. Considering all of the campaign promises BHO has broken or just completely ignored, this is a big deal.
And of course, generally, it’s a huge deal. We never should have been discriminating against homosexuals serving in the military in the first place. One of these days, gay people will be full and equal citizens of our country. This is a big step in the right direction. Some notes on this historic occasion.
# Since cloture votes are all we seem to have nowadays, it’s interesting to see how an actual bipartisan vote plays out compared to a vote to end debate. They always say that cloture votes don’t necessarily tie the voter to a yay or nay vote. So to see Richard Burr of North Carolina and John Ensign of Nevada vote against cloture but then vote for repeal, it makes you wonder what’s up. These guys weren’t the high profile swing votes in the run-up to the vote (Scott Brown was, for one example). What’s going on here?
# Good for Ron Wyden, who’s undergoing prostate cancer surgery this coming week, but still showed up to cast his vote. Hopefully everything works out for him.
# Here’s a gem from that Times story: “‘In the middle of a military conflict, is not the time to do it,’ said Senator Saxby Chambliss, Republican of Georgia.” Which is precious for two reasons. Firstly, military conflict is America’s business nowadays. When’s the last time you couldn’t say “we’re in the middle of a military conflict”? And whenever we get out of Iraq and Afghanistan, there’s always Iran, North Korea, and hell, even Mexico, for us to get duplicitously war-mongered into invading. It’s a bullshit excuse.
Secondly, I’d like Senator Chambliss to explain why allowing gay servicemen and servicewomen to openly fight while we’re in the middle of a military conflict is very bad, but allowing perfectly viable troops to be dismissed from the military simply for being homosexuals during a military conflict is perfectly fine. Actually, I wouldn’t like to hear him explain that. It’d probably make my head hurt. Fortunately, that’s no longer something we have to worry about. Saxby Chambliss and his ilk are wrong, and they always have been. The dustbin of history is too good for guys like him.
# Speaking of the dustbin of history, prepare to be swept into it, John McCain. Here’s a ruthless war cheerleader who somehow came to be the voice of reasonable opposition to DADT repeal, and who consistently moved the goalposts of his own opposition to such ridiculous lengths that he was eventually forced to whimper “well, ONE of the Joint Chiefs agrees with me.” And indeed, the Marine Corps commandant, General James Amos, did. But not the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Mike Mullen, nor the Secretary of Defense, nor a wide-ranging survey of the military, nor most of the American people. John McCain is a villain.
This entry was posted on Saturday, December 18th, 2010 at 7:39 pm and is filed under Current Events. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.