There’s a post over at (the adorably named) Blog of Rights about Republican supporters of the DADT repeal. This is what we like to call giving someone a cookie. Someone overcomes, briefly, their own racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, etc etc etc and expects a pat on the back. They want credit/praise for being such wonderful people by, uh, displaying basic human decency and empathy. That shouldn’t be gold star material, that should be the expectation. And as the NYT article that ACLU points out, the fight over DADT has been going on for seventeen years. That’s enough time for a queer infant to grow up and ship off to Baghdad. While the ACLU may have an interest in appearing bi- or non- partisan or building support among republicans and independents, they should not be patting these politicians on the back. Where have they been for the past decade as young queer folks were dying in wars far from home? Long-time activists and supporters, certainly, deserve some recognition, regardless of party. But people like Scott Brown of Massachusetts – who represents a gay-marriage blue state, and has inherited Mitt Romney’s flair for pandering – has already received far too much publicity for his calculated hemming and hawing. The ACLU quotes Sen Burr referring to the repeal as ‘generationally right.’ What the hell does that mean? To find out, let’s look at a press release from the Senator’s office:
Given the generational transition that has taken place in our nation, I feel that this policy is outdated and repeal is inevitable. However, I remain convinced that the timing of this change is wrong, and making such a shift in policy at a time when we have troops deployed in active combat areas does not take into consideration the seriousness of the situation on the ground.
Ah, I see. He recognized that the repeal was inevitable and that homophobia just ain’t what it used to be, and he saw no reason to be on the losing side of the vote. This is hardly a brave, commendable, or pro-freedom stance. It is political opportunism, and the ACLU shouldn’t be supporting it. Folks like Brown and Burr weren’t part of this fight for gay rights, and they won’t be part of the next.
I would like to add, as an addendum, that my own enthusiasm for the repeal is rather tepid. Limiting the ability of a major sector of the federal government to practice employment discrimination and keep full-citizenship (which really only comes with military service in this country, though that’s a story for another time) from a group of Americans is certainly commendable. But really I see any policy that makes it harder for the Feds to carry on the these Middle East misadventures that have cost hundreds of thousands of lives as a good thing. I think IOZ has it summed up best:
Anyway, I am a firm believer in excluding gays from military service. I think we should also exclude blacks, Asian-Americans, women, married people, blonds, citizens, legal residents, and human beings.
But that also is a story for some other time.