Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Don't Ask Don't Tell makes GOP dial back anti-gay rhetoric

Posted By on Tue, Feb 9, 2010 at 3:34 PM

It’s been kind of fun seeing conservatives who, just a couple of years ago felt free to slam gays and lesbians for political gain, doing the “deer in the headlights” thing over Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. As Frank Rich pointed out in the New York Times Sunday, John McCain was pretty much the only senator who was able to work up some disapproval when Admiral Mike Mullen, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the military’s ridiculous DADT policy should be abolished. Attitudes toward homosexuality have changed so much in the past decade in America, it’s now become political poison in most of the country to want to deny rights for gays and lesbians.

Locally, that growing acceptance of the GLBT community played itself out again yesterday, as County Commissioner Bill James, aka Generalissimo Homophobe, registered to run for yet another  term as the rep from Mint Hill. Usually, commissioners who’ve been successful at getting re-elected over and over in their district eventually run for an at-large position. James will never do that, because he knows his antiquated, sanctimonious brand of politics won’t fly countywide. Which is fine. Let him represent the county’s knuckledragging faction as long as he wants.

There are, of course, still some die-hard bigots who are putting up a fuss about Mullen’s opinion of, and Obama’s decision on, DADT. My favorite argument against repealing DADT is that openly accepting gays into the military would reduce our nation’s military effectiveness. Which, as has been pointed out a lot lately, was the same argument given in 1948 to oppose Pres. Truman’s order to desegregate the armed forces. The bigots were wrong then, and they’re wrong now. If you need any evidence, consider that Israel’s military has no restrictions against gays and lesbians; whatever you may or may not think about Israeli foreign policies, there’s no denying that Israel's military is generally considered the butt-kickingest on earth.

So this, I guess, is an overdue note of pleasure from an American progressive, happy that it’s the bigots who are squirming this time around.

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