Tag Archives: DADT

Bob Marshall embarrasses himself again

Crossposted at Equality Loudoun

This morning’s Virginia Politics blog brings us tidings of great desperation. In the wake of the historic vote to repeal DADT, Delegate Bob “Virginia’s Chief Homophobe” Marshall claims to be drafting a bill for the 2011 session that would establish a ban on openly gay servicemembers in the Virginia National Guard.

Marshall, who is considering running for U.S. Senate in 2012, is one of the House’s most conservative members. He said Article 1, Section 8, Clause 16 of the Constitution gives Virginia the authority to uphold the ban by “reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.”

{Not to hijack David’s wonderful post, but Mike Kondratick, our candidate against Bob Marshall, has a post up about this issue on Blue Virginia today. Go give him some love! – P13}I’ve helpfully bolded the final clause, as Mr. Marshall appears to have missed it. The “discipline prescribed by Congress” was just corrected on Saturday, such that gay and lesbian patriots can now serve in our military without, as one servicemember put it, “a knife in my back.”

Like the architects of Virginia’s shameful “Massive Resistance” to an earlier era of civil rights, long after the rest of the world has moved on these bitter old men will still be lashing out at their imaginary enemies and wasting everyone’s time. Mr. Marshall’s legislative career needs to join DADT in the dustbin of history.

Bonus: On a lighter note, watch these two videos and tell me you don’t see the uncanny resemblance.

An “alternative” US military?

Crossposted at Equality Loudoun

Who knew? The following headline arrived this morning, in the customary breathless manner of the Family Research Council/Focus on the Family/CitizenLink syndicate:

Dueling Reports Released on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’; New CitizenLink Report

“Dueling reports”? We’ve been hearing quite a lot about the long-awaited Defense Department report (PDF) recommending repeal of the dumb, discriminatory, and failed so-called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, released yesterday. I was unaware of a second report. One would think that this would be news, what with all the media attention surrounding the issue.Oh. As it turns out, the other “report” is the creation of yet another wackadoodle hate group, otherwise known for calling on George W. Bush to engage in nuclear genocide in Iraq and then declare himself “President for Life” in order to deal with the “inadequacies of democracy.” Seriously, this essay was recovered for continued public enjoyment through the magic of Google cache. This piece was not a regrettable aberration, either. Another, earlier one, also scrubbed from the website, contains this passage (Warning: Extremely offensive content):

Mexico is now colonizing America and imposing its language and culture on it. Though the Americans still have the strength of understanding to recognize that the Hispanic invasion should be stopped, they are unable to take the measures required to achieve this end. The very least that must be done to halt the Hispanic invasion is the mass enslavement, or execution, of the invaders, which must be followed by an American invasion of Mexico to enforce American language and values upon the Mexicans. But the citizens of the USA recoil from such ruthless violence embracing delusion instead.

Just to be clear, the “Center for Security Policy” and its arm “Family Security Matters” introduced this earlier essay by saying it was “a realistic view of our precarious predicament,” and only scrubbed this filth from its website once it received negative attention. So that’s the source – along with its own affiliated hate group “Family Research Council” – that CitizenLink cites as having produced this irrelevant “report.”

Let’s not be too hard on them, though; they did quote an especially horrifying passage from the actual Defense Department report that proves their point:

They An (sic) important message of repeal needs to be servicemembers “will not be required to change their personal views and religious beliefs; they must, however, continue to respect and serve with others who hold different views and beliefs.” (Bolding in original)

How dare the brass require such a thing of servicemembers fighting for the interests of the United States of America? You would think that our nation was founded on the principle of individual freedom, or the idea that we are all created equal.

The Pentagon, we are further told, is bending to “political correctness.” Had that useless phrase been in existence during the racial integration of the armed forces, I suppose those on the wrong side of history would have applied it to them then, too. From the real report:

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, our military took on the racial integration of its ranks, before the country at large had done so. Our military then was many times larger than it is today, had just returned from World War II, and was in the midst of Cold War tensions and the Korean War. By our assessment, the resistance to change at that time was far more intense: surveys of the military revealed opposition to racial integration of the Services at levels as high as 80-90%. Some of our best-known and most-revered military leaders from the World War II-era voiced opposition to the integration of blacks into the military, making strikingly similar predictions of the negative impact on unit cohesion. But by 1953, 95% of all African-American soldiers were serving in racially integrated units, while public buses in Montgomery, Alabama and other cities were still racially segregated.

The report also notes that “the Working Group expects recruiting and retention expenses related to repeal to be negligible,” although Department of Defense Secretary Robert Gates stated that the findings “do lead me to conclude that an abundance of care and preparation is required if we are to avoid a disruptive and potentially dangerous impact on the performance of those serving,” and that he therefore wants the repeal to be ordered legislatively rather than through the courts.

This suggests to me the recognition that there is a small core of ideologues within our armed forces who will be actively encouraged by hate groups like the FRC and “American Family Association” to create disruption, and that this reality will require special disciplinary attention. Given other evidence of problems with illegal proselytizing and infiltrators who believe they are fighting a “holy war” against Islam, this shouldn’t be surprising – but it’s all the more stark in contrast to the integration that took place in the very different social context of 1953. Every military person with whom I have discussed this is simply amazed that implementation would be an issue; regardless of personal feelings or opinion, in the military when an order comes down the chain of command, that’s the end of it. If there is an “alternative view” of command held by some within our armed forces, that really does need some attention.

Weirdest of all, this will be how history ultimately remembers Senator John McCain: The most visible face of a ridiculous, retrograde pandering to bigotry, steadily contradicting himself and losing his credibility until in the end he turned against even the military in which he found his identity. And for what? It’s an inexplicably humiliating end to a career.