Where Do You Get These People?

I know it’s all too fashionable to complain about the quality of the people who run for elected office, but really, where do you Republicans get these clowns? This is it? These are your Pro Bowl players? Your All-Stars? Your Statesmen? These lamesters wouldn’t be first string politicians in a banana republic. You could go to any suburban country club in America, throw a golf ball into the locker room and it would bounce off of at least three people with better character, intellect and sense of social responsibility than anyone in the current Republican contingent that’s been trying to out-mean each other in the recent debates.

What are the Republicans’ big issues? People who want to come here and work really hard at menial jobs that Republicans don’t want at the (low) wages they want to pay—don’t want ’em. People who love each other and want to solemnize a permanent bond with each other—hate ’em, if they’re the same sex. If those same people want to put their life on the line serving in the military—hate ’em even more.

This doesn’t make sense even from the Republican standpoint! These are supposedly your core values: hard work, marriage and fighting dumb-ass Republican wars. But you drop these values like Newt abandons his wives because you’d rather indulge your prejudices against people’s color and sexual orientation.

Santorum is a prime obsesser about sexual conduct. Here’s a transcript  (link includes video clip) from the debate earlier this week. Santorum is responding to a videotaped question from Stephen Hill, a soldier in Iraq on active duty.

HILL: In 2010, when I was deployed to Iraq, I had to lie about who I was, because I’m a gay soldier, and I didn’t want to lose my job.

My question is, under one of your presidencies [sic], do you intend to circumvent the progress that’s been made for gay and lesbian soldiers in the military?

 (Booing from audience.)

SANTORUM: Yeah, I — I would say, any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military. And the fact that they’re making a point to include it as a provision within the military that we are going to recognize a group of people and give them a special privilege to — to — and removing “don’t ask/don’t tell” I think tries to inject social policy into the military. And the military’s job is to do one thing, and that is to defend our country.

We need to give the military, which is all-volunteer, the ability to do so in a way that is most efficient at protecting our men and women in uniform. And I believe this undermines that ability.

KELLY: So what — what — what would you do with soldiers like Stephen Hill? I mean, he’s — now he’s out. He’s — you know, you saw his face on camera. When he first submitted this video to us, it was without his face on camera. Now he’s out. So what would you do as president?

SANTORUM: I think it’s  it’s — it’s — look, what we’re doing is playing social experimentation with — with our military right now. And that’s tragic.

I would — I would just say that, going forward, we would — we would reinstitute that policy, if Rick Santorum was president, period.

That policy would be reinstituted. And as far as people who are in — in — I would not throw them out, because that would be unfair to them because of the policy of this administration, but we would move forward in — in conformity with what was happening in the past, which was, sex is not an issue. It is — it should not be an issue. Leave it alone, keep it — keep it to yourself, whether you’re a heterosexual or a homosexual.

So forget for a minute that the audience booed a soldier on active duty in Iraq. No, wait a minute, DON”T FORGET THAT. These knuckle-dragging blowhards in the audience who never met a military misadventure they didn’t like are booing a man who’s putting his life on the line to execute one of their policies? Oh, right, he’s gay. Never mind.

So forgetting the booing, wouldn’t you expect someone who’s ostensibly one of the best and brightest of the millions of conservatives in this country to at least be able to make a coherent, fact-based argument? Or is being the brightest conservative like being the tallest midget? How does Santorum build his logical case? Forgive me, it’s hard to see a real logical thread but he opens with a combined falsehood and irrelevancy: “sexual activity has no place in the military.” So hetero soldiers aren’t going to be allowed to have sex during their term of service? That’ll go over well. Oh, Rick, you mean you’re worried gays will force their attentions on heterosexual soldiers in their unit? Well, sexual harassment (quite commonly perpetrated on women soldiers by men) is already grounds for court martial and it wont be any different for gay soldiers. And do you really think gays will force themselves on straights? Do you flirt with gay men? Santorum then goes straight to another falsehood, that repealing DADT gives gays a “special privilege.” Yeah, the special privilege to not be dishonorably discharged. He ends with another irrelevancy—repealing DADT “injects social policy into the military.” Well, duh. That’s the whole point. We inject social policy all the time, like when we integrated African-Americans and women into the military. Santorum winds up by “concluding,” in full Cheney scare-mode, that these pseudo-points prove that gays somehow undermine the ability of the military to defend our country. No evidence presented for that, and Rick, if you think the evidence for climate change is weak, what have you got here?

Rick, let me help you by spelling out coherently what your real argument is: Male gay sex creeps you (and your fellow-travelers in the military) out and you don’t want to be around gay men. Period. That’s it. This is a coherent argument. Narrow-minded bigotry, but coherent. I know you’re not used to speaking or facing the truth but we’d really like to have a leader who tries. It is not you.