Republican Debate vs. Gay Soldier

At a debate among Republican candidates for President last week, a now-openly gay Army soldier in Iraq was featured by video, asking candidates what they would do regarding gay members of the military. Candidate Rick Santorum gave the completely expected answer full of canned (and contradictory) talking points, but the audience made even more of a spectacle when several of them BOOED the soldier after the video stopped playing.

Judging from this Army soldier’s physique, I really would love to see them boo him to his face for serving his country. Take a look:

Now, it’s bad enough that a handful of people were so incredibly disrespectful to a soldier who was literally at that moment in a war zone for them. But I get it — you’re going to have some stupid, thoughtless, ignorant people at ANY large gathering with a political topic. I’d like to hope that you wouldn’t see people booing an active duty member of the Armed Forces at a liberal-leaning debate for politely expressing views that the audience didn’t agree with, but of course you never know what whack-jobs will be eager to shout something in front of a camera.

But for the candidates to not immediately denounce the booing, ask for a little respect, and then get on to their ridiculous answers? That’s just hugely disappointing to me. One of the times I’ve respected Sen. John McCain the most was when he immediately corrected an audience member who asked him a question regarding Barak Obama being a Muslim, which of course is completely wrong and showed that the woman was ill-informed… So he politely told her that it wasn’t true, and then he moved on.

Not my ol’ buddy Rick Santorum, though. Infamous for his vehement opposition to gay people having anything remotely resembling equal treatment under the law, and his hateful rhetoric equating gays with pedophiles and polygamists, Mr. Santorum gave an answer you’d expect:

I would say any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military. The fact they are 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, 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 do in a way that is most efficient at protecting our men and women in uniform, and I believe this undermines that ability.

Asked what he would do with soldiers who are now legally “out” in the military, he stuttered his way back through more talking points about “social experimentation” in the military. He finally acknowledged that he wouldn’t throw gay service members out, because it would be unfair, but that soldiers who weren’t already “out” wouldn’t be allowed to come out.

So basically, the same ridiculous situation we have with legal same-sex marriage in the state of California… If you got in while the gettin’ was good, you’re fine. But nobody else is allowed to have the same rights.

Imagine how that would work… A soldier, sailor, airman, or marine says that they’re gay. Now we have to figure out whether they were in the Armed Forces during the time in which “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was abolished, and whether they were open about their sexuality at that time. If it can be proved that they were openly gay while serving under the previous administration, then they get to stay? And if not, then it’s okay to fire them from the military?

Ridiculous. Complete pandering to the audience, and clearly it worked, judging from the deafening cheers from the audience. It got so you could hardly hear Mr. Santorum’s mindless bullshit.

Never mind that Congress has passed a law abolishing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. And never mind that federal courts have found it unconstitutional. Rick Santorum doesn’t like gay people, so he’s going to make it military policy when he gets elected President.

Yeah, he got a bunch of cheers… But does this moron really think that he has a chance in Hell of being elected president? I mean really… Have you Googled the word “Santorum” lately?

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