Transcript: Senate Candidates on DADT | Buzz Blog

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Transcript: Senate Candidates on DADT

Posted By on September 22, 2010, 6:49 PM

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The military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy is, for the moment, here to stay, despite majority opposition in the U.S. Senate and by the public. (New rules apparently require unanimous approval before the Senate can accomplish anything.)---

John McCain, R-Ariz., called the repeal vote "a cynical ploy to try to galvanize and energize [the Democratic] base" -- and, of course, he was able to deliver this statement without a trace of hypocrisy since the GOP never uses gay-rights issues for its own cynical political ends.

The question came up during last week's debate among Utah senatorial hopefuls Scott Bradley, Sam Granato and Mike Lee. I was so disgusted by Bradley's comment that it has taken me several days to work up the courage to transcribe it. But, for the record, here is where the candidates stand on DADT (emphasis mine):

Scott Bradley: Unit cohesiveness is the Prime Directive in terms of what we do with the military. The military fight and die for each other. If you dissolve that with such an inclusive thing as homosexuals serving beside others who are not of the same persuasion, we can't have our troops crawling all over each others' sleeping bags at night trying to figure out what they're going to do. This is something that we must not allow to go forward. We must keep unit cohesiveness so that we can have our units fight most effectively. I oppose removing the policy.

Sam Granato: We have gay men and women serving proudly and risking their lives in the military. I think it's an insult to them, I think that needs to go away, and I would support the elimination of "Don't Ask Don't Tell". It needs to be removed. People that are fighting side-by-side know who's gay [and] who's not gay, and they know that they count on each other on a daily basis.

Mike Lee: I have the benefit of having consulted with a panel of military advisers that my campaign has assembled. This list includes retired military officers, generals, colonels, and so forth. I've discussed this issue with them, and they've informed me that "Don't Ask Don't Tell" works well; it's easy to implement; it is necessary to maintain the morale of troops and should be maintained. I'm following that recommendation, and I would continue to support that policy.

Granato's is the only response that makes sense, of course.

Notice that, although Bradley is a nutjob, at least he takes a principled stand on the issue. That stand is that we must protect the sleeping bags of our troops, since gays are such perverts they can't resist the impulse to rape fellow servicemen in their foxholes.

On the other hand, Lee offers no opinion of his own; instead, he hides behind some weird "panel of military advisers." (Really? His Senate campaign has a panel of military advisers? If true, the fact is scary in itself.) Of course, I doubt it's very difficult to find a few homophobic "generals, colonels and so forth" to sign off on your anti-gay teabagging attitudes, but I wonder who these people are, and what criteria they used to arrive at their conclusion.

For the moment, then, gays are safe from the draft, and need not be called up to fight corporate oil wars. Pity. For my part, I'm too old for that shit, but there was never much risk to begin with -- I always tell, even if I'm not asked.

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