Don’t Ask Do Tell

I stumbled across the Republican debate in Orlando the other night.  Used to be that, given my political bent, I’d quickly switch to the Cooking Channel, Home and Garden TV, or some other mindless pursuit.  But I find that the best shows currently on the tube are the Republicans beating up on one another.  Democrats don’t seem to have yet mastered that skill.

My new most favorite candidate is Rick Santorum.  A nice looking young man who throughout his career has turned insults to minorities into an art form.  This evening was no exception.

Playing to the baser instincts of his base he splendidly called for the reinstatement of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”.  This mind-numbing bit of flim-flam occurred right after viewing a video of Stephen Hill, a soldier in Iraq, who had to lie about his sexual preferences in order to keep his job.  Hill asked the arrayed candidates whether they, if elected, would turn back the progress that had been made in dealing with gays and lesbians in the military.

Santorum, looking quite presidential and assuming the pole position, said…and I paraphrase…”Damn right.  You guys are weird and I’m not going to spend good money giving you sickos some undeserved preference.”  He added, to the astonishment of many of the old WWII geezers in the audience, that sexual activity of any kind has no place in the military.

Applause, applause for Santorum.  Boos, boos for Hill.

In addition to the slightly weird candidates, the debates have left the impression that those in the audience are strange at best, a crazy mob at worst.  Cheering when Perry expressed his satisfaction with the Texas executions, and the “let him die” answer to Ron Paul’s feelings about folks without health insurance, are now a grim trifecta with the addition of Santorum’s anti-gay bigotry.  Nicely done.  And not one Democrat needed to get his hands dirty.

I’d like to believe that the folks attending the debates are not representative of the majority of Republicans and it is to the credit of some Republican pundits that they took Santorum to task.  On the other hand, not one of the other candidates standing on the stage had the courage to say something in defense of Hill or even suggest that what was important was his service to the country and not his sexual appetite.  They stood there full well knowing that they would be booed if they dared defend someone who was defending them.

William Kristol, one of my favorite conservative Republicans, was honest in his assessment of Santorum and the reactions of the attendees.  His Weekly Standard column opined…The e-mails flooding into our inbox during the evening were less guarded. Early on, we received this missive from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!” As the evening went on, the craziness receded, and the demoralized comments we received stressed the mediocrity of the field rather than its wackiness.

I suppose I should be glad about the impression this leaves on those who are truly on the fence.  It makes Obama’s job easier.  But what if someone like Santorum really isn’t just playing to his base?  What if he really means what he says?  What if he or someone like him actually gets the nomination?  And what if he wins the election?  Don’t ask don’t tell will be the least of our worries.  And I can spend all my time with the Cooking Channel.

4 Responses to “Don’t Ask Do Tell”

  1. 1 Anne Shrage September 24, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    Your “what ifs” are scary! I have to believe if he gets nominated, it’s a sure win for Obama…


  2. 2 Kay September 26, 2011 at 11:21 am

    So-o-o-o what else is new with portions of the American people. Tne unfortunate thing is it has to be on television where these comments are believed by “their man”. What is life coming to?


  3. 3 Jon Lambert September 26, 2011 at 11:49 am

    You offer scenarios one does not wish to ponder, at least seriously. One must hope that the ‘silent majority’ (to use an anchronistic descriptor)is willing to hie itself to the voting booth, although an NPR report this morning left me with the impression that the process of finding a polling place will be harder than usual- even outside of some not-to-be-named conservative states. If one of the current Republican crop does receiive the elephant’s droppings then there will be more houses for rent in our nation as people look to move to other locales.. how’s the weather in Vancouver?


  4. 4 Linda J. Zane September 27, 2011 at 10:49 am

    You hit it right on the head. As an American I am appalled. As a Democrat I only wonder how this is the best the Republicans have to offer. How do normal middle class people push the lever for anyone of these wackos? My husband says they deserve what they are getting by voting the “Republican way.”


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