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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Honor or Hatred for Heroes?

Yesterday, a user going by the nick "moifaux" posted the following photo to Reddit, under the title, "Which is the gay one?":

Flag-drape coffins return from Iraq

My point in reposting it here, along with the contextual question, is that some people responded to the failure to repeal the military's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy by recognizing that duty and sacrifice don't have a lot to do with sexual orientation. Gays, lesbians, and bisexuals have fought and died for this country. This is a fact.

But others have responded to the continued existence of DADT with triumphalism and hate. While that Reddit user was making a thoughtful point, someone was making a thoughtless ass of themselves elsewhere.

Joe. My. God.:

"All Faggots Must Die."

The above comment was left today by "Jimmy" on my post about the DADT cloture vote. The IP address *appears* to resolve to the neighborhood of GOP U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss' Atlanta office. The ISP is "United States Senate." I'm confident that the JMG internet sleuths can get to the source.

It didn't take long for Chambliss' office to confirm that the comment came from one of their computers. The office is reportedly conducting an internal investigation. It's likely that an aide left the comment, just to be a dick. But it gives you an idea of what the office culture must be like. "Jimmy" is obviously at home in the Republican Senator's office -- "moifaux" would just as obviously not be. Small-minded, stupid, hateful, arrogant, with a completely unfounded faith in their own superiority -- if you want a short list of qualities most modern conservatives share, that's a good start. We'll probably find out that "Jimmy" is a twenty-something Republican Jesus-bot who'd never set foot in Iraq or Afghanistan -- let alone a military recruiter's office. That is, if we ever find out at all. It's hard to believe that Chambliss will lose a lot of sleep over the anti-gay bigot in his office.

But the contrast between the two comments highlights the contrast between Republicans and everyone else. The majority of Americans believe it's time for DADT to go. And that's not really surprising. Opposition to repeal isn't exactly rational and isn't based on fact. The rightwing Family Research Council, for example, warns of "anarchy," while the American Family Associations' Bryan Fischer assures us that repealing DADT would result in a second Holocaust. Anarchy and murderous totalitarianism at the same time? No wonder "Jimmy" thinks "all faggots must die."

My question here is "which side do you want to be on?" Which nation would you be prouder of -- the panicky and paranoid version of the religious right or the tolerant, thoughtful version that most everyone else shares? I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for the "Chambliss Aide Fired for Comment" headline -- maybe we will, but my doubts are profound. But regardless of how this turns out, we know which choice the right has made.

Because they wrote that choice into the historical record yesterday by filibustering the defense bill containing the repeal of "Don't ask, don't tell."


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