Monday, September 26, 2011

"Hey, girl!"

Philadelphia City-Wide Student Government. 

Good gig. As the delegate from Central High School and elected Northwest Regional Representative, peacing out of AP courses early en route to the School District's office on the Parkway to shoot the breeze with then Superintendent Paul Vallas was standard. Vallas quit Philadelphia for New Orleans once I graduated. Last I saw he appeared in Spike Lee's If God Is Willing And Da Creek Don't Rise rabble-rousing recruitment from another major city's fledgling school district.

Jaunts to Harrisburg and Washington, D.C. were incorporated into the students' terms in office. On a trip to The Hill we spoke with Pennsylvania Congressman Chaka Fattah (D), former Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania (R,D), Pennsylvania's "Third" Senator/ current Vice President Joe Biden of Delaware (D), and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum (R)

Teenage self fancied Senator Santorum a decent guy with a pleasant countenance. Present self fancies presidential hopeful Rick's scruples callous and unevolved. 

During the GOP debate September 22, the following cringe-worthy conversation regarding a possible reinstatement of Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT) between the former senator and U.S. soldier Stephen Hill transpired. 
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, 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. 
Santorum, duly focused restating rhetoric, misstepped when he ended his interaction with the soldier without thanking the enlistee for his service - an obligatory pleasantry taught in GOP "appeal to my constituency" 101. Yep. So there's that.

"Opinionator" of The New York Times amassed responses including that of The Los Angeles Times "Opinion L.A." which  noted "That a Republican endorsed “don’t ask, don’t tell” isn’t surprising. But there was something especially crass about Santorum’s reply. His remark that “any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military” completely misses the point and continues his bizarre refocusing of the gay-rights debate on sex."

Santorum's phlegmatic response elevated to appalling per the audience's emphatic jeers.

Identifying as a fiscal conservative, social modest/tangent liberal, personal ideologies walk the line. That said, no matter my favoring of less governmental intervention and lower taxes, the GOP is unable to garner my support. Too often are their social platforms archaic; their logic specious at best.

Conservatives jeremiad the removal of DADT, proclaiming it allows unfair special provisions to a certain group. Citizens of the military engaged in heterosexual relations during or off duty have never been institutionally denied acceptance in the armed services, a singular practice exclusively mandated for gay soldiers. That is discrimination  Eradication of DADT does not grant favor, it asserts equality. Its very institution, an unfair special provision.

"Sexual activity in the military" is not and has never been the voiced concern of opponents or proponents of DADT. Santorum's reply highlighted an inability to apply unbiased critical interpretation to social issues; conflating sexual/cultural identity with sexual behavior a convenient, albeit dissembling political tool. The Help's Hilly Holbrook possess more empathetic clarity of reasoning.

"Wha?  That shih cray."

The GOP stands not an iota of a chance at securing a formidable candidate if their most vocal hopefuls are so right they're left.

Besides if conservatives fear the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell will yield this:

Where were they when Mother Monster raged through Iraq like a Diva on a mission? Girl!

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