In American society and politics we accept many things because of branding and tradition. Certain groups believe in certain things because that’s just the way it has been. Children believe in Santa Claus, high school students believe Columbus discovered America, and the Pittsburgh Steelers believe in the power running game. But as I read the news of the Republican filibuster of the Defense Authorization Bill that contained a repeal of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell prohibition against gays and lesbians serving openly in the military it challenged me to ask who are the real Republicans?
We are told that it is the Republican party that believes in more freedoms for more people. It is the Republican party that believes in committing to the one you love, till death do you part. The Republican party believes that it is the highest, most selfless honor to put one’s country before one’s self. Service in defense of our homeland and its freedoms against America’s enemies overseas is the duty of all proud patriots. Laying down one’s life in the armed forces to defend the constitution is the ultimate sacrifice. All this said, it was the people described in this paragraph that lost in today’s failure to attain cloture for the Defense Authorization Bill. Which begs the question, who are the real Republicans in this debate? Was it a group whose leadership is dominated by those with three divorces and five draft deferments that voted against cloture today, or those wishing for the freedom to die for their country?
Gays and lesbians in American today are seeking to follow what we are told are bedrock Republican principles. Republican leaders in America today too often carry themselves as if they think these values are optional. Gays and lesbians in American want to die in defense of the American ideal. Republicans would rather die than vote their conscience and go against the far right nut bag evangelical fringe. Cowardly Republicans hid behind procedure again claiming that they did not feel they should vote for a bill funding our troops because it contained a “message amendment.” Yet it was this same party of yellow bastards that voted against funding health benefits for 9/11 first responders because they were prevented from placing message amendments related to border security in the bill.
The message that America should take from today’s vote, is that gays and lesbians in America today are more traditionally Republican than any thrice divorced chicken-hawk with an elephant lapel pin. Republicans in America today have shown that the “freedom” that they often espouse is nothing more than a brand to them. They’ve never really believed in the product, and today’s vote is more proof of that.