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November 29, 2007

Most Shameful Occurence in the Republican Debate

by Nicholas Beaudrot of Electoral Math

I've gotta go with the audience booing the gay general. Allowing gay men and women to serve in the military currently polls around 80%. That's a high enough margin that my usual caveat that many voters who may agree with Dems won't use their agreement on one issue as a reason to vote for the Dems doesn't apply. A full debate on the issue would show just how far out of the mainstream those twenty percent are.

There are others to choose from. What's your pick?

November 29, 2007 | Permalink

Comments

CNN:
“We regret this, and apologize to the Republican candidates,” Bohrman said. “We never would have used the general’s question had we known that he was connected to any presidential candidate.”

Perhaps the audience was booing because the good general had knowingly broken the rules and lied to his superiors for 43 years in order to selfishly further his career.

Posted by: El viajero | Nov 29, 2007 11:46:53 AM

For me, the most repugnant moment had to be Duncan Hunter telling the gay general that he should be denied the dignity of living as who he is in his noble chosen profession, that is, that the state can and should discriminate against him, because he makes other people uncomfortable and goes against their (religious) values. That an American congressman could justify such a practice by the state is truly disgusting.

Posted by: Anthony Cantor | Nov 29, 2007 11:50:13 AM

i realized after watching the debate last night, that no matter who the democratic candidate may be, democrats absolutely need to close ranks, unite and do everything they can to make sure that we win.

Posted by: jacqueline | Nov 29, 2007 11:58:10 AM

El Viajero, would you condemn a black man who had "knowingly broken the rules and lied" by "passing" as white in order to gain admission to white-only universities?

Let's face the facts here, ElV, Republican voters don't like gay people. Why try to split hairs on this one?

Posted by: Tyro | Nov 29, 2007 12:02:15 PM

"Occurrence", not "Occurence".

Posted by: Herschel | Nov 29, 2007 12:09:10 PM

The booing was pretty shameful, but Hunter proudly telling the man that he can't serve because the Republican constituency is a bunch of prejudiced creeps that must be pandered to, that was pretty awful.
I laughed when Ron Paul got the big applause for saying that we should pull out of Iraq immediately - as an answer to the question about the federal deficit.

Posted by: chowchowchow | Nov 29, 2007 12:20:48 PM

Tyro, try to show some semblance of respect for facts, a percentage of Republicans voters might not like gays but it is far from a majority, most could care less. Republican feelings about gays is a far larger issue to Democrats then it is to us.

President Clinton signed it so Democrats need to take their equal responsibility.

Posted by: Nate O | Nov 29, 2007 12:50:38 PM

Perhaps the audience was booing because the good general had knowingly broken the rules and lied to his superiors for 43 years in order to selfishly further his career.

This is an impressive piece of doublethink.

Military good! Gays bad! Gay man who gives up significant portion of his identity to be career military... does not compute does not compute... cognitive dissonance overload...

WAIT! Ah-HA!

"Fag lied to selfishly stay in military because he's just a careerist!"

Ahhh... cognitive dissonance reduced to tolerable levels...

Posted by: paperwight | Nov 29, 2007 12:51:52 PM

Tyro, try to show some semblance of respect for facts, a percentage of Republicans voters might not like gays but it is far from a majority, most could care less. Republican feelings about gays is a far larger issue to Democrats then it is to us.

1) Cite please.
2) If its not a big deal, why do your politicians pander so aggressively to the fag-bashers?

President Clinton signed it so Democrats need to take their equal responsibility.

Whoops! It's the Clenis again! The Republican leader-worship really leads them into ridiculous notions about the possibility of distinguing between right and wrong. Every time a Republican does something vile or illegal, all the Republicans can do is say "Bill Clinton! Bob Byrd! Bill Clinton! Bill Clinton! BILL CLINTON!!!!"

None of which has anything to do with the issue, but only has to do with the Republican's inability to respond with anything but an argument based in naked power politics and leader worship.

Posted by: paperwight | Nov 29, 2007 12:56:07 PM

For me, the most repugnant moment had to be Duncan Hunter telling the gay general that he should be denied the dignity of living as who he is in his noble chosen profession, that is, that the state can and should discriminate against him...

As much as the left would like us to all include homosexuals as a 'protected group'....they are not, nor should they be. As much as the left would like us all to believe that this normative anamoly is immutable, it isn't. And as much as the left would like us to force the military to change its policies put into place by President Bill Clinton to further their social agenda, they don't, and shouldn't, be used for this purpose.

Duncan Hunter is simply not caving into the bullying of political correctness.

Posted by: El viajero | Nov 29, 2007 1:03:34 PM

El viajero--I'm not sure what really has to do with "protected groups." The general wanted to serve his country. In order to do so, he had to hide the fact that he'd like to marry a man, not a woman; this is something that really hasn't nothing to do with anyone else and doesn't affect his fellow soldiers or anyone around him. (And the larger point is that the state really can't say that he can't pursue that career because of an irrelevant component of who he is.)

Now, Hunter explained that the reason is that many soldiers are conservatives and/or religious and homosexuality offends their values. Surely this is a terrible justification. Rights aren't conveyed by majority vote. Also, many of the same arguments were advanced against racial integration of the army. It probably was bad for morale in certain units where racists would rather not serve with black people. These people often advanced spurious biblically based arguments about separate races and white superiority.

Today we look at the argument that we shouldn't integrate because it would offend racists as pretty stupid. We will eventually look back at having kept gay people in the closet because it might bother others as equally stupid. In fact, curbing the rights of gay citizens because they might offend the Duncan Hunters of the world has many more of the hallmarks of political correctness than the gay-rights position, which stands up for individual liberty and dignity.

Posted by: Anthony Cantor | Nov 29, 2007 1:12:11 PM

Seems like the crowd at the debate, as well as the GOP candidates are way behind the active duty military when it comes to serving with gays:

"a 2006 Zogby poll found that 72% of returning Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans say they are “personally comfortable” in the presence of gays."
www.palmcenter.ucsb.edu

Posted by: CParis | Nov 29, 2007 1:20:12 PM

Perhaps the audience was booing because the good general had knowingly broken the rules and lied to his superiors for 43 years in order to selfishly further his career.

A gay man motivated by selfishness would NOT choose to join the military. Not only will it not make you rich, the chances of your career being abruptly terminated are higher than for non-gays.

In 43 years, I wonder how much active duty he saw in combat zones? I'd love to see El Viajero tell Keith Kerr to his face that his service was motivated by selfishness. Or that "the rules" are more important than honorable service. (And BTW you don't know that he ever "lied" to anyone. The premise of DADT is that you don't have to.)

Posted by: Ryan | Nov 29, 2007 1:27:43 PM

Rights aren't conveyed by majority vote.

Rights are also not conveyed by political correctness. The general has no "right" to serve. So, instead, he lies.
I'm sure there are some schizophrenics out there that also feel they could function effetively in the armed forces, and those with other normative defects. However, its the army's decision. The army is not a place to push your social agenda.


Posted by: El viajero | Nov 29, 2007 1:31:12 PM

its the army's decision

Uh, the Army (and the other armed forces) are subordinate to the civilian authorities in this country. Or hadn't you heard? It's right there in the Constitution.

The army is not a place to push your social agenda.

Exactly what opponents of racially integrating the armed forces said. That worked out terribly, didn't it?

Posted by: Ryan | Nov 29, 2007 1:35:29 PM

With your perceived hate of the Republicans for not caving in to the PC of homosexuals, it just struck me that maybe the Democratic party is all for the homosexuals and their "rights". So which candidate do you like and how do they express their support for homosexuals?

Most here like the far left John Edwards as the most "progressive". Even John Edwards says NO to homo marriage. So which candidate do you like and what is he doing for homosexuals?

You see, you wish to point fingers at the Republicans for being honest about their positions when the Democrats have similar positions, but try to weasel around when pressed about them.

Posted by: El viajero | Nov 29, 2007 1:36:26 PM

Exactly what opponents of racially integrating the armed forces said.

You might actually have a good arguement if we were discussing race....but we aren't

Posted by: El viajero | Nov 29, 2007 1:37:40 PM

Perhaps the audience was booing because the good general had knowingly broken the rules and lied to his superiors for 43 years in order to selfishly further his career.
Posted by: El viajero | Nov 29, 2007 11:46:53 AM

Hey Fred, here's what the man actually said on the teevee;

"My name's Keith Kerr, from Santa Rosa, California. I'm a retired brigadier general with 43 years of service. I'm a graduate of the Special Forces Officer Course, the Commanding General Staff Course and the Army War College. And I'm an openly gay man.

"I want to know why you think that American men and women in uniform are not professional enough to serve with gays and lesbians."

So where is the lie? Where did he break the rules? The rule is "don't ask don't tell", so he didn't have to tell anybody. Looks like he followed the rules fine. He just asked, as an accomplished military leader, why a bunch of gay bashing campaigners (Gulliani excluded) don't think he is fit to serve, even if the bunch of gay bashing campaigners haven't even had the gumption to serve themselves (McCain excluded). It's a legit question, and obviously something that Republicans absolutely love to harp about.

Posted by: chowchowchow | Nov 29, 2007 1:38:31 PM

El viajero--I'm responding to Hunter's argument here, which is that gay people offend conservatives because of their Christian values. Schizophrenics would do much greater damage in the military than offending people. You, and Hunter, are saying that your "right" to not be offended is more important than an American citizen's right to work where he pleases and is obviously qualified. THAT sounds pretty politically correct--saying that someone can't do a job b/c it might offend some other group, in this case Christian conservatives. What I'm saying has nothing to do with political correctnss. (Also, a schizophrenic would not qualify, but obviously the general met all objective criteria since he served for so long; the only thing that disqualified him is that people don't like something about him. This is hardly equivalent to an illness that affects one's competence.)

Yes, you don't have an explicit right to serve in the army, just as there is no specific constitutional right to put cream in your coffee (thank you, Jed Bartlet). But you do have a right to equal protection of the law, and that includes protecting your job when you're qualified (which the general obviously was--qualified enough to do the job for so long, which, again, a schizophrenic wouldn't be, but barred from doing so openly because you don't like something about him.) That seems like a violation of basic rights to me.

Posted by: Anthony Cantor | Nov 29, 2007 1:38:58 PM

"You might actually have a good arguement if we were discussing race....but we aren't."

That's exactly the point. People THOUGHT that racial integration would destroy morale, and that racists should be free from the "offense" of serving with African Americans. They perceived this debate exactly as you know perceive the notion of allowed gay people to serve. Seeing how those arguments were wrong on race, in practice and in principle, can help us evaluate them now with regard to sexuality. It's easy to look to an earlier consensus and see how that society made mistakes; the trick is to apply that insight to situations that seem to you the way that issue seemed to the earlier society.

Posted by: Anthony Cantor | Nov 29, 2007 1:42:36 PM

Once again, my argument stands-- would ElV and NateO be apoplectic if a segregation-era black man said that he joined whites-only brigades and attended a whites-only public university because he "lied" by claiming to be a white man?

By all accounts, the booing from the Republican audience was downright offensive and a reflection of the moral turpitude of the Republican base today. That NateO would voluntarily associate himself with such anj immoral group of human beings boggles the mind.

Posted by: Tyro | Nov 29, 2007 1:50:22 PM

I seem to recall that the booing was in response to the general's stump-followup speech, not his initial question. I would interpret that as people's frustration at the general being allowed a longer time at the mike than the actual candidates during what is nominally a presidential debate. But forgive me if I am wrong, I tried to watch the replay on CNN and somehow did not see the general's question repeated.

The irony here is that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is a Clinton policy. Is this part of Hillary's experience and should it be held against her?

FWIW, I have no problem with gays serving in the military. Perhaps they should be barred from hitting on subordinates and peers, but then that rule should apply to heteros also.

Posted by: DCPI | Nov 29, 2007 2:14:09 PM

how repugnant, someone who didn't accept second class treatment! that bastard.

Posted by: yoyo | Nov 29, 2007 2:40:40 PM

Perhaps the audience was booing because the good general had knowingly broken the rules and lied to his superiors for 43 years in order to selfishly further his career.

What scum you are. Thanks for the reminder of why the Republicans must be crushed again and again until they finally repudiate their backward views.

Posted by: Steve | Nov 29, 2007 2:57:16 PM

Ezra, if you're reading this thread, I wonder if you've ever done an IP check to see if "El viajero" is the same person as "Fred Jones." "El v" seems to have first appeared shortly after you banned Fred, and he has most of the same annoying rhetorical tendencies.

Posted by: Antid Oto | Nov 29, 2007 3:00:26 PM

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