DADT SUPPORTERS GET A LITTLE HYSTERICAL…. We’ll know fairly soon if the effort to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy will succeed, but as the decision draws near, supporters of the status quo are having to scramble.
In general, Republicans on Capitol Hill, who will be nearly unanimous in their support for the discriminatory policy, have kept their response relatively low-key. They want to keep the ridiculous status quo in place, but given the popularity of repealing DADT, Republicans don’t see the value in being particularly vocal about it. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is taking a leading role in trying to kill the Democratic proposal, but even his work is going on largely behind the scenes. [Update: Perhaps I spoke too soon on this front.]
The religious right movement, meanwhile, is doing what it does best: it’s getting hysterical.
Unable to come up with compelling justifications for an expensive, discriminatory policy that undermines military readiness, religious right groups have gone off the deep end.
Here’s how the Family Research Council envisions things going if Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is repealed: first, more straight soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines will be fellated in their sleep against their will. Then, commanders afraid of being labeled homophobes will refuse to do anything about it. Eventually, the straight service members will quit out of fear.
On a conference call with reporters today, FRC Senior Fellow for Policy Studies Peter Sprigg delivered the results of what he said was the first-ever study of “homosexual assault” in the military. Joined by several former military officers opposed to allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the armed forces, he warned Congress that the DADT repeal language currently under discussion with the agreement of the White House will turn the U.S. military into a terrifying free-rape zone where no heterosexual is safe.
The Family Research Council, which is a religious right powerhouse, has quite a case. As the right-wing group sees it, 8.2% of sexual assaults in the military were homosexual in nature. (I have no idea if that’s true, and it’s best not to take the FRC’s word for it.) FRC added that less than 3% of the national population is gay (again, a dubious number). Ergo, gay soldiers commit more sexual assaults than straight soldiers, and ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” would unleash a wave of gay sexual predators who will terrorize American fighting forces.
Who could argue with logic like this?
It wasn’t just the Family Research Council. The FRC’s friends at the American Family Association have begun pushing the line that Adolf Hitler was gay, and he recruited “homosexuals to make up his Stormtroopers,” because Hitler believed that only gay soldiers “had no limits and the savagery and brutality they were willing to inflict on whomever Hitler sent them after.”
There’s no evidence to support any of this nonsense, of course, but I can’t help but find it amusing to hear the unhinged right argue that we can’t have gay soldiers — because gays are mean.
It seems unlikely that any of this will actually influence the policy debate, but it’s a reminder of just how weak the conservative case against repeal really is. This garbage is the best the right can come up with.