Wednesday, September 22, 2010

DADT and the GOP's Faux Populism

Back in the spring, when Democrats -- after a decades-long odyssey -- were preparing to pass a comprehensive health insurance bill, Republicans expressed outrage their opponents would do something the public didn't want them to do: the polls, they said, showed a clear majority of Americans opposed the bill. A CNN poll in March showed that 59 percent of respondents didn't like it. Passing the bill in the face of such opposition, the GOP said, was profoundly undemocratic.

Fast-forward to yesterday, when the GOP blocked progress of a bill that would repeal "Don't Ask Don't Tell," the law that lets the armed forces boot gay members. What's funny about this? Well, polls show that around 57-58 percent of Americans favor the DADT repeal -- almost exactly the same percentage that opposed the health care bill. The same Republican Party members who stood for the perogatives of majority-according-to-polling ignored the polling when it conflicted with their stances.

Why? Easy enough to guess. Some Republican senators presumably do believe -- without merit, I think -- that letting gays serve openly will disrupt the armed forces. Others were pandering to their anti-gay base, or just signing on for party unity. Whatever. I'm sure there are some other principled reasons for opposing the bill, but the fact is this: the GOP is staunchly for what the majority of Americans want, unless it isn't.


KhabaLox said...

Please cross-post this to Freedom Pub. :)

Also, the Google Ad I got was for a Gay Key West resort.

Ben said...

There should be -- if you'll forgive the pun -- a straight up or down vote on DADT and the DREAM Act. The problem with attaching these controversial bills to a larger defense spending package is the sort of partisan point-scoring gotcha crap we saw yesterday. (Note, too, the Democrats who voted against cloture.)

We've talked and columnized about this before (in February, I think). I generally favor getting rid of the law, if the armed services can figure out how to make it work without undermining the essential mission of the military.