Oh, Joe Wilson, shut up.
I’m sorry. That was childish. Then again, that’s apparently the level of discourse Wilson operates on. He is, after all, the guy who shouted, “You lie!” during the president’s address to Congress two years ago and became an asshole folk hero to anti-Obama nuts everywhere.
And now he’s whining and stomping his feet over the repeal of the antigay military policy “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Letting gay people serve in the military without having to lie about and hide who they are is too much for folks like Wilson and his fellow House Republicans, who are supporting a bill to stop the repeal.
The House Arms Services personnel subcommittee held a hearing about repealing the repeal on April 1, which is fitting since the whole thing’s a joke.
Unfortunately, Wilson and his ilk aren’t kidding. They are super-worked-up about this. It’s all too much, too soon, too hot and too fast.
Wilson said in a statement of his opening remarks at the hearing, “I was troubled by the process employed to repeal the law known as ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ this past fall. I feel the repeal was rushed through the Congress without adequate review and consideration of the full extent of the implications of repeal.”
Also, the only people who feel this process was rushed are people who weren’t impacted by the ban and haven’t been paying attention for the last, oh, decades. The military has a long and undistinguished history of discharging gays and lesbians, ruining their careers and, in numerous cases, their lives. If anything, the United States took far too long to address this injustice.
And just what are those implications Wilson feels have not been adequately reviewed and considered? The fact is, the implications are hardly as dire as those in favor of the ban would like you to believe. You see, the implications are only dire if you think that homos are sex-crazed lunatics with depraved morals and no social skills who can’t help themselves around people of the same sex. Gays don’t join the military to hook up with guys. There are websites for that.
I doubt any gay person has ever enlisted with fantasies of showering with groups of naked muscle men and traveling “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” style through exotic Middle East locations. In reality, it’s more like being packed into Humvees with sweaty guys who haven’t showered or changed their socks in a week and watching fellow soldiers take dumps in irrigation ditches alongside roads in the desert. You know, the sexy stuff.
To Wilson, letting gays serve is a tragic result of political maneuvering. “I believe the lame-duck session was undemocratic in that dozens of defeated Congressmembers adopted a law with significant consequence,” he said. “It was an insult to the principles of representative democracy.”
Last time I checked, it was still within the rights of Congressmembers to pass legislation while still in office. And if, as polls showed, 67 percent of Americans favored a repeal, that sounds like democracy at work to me. Of course, maybe Wilson is of the belief that majority rule should only apply when voting to deny rights to gays and lesbians.
“We must get the process for considering the repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ back on track and ensure that our military is truly prepared to allow the open service of gays and lesbians,” Wilson continued. “We must ensure that we do not make a mistake by allowing the repeal to move ahead when there is any possibility that it will put the combat readiness of our force at risk at a time our nation is in three wars with worldwide instability.”
And by “back on track” he means kicking homos out, not letting them in. Because training people and then deciding to give them the boot just because they’re gay doesn’t undermine combat readiness at all.
D’Anne Witkowski has been gay for pay since 2003. She’s a freelance writer and poet (believe it!). When she’s not taking on the creeps of the world, she reviews rock ’n’ roll shows in Detroit with her twin sister.