Friday, March 16, 2007

Anti-gay rhetoric shows lack of integrity among Dems

While I don't always agree with his stance, I have developed a respect for Virginia Senator and former Navy secretary John Warner when he, along with Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, stood up to Bush {at least for a little while} on the treatment of detainees and torture. They showed {for a little while} that they had the conviction to take the ethical high road while so many others in their party pandered to right-wing conservatives talking as if we need not be concerned about these 'evil terrorists who hate America and want to destroy us' -- as if everyone detained by the brownshirts are indeed guilty as terrorists.

Of course he's also shown himself to be a centrist rather than an ideologue who just votes in lock-step with the party. I have a lot of respect for that. But I gained a new respect for Sen. Warner when he took a stand against the anti-gay comments from General Peter Pace.
It can't be easy for a Republican to dissent against the prevailing view of the party's socially conservative base and object to the view of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs by saying, "I respectfully, but strongly disagree with the chairman's view that homosexuality is immoral."

It’s too bad I can't say the same for both Hillary Clinton and Barrack Obama, who each initially gave very weak responses to the General's comments. Hillary, whom I've never cared for much, did not condemn the comments until after John Warner did. Initially, she said she opposed 'Don't ask, Don't tell' but when pressed on the morality question replied, “Well I’m going to leave that to others to conclude.” She added, "I'm very proud of the gays and lesbians I know who perform work that is essential to our country, who want to serve their country and I want make sure they can." But, obviously she isn’t proud enough to declare unambiguously that gays are not immoral.

This was absolutely pathetic. As far as I’m concerned this said one of two things about Hillary, that she’s completely disingenuous — too concerned about her image, or that she agrees with his comments or at least doesn’t strongly disagree with them. I think a statement she had 2 days after the incident, and well after Republican Sen. Warner came out strongly against the General’s comments confirms that it is the latter. After taking some heat for not taking a stronger stance, Hillary said, “
I disagree with General Pace completely. I do not think homosexuality is immoral.” Too little, too late.

Then there is Barrack Obama. He is a politician I've been rather interested in as of late who did the same by stating, "I think the question here is whether somebody is willing to sacrifice for their country, should they be able to if they're doing all the things that should be done." He too avoided the direct question posed to him about the morality of it and only took a stronger stance against the statements well after the fact and the heat was on.

I suppose that’s just a part of running for President, one has to check with focus groups to see if it is "politically expedient" or not to take a stand on something, no matter how right it may be. I think that shows a lack of character. Of course, that is what modern politics has done to elected officials isn't it?

I must say, along with Jim Webb, John Warner shows that former Secretaries of the Navy from
Virginia have got a lot of guts! And at least two of the front runners for President among the Democrats do not.

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