Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Presidential Candidates Say the Darndest Things

Here's the most preposterous reaction I've yet seen to General Pace's comments in support of keeping gays, lesbians and bisexuals out of the military. Rudy Giuliani told the NY Observer: "We're at war and now isn't the time to question our military's admissions policy."

That might make some sense if there were a proposal to restrict eligibility for military service. Even if the restriction were otherwise reasonable, you could see someone thinking that during active warfare you don't want to deprive the military of fighting men and women. But given the extended and repeated tours, wouldn't this be exactly the time to question a policy that restricts service?

I'm not naive enough to think that Giuliani actually meant what he said. Obviously he was trying to say something that would appeal to religious conservative primary voters but would not be utterly inconsistent with his record as a gay-friendly mayor. My guess is that he failed on both counts.

12 comments:

egarber said...

What he really means is:

I've got to find a way to slip through the Republican primaries, so now isn't the time to discuss ...

Sobek said...

I'm curious about your reaction to Hilary's and Obama's refusals to answer direct questions on the morality of homosexuality.

Michael C. Dorf said...

I thought the initial reticence by Clinton and Obama was annoying, especially because they're not fooling anybody so why not just take a stand?

Sobek said...

"...because they're not fooling anybody so why not just take a stand?"

I agree with you that they're not fooling anyone. I have a theory about the hesitation: they both know that gay rights activists are both (a) a small minority, and (b) still a powerful voting block. The size of the block is proven by the overwhelming numbers every time a gay marriage amendment comes up on a state ballot, even in very liberal states. But the activists are still very influential because they are both vocal and well-funded, so no one wants to piss them off.

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