I Guess It Wasn’t All Bad…

3 comments November 29th, 2007at 08:01am Posted by Eli

CNN at least did one thing right in last night’s debate:

In a segment that surprised many viewers, an openly gay veteran addressed the CNN/YouTube Republican presidential candidates from the audience after they responded to his question on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. The two-hour televised debate was broadcast on CNN and included questions from over 5,000 submitted to the online video hosting site.

The six minute segment on gay issues began with CNN anchor and debate host Anderson Cooper introducing a video question from Brigadier Gen. Keith Kerr (Ret.):

I’m a retired brigadier general with 43 years of service. And I’m a graduate of the Special Forces Officer Course, the Commanding General Staff Course and the Army War College. And I’m an openly gay man.

I want to know why you think that American men and women in uniform are not professional enough to serve with gays and lesbians.

Before Cooper turned to the candidates for their responses, he introduced General Kerr, who was sitting in the audience. Kerr is the only questioner from the debate who was introduced. “I’m glad you’re here,” Cooper said.

Congressman Duncan Hunter, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, and Former Massachusetts Governor all defended the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, with Romney saying, “it seems to have worked.”

“It seems to have worked”??? What does that even mean? How many qualified translators got discharged for being gay? How many 50-year-olds got dragged kicking and screaming back into service while gay troops were being booted out? How many criminals and sociopaths were knowingly enlisted to meet recruitment numbers? How do they affect morale and unit cohesion? What, pray tell, would Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell not working look like?

Cooper pressed Romney, reminding the candidate that in 1994 that he looked forward to the day when gays and lesbians could serve, “and I quote, ‘openly and honestly in our nation’s military.’ Do you stand by that?” asked Cooper.

Romney did not reaffirm his statement, instead saying, “I look forward to hearing from the military exactly what they believe is the right way to have the right kind of cohesion and support in our troops and I listen to what they have to say.”

In response to Romney, boos were heard from the audience.

Following the exchange, Cooper turned to General Kerr and asked him to stand and address the audience. “Did you feel you got an answer to your question?” Cooper asked.

The audience applauded when Kerr replied, “With all due respect, I did not get an answer from the candidates….American men and women in the military are professional enough to serve with gays and lesbians.

“For 42 years, I wore the army uniform on active duty, in the Reserve, and also for the state of California. I revealed I was a gay man after I retired. Today, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is destructive to our military policy. Every day, the Department of Defense discharges two people, not for misconduct, not for the unit cohesion… that Congressman Hunter is talking about, but simply because they happen to be gay…and we’re talking about doctors, nurses, pilots, and the surgeon who sews somebody up when they’re taken from the battlefield.”

It was the only time during the two-hour program that an audience member addressed the group.

Following Kerr’s statement, Cooper asked McCain to answer the question. McCain thanked the General for service to his country and then explained that he believed the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy is working.

And there it is again. What the hell? Is that the official Republican talking point on DADT? That it’s “working”?

In response to the candidates, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis said “Republicans and Democrats alike should be able to agree that our national security and military readiness are not partisan political matters. Republican voters increasingly understand that Don?t Ask, Don?t Tell deprives our armed forces of the talent and skills of patriotic Americans who have important contributions to make to our national defense.”

“Voters want leaders who will reach across party lines and build consensus to repeal this law,” he added.

Damn straight. Er, so to speak.

Also at the same link: Huckabee says he strongly disagrees with the Log Cabin Republicans on gay marriage, but he’s perfectly happy to accept their support. How generous and open-minded of him.

Entry Filed under: Elections,Media,Politics,Republicans,Teh Gay


  • 1. Cujo359  |  November 29th, 2007 at 3:43 pm

    What, pray tell, would Donít Ask, Donít Tell not working look like?

    This is a wonderful evasion on many subjects, at least when the person who asserts it doesn’t define what “working” means. If yours is an accurate summation of the responses (and I have nowhere near enough interest to subject myself to that debate), then they would have gotten away with it if CNN hadn’t invited the general to express his opinion.

    The tide is against the GOP on this issue. Young people today are more accepting of gays than my generation were, and we in turn are more accepting than our parents. Pretty soon the resistance to equal rights for gays is going to be reduced to people who hang Confederate flags in their garages.

    So, for once, good for CNN. Nice to see that some nonsense won’t go unchallenged.

  • 2. virgo  |  November 29th, 2007 at 5:59 pm

    This post? Posts like this one right here? This is why you make the big bucks, dude.

    What, pray tell, would Donít Ask, Donít Tell not working look like?

    un-cohesed buttsecks, one assumes

  • 3. Cujo359  |  November 30th, 2007 at 12:21 am

    On second thought, maybe not good for CNN:

    It was a beautiful thing. Watching the Republicans respond to a gay veteran Special Forces man asking a question about Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. That man also happens to be a Clinton supporter. It will not be forgotten at CNN headquarters or GOP central.

    From Taylor Marsh. Needless to say, this one will be mentioned along with every dirty trick the GOP pulls between now and election day.

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