By Jaime Abeytia
In a somewhat stunning move, 100% of the Republicans in the United States Senate voted to withhold funding to our entire military forces because of partisan politics, something that hasn’t happened in almost half a century.
For some reason, local talk radio host Hector H. Lopez chose to blame the Democrats and the administration for the move by the GOP. I don’t know if its because he didn’t understand the political subtext, the congressional process, or maybe the substance of the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Amendments or the DREAM Act Amendment.
Or maybe Lopez thinks the more popular play is to blame Democrats and give the Republicans a pass for the vote.
Saying the right thing, even if its unpopular isn’t an easy thing to do and some people just don’t have the courage to do so. I can’t really fault him for that.
But let’s get some things straight here.
The Republicans are the ones that are at fault here. I’m hoping that every Republican member of the United States Senate went home after that vote and peeled off their “Support our Troops” sticker off of their vehicles, because their hypocrisy is an embarrassment.
The same party that attempts to strike fear in the hearts of Americans by using the word security in everything from the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, to the immigration problems this country faces is now okay with making our country less secure by withholding the funding for our entire military.
The two provisions of the funding bill that have Hector H. Lopez and his friends in the GOP and Tea Party movement up in arms are the repeal of DADT and the Dream Act.
Lopez, the Republicans and the Tea Party think those issues don’t belong in the bill.
I find it ironic that group of people have a problem with the inclusion of those two provisions considering some of the amendments that the Republicans have tried to put in to spending bills, including provisions relating to internet gambling, concealed weapons, and campaign finance issues.
None of which have anything to do with our military or how it functions.
Both amendments proposed by the Democrats do! Not only are they related to the military, they are issues that actually make our military stronger and by extension, our country more secure.
Republicans have no place to hide on this one. The bottom line here is that they voted down funding for our military because of bigotry. No matter what kind of spin or window dressing that is applied here, that’s what this turns out to be, plain and simple.
Some of the Republican leadership like Arizona Republican Senator John McCain and others are saying that we should wait to repeal this regulation until we have heard from the men and women in the military. I know that Arizona’s senior senator is a decorated veteran, but maybe things were different in the Navy and Army. I seem to recall hearing the phrase “The Army is not a democracy” pretty regularly during my service.
Its weird that we would be compelled to take a vaccine for Anthrax despite the fact that many soldiers didn’t want to take it, but the military is going to send out a survey to find out how they feel about gay service members?
Senator McCain, was it necessary to send out a survey to desegregate our military? It was very controversial and unpopular at the time, but history has shown that it was absolutely the right thing to do.
Think about how ridiculous it was for our country to have perpetuated such an ignorant policy as segregation. Our country will eventually look at our current policy of DADT as equally ignorant.
But perhaps the most shameful part of the Republicans’ argument against passage of the bill is the fact that they say they are opposed to the repeal of DADT until the military has had a chance to weigh in. That’s interesting because the bill doesn’t call for the immediate repeal of DADT. It calls for allowing the military to change their policy after they’ve surveyed the service members!
That means that the Republican’s opposition to the funding bill is about their bigotry towards homosexuals. The Party of Lincoln in continuing to perpetuate bigotry while wrapping themselves in the American flag and rallying in front of the Lincoln Memorial.
The DREAM Act provides for people who are undocumented to EARN their citizenship through military service. What rational people would oppose something like the DREAM Act? But again, the Republicans show their true colors. Its not about being rational for them. Its not about the troops either. It’s about xenophobia plain and simple.
Its important that the American people understand the real people at fault here. It’s important that the American people not lose sight of the fact that the Republicans are acting in a manner that is distinctly un-American.