On Sunday, Fox News correspondent Chris Wallace asked an over-the-top question of presidential candidate Rick Santorum, which demonstrated unfortunate media bias on an issue of major concern to military men and women.
Tough questions are fair game, but this one was one of the most unfair in this debate season. Wallace was wrong in suggesting that concern about homosexual conduct in close quarters is equivalent to attitudes about race that were common in 1941, before the armed forces took the lead in overruling them. Racial discrimination was and is irrational, but separation of men and women in close quarters is both rational and customary in the military and in the civilian world.
This hearkens back to the Fox/Google debate in Orlando on September 22, when a self-identified gay soldier speaking on a video pre-recorded in Iraq asked Santorum whether he would “circumvent the progress that’s been made for gay and lesbian soldiers in the military.” The former Senator was respectful of the soldier, but gay blogs criticized him anyway when a few audience members expressed disapproval of the question.
The charge was refuted by Brett Baier and others who watched the replay, but that didn’t stop President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden from throwing false and inflammatory criticism at Republicans for “booing a service member in Iraq.” But what about the majority of soldiers, many of them combat heroes and future leaders, who do not agree with soldier Hill? President Obama consistently has failed to listen to all of the soldiers that he leads as Commander in Chief.
The new LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) law for the military threatens career-ending penalties and discrimination against anyone who disagrees, starting with chaplains and others who say they are concerned about sexual privacy in close quarters.
Maybe next time Wallace will air a video question from a military chaplain in Iraq, asking Congressman Ron Paul why he voted twice in 2010 for legislation repealing the 1993 law regarding gays in the military. Had Paul been asked about his misguided votes long ago, he probably would not have won the Family Research Council’s Values Voters Summit Straw Poll last weekend.
Wallace accused Santorum of inconsistency, claiming that “Heterosexuals have been openly heterosexual for centuries without any problems.” On the contrary, the military constantly struggles with sexual tension in the ranks. For the past two years, Navy ship captains and executive officers have been removed from command at rates approaching two per month, frequently due to sexual misconduct. Question: How will new forms of sexual tension improve military readiness? The next President should reinforce high standards of discipline rather than indiscipline, both voluntary and involuntary. People are human, and gays are no more perfect than anyone else.
Republican presidential candidates need to stay focused on issues the voters really care about: the economy, job creation, and crushing government debt. However, to demonstrate genuine support for the military they want to lead, candidates should be prepared to answer questions about the consequences of repealing the 1993 law that is usually called “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Thanks to a Department of Defense Inspector General investigation and report, we know that the Obama Defense Department pre-scripted the results of a major survey of the troops last year. The Defense Department misled and betrayed thousands of troops who thought their views would be heard and respected, in order to help President Obama deliver on his political promises to LGBT activist groups.
In addition, Defense Department officials have issued two memos authorizing unnamed “religious ceremonies” on military bases. These policy statements invite litigation from activist LGBT lawyers, who are sure to challenge perceived disparate treatment for same- and opposite-sex couples. So much for promises to Congress that the Defense of Marriage Act−which the Department of Justice is no longer defending in court−would preclude the extension of family housing, education, medical coverage, transportation, and other benefits to same-sex couples.
Candidates can and should stress that eligibility policies should support military objectives, not political agendas. They should also promise a serious approach very different from the tactics used to force the LGBT agenda on the military during the Obama Administration.
The repeal bill was rushed through a lame duck Congress without full and balanced hearings, national debate, and careful consideration of its impact on our brave men and women who volunteer to serve. On September 12, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard P. “Buck” McKeon wrote a remarkable letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, asking for a delay in the implementation of repeal until required enforcement regulations are produced.
Chairman McKeon and military personnel who agree with him were ignored, and the president “certified” the repeal on September 20. LGBT activists are submitting even more extreme demands, such as transgender rights and benefits in the armed forces, which Congress never considered. This is not the way that military policies should be made in the next administration.
This is a national defense issue; of course it deserves closer review. Obama and others who voted for the repeal bill, including Congressman Ron Paul, do not deserve a free ride from the media.