Taughannock Falls

Taughannock Falls
from: althouse.blogspot.com

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Win some, lose some

The repeal of the military's DADT policy was finally passed in the Senate, with the help of a few GOP senators who followed their consciences. This is by no means the end of homophobic intolerance in our country, but it does mark a real step forward. I always found the very idea of forcing gay and lesbian people to stay in the closet while in military service completely ludicrous. I mean one of the most brilliant military leaders in history, Alexander the Great, would have been kicked out of the U.S. Army! WTF?!?! A more recent illustration of the policy's foolishness was the discharge of several Arabic translators, a move that did real damage to our mission in Iraq. It was refreshing to see our elected representatives in D.C. take a stand on the side of reason and justice today.

The GOP's successful blocking of the DREAM Act today was a major disappointment. Some senators, who opposed it, claimed they would still be open to considering some of its provisions as part of a more comprehensive immigration reform package. Hopefully we'll eventually see such a package. In the mean time, we've lost an opportunity to help good people normalize their status and move towards contributing to our country as full citizens. The bill did not grant "amnesty" to those who chose to come here illegally. Instead it was limited to helping people brought here as children, who had no say in the matter, find a path to citizenship. It also insisted that these young people have clean criminal records, and be pursuing post-secondary education or serving in the military.

So xenophobia proved more powerful than homophobia today on Capitol Hill. While we celebrate today's step forward, progressives are understandably nervous about the increased Republican power coming with the new Congress in January.

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