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Tag Archives: Congress

Politicians: Let’s wait to avoid the political fallout

United States Capitol in daylight

Image via Wikipedia

One would think that politicians in Congress would think it normal to work all the time.  But it seems that there is usually a good excuse to be used every election year:  wait until after the election to avoid fallout.

What?  Are you serious?

I along with many other people believe in a saying that goes:  “what’s a politician’s primary job?  To get reelected!”  Now, maybe it’s that I don’t understand the game, or wouldn’t want to be a player in the game, or just think the game is stupid.  But to me, if I’m in congress to get things done and represent the people, then I should be constantly working on the important legislation of the day, and letting the chips fall where they may.  But let’s look at how the waiting game has been played by looking at the current lame-duck session.

In the last few weeks, there have been votes on bills to extend current tax rates, dont’ ask don’t tell, and the extention of unemployment benefits.  While some politicians (namely Dems) said before the election that they “didn’t have the votes needed to pass (insert legislation here)” before the election, other politicians went on record condemning the action.

Quite frankly, the entire “we have to pass it now or the unemployed will lose their benefits and everyone will get a tax increase” drama was unnecessary.  Regardless of what we heard in the media, are we to believe that there was seriously a concerted effort to hammer out those issues before the election?  I think not.  Both sides sensed blood in the water, and for the side in danger, they didn’t want to put themselves in a worse position.  Don’t want to do anything that might jeopardize the free access to the Congressional spa, do we?

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“Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”: DADT is now D-E-A-D

Over the weekend, Congress voted to repeal the controversial “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” rule.  For those not in the know, the rule–put in place under President Clinton–prohibited gay military members from being “out” while serving.  After much fighting, screaming, kicking, and gnashing of teeth, the vote over the weekend begins  what will be a months-long process to eliminate the provision and allow people to…well, just be themselves.

Of course, there are many who don’t like what has happened.  Many of a conservative mindset when it comes to homosexuality (whether Dem or Repub) are unhappy, because this represents the idea that being gay is ok.  But the biggest blowup has come from some of the leaders of the branches of the military.  No less than the head of the Marines said that the repeal would result in soldiers losing life and limb.  Others have said it will be detrimental to morale.

Really?  Corporal Joe Doe being gay is going to completely undermine the unit?

Let’s look at reality here (no disrespect to those leaders, who have many years of serving their country under their belts).  First, other top notch militaries in the world have allowed gay soldiers to serve openly for years, and they are quoted as saying that allowing that to happen has been a non-event.  Second, Joe isn’t going to all of a sudden stop being an accurate shooter, or not want to make sure he has his fellow soldier’s back just because he’s now openly gay; likewise, other soldiers won’t assume that Joe being “out” is going to make them less effective.  Finally, one point my barber (ex-Navy) mentioned, the people in the unit probably know ALREADY that Joe is gay.

Furthermore, what people don’t realize is that there isn’t going to be this sudden increase of incidents where gay dudes (lets be real–folks usually think gay men here) start playing grab-butt in the common shower.  The Uniform Code of Military Justice is very clear and strict in regards to fraternization and harrassment (example:  in civilian life, adultery isn’t a crime.  in the military, you could end up in Leavenworth for it).  Any gay soldier is going to behave like a true, professional soldier.  Just like they were doing before.

In the end, its like this:  break it up folks, nothing to see here.