Picking through today's news and political droppings, it was hard to miss the raw display of blind ideology being put on by the Senate Armed Services Committee. The hearing was on the somewhat goofy "Don't ask, don't tell" policy inflicted on our armed forces. And I do mean inflicted.
Why that word? Well, in a nutshell, that policy tells those men and women that want to serve and happen to be gay that they are going to have to lie in order to defend truth, justice and the American way. We would be better served by returning to the outright ban (something I do not personally endorse) since it at least left honesty as an option.
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs told the committee that he felt it was time to remove the policy. He made it clear it was a personal opinion, but he also left little doubt. This opened the door for a display of nonsense the likes of which had not been seen since the Finance Committee hearing that same day.
Needless to say, Republicans opposed the idea in lockstep. They cited tattoos, fraternization and sexual activity. And, needless to say, Democrats embraced the idea without a clue as to what or why, citing civilian precedent. Both sides simply scurried to their respective partisan comfort zones and stayed there.
Republicans used the very overused "not when there is all this stuff going on," excuse and Democrats used the equally overused "everyone can do everything." Both are simply wrong and both are staying with the blind ideology that seems to rule the day.
I remain baffled as to why we would want to discourage any American from joining the military and defending our freedoms. I would think we would welcome them. One would hope that our elected leaders might want to set aside their poll driven, molded opinions and simply applaud those brave men and women willing to put on the uniform and serve our nation.
Senator McCain, who I respect immensely for his service to this nation both in and out of uniform - was perhaps the most disappointing. 4 years ago, McCain said he would listen to the leaders of our military when they came to him and said it was time to change the policy. Yesterday, he scolded Admiral Mullen for asking that the policy be changed. So what happened? Simple. Blind ideology overcame simple honesty.
At the same time, Senator McCaskill, who has never shown what I would call appropriate respect for our military commanders suddenly lauded them. So what happened? Again blind ideology overcame honesty.
Of course, that won't happen. Why? Because they actually don't care that much about our military or those courageous young men and women wanting to defend us. Nope. They actually aren't going to listen to the same military leaders that each side demands that the other side listen to. Because, when the hearing is over, they get to call their donors and favored reporters and boast about the stand they took.
Because all any of those Senators cares about is the next interview or the next fund raiser or the next election. Not one of them expressed an interest in hearing from the actual military members. Not one wanted to examine the record of service. Not one.
To them, it is not about the members of our military - the best in the world - who are actually willing to fight and put their lives on the line. It is not about what is best for the nation. It is not even about the will of the people. It is about getting reelected. It is about making sure party dogma is adhered to.
It was just another session of flaming spitballs, courtesy of the US Senate.
(note - I am not going to bother with the whole party label and state when naming members of Congress. They no longer represent anyone and both parties are equally corrupt and dishonest.)