Thursday, January 21, 2010
Lessons for Backers of Murphy's LGBT Law
The political earthquake that occurred on Tuesday, electing Massachusetts State Senator Scott Brown to replace the late Ted Kennedy in the United States Senate, was more than the first election of a Republican senator from that state since 1972. At his victory party Senator-elect Brown drew national applause when he declared,
"Our Constitution and laws exist to protect this nation. They do not grant rights and privileges to enemies in wartime. In dealing with terrorists, our tax money should pay for weapons to stop them, not lawyers to defend them."
This was not a "populist" sentiment. It was one of the clearest statements in support of a strong national defense that we have heard from a Republican candidate in a long time.
An obvious exception is retired Army Colonel Alan West, who is creating a sensation in his second run for Congress from the 22nd District in Florida. If you haven't seen this video of West in action, check it out:
Congressional Candidate Lieutenant Colonel Allen West
The Massachusetts voters who calmly and cheerfully secured the "People's Seat" for Scott Brown are concerned about national security, and they don't want America's military to be used for any purpose other than national defense. In an article titled "It's the Enemy, Stupid," Andrew McCarthy of NRO quoted Scott Brown's top strategist, Eric Fehrnstrom, who said that the campaign's internal polling showed "terrorism and the treatment of enemy combatants" to be an even bigger issue than health care.
Will pro-defense members of Congress, both Democrat and Republican, learn from this lesson?
It is a dangerous temptation to assume, that liberals and gay activists will retreat from the effort to repeal the 1993 law stating that homosexuals are ineligible for military service. The signs are encouraging, including post-election comments from U. S. Senate Democrats Evan Bayh (IN) and Jim Webb (VA), essentially warning their colleagues against continued political over-reaching. But the activists are not letting up.
CMR is nonpartisan and we don't endorse candidates, but voters and politically-active groups should ask every candidate for the Congress and U.S. Senate questions about their position on repeal of the 1993 law, which is constantly mislabeled "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." This includes every co-sponsor of HR 1283, Rep. Patrick Murphy's bill to impose a new LGBT Law on the military.
According to a survey done by the Massachusetts Family Institute, Scott Brown said that he supports "current armed forces policy that prevents homosexuals from serving openly in the military," while his rival Martha Coakley took the opposite position. (Brown and Coakley also disagreed on two more LGBT causes, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and the Employee Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA.)
As the 2010 elections approach, questions of all candidates should focus on the Congress' findings regarding homosexuals in the military, as contained in the 1993 law and highlighted last week in a Washington Times op-ed by a respected former Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, General Carl E. Mundy, Jr.
Maintain Military Gay Ban
As Gen. Mundy wrote, the law's findings remain valid and important for good order and high morale in the military. Our servicemen and women should not be forced to carry the burdens of a controversial, unprecedented social experiment that would weaken recruiting, retention, and readiness in the All-Volunteer force.
CMR issues such as this are essential elements in two legs of Ronald Reagan's famous three-legged stool. We look forward to working with candidates, elected officials, voters, opinion leaders, media, researchers, and members of the armed forces to build support for sound policies and priorities for the best military in the world.