Monday, July 7, 2008

We Also Serve

If gays and lesbians can’t be out and in the military, at least we can serve one useful purpose: we can be the target of Republican fear-mongers. Via Think Progress, here’s Fred Barnes trotting us out yet again.

BARNES: In particular, gays in the military for one. We know Barack Obama is for allowing gays in the military, and Bill Clinton tried to do, but backed off. This is not a popular issue. Gay marriage is another one. These are both issues that I think McCain’s going to have to use. You can’t ignore the right. If he does, he’ll lose.

Bill Clinton tried to change law in 1993 — fifteen years ago. Times have changed, and according to a Harris poll in the Wall Street Journal in February 2007, a majority of Americans — 55% — thought that gays should be allowed to serve openly in the military.

But that’s not really the issue. If the only way that Sen. McCain can win is by appealing to the bigotry of the far right — “Oh look! Queers!” — then he’s got more problems than just making Fred Barnes and William Kristol happy.