19 December 2010

A New Enemies List

The following thirty-one US Senators, who were the "no" votes yesterday on repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Keep Patriots in the Military" (Senate Roll Call Vote 111–281):

Alexander (TN)
Barrasso (WY)
Bennett (UT)
Bond (MO)
Brownback (KS)
Chambliss (GA)
Coburn (OK)
Cochran (MS)
Corker (TN)
Cornyn (TX)
Crapo (ID)
DeMint (SC)
Enzi (WY)
Graham (SC)
Grassley (IA)
Hutchison (TX)
Inhofe (OK)
Isakson (GA)
Johanns (NE)
Kyl (AZ)
LeMieux (FL)
Lugar (IN)
McCain (AZ)
McConnell (KY)
Risch (ID)
Roberts (KS)
Sessions (AL)
Shelby (AL)
Thune (SD)
Vitter (LA)
Wicker (MS)

have a lot in common...

  • They're all Republicans. Abraham Lincoln would be so proud of what has become of his party. So would John D. Rockefeller.
  • They're all Christians who appear to be unfamiliar with "love the sinner, hate the sin" — which is particularly ironic in that military personnel, by the very nature of the military, must be prepared to kill.
  • They all represent states in which the balance of political power resides in rural, and specifically in agricultural, areas (and that is partially due to gerrymandering).
  • With only one exception — and my colleagues knew him to be an arrogant self-selecting "exception" in an awful lot of ways — none of them have command experience (that is, were actually responsible for ensuring the trust, teamwork, morale, and unit effectiveness) with a significant number enlisted personnel in the all-volunteer military. I do have that experience (the better part of a decade, in fact); in my judgment and experience, the fastest and surest way to undermine trust, teamwork, morale, and unit effectiveness is to encourage witch-hunts within the unit, (edit/clarification:) since I had to pick up the pieces from a predecessor's attitude more than once.

    Hell, only a handful have any military experience at all, and particularly not with the all-volunteer military. Senator McCain's experience, for example, was as a squid fighter pilot during the draft era... and literally all of his supervisory experience was with other graduates of Annapolis.

  • They're all whiter than a Klansman's bedsheet.
  • With only one exception — and she's from Texas — they're all men. Of course, that all-too-accurately represents the Senate as a whole, but still...

In short, their votes are either cynical appeals to bigotry or "principled" votes in support of "principles" of which they have no experience, let alone understanding.

Congratulations, gentlemen (and you too, Senator Hutchinson). You're exactly what I've come to expect from years of political maneuvering based upon the politics of divide-and-conquer... and the best bloody legislature that money can buy. The oath of office requires protecting the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic; you're now all on that enemies list.