Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

This afternoon I got so angry at the radio that I had to turn off the heat in my car. I was boiling in my own rage. I don’t think I’ve so forcefully yelled a string of expletives at an inanimate object since since that one time I kicked an irrigation pipe really hard. (Safety tip: bad idea.)

What had me so steamed? Why, former California Representative Duncan Hunter, of course!

Unless you’re from California, it’s entirely possible you’ve never even heard of Rep. Hunter. Okay, I take that back–I just looked him up, and it turns out Hunter was actually the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, so he’s kind of a big deal. He even sought the republican nomination for president in ’08. Also? Ann Coulter loves him. (And he lurves her back!)

So it probably shouldn’t have been any kind of big shock that Hunter opposes repealing DADT. …And, okay, I wasn’t shocked–his interview in All Things Considered was advertised as air time from one of the biggest critics of repealing DADT–but I was certainly blown away by the man’s naked bigotry.

[Massive apologies for a lack of transcript; if anyone knows of one available already, please let me know–otherwise I probably won’t have time to provide one until the weekend.]

I think my favorite part is probably where he practically shudders at the notion that repealing DADT will invite in “the transgenders, the hermaphrodites…”

Or maybe when Michele Norris calmly asks about all the gay and lesbian soldiers who are already showering and sleeping in barracks (zomg!) with their straight fellow soldiers, and Hunter counters, “Look, you don’t show up at your first day of work for NPR and say, ‘Hey, I’m gay.'” (If I’d been interviewing him, my response would have been “Yeah, but I could do that, and no one would fire me.

Like many Americans who have never served in the military, I have very mixed feelings about the institution. But I think Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen expressed the issue of DADT in the most concise and humane way I’ve ever heard: “No matter how I look at the issue, I cannot escape being troubled by the fact that we have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens.”

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