Perry, Romney Opt Not to Apologize for Disrespect They Showed Soldier at Fox News Debate

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Here’s an update to this story from yesterday about the disrespect shown to an active duty soldier in Iraq by the entire Republican presidential field at the Fox News debate this week in Orlando, via Steve Benen at Washington Monthly:

Yesterday, Jon Huntsman and Gary Johnson, to their credit, also denounced those who booed Hill, albeit a day late. Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, however, refused requests for comment.

I don’t expect much from guys like Romney and Perry, and neither are likely to ever get a Profile in Courage award nomination any time soon, but if leading presidential candidates aren’t willing to stand up for an Army soldier serving honorably in Iraq, who will they stand up for?

From the ABC News report:


Clinton Supports Same-Sex Marriage

Our nation’s permanent mission is to form a ‘more perfect union’ – deepening the meaning of freedom, broadening the reach of opportunity, strengthening the bonds of community. That mission has inspired and empowered us to extend rights to people previously denied them. Every time we have done that, it has strengthened our nation. Now we should do it again, in New York, with marriage equality.

— Former Pres. Bill Clinton, supporting same-sex marriage. Both the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy were codified under Clinton.


The commandant of the United States Marine Corps says when your life hangs on the line, you don’t want anything distracting… I don’t want to permit that opportunity to happen and I’ll tell you why. You go up to Bethesda Naval Hospital, Marines are up there with no legs, none. You’ve got Marines at Walter Reed with no limbs.”

— Sen. John McCain, explaining his opposition to allowing gays to serve openly in the military by referencing Marines with no legs (none). How this figures in, or why allowing openly heterosexual men and women to serve is not also affected by Marines with no legs, was not clarified.


If John McCain gets any more hostile toward his Senate colleagues, they might consider having him go through the metal detector before he enters the Capitol.

— The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, summing up Sen. John McCain’s bizarre behavior during the debate over rescinding the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy. Milbank added that, “McCain’s statement on the floor was roughly one part argument, four parts tantrum.”

Andrew Sullivan: The Dickishness of the GOP

Former Republican sympathizer, Andrew Sullivan:

What we’ve observed these past two years is a political party that knows nothing but scorched earth tactics, cannot begin to see any merits in the other party’s arguments, refuses to compromise one inch on anything, and has sought from the very beginning to do nothing but destroy the Obama presidency.

These people are not conservatives in this core civilized sense; they are partisan vandals.

I see no other coherent message or strategy since 2008. Just opposition to everything, zero support for a president grappling with a recession their own party did much to precipitate, and facing a fiscal crisis the GOP alone made far worse with their spending in the Bush-Cheney years. There is not a scintilla of responsibility for their past; not a sliver of good will for a duly elected president. Worse, figures like Cantor and McCain actively seek to back foreign governments against the duly elected president of their own country, and seek to repeal the signature policy achievement of Obama’s first two years, universal health care.

I know it is the opposition’s role to oppose. But the sheer scale and absolutism of the opposition, and its continuation in the lame duck session, even over such small but integral reforms such as the new START and DADT repeal, is remarkable… These people are not conservatives in this core civilized sense; they are partisan vandals.

And if the GOP blocks the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, despite the careful Pentagon study, a slow roll-out of its provisions, and support from the Joint Chiefs chairman and the defense secretary, then we will find out something else. The contempt the GOP has for gay lives, gay citizens and those who wear the uniform of the United States is as deep and as vile as we ever thought it was.

Yes, I’m angry at this general nihilist partisanship, and wounded once more by these people’s profound, obsessive homophobia. But I cannot, alas, say I am surprised. The degeneracy has been building for a long time. It is just the stench of it right now that overwhelms the nostrils. [Emphasis added.]

John McCain on Repealing DADT: Gay People Aren’t Fit to “Live, Eat, Sleep, or Fight’ Alongside Straight Service Members

If you’re wondering what very poorly disguised homophobia sounds like, check out John McCain. And a little newsflash for the senator: no amount of “studying” and holding hearings will turn back time. The world has changed, Pops, and your opinion of gay people, which apparently includes the idea that they are inherently less able than straight people to control their sexual urges (maybe like the situation you’re more familiar with, being married to one woman but screwing another?) and force themselves on straight people who are not interested in them, is sheer biogotry. And one last thing: I wouldn’t want to live, eat, sleep, or fight alongside you either.