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Creep of the Week: Rick Santorum

Political Humour by D’Anne Witkowski (From October 2011 Online)
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Say what you want about Republicans, but they sure do keep us in suspense about how high the homophobic ceiling is inside of their "big tent."

I once interviewed Dan Savage and asked him if anyone ever reacted negatively when he and his boyfriend were out with their adopted son. Savage kind of dismissed the question saying you’d have to be a complete asshole to say something anti-gay to a kid’s dads right in front of him.

But that was years ago, and while acceptance of gays and lesbians has grown, incivility of the anti-gay right seems to have grown, too.

It’s no secret that the anti-gay right is primarily Republican and that the right wing of the party has been steadily taking control of the GOP to the point where they’re less a wing and more the whole bird. And what an angry bird it is.

If the GOP debates are any indication, many Republicans are not at all concerned about coming across as complete assholes. In fact, it seems almost like a prerequisite.

The Sept. 22 Fox News/YouTube debate is an excellent case in point. As one might expect during a YouTube debate, videos of folks asking the candidates questions was a big part of the questioning.

Stephen Hill, a soldier serving in Iraq, was one of those video-question-askers. He said he was gay and wanted to know where the candidates stood on the "Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal." The audience booed him. And not one of the candidates on the stage seemed to have a problem with this.

Well, not at the time, anyway. Rick Santorum has since claimed that he didn’t hear the booing and that if he had he would have totally stood up for that gay soldier.

"Had I heard them, I certainly would have commented on them," Santorum said during an interview with Fox News' Megyn Kelly.

"I condemn the people who booed that gay soldier," he told Kelly. "That soldier is serving our country. I thank him for his service to our country. I'm sure he's doing an excellent job; I hope he is safe and I hope he returns safely and does his mission well."

Really? I find this doubtful considering his adamantly anti-gay response to the question.

"I would say any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military," he responded. "Removing DADT I think tries to inject social policy into the military. And the military's job is to do one thing, and that is to defend our country. We need to give the military, which is all volunteer, the ability to do so in a way that is most efficient at protecting our men and women in uniform. And I believe this undermines that ability."

He said that DADT repeal meant that gays in the military had "a special privilege" to engage in sexual activity, which is not true. Santorum clearly can’t see past the "sex" in "homosexuality." The fact that gays are real people, real people who have sacrificed God knows what in order to serve in the military, is lost on him.

Kelly then asked him, "So what would you do with soldiers like Stephen Hill? I mean, now he's out (and) you saw his face on camera. When he first submitted this video to us, it was without his face on camera. Now he's out. So what would you do as president?"

This is an incredibly important detail. That Hill couldn’t even show his face on camera when he first submitted his video and now, just a short time between submitting and having his question used, he can show his face is nothing short of amazing.

But that’s also lost on Santorum who says that although he wouldn’t kick Hill out since that wouldn’t be fair, "We would reinstitute that policy, if Rick Santorum was president, period."

He added, "We would move forward conformity with what was happening in the past, which was, sex is not an issue. It should not be an issue. Leave it alone, keep it to yourself, whether you’re a heterosexual or a homosexual."

Ah, yes. We’d go back to fundamentally flawed and completely ineffective policy that accomplished nothing besides codifying homophobia.

And that’s apparently how Santorum says, "Thanks for your service, homo."(GC)



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