Saturday, December 18, 2010

Day 352- The next battle

I just want to take a moment, before I start praising the efforts of those who have been fighting for the civil rights of men and women in the armed forces, to call out those who voted against those rights today, or who decided not to vote at all.

The following Senators:

Alexander (R-TN), Nay
Barrasso (R-WY), Nay
Bennett (R-UT), Nay
Bond (R-MO), Nay
Brownback (R-KS), Nay
Bunning (R-KY), Not Voting
Burr (R-NC), Nay
Chambliss (R-GA), Nay
Coburn (R-OK), Nay
Cochran (R-MS), Nay
Corker (R-TN), Nay
Cornyn (R-TX), Nay
Crapo (R-ID), Nay
DeMint (R-SC), Nay
Ensign (R-NV), Nay
Enzi (R-WY), Nay
Graham (R-SC), Nay
Grassley (R-IA), Nay
Gregg (R-NH), Not Voting
Hatch (R-UT), Not Voting
Hutchison (R-TX), Nay
Inhofe (R-OK), Nay
Isakson (R-GA), Nay
Johanns (R-NE), Nay
Kyl (R-AZ), Nay
LeMieux (R-FL), Nay
Lugar (R-IN), Nay
Manchin (D-WV), Not Voting
McCain (R-AZ), Nay
McConnell (R-KY), Nay
Risch (R-ID), Nay
Roberts (R-KS), Nay
Sessions (R-AL), Nay
Shelby (R-AL), Nay
Thune (R-SD), Nay
Vitter (R-LA), Nay
Wicker (R-MS), Nay

are all cowards. The men and women on this list ought to be ashamed of themselves and their votes today. If any of my readers hail from the states represented by these Senators, I encourage you to e-mail them to express your displeasure at the way they have represented you and the other citizens of your state. It doesn't matter that the motion passed, that history has passed by these aging bigots and their old world views. These men and women, at least today, did not support American troops the way they deserve to be supported.

Dear Mr. President,

I was at work today when my phone alerted me to a new e-mail from you. It began:
Moments ago, the Senate voted to end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

When that bill reaches my desk, I will sign it, and this discriminatory law will be repealed.

Gay and lesbian service members -- brave Americans who enable our freedoms -- will no longer have to hide who they are.

The fight for civil rights, a struggle that continues, will no longer include this one.

I think this is my favorite way to receive such good news. Not to live up to your accusation of the left being totally impossible to please or anything, but I can't help fixating on the idea that troops who are risking their lives to serve our country can't marry the people they love. We'll let them serve- now even openly- but we won't let them marry their partners. I know, I know, you and congress need a minute to breathe, to recover from this long-overdue fight, but this is too important to rest. It is unfathomable to ask gay and lesbian Americans to serve a country that still legally treats them as second-class citizens.

So while you're celebrating this hard-fought victory, I hope that you are looking ahead to the next battle. I want to feel proud of my country today, hearing news like this, but I can't help lamenting the distance we have before us, the long way we have yet to go.

Anyway, thanks for the e-mail. Keep up the good work.

Respectfully yours,



  1. Standing up for you're beliefs -- even if those beliefs are dead wrong -- is not the act of a coward. Simply a reflection that we are a vast and diverse nation, that we all see different paths towards what is best for this country. This vote was an act of Patriotism, misguided patriotism in this case, but still stemming from a profound desire for social justice and national cohesiveness.

    This is something I've struggled with myself. All too often it is hard to feel empathy with the Right. Sometimes it helps to think of them as a very vocal minority with a set of viewpoint which even though I don't agree with, must try to force myself to respect.

  2. Anonymous, you're absolutely correct. I confess, when this post was first written it was only John McCain I was calling a coward. I wrote the letter, then thought "hey, I should call out all of them who voted no" and changed the descriptive phrases to plural without really thinking about the reasons why "coward" applied to McCain and not necessarily to the others. (John McCain has not demonstrated that this is an actual belief of his, on the contrary, he at one time exhibited every sign of being flexible and open to the advice of those leading the military. In his post-primary fear of being too reasonable for Arizona Republicans, he seems to have forgotten this.)

    But you are correct about the others, they are brave little bigots, indeed.