I wrote late last night about the GOP debate, where a gay soldier asked Rick Santorum via YouTube whether he would reinstate DADT if he were somehow elected president. Members of the crowd booed the soldier and Santorum gave the dumbest, most bigoted answer he possibly could have in that moment, living up once again to the redefinition of his name. It’s refreshing, then, this morning, to see that at least some conservatives are slamming Santorum for his answer. Jim Geraghty at the National Review:
Rereading the transcript of last night’s debate, I am struck that Rick Santorum did not thank Stephen Hill, a gay soldier in the U.S. Army currently in Iraq, for his service. Nor did anyone else on that stage.
Whatever you think of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” or homosexuality, Hill is risking his life on behalf of his country. It is troubling, and revealing, that Santorum’s answer entirely defined Hill as a gay man first and as a soldier second, if at all.
When you’re losing the NRO boys…
Think Progress has a couple of other reactions from conservatives and conservative groups, including this one from former White House spokesperson Ari Fleischer:
“Booing a soldier serving our nation is uncalled for. If I were on stage, I would make that point.”
For Rick Santorum, once the word “gay” is uttered, he can see nothing else. Says more about his personal demons than it does about anything else, I think.
I included the response from GOProud in my piece last night, but here’s the response from Log Cabin:
Log Cabin Republicans are disgusted at the response to a question by an openly gay servicemember regarding “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” during last night’s GOP presidential debate.
“Senator Santorum’s shameful response to the combat soldier’s question regarding open service was incoherent and out of touch. America’s uniformed leaders support gays and lesbians serving alongside their colleagues with dignity and respect. Santorum’s divisive and homophobic remarks do not befit a commander-in-chief,” said R. Clarke Cooper, Log Cabin Republicans Executive Director. “Americans want to hear about how our next President is going to cut our national debt, present a confident foreign policy and most importantly help the private sector thrive to create jobs. Unfortunately, for many Americans the take-away from last night’s debate was not that Republicans have the solutions our country needs, but that too many in our party are clinging so strongly to a failed and discriminatory law that they are willing to disrespect a man in uniform. As a current Army Reserve officer and an Iraq combat veteran, I found it appalling that a soldier serving down range would be disrespected in such a fashion.”
There is, by the way, a petition up at Change.org demanding that Frothy Mix apologize for being such a Frothy Mix last night.
I’ll finish this up with the commentary from The New Yorker, which is just brutal:
“Sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military”? That will be a surprise to the men and women, of every orientation, who love, marry, and become parents while serving. We have an all-volunteer military whose health relies on its strong ties to civilian life—not a praetorian guard of eunuchs. Does Santorum think that “the military” is a collection of battle scenes in an action movie? Surely not; his father worked for the Veterans Administration, and so he must know better. He also ought to know that there is no “special privilege” here, just the possibility of serving without the special obligation of lying, and the same knowledge other soldiers have that the person they love most might be able to be handed a folded flag if they die. Or is the word “gay” so strong for Santorum that it blotted out the word “soldier”?
Pretty much. Even for a frothy mix of lube and fecal matter, Rick Santorum is pathetic.
[photo via Getty Images]