Elaine Donnelly, meet Calpernia Addams. Her hair is more fabulous than yours, her pearls are real . . . and, oh yes, she can kick your ass from Michigan to Mongolia.
Calpernia is also - in addition to being a star of the stage and screen - living proof that your latest rant about who should and shouldn't be wearing our nation's uniform makes about as much sense as putting a pastel pink Chanel knock-off on a woman with your skin tone.
But now that we have the unfortunate photographic evidence that you have unsuccessfully tried the latter, we must turn our attention to proving our point about the former. And so, after the jump, let's take a look at one person's efforts to save the passengers of a downed plane . . . and another's desperate struggle to revive her credibility, which is also going down in flames.
On the one hand, we have Addams who, we learned this week, was instrumental in treating the passengers of a downed Chinese airplane when it crashed, on a remote island in Alaska, in 1993. Addams, who was serving as a medic in the Navy at the time, was treating passengers, administering trauma care and saving lives. As Lt. Col. John G. Bunch remembered it, the Navy personnel who responded to the flight "improvised, cutting backboards out of plywood and using light stands for I.V. stands."
And it wasn't the first, or only, heroic effort Addams undertook while serving in the Navy. As a member of the Navy Hospital Corps, Calpernia spent four years as a field medical combat specialist (HM 8404) in the Navy and with the Marines, one of the elite combat-trained "Devil Docs" during the first Gulf War. And she served in Al-Jubail, Saudi Arabia during Desert Storm/Shield.
In other words, I reiterate, she could kick almost anyone's ass.
And it never mattered - and still doesn't - what Calpernia's gender identity was or is. She was a skilled, professional service member who was saving people's lives.
Which brings me back to Elaine.
Last week, following the Ninth Circuit ruling that the military must (gasp!) show a valid reason for dismissing service members beyond the mere fact that they are who they are - Elaine ran to her keyboard, mustered up her best drag king impersonation of Peter LaBarbera and declared the court's decision an act of "extreme judicial activism."
"Once again," Elaine screamed from her balcony on the Casa O'Spare-Us, "the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has proven that federal judges are not competent to run the military."
So you wanna talk about military credentials, Ms. Donnelly?
Sorry, girlfriend, but your glass house just came a'crashin' down.
A look at her online bio reveals that Do-Little-Donnelly "attended the University of Detroit and Schoolcraft College" and "resides in Livonia, Michigan with her husband, Terry, and is the mother of two grown daughters."
Now, I'll agree that virtually every mother in America deserves a badge, a medal and a salute for their service. But when you stack Elaine's resume up against, say, Calpernia's (or Major Witt, the plaintiff in the Ninth Circuit case), the scales aren't just tipped . . . they're no longer even floatin' in the same time zone. To compare Elaine's service to (or for) the military with that of Witt or Addams is like comparing the Cashmere Mafia to the Gottis.
That is, one is steeped in reality while the other is already-defunct scripted screeds that were, in their heyday, made only occasionally entertaining with the help of a costume and make-up designer.
In fact, Donnelly's whole diatribe is rooted in Disney'esque fantasy. Neither sexual orientation nor gender identity has ever hindered a service member's ability to get the job done.
Just ask a few of the people on that downed Chinese airplane.
So it's time for Elaine to spare us her "pearls" of wisdom, and keep her bigotry to herself. Because the real act of "extreme activism" - besides that ghastly pink pant suit - is giving your homo-and-transphobia a higher priority than saving some lives.
And that's a truth Elaine can take with her on her way from Michigan to Mongolia.
(Note: Even though the Witt ruling applied to 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' which does not specifically mention gender identity, transgender service personnel are barred from the armed forces under medical regulations, which Donnelly also supports, but which should also be repealed or modified to allow transgender troops to serve our country, as they do in many allied militaries.)