Fresh off helping ensure President Barak Obama won his bid for re-election, GOP representative Todd Akin, of "legitimate rape" fame, is pushing for an amendment to the defense budget that would protect military service members who engaged in harassing or bullying behavior towards their LGB colleagues under the guise of protecting religious freedom.
Regardless of the legitimate threat that Akin's amendment posses to "unit cohesion," it has significant support from other conservative legislators.
Personally, I don't think people like John McCain want this amendment at all. Rather, I'm guessing that they see this as a way to paint the President and his administration's policies as anti-Christian and anti-freedom. The actual well being of our nation and its military is a distant second place priority to these people, far below damaging the President and the Democrats at all costs.
Perhaps, despite the evidence to the contrary, people like Senator McCain honestly believed that the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell would be a disaster for the military. I'm willing to grant Mr. McCain at least that much credit. However, in the year since DADT ceased to be a part of the military world (at least for LGB people), none of the dire predictions that we heard from repeal opponents have come to pass. While this is a good thing from a military readiness and societal progress standpoint, it robs conservatives of a potent club with which to attack their political opposites.
The only thing that makes sense in my mind, is that these legislators are trying to manufacture the sorts of controversies that they anticipated but never came to pass with the end of DADT. Surely there are some thoroughly planned out GOP play-books for how to use "discrimination" against Christians and gay rights opponents in the military to the GOP's advantage. Lacking a forward thinking strategy for Republican gains in 2014, perhaps they are looking for one last chance to put these concepts into action.
I have to believe that, because the only alternative is that Republicans in the federal government are so blinded by ideology and devotion to the radical right that they are willing to disregard all the evidence that shows the repeal of DADT has not had a notable negative impact on military efficiency, enrollment, or retention.
Although really, neither theory paints Akin and his supporters in such a good light from where I sit.
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