Haley Barbour: Reinstate DADT Because The Military Would Be Ruined By Horny Gays, Or Something

The Republican pandering to social conservatives continues apace, with Haley Barbour being the latest potential 2012 candidate to say that Don’t Ask, Don’ t Tell should be reinstated:

Barbour: Let’s look at the best evidence that we have. They did research to see what military people thought about this idea. The closest to the ground, the soldier on the ground, was the most opposed to this. And it’s not necessarily over homosexuality. Its over the fact that when you’re under fire and people are living and dying of split-second decisions you don’t need any kind of amorous mindset that can affect saving people’s lives and killing bad guys. You look at the data and it is the foot-soldier that is the person who is out there, boots on the ground, who was most against this. And it’s because they live or die with this and that’s who we ought to be listening to, that’s who we ought to be caring about and that’s why I am against it. I think it ought to be rolled back. I just don’t see how you can take any other position if the person you are trying to protect is the soldier who is actually in combat.

There are several rather bizarre things about this entire meme that’s circulating through GOP circles. First, there’s simply no evidence to support the assertion that the presence of openly gay soldiers in front line units would have the impact fears, especially since they are already there even if their fellow soldiers don’t know they’re gay. This idea that gay soldiers are going to be too busy lusting after the guy in the next foxhole to do their job actually says more about the people who put forward the theory than it does about gay soldiers. Second, politically it’s just a stupid position for the GOP to be associated with. Yes, it appeals to the social conservatives in the Republican base, but they are a distinct minority on this issue considering that the vast majority of Americans supported the repeal of DADT. Letting themselves be tied to the extremist positions of the evangelical right might be good for primaries, but it’s going to hurt the GOP in a general election.

FILED UNDER: Military Affairs, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020.

Comments

  1. I concur.

    Further I think that the conception of military actions as “killing bad guys” is actually one of our problems right now. We keep treating complex issues like we are talking about an action movie or a video game.

  2. Al says:

    The strangest thing about the whole “having homosexuals in the military might bother some people and lower their combat effectiveness” meme is that social conservatives are essentially asking the military to give people who are unfit for combat duty a pass.

    If someone is so bothered by the idea that someone they’re serving with is a homosexual that it effects their ability to perform in combat then they need to get out, like right now. I can guarantee that the enemy is going to do a lot more than try and hurt feelings.

  3. Neil Hudelson says:

    I also don’t get this idea that we should poll troops before major decisions regarding the military. Yes, front line soldiers’ perspectives are invaluable, but I’ve never heard of decisions being based this way.

    Its bizarre that politicians think the military, in this instance, should be ran like a political campaign or democracy with major decisions being decided by polling data and consensus.

  4. cooper says:

    Taking into account the considerable history of male on female soldier sexual assault and rape in the military this is an even more ignorant statement than I am used to reading.

  5. tom p says:

    Another GOP theme I am stunned to silence by…

  6. tom p says:

    OK, I take it back… Haley Barbour is another fat assed MF’er who can not help but imagine what would happen to himself in the company of real men… except his imagination has absolutely no bearing on reality….

    Haley… you ain’t that pretty and we don’t want to rape you….

  7. An Interested Party says:

    Ultimately, it is a rather moot point, as Boss Hogg will never get anywhere near the presidency, much less the GOP nomination…

  8. Hey Norm says:

    If republican tradition holds…Haley complaining so means Haley is the most likely to Have an amorous mindset.

  9. grandpaLou says:

    God how I wish we would get a few serious classy statesmen from the republican party. Instead we get uneducated media grandstanders, Donald Trump types, Newt types, religious panderers, and ideological intolerant fascists. God save us from republicans and things that go bump in the night.

  10. epistorese says:

    Its bizarre that politicians think the military, in this instance, should be ran like a political campaign or democracy with major decisions being decided by polling data and consensus.

    @ Neil, wait a second, I didn’t hear any Republicans, or any one else as far as that goes, saying that we needed to get the opinions of “the boots on the ground” soldiers when we invaded Iraq or Afghanistan, or wheh we did the surge, or when we invaded…. oops, I meant no-fly, walk, or drive zoned Libya. Politicians only troop out this “ask they guys who do the fighting” thing when they can use it to score points against the enemy…oops again, I meant opposing party. Most of the time, these chicken hawks (no pun intended) only care about getting enough poor ,kids to join the National Guard so that their own sons won’t be called away from, as that great warrior former VP Cheney put it, “having more important things to do.”

    BTW. Kudos to both the young men and women who serve when their dads have the clout to get them out of it and to the fathers (and mothers) who are proud of them for going, Thank you all for your service and sacrifice.

  11. Murray says:

    Gay rights used to be a GOP unifier and a Democratic divider. With the increasing acceptance of gay rights the tables have turned. The topic unifies Democrats and divides the GOP.
    I wouldn’t want to be a socially liberal Republican presidential candidate in today’s America. If I speak my mind I don’t get through the primaries. and if I pander to the socially conservatives I have no chance in the general election.

  12. Jay Tea says:

    Obviously, Barbour knows what the queers are doing to the soil…

    J.