The polarization of our countryâ€™s ineffectual and idiotic Congress is now hurting the very men and women who protect this country at home and abroad.
With midterm elections just around the corner in November, the
Senate Republicans voted unanimously to block a bill that would repeal the militaryâ€™s absurd â€œdonâ€™t ask, donâ€™t tellâ€ policy that prevents homosexuals from serving openly in the military.
As this newspaper has opined in the past, the policy proves the
United States is still backward in many of its civil rights attitudes. Top military officials in the country, including
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have called for the
repeal of the policy, which would bring the U.S. in line with more forward-thinking militaries across the world including the Israeli Defense Force.
But, in two moves of pure power politics and selfishness, the Republicans and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have stalled that process at least until December.
For his part, Reid pledged to attach a number of politicized amendments â€“â€“ including a controversial immigration proposal â€“â€“ to the bill, the huge annual authorization of military programs.
In response, the Republicans voted to block discussion of the bill in the lock-step fashion thatâ€™s become typical between the two major political parties.
This type of partisan bickering has done immense damage to Americaâ€™s floundering political system. Reidâ€™s move, an almost-obvious attempt to garner Hispanic votes to keep his own embattled seat in Nevada, is disgracefully political. The Republicansâ€™ unanimous response is equally painful to see.
These types of polarizing moves serve no one but the politicians who manipulate policy discussions for their own gain. Instead of politicizing issues and blocking discussion at the expense of real men and women, itâ€™s far past time for Americaâ€™s legislative leaders to stand up and lead.