As Republican Neanderthals go, Rep. Duncan Hunter of California is a particularly primitive political hack, a back-to-the-stone-age knuckle dragger who thinks men should be men, women should be seen and not heard and gays don’t belong in the military.
Hunter proved just how out of step he and the rest of his gay-bashing lot at in the GOP can be on 60 Minutes Sunday when he claimed gays don’t belong in the military because we need a fighting force of rough, tough men.
Hunter says gays can’t be “hardened warriors.”
Bullshit. One of the toughest fighting forces in the history of the world came out of ancient Sparta. The Spartan Army was mostly gay. Ask military experts which modern military Special Forces unit is the best in the world and most will point to Britain’s Special Air Services (SAS), which welcomes gay soldiers into their ranks.
In America, gay soldiers must conceal their sexual preferences under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” rule. In Britain, gays are allowed to march in uniform in gay pride parades.
“We aren’t the Brits,” Hunter says with smugness. “The Fallujahs of the world, the Ramadis of the world that require heavy combat and lots of fire-fighting capability – those are the places the Americans go. The other countries tend to go to the so-called peacekeeper zones, where they have fewer fire fights and less contact with the enemy.”
Guess Hunter’s staff didn’t remind him that Brits went into Iraq alongside Americans – one of the few allies to do so. A lot of British soldiers gave their lives for George W. Bush’s failed war.
I worked with Hunter and his staff while serving on Capitol Hill as a press secretary and chief of staff to other GOP members of Congress and also as a political operative for the Republican Party. I knew Hunter for what he is – a bribe-taking, favors-dispensing politico who plays fast and loose with the law and ethics.
For 15 years, Hunter pressured the Department of Defense to waste money on testing the DP-2, a vertical landing and takeoff aircraft that both military and civilian experts said would never fly and would, in fact, kill Special Forces operatives attempting to repel from it. All four constructed models crashed in testing but that didn’t stop Hunter from insisting the military spend $63 million to try and make it work.
The DP-2 was a product of DuPont, a major contributor to Hunter’s campaign. Most of the legislation for the funding was jointly introduced by Hunter and former Congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham. Cunningham went to jail for taking bribes from defense contractors like DuPont. Hunter skated and decided to run for President.
Republicans like Hunter have many failed political philosophies but few are as onerous as the party’s unabashed homophobia. The party’s outright hatred of gays is a despicable display of intolerance.
In the 1990s, while working for a Republican consulting firm – I refused to take part in a campaign to smear gays and Vermont Gov. Howard Dean. It marked the end of my career as a political operative and prompted my return to journalism. Despite fat paychecks and a comfortable lifestyle, I could no longer stomach the hypocrisy of working within partisan politics.
Nowadays, when I watch primitive primates like Duncan Hunter spout the homophobic beliefs of his party and I want to hurl a brick through the television set.
Instead, I go into the bathroom and vomit. Then I thank God that I have nothing more to do with such cretins.