Well, this will be short I think. Who would have predicted common cause between some conservative Republican Senators, especially with Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) as one of them. A conservative for conservatives.
It is not hard to see why virtually all Democratic senators delivered a big thumbs down to one of the singularly most politically stupid, inept and poorly chosen moves of Trumps yet nascent administration. Attacking transgender troops? The evangelical right is cringing in their pews.
But I don’t want to be seen as saying that I don’t respect the Republicans or think that many of them are decent folks. It is wrong to tar the many for the evils of a few. It is worth remembering the excesses of the former majority power not many years ago and it wasn’t very pretty either. They just had different special interests. It’s disappointing to see the Republicans find a way to sink even lower though.
An excerpt from http://www.pbs.com:
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, was the only Republican who signed onto a letter from 44 Democrats voicing their opposition to the ban. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who chairs the Senate Armed Services committee, has also taken a firm stance against the ban. McCain said in a statement that “there is no reason to force service members who are able to fight, train, and deploy to leave the military—regardless of their gender identity.” Other Republicans have also opposed the ban publicly in interviews or on social media, including Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and outgoing Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., whose son is transgender.
Then there was one who just object to paying for surgery. Yet I really think that is a minor point to be worked out. It just hasn’t been explained that a 20 year career in the military may be a bit too long to wait, the need is medical and not cosmetic, and that the costs are quite modest.
Another bevy simply wanted to hear from the pentagon.
Only a very small handful felt strongly enough in favor to voice support. Should we be surprised? Not really. This was the worst possible ground to fight the battle on. We have an all volunteer military. Every trans person who’s there is there because they put their country first, in many cases before their own lives and safety.
Most members of congress, despite their stances that can appear (or be) inexplicable, are quite patriotic. I know it can be hard to discern but I really do believe that to be true. They are all in favor of treating the armed services well. I am too, I have worked with a lot of veterans. I’m proud to know these terrific men and women.
To choose these trans people to pick on? It’s like this. Even if junior is the black sheep of the family, it’s our family, not yours. But from what I’ve heard, it just isn’t a problem for anyone but the people in Washington.
An article in “The Hill” started:
Fifty-six retired generals and admirals are coming out against President Trump’s ban on transgender troops, arguing it would be disruptive and degrade military readiness, rather than improve it as the president asserted.
There was then a quoted statement from the Palm Center, the same group that had done the study to recommend that the military accept trans people into the services.
I’ll save your time by not taking it to debunk the wild and crazy claims abouts costs. Perhaps POTUS can set a good example by saving the taxpayers that estimated $8m to pay for trans healthcare costs by taking six weeks of from taking Air Force One to Florida for golf. I bet there’s at least a course or two in the DC area.
If there’s one thing I truly take heart in here is that even the oldest members of the Senate have taken time to understand trans people and the issues better. They really aren’t under an obligation to do so. I’m sure they have younger staffers telling them, but we all know you have to have your ears open to learn.
I’m saddened to hear about Senator McCain’s brain cancer. I can’t say I always agreed with the man, but I had a great deal of respect for him. I hope he does well with treatment.