This is one of those I just can't resist posts. The following came from a Family Research Council email:
. . . the media seems intent on making Sen. Rick Santorum the punching bag for being the most outspoken about keeping the military focused on its mission to fight and win wars. But if Chris Wallace and others honestly think they can get the Senator to blink on his beliefs, then they don't know Rick Santorum. His position, which mirrors that of our military service chiefs, is that "The Army is not a sociological laboratory. Experimenting with Army policy, especially in a time of war, would pose a danger to efficiency, discipline, and morale, and would result in ultimate defeat." In a heated exchange with Wallace, who tried to catch Rick with some "gotcha" questioning, Santorum didn't back down. "...I know the whole gay community is trying to make this the new civil rights act. It's not... You are black by the color of your skin. You are not homosexual by... the color of your skin... It is behavioral." Wallace tried to turn the tables by suggesting that Sen. Santorum wa s questioning the homosexual soldiers' service. "They're all volunteers," Wallace said, "defending our... country." "That's exactly the point, Chris," Santorum fired back. "They are all volunteers, and they don't have to join in a place where they don't feel comfortable serving with people because of that issue."
Now I've heard of attempting to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, but what FRC attempts to do here is pitiful. For the record, the organization is talking about the recent disastrous appearance Santorum made on Fox News Sunday where host Chris Wallace not only grilled him (yeah I can't believe journalistic integrity was in Wallace either), but actually demonstrated the ignorance that some folks have concerning gays serving openly in the military is comparable to the ignorance that some had concerning Truman's desegregation of the Armed Forces.
Conveniently, FRC talks about Santorum's answer to Wallace's grilling in order to make it seem that he was standing firm. However the entire exchange demonstrates that Wallace left Santorum with egg on his face:
Wallace then read a quote that seemingly was in line with everything Santorum had been arguing previously.
“The army is not a sociological laboratory. Experimenting with policy, especially in a time of war, would pose a danger to efficiency, discipline and morale and would result in ultimate defeat.”Wallace attributed the quote to a World War II general arguing against racial integration of the military. Santorum suggested there is a big difference between race and sexuality, because one involves “activities” of a different nature as opposed to just being different. Wallace went down the line of Santorum’s talking points and said the general’s comments over a half-century ago were exactly in line with them. Santorum insisted on a clear distinction between the social climate then and now, and claimed that unlike race, sexuality is a choice.
And of course FRC omitted this interesting eyebrow-raising exchange from the interview:
"The problem is that sexual activity with people who you are in close quarters with who happen to be of the same sex is different than being open about your sexuality," Santorum said on "Fox News Sunday."
Fox host Chris Wallace pushed back, asking Santorum if he was suggesting gay soldiers would "go after" their colleagues.
"They're in close quarters, they live with people, they obviously shower with people," Santorum said, saying the presence of gay soldiers could have an adverse "effect on retention and recruitment."
All in all, the interview exposed Santorum to be a nut who justifies homophobia with nonsense and obviously worries about showering with gays too much. That comment he made about heterosexual soldiers not being comfortable around gay soldiers is inaccurate. According to Think Progress:
The extensive Pentagon study found that servicemembers don’t care about serving next to gay soldiers, so unit cohesion would not be impacted.
Santorum is hardly an upstanding hero for morality in my book. But of course I'm not wearing Family Research Council-colored glasses.