Saturday, October 10, 2009

F-35 Swoops In To Save Gays

The Democrats are up to their usual games with America's national security. By dumping the funding for the F-22 Raptor (considered by many to be the finest jet fighter ever produced), the only new generation fighter in the arsenal is one we will share with our weak sister allies in NATO, the F-35 joint strike fighter.

Back in July the Senate, with the enthusiastic support of Nobel Prize winner and part-time Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama, killed the F-22 Raptor. Those few which have been manufactured will stay on-duty, but there will be no new ones until we elect a Congress and a president willing to have the best air force in the world. On the other hand, they don't mind having a good plane with which we can play sharesies with the Euroweenies. Oh, and of course the American production of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter produces jobs which produce pork which produces Congressmen.

In fact it produces so much pork for greedy Congressmen that the House (soon to be followed by the Senate) have played chicken with the Republicans, and will then play chicken with the White House. Remember, this isn't about national security or winning wars, it's about bringing home the bacon. So the Democrats were willing to take a risk on a couple of games of chicken.

That brings me to the title of the article. Knowing that Republicans are willing to fund a very good fighter if they can't have the best fighter, the Democrats added a rider to the bill. The rider is the latest hate crimes (thought crimes) legislation, this time protecting gays from people who would make nasty faces and say bad things to homosexuals. By attaching the rider to the military appropriation, the Democrats left Republicans, who are national security minded, with the choice of no new fighters at all, or new fighters with gay pilots. Nevertheless, 15 Democrats joined 131 Republicans in opposing the bill because of the noxious gay rights rider.

The gay rights portion of the bill contains the usual politically-correct garbage equating racial discrimination with sexual discrimination, but adds extra enforcement powers for the Justice Department and specifically makes it a crime to target gays or lesbians in the military. I had to ponder that one for awhile. If you beat up a soldier because he's a soldier, it's assault and battery. But if you beat up a soldier because you perceive him to be gay and a soldier, you are guilty of a much more serious hate crime. A separate procedural vote to remove the gay rights rider from the bill failed on a close vote of 216-208, with two cowards voting "present."

Having gotten that out of the way, the Democrats now face the next game of chicken. And since Obama received his Peace Prize, the analysis gets even more complicated. Obama wants to win the war in Iraq, but without killing anyone or spending any money on weaponry. Since the initial America-Euroweenie joint venture is already firmly in place, this bill was just continued funding of the old program, plus additional pork for a new General Electric/Rolls-Royce engine for the F-35 which would produce new union jobs for states previously out of the picture. This adds a nother $560 million to the price tag. Obama had already said that he would veto any bill that contains additional funding for the new engine. He's very concerned about reducing government spending, you know (or at least military spending). That would leave the F-35 without future funding, and gays immediately vulnerable to hordes of pitchfork-wielding gay bashers.

In all fairness, I have to say that the bill wasn't all bad. Military commissions must now work under stricter hearsay and coerced testimony guidelines than previously, but the bill specifically still allows for and provides funds for military commissions. We won't be trying all the terrorists as common criminals in civilian courts as if they were O J Simpson after all. The bill also prohibits the president from transferring terrorist suspects from Guantanamo to the mainland without giving Congress 45 days notice and a comprehensive plan for how he intends to protect national security if the transfer occurs.

The great decision-maker Obama would have had to make an actual decision on a veto if just the extra pork funds had been included. But by adding the gay rights wording, it becomes a decision which would be tough, even for a real president. If he kills the funds for the plane, he is also ordering the mass murder of homosexuals. What a dilemma! I can smell the smoke from burning rubber being emitted from the ears of Hope-a-Dope already. He may be forced to rush back to Copenhagen to demand reconsideration of the Chicago Olympics.

14 comments:

JG said...

Who voted "present"?

AndrewPrice said...

Let me second that question. Lawhawk, do you have the link to who voted which way?

LawHawkSF said...

JG and Andrew: I tried to find that out, and didn't have much success. Sorry, I just don't know who they were, but I'll try to keep digging. So far, the majority of sources I've searched mention the two "presents" but nobody seems to say exactly who they were. Maybe one of our readers has the answer (I hope).

LawHawkSF said...

PS: It was one procedural vote in a day of many full legislative votes, and it's buried amidst dozens of other reports. Procedural votes on a busy day are usually simply reported as total votes, so it's not clear even whether the "presents" were Republican or Democrat. It's just as likely to have been Blue Dog Democrats as RINO Republicans.

DCAlleyKat said...

Hi guys,
Also of note, Kucinich and Paul voted “Present.” from Free Republic with - Link for vote: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2009/roll769.xml.
Hope that helps!

LawHawkSF said...

DCAlleyKat: Thanks for being the clear thinker. I missed the obvious, the clerk's roll. For answering that question, we're sending you one of our invisible Commentarama tee-shirts.

Writer X said...

Let me get this straight: funding for a fighter jet is tied to hate crimes legislation? So glad to see so many politicians concerned about national security.

JG said...

Paul voted present. I am not surprise. At all.

LawHawkSF said...

WriterX: It was another test of the Democrats and their parlor tricks. By adding the hate-crimes legislation as a rider, they can use a simple majority to get both the military appropriations and gay rights in on the same vote. That tends to eliminate a possibility of a filibuster once the Senate has to reconcile the bill with the House version.

Now that we know, Kucinich and Paul are the perfect "presents." They support gay rights (Kucinich even wants gay rights for our extraterrestrial homosexuals), but they both hate American power overseas (Kucinich hates the military period, Paul just hates all American overseas intervention). Rather than risk their gay constituency while gathering even more Republican opposition, they staked out neutrality.

Writer X said...

Wimps!

Thanks for the additional info, LawHawk.

StanH said...

Washington never fails to leave me mystified. If there is one thing you can count on is a politicians desire to remain a politician. Democrats are not only sleazy but they’re dangerous, …sheesh! The F-22 was made here in the Atlanta area, lots of jobs lost.

Individualist said...

So let me get this straight (or is the word alternative more apropos)……
If we find out that someone in the military is gay we are supposed to “Don’t ask, Don’t tell”.

If they do something that announces to the world they are gay then we should throw them out of the military.

If someone says something mean to them then they are guilty of a crime.

Just trying to conceive of the BS legal calculus shows the absolute insanity of it all. You cannot even obey all of the laws since they contradict one another.

LawHawkSF said...

StanH: Couldn't agree more. Sorry to hear yours is one of the areas hit by the Raptor termination. Bad for you, bad for the nation. I have to admit that some of the Democrats voted to kill the F-22 out of a genuine belief that some silly plane that will satisfy European pilots will satisfy the likes of pilots coming out of Top Gun (except possibly Tom Cruise, but I'm not sure if that fits in the military discussion or the gays rights discussion).

LawHawkSF said...

Individualist: You still can't ask and they can't tell (although Congress is working on that, too). But fair warning. If one of the guys in uniform sashays up to somebody's husband or teenage son, forget the rebuke. It's time for flowers and a possible invitation to a cozy dinner instead of the usual "buzz off, fruitcake."

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