The audience at tonight’s GOP presidential debate in Orlando, Florida commemorated this week’s repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell [DADT] by booing Stephen Hill, a gay soldier, as he asked Sen. Rick [Santorum] (R-PA) about open service in the military. Without condemning the audience reaction, Santorum responded to Hill’s question by proclaiming that “any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military” and promising to reinstate the 1993 policy. He also characterized open service as a “special privilege”[.]
Wow. Has the Republican Party really sunk that low? Apparently so. Remember, a bunch of Florida Republicans attending last night's debate in Orlando booed an active duty soldier, and did so simply because he's gay and he wanted to ask the Republican Presidential Candidates about reviving DADT.
And you know what makes this even more disgusting? Only two Republican candidates (neither of them with any real chance of getting the nomination), Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman and Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, rose to defend Stephen Hill and the end of DADT. Apparently, the rest of the GOP "clown car candidates" think discrimination is fabulous.
What really makes this appalling is that the Florida Republican audience at that debate last night showed complete and utter disrespect for an active duty soldier. They essentially booed our military and showed contempt for our country. Think about it. For as long as I can remember, the Republican Party has tried to position itself as "the patriotic party", the party that believes in the sanctity of the flag and everything it represents. Yet last night, we didn't see that party. Rather, we saw the continuation of a trend in the unveiling of a "new Republican Party" that's been hijacked by "TEA Party" extremists who care more about radical ideology than even the well being of our military and our very national security.
The "TEA Party" has really led today's Republican Party to turn a corner... But certainly not in a good way. This downright scares me.