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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Equality is not a political bargaining chip

Scott Brown says he will support repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," but only after the Senate acts on tax breaks for millionaires. Sadly it sounds like a Pyrrhic victory, since Senate Republicans have made it clear that greed trumps equality.

Nevertheless, Brown's shift is a significant piece of the puzzle being pieced together by congressional Democrats while their Republican counterparts continue to play ideological games. It could help clear the way to some sort of grand bargain compromise involving extending unemployment benefits too.

The true shame rests with the conservative "leaders" who have used the military as a pawn in the political and cultural wars that have become blood sport in Washington.

The arguments being used against openly gay soldiers are eerily familiar to the used by conservatives to make African-Americans second-class soldiers even as they fought and died for their country.

The military led the way then in doing the right thing, even as their leaders are trying to do now, despite the blatant flip-flops of so-called "leaders" like John McCain.

There is no asterisk after "land of the free and home of the brave" allowing exclusions for bigotry. And no good reason why equality should take a back seat to tax cuts for those who can afford not to serve.

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