Friday, September 17, 2010

Christine O'Donnell (T-DE) Has A Problem With The Military-- And West Point Grads Justin & Amanda Coussoule Take Issue With Her Ignorance


All this crazy talk from Delaware's far right extremist Christine O'Donnell, putting condoms on dogs... or whatever Church Lady nonsense she's babbling incoherently about now, is a bit of a distraction from the danger that lurks behind the clown mask. As we read that one in seven Americans (43.6 million people-- think about it) are living in poverty, and that the number of people without health insurance coverage rose from 46.3 million in 2008 to 50.7 million in 2009, we have a whole bullpen filled with crackpots like O'Donnell-- Sharron Angle, Joe Miller, Rand Paul, Pat Toomey, Ron Johnson, Ken Buck, Mike Lee (Team DeMint)-- who want to reargue the goal of striving for a just and equitable society. O'Donnell and the other candidates like her want to fulfill the Republican dream of dismantling Social Security, abolishing laws that protect workers and ordinary citizens-- and society in general-- from the intrinsic excesses of capitalism's selfish greed.

And because these efforts are backed by some of the wealthiest and most corrupt families in America, as well as by right-wing corporate media (from Fox to Hate Talk Radio)-- and because the general mood is sour over the economy (nevermind that these same right-wing sociopaths caused the economy to go south)-- we may be in for a right-wing revival. It isn't likely that O'Donnell's getting elected to anything, except maybe chairman of the RNC, but Mike Lee (UT) is assured a seat and some of these other nutbags are neck and neck against mainstream Democrats. They share a bleak, if not horrific, worldview-- a Randian dystopia that voters will be embracing without a clue to what it means.

Wednesday for example, a veteran's organization warned about O'Donnell's clarion call against women in the military. She claims women in service colleges damage national security. She insists that West Point "has had to lower their standards ... in order for men and women to compete." By lowering standards, she added, "we have reduced the effectiveness of our military... By integrating women into particularly military institutes, it cripples the readiness of our defense. Schools like The Citadel train young men to confidently lead other young men into a battlefield where one of them will die. And when you have women in that situation, it creates a whole new set of dynamics which are distracting to training these men to kill or be killed. And these dynamics between men and women are what make the relationship between men and women beautiful. So I don't think that we should try to desensitize men to the differences."

A few months ago, when we were just getting to know Justin Coussoule (D-OH), he did a guest post here at DWT for Memorial Day. A West Point graduate and a former captain in the U.S. Army, I told him to write about any aspect of his military service he wanted to share. A few days earlier he had been over at Daily Kos explaining why, as a recent U.S. Army officer and leader of soldiers, he is strongly supporting the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. His real-world experience informed his decision the same way his military service helped him come to conclusions about the status of women's rights in our society. He did a post called In Uniform or Out, Women Deserve Equal and Fair Pay. Justin's perspective is the polar opposite of O'Donnell's and of the Republicans'. Yesterday's Dayton Daily News made it clear Boehner is too scared and too arrogant to debate Coussoule; maybe he can debate DeMint's little wingnut, Christine O'Donnell!
When you think of the armed services, you wouldn’t be alone if you immediately conjured up images of young men in uniform, close shaven with hair so short it’s barely there. The reality, though, is much more reflective of our society as a whole, where men and women work side by side to accomplish the unit’s mission. 

As a cadet at West Point and then an Army officer, I worked alongside highly trained, highly effective, and highly competent soldiers, many of whom were women. In fact, my wife and my sister-in-law are both veterans, and they along with the female soldiers I led served as honorably and ably as the men in their units. The same is true for women in the workplace today, where women contribute in all industries at all levels. Unlike in the Army, though, women today only earn about 75% of what a man in the same job is paid. Women deserve equal pay for equal work. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was a step forward, but there are still those who would oppose equality in pay, like my opponent, John Boehner. In the 21st century, what possible reason could one give for not supporting equal pay for equal work? 
As a society, we will always be better for affording equal chances to those who want to succeed.  We cannot discriminate against or oppress those who would make our nation better simply because of gender. I learned in the Army that from Private to General Officer, pay is based on rank, not gender.  The same should be true in the civilian workforce, where pay is based on performance, and gender has no impact. Women today serve from the assembly line to the board room, and the gains made in the last fifty years must be protected with continued fair and equal access to the same opportunities men have.

I ran O'Donnell's remarks by Amanda Coussoule, another former Army office and, like her husband, a proud West Point graduate. She gave me permission to share her remarks today:
This is appalling... For decades women in America have worked hard so that future generations of American women will have choices and options equal to men. Does Christine O'Donnell also oppose women in the military? Does that "lower the standards" of our fighting forces? Should we go ahead and reduce our already stretched fighting forces by 20%? Or should we only limit the leadership training opportunities, so that women can work for men who had access to the greatest leadership education in the world?

Next time you talk to her, let her know that you know a female West Point graduate who would like to demonstrate those "lower standards" in person.

Apparently, the answer to Amanda's rhetorical question is yes! O'Donnell, who bills herself as a "traditionalist," says women should "graciously submit" to her husband. In her "traditional" world" women get on their knees for their men. Here she was on CNN: "This is a biblical doctrine."

Today's Republican Party is very different from your parents' Republican Party. In fact, it's hardly recognizable. It's hardly American. And they're not just making believe. We're getting very close to our thermometer goal to keep our TV ads up on cable in Ohio. Please take a look at them and consider helping us pay to keep them on the air. The Supreme Court has it fixed so that if they take over again, we're never getting rid of them!

Oh, and if you were wondering why Boehner is so scared to debate Justin, maybe this short video will give you some insight into that. Boehner's 20 year decade in office has worked out extremely well for him... but not all that great for the folks he "represents."

Labels: , , ,


At 1:33 PM, Anonymous Jacqrat said...

Do you tweet? On Tumblr? Facebook? other social media? Let's get this thing going viral - It's all about the media from now until the election.

Copy & paste the following:

Wondering why .@JohnBoehner @GOPLeader is so afraid to debate @JustinCoussoule? Watch this clip: #P2 #TopProg #oh08

At 4:07 PM, Blogger ckerst said...

If women aren't capable of competing at West Point why should we believe they are capable of competing in the political arena? This is what I love the most about repugnacans, THEY don't even believe their own bs.

At 8:59 PM, Anonymous TypograPhoebe said...

"O'Donnell, who bills herself as a "traditionalist," says women should "graciously submit" to her husband."

So THAT's why he's smiling in all the campaign photos . . . !


Post a Comment

<< Home