'Boo' to Gays and 'Yay' to Executions?
1 year ago
The response of Republican debate crowds says it all
“I am my brother’s keeper and I am my sister’s keeper and we are in this together.” This is the common biblical refrain from President Obama and one he used yet again in his speech to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual Gala this weekend.
In his remarks, President Obama spoke about 1 million more young Americans with health insurance because of the Affordable Care Act. Obama also spoke about his latest proposals in the American Jobs Act which will help put construction workers and teachers back to work. “We’ve got more work to do,” he told the audience of supporters and critics who have been concerned with his performance of late in dealing with the struggles of many African Americans and high levels of unemployment in particular.
As if on an entirely different planet, the Republican Presidential candidates had another debate last week. The third debate that included the new front runner Texas Governor Rick Perry. In the previous two debates Governor Perry’s performance was strong in the first half of the debate but he faltered in the second half and that trend continued this time around.
While the big story after Friday’s debate is the implosion of Governor Perry, who seemed unbeatable when he bolted to the front of the GOP field immediately upon entering the race. An even bigger narrative was created when the GOP field received a question via Youtube from a gay active duty soldier about the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, which officially went into effect last week and the audience booed. The GOP which has a history of calling other people unpatriotic, especially during the years of Bush 43, audibly boo’d an active duty soldier simply because he is gay.
This boo’ing of a gay soldier comes on the heels of the audience at previous GOP debates cheering Governor Rick Perry executing 234 people in the state of Texas (including at least one innocent man Cameron Todd Willingham). The GOP debate audience in the debate right after that cheered letting a hypothetical 30 year old uninsured man die in the name of “liberty” as Congressman Ron Paul’s common refrain goes. When Congressman Paul was asked if we the government has any obligation to help this uninsured man if he was gravely ill, members of the audience cheered, “Yeah!”
The idea of letting the hypothetical 30 year old uninsured man die is bad enough but it turned out that Congressman Paul’s campaign manager in 2008 died, broke and uninsured. Shortly after the 2008 campaign Paul’s campaign manager came down with pneumonia and passed away leaving behind nearly $400,000 dollars in medical bills. The free market that Paul champions was not kind to his own employees.
A narrative has been created through the series of outbursts at these Republican debates, not by the candidates, but by the audience of GOP primary voters. They cheer executions, they boo those men and women who sacrifice their minds and bodies to bravely serve their country abroad, and they hold so called “liberty” and the “free market” above human lives.
The Republican party and their supporters are certainly not their brother’s keeper.