09/25/2010 10:18 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Republicans Betray National Security With Impunity

This week, Senate Republicans held the US Military and their families hostage to appease their extremist, reactionary fringe. Yet, on Thursday in DC, all the buzz was about Conservative Republicans standing in front of a Virginia hardware store. Many of these congress members sported new flannel shirts pretending to be working folks. Republicans seem to think only working folks wear flannel. They mouthed platitudes with little substance - most of which they had recently betrayed by actions this very month. They claimed their priorities were national security and the economy through putting people back to work. Their sincerity is no less fake than their claim that they are strong on national defense.

National Security is the issue

Some of the working people I admire most seldom wear flannel to work but rather wear uniforms. People like those I just met at Walter Reed who gave up limbs but still want to serve. The 'real' face of America's working people can be seen just by gazing at the photos of our Iraq and Afghanistan war dead. Those faces and their families and friends are the faces of serious workers. Republicans playing 'dress up' are hardly the face of workers and insult both small business owners and workers.

Real working people don't just work in hardware stores or serve in the military. The next time a police car, a fire truck or an ambulance goes past, look at the face of an American worker. Next time you pass a construction site, look at the face of an American worker. It is not just the 'typical' business owner who represents the American economy. Many of those faces on a construction site are small business owners and contractors.

A significant number of those faces are of gays, immigrants or both. Yet the debauched conservatives representing the Republican Party filibustered funding for the entire DOD budget rather than even 'discussing' the end of Don't Ask; Don't Tell (DADT) or the DREAM Act allowing children brought into this country as minors to serve in the military and to earn citizenship. Republicans are literally holding our soldiers and their families hostage.

If Democrats behaved in this manner, screams and accusations of 'betraying' our troops and their families would be all we could hear or read. Yet when Republicans literally threaten to shut down National Defense catering to their reactionary fringe's homophobia and blatant nativism, they get a free pass? Utter rubbish! Republicans, the Party of No, are harming this nation, our troops and their families. This outrage should not go unnoticed but screamed from every roof top , website and newspaper.

The Republican Senators didn't vote against debate for procedural reasons. They voted to damage national security and our men and women in uniform for political gain. They voted to hold these workers and their families hostage to secure cheap election goals. Why is anyone allowing them to claim anything else? Again, think of what the reactionary scream machine would sound like if Democrats used these tactics? Do not let them get away with it.

If Republicans want to shut down funding for DoD and halt tax breaks for workers, force them to stand and do it rather than hide behind cheap procedural tricks. Do not ever allow them to claim that they support the troops while attempting to halt funding! Pass this budget in lame duck session and demand that Republicans acknowledge that on behalf of their extremist, homophobic and nativist fringe they are willing to sacrifice our National Defense, warriors and their families.

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