So far from the mainstream they need a telescope, the Republican Party as we now know it simply can't help itself when it comes to hiring Elton John and then decrying those darn homosexuals. In the case of Elena Kagan, the next Associate Supreme Court Justice, the bloviators of the Grand Old Party are counting on a good old heterosexual haymaker to knock the Kagan nomination into next week.
Not that the GOP is going to come right out and say she's gay. They already tried to slip that nugget into the mainstream of American political discourse, generating little more than a hiccup among the succubus. The problem is that Kagan -- though 50 years old and unmarried -- is also from all accounts (including her own) simply not gay.
No matter. In the confirmation hearings now underway like a runaway bus, the GOP Senators have decided to focus on homosexuality, of all things. It seems that Solicitor General Kagan, as Dean of Harvard Law School, once banned military recruiters from campus because of the open-sore "don't ask, don't tell" policy governing gays in the military.
Dean Kagan bravely stuck to her guns, but she also allowed military recruiters access to Harvard law school students under the aegis of the Harvard Law School Veterans Association. One such law school email at the time read: "U.S. Army JAG Interviews in Cambridge ... The United States Army Judge Advocate General's Corps is interviewing interested 1Ls for 2005 summer internships and 3Ls for full-time active duty positions. Please contact Captain Fansu Ku -- who will be available Feb 14-18 locally ... Sponsored by the Harvard Law School Veterans Association."
As a White House official opined: "These Department of Defense documents further undermine the false Republican attacks about Kagan's efforts to accommodate military recruiters at Harvard. In fact, these newly released letters indicate that she assiduously followed the law and ensured that Harvard law students could choose a career in military service. The fact that the number of Harvard law students entering military service increased under Dean Kagan didn't shut down the Republican smear machine -- but the truth revealed in these DoD memos should."
"The unfair charge made by some that Elena Kagan broke the law as Dean," said Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, "continues to have no basis in law or fact."
A senior GOP honcho called the gambit "desperate spin" -- off-the-record, of course.
"Instead of welcoming the military recruiters on campus," said Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, "she punished them and relegated them to second-class status."
Well, not exactly. That hissing you hear is the hot air leaking from the business end of the opposition to Elena Kagan. The Republicans were so desperate, in fact, that they had lined up retired Lt. General Jerry Boykin to testify against General Kagan on the subject of military recruitment. Unfortunately for the GOP, General Boykin is the same Jethro who told church-goers in Florida that "his" God was bigger and badder-assed than the Muslim version, Allah be damned. To their credit, the Republican Senators boinked Boykin before he could be called to testify.
At best, the general testimony by the military gave the GOP one last chance to claim that Kagan, who is not gay, fought "don't ask, don't tell" in support of gay rights. From their perspective, the only thing better would have been if Kagan was actually gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that.