Lady Gaga, Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe and the Whole Gay Thing

Lady Gaga, Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe and the Whole Gay Thing

Lady Gaga, Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe and the Whole Gay Thing

Can Lady Gaga get a couple of Republicans to do the right thing about "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell"?


That Lady Gaga is on board for the gay rights fight is not news.

She was a star, make that a super-star, of the October, 2009, National Equality March and the Human Rights Campaign the night before, where she reworked John Lennon’s "Imagine" to go:

People of the nation:
Are you listening?
It isn’t equal if it’s sometimes.
I want a real democracy.
Imagine all the people
Could love equally…

Last fall, Lady Gaga was calling out Democrats on the question of political caution. "Are you listening?" " she shouted at President Obama. "We will continue to push your administration to bring your promise to reality.

Now that Democratic leaders in the Senate are trying to clear the way for elimination of the noxious "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy that has led to the discharge of more than 14,000 service men and women whose only "crime" was their sexuality, Lady Gaga is going after the Republican votes that may be needed to break a filibuster.

Working closely with Service Members Legal Defense Network (SLDN), she’s been cutting videos and taking a lead role in urging supporters of gay and lesbian rights to take action.

SLDN’s "Answer Lady Gaga’s Call for Action" message urges support of Democratic moves to address "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" as part of the Defense Authorization bill that will be played on the Senate floor Tuesday.

The message is blunt, and tactically sound:

Tell your senators to vote with Sen. Reid and Sen. Carl Levin in opposing the filibuster, defeat amendments to strike repeal, and defeat any crippling amendments.

Senators should follow the lead of Sen. Carl Levin who will be managing the defense bill.

It is critical that the vote on “final passage” takes place before senators leave for the election recess.

Unfortunately, Arizona Senator John McCain, R-Used to Have a Conscience, has promised to lead a filibuster move.

That means that several Republican senators are going to have to do break with McCain and the bigots. The two key Republican votes are those of Maine senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, both moderates who know the law has been abusedand that it has driven good soldiers out of the military.

Gaga swung off her tour to go to Maine, where she headlined a massive rally, asking the crowd: "Should the military be allowed to treat constitutional rights like a cafeteria? In the military, is it acceptable to be a cafeteria American? What I mean to say is, should soldiers and the government be able to pick and choose what we are fighting for in the Constitution or who we are fighting for? I wasn’t aware of this ambiguity in our Constitution. I thought the Constitution was ultimate. I thought equality was non-negotiable."

Good point.

Now, there will be those who suggest that Lady Gaga ought not be taken so seriously as, say, Sarah Palin. And they’re right. Comparing Lady Gaga with Palin is insulting. After all, Lady Gaga writes her own speeches and has actually contributed some fresh ideas to the debate.

And the pop star’s got a much better fix on the Constitution than the half-baked Alaskan.

So let’s hope Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins are paying attention—to Lady Gaga and to the thousands of Mainers who are saying its time to repeal "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell."

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