3 posts categorized "PATRICK MURPHY"

Sep 19 2011
Do Tell: A Review Of The Strange History Of Don't Ask, Don't Tell Comments (0)

SafariScreenSnapz001

I was invited to a special screening of The Strange History of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, IMG_1975 the new documentary by World of Wonder wizzes Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey that debuts at midnight tonight on HBO—DADT is history as of that time.

Just when I thought I knew everything there was to know, this pop documentary (it's got lots of visual candy to make all the complex policy talk idiot-proof) underscored a few things for me, such as the fact that DADT, considered a "step forward" back in Clinton's 1993, was actually the first time it became illegal to be gay in the military as opposed to being in violation of a policy. It was definitely a case of two steps back to get forward 20 years later.

IMG_1973Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato, Victor Fehrenback, Mike Almy & Aubrey Sarvis

Also interesting was the history of our country's policies on gays in the military (a quickie look at gays in the armed services over the past few thousand years was a bit cutesy for me)—I'd had no idea that WWII was the first time it became against policy, and loved the film's argument that the very notion of a gay community came from gay soldiers during WWII being discharged and dumped at ports...like Manhattan and San Francisco. Anchors aweigh we go, Mary!

SafariScreenSnapz001Via Towleroad: DADT R.I.P.

The filmmakers have crafted an almost shockingly apolitical film Yes, John McCain is a delicious villain, but he's not manipulated nor is he a metaphor for all anti-gay people; he was there in '93 and there again in '10 for the birth and death of DADT. The film depicts Bill Clinton as an idealist who grossly underestimated the necessity of getting the military to buy into his plan to open its ranks to gays, and depicts Barack Obama as more of a pragmatist, who wanted the ban lifted and who set about doing it methodically. Neither man comes off poorly, and Republicans are not singled out by party; instead, we are able to see each individual man and woman who testified or worked for or against DADT in his or her own words. It's quite weird to see a film about something that just happened, yet to see so many of the players already relegated to the sidelines—Patrick Murphy in particular.

NOV09_CoverChoi & Fehrenbach

IMovieScreenSnapz002 The film is greatly boosted by interviews with actual servicemen and servicewomen whose lives were heavily impacted by DADT, including the heroic Margarethe Cammermeyer, Victor Fehrenbach, Mike Almy (pictured, right) and Dan Choi. Their testimony about how DADT affected them stands in stark contrast to the sophomoric nonsense about shared showers and "unit cohesion" parroted by the powers-that-were, including Colin Powell.

Noh8VictorFehrenbachNot exactly the best way to change the minds of gay-squeamish troops, but...wow!

IMovieScreenSnapz001 I highly recommend the film. It's therapeutic to watch it and remember, "Whatever happened from Point A to Point Z, we won this sucker."

After, we were able to quiz the filmmakers, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network's Aubrey Sarvis as well as Fehrenbach and Almy, who gave terrific answers:

IMovieScreenSnapz001 My question was the one someone asked last, which is: If a Republican wins the presidency and decides to reinstate DADT, would that happen? The answer seems to be it totally could happen, but the military (ironically) would probably protest:

Clearly, more still needs to be done:

Afterward, I had a chance to meet all involved. I missed shaking the hand of Melvin Dwork, the 89-year-old man who just this week had his "undesirable" discharge from 70 years ago converted to an "honorable" discharge. (Now to take care of the 99,000 others!)

IMG_1963SLDN'S Aubrey Sarvis with the newly desirable Melvin Dwork

Mike Diamond, whose fisting parody of Katy Perry's "E.T." will have you (and your duodenum) in stitches, threw himself at the servicemen so shamelessly I had to borrow some Crisco from him to lube them up and pull him off. But it's okay—gay people have every right to become servicemembers in the military, and those of us not in the military have every right to attempt to service the members of anyone on or off active duty.

IMG_1974Because I, too, am a hussy

 
Nov 03 2010
The Mourning After: And Now For Thumping Completely Different Comments (7)

More election thoughts and observations:

It still sucks this morning...I was thinking of calling in Democratic!

Democrats should be proud of what they accomplished in the past two years. Those who are not proud were either defeated or should be. Stuff got done—big stuff. Americans don't hate Democrats. Americans don't love Republicans. They dislike them both equally, or dislike Democrats a tad less. But voters are fucking pissed off at the economy and at waiting around for their lives to improve. And they hate the idea of a deficit to the point that they blindly don't realize the stimulus helped stave off a second Great Depression. That's all hard to address (for both parties, actually), but it's easier to address than, say, being hated.

Obama-spotlightx-large Obama's presser today will be historic. I hope in the good or at least not bad way. If I were him, I would sound a conciliatory note (no baseball bats—see below) yet I would draw some progressive lines in the sand. His only hope for re-election rides on re-engaging the left (the youth vote had better things to do last night and the black vote was somewhat depressed) because going even more centrist (he's already more in the middle than Malcolm) is not going to win him even one right-winger's vote. The Blue Dog Democrats were CRUSHED last night—so he shouldn't become one. His differences with Bill Clinton—the last Democratic prez in this position at this point in a presidency—may be skin-deep, but that's plenty deep enough for the teabaggers. Trust. Of course, this presumes Obama is his party's nominee in '12, a provision that had to be made regarding Reagan and Clinton before him at the same points in their presidencies, but one that nonetheless needs to be made here again.

 Read More

 
Jul 09 2009
Asking For It Comments (1)

Rep. Patrick Murphy chats with Rachel Maddow on his newly announced sponsorship of a bill to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Pretty dreamy for a Blue Dog Democrat.