Republican presidential candidates Michelle Bachamann wants my wife to be fired from her current job.
Bachmann undoubtedly doesn't know who my wife is, and probably doesn't know or understand exactly what my wife's job is, but Bachmann definitely wants my wife's job to be done by someone else. Bachmann does not, it would appear, care if the person who replaces her is better qualified or even as qualified as my wife. She simply wants to make sure that whoever replaces my wife has - and was born with - one thing.
Yes, you read that right. Michelle Bachmann, a woman who wants to be the Commander-in-Chief of the United States Military, has publicly come out against women in combat. She did so last week, and the media seems to have managed to completely miss this.
The media didn't, of course, fail to notice that Bachmann and fellow presidential candidate Rick Santorum signed the Family Leader's "Marriage Vow". They just seem to have failed to take note of everything that is actually in the pledge.
It's easy to see how this might have happened. The "Marriage Vow" already contains many different - and very controversial - policy positions. The "Marriage Vow" requires any candidate who signs it to oppose marriage equality, abortion, pornography, and the right of homosexuals to join the military. The "Marriage Vow" contains one clause that require the candidate to fiercely defend "the First Amendment‟s rights of Religious Liberty", and another clause that requires the candidate to oppose "Sharia Islam". And let's not get started on the clause that encourages the candidates to support "robust childbearing and reproduction".
That's a lot of controversy, especially for a single signature. So much, in fact, that the mainstream media outlets appear to have failed to fully appreciate the import of one clause:
Support for the enactment of safeguards for all married and unmarried U.S. Military and National Guard personnel, especially our combat troops, from inappropriate same-gender or opposite-gender sexual harassment, adultery or intrusively intimate commingling among attracteds (restrooms, showers, barracks, tents, etc.); plus prompt termination of military policymakers who would expose American wives and daughters to rape or sexual harassment, torture, enslavement or sexual leveraging by the enemy in forward combat roles. (emphasis added)
In one of my all-time favorite episodes of M*A*S*H*, Major Margaret Houlihan said: "You'll notice these leaves come in gold, not pink for girls and blue for boys." The scene was set during the Korean conflict. The episode first aired in December of 1979. It appears that it is too much to ask that Major Houlihan's statement would have been an obvious truth by 2011.
Women have been - and are still - participating in combat roles. This has been true since before the current conflicts, and it's especially true in today's overstressed and underresourced military. My wife's job is no exception. She may be a doctor, but she's assigned to an aviation brigade. When her unit deploys, she will deploy with them. She's done so twice already, has seen combat, and has been awarded a medal with a "V" device as a result. She is already focused on doing everything she can before the next deployment to ensure that the soldiers she serves with will have every possible chance of returning home alive.
The oak leaf on her uniform is gold, not pink.
My wife is an American Soldier. Referring to her, in the context of her military service, as just "an American wife and daughter" is demeaning. Refusing to acknowledge the value of the service that she - and many, many other women - give to the country is an insult. The fact that these candidates endorsed this insult is outrageous. The fact that they did so without the media taking note is infuriating.