Why does Coffman think soldiers know who’s gay, and why would this matter anyway?

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Now that Rep. Mike Coffman’s congressional district is widely regarded as more competitive, reporters should take another look at Coffman’s media appearances over the past years, and ask questions where none were asked before.

Of course, the low-hanging fruit is on local talk radio, where questions about Coffman pile up in your head so quickly you start forgetting good ones unless you write them down.

So I’m going to roll out a series of these interviews over the holiday season, to lay out some questions that linger about him.

Coffman has made no secret of his opposition to repealing the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, for example, at least for combat troops, who are, as he puts it, “at the tip of the spear.”

He’s argued:

“Interjecting sexuality into a ground combat team potentially creates an emotional divide between Marines that undermines confidence and prevents that interdependent bond from forming, ultimately compromising the combat effectiveness of the unit.”

That may sound extreme, but on the radio, mostly with, you-go-dude style enthusiasm from hosts, Coffman has gone further, arguing that combat troops can “just tell” when a fellow fighter is gay.

He dumps the qualifiers, like gays could “potentially” create problems, and goes straight to declarative assertions about the destructive impact of putting gay men in combat situations.

Below, former Bob Beauprez, subbing on the Caplis and Silverman show Dec. 21, 2009, got into the topic with Coffman:

Beauprez: You brought up something that I think is often forgotten. Outward displays of sexuality, however we want to, I guess, let our mind figure out what that really means, whether they be heterosexual or homosexual, they create a problem on the battlefield.

Coffman: Well they really do. And I think it’s hard for people to understand that. But it’s young people. And it’s not you punch out and go home at 5 o’clock. And even if it is no overt sexuality, there is an emotional tension there where people can tell.

Beauprez: Yeah, and that is not a good place for emotional tension.

Coffman: No it’s not.

Beauprez: You have enough of that going on.

I wish I could send one of those WTF Jon Stewart faces out of this blog, because reporters should ask Coffman how combat troops know who’s gay and who isn’t.

And if they think they do, how is that any different from them believing something else about a fellow soldier, like his race, class, or what have you? I mean, soldiers could suspect anything and everything, positive or negative, about  fellow soldiers, and either they’d get over it or they’d get disciplined, end of story.

10 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Lurker19 says:

    (maybe a colonel, do the Marines have colonels, can you tell I am not SSG Dan?) about how DADT was just a security blanket for the male troops.  Any woman who enlists in any branch of the service, is aware (or ought to be) that she could be sexually assaulted, and not just by the enemy alone.  Friendly rape not friendly fire.

    So if gay men are openly gay in the service, then the regular enlisted men might be made as nervous, oh, say, as any woman in the service.

    So I asked the colonel (if that’s what he was) if the male marines were wimpier than the women marines?

    He was a good sort and said, “Probably.”

    But, Jason, dear heart, Coffman doesn’t think anything because he can’t think at all.

  2. Pam Bennett says:

    I am sure Mike has great GAYdar.

    The key to CD6 lays not with superior skills in finding and punishing gay people. It is superior skills in convincing people you will represent them in Congress – and right now I do not see a plurality of gay haters in CD6.

  3. Aristotle says:

    NBC video about the first year of the DADT-less US Military available here:

    http://slog.thestranger.com/sl

    Military leaders now embrace it. Coffman is shaming his own service by engaging in this bullshit. It’s pure gay-baiting.

    Hey Mike, you want to tell the platoon leader, or his men, that he’s not fit to serve to his face? Didn’t think so.

  4. GalapagoLarry says:

    They probably won’t. But it’s a rich vein for constituents to mine at town halls and stump appearances.  

  5. SSG_Dan says:

    ..despite is musings from the O-club, the Marines are already squared away on this – the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps said one simple sentence: “Get over it.”

    http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/

    In the Corps, that’s all that needs to be said. If Coffman was at least a half-assed Officer, he knows that the NCOs have it under control and no ones needs to know or hear what he thinks.

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