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The Brilliant Satire of Elaine Donnelly, Conservative Caricature

Elaine Donnelly is either a peerless satirist who never, ever breaks character—a sort of extreme Stephen Colbert—or a paranoid, intolerant, right-wing conservative nutjob. I prefer to believe the former. We should all thank her for her contribution to social justice, and almost as importantly, to socially relevant comedy. With her testimony before the House Armed Services subcommittee yesterday, she did more to advance the cause of gays in the military than probably anyone in the last 15 years. From the Washington Post:
Donnelly treated the panel to an extraordinary exhibition of rage. She warned of “transgenders in the military.” She warned that lesbians would take pictures of people in the shower. She spoke ominously of gays spreading “HIV positivity” through the ranks. “We’re talking about real consequences for real people,” Donnelly proclaimed. Her written statement added warnings about “inappropriate passive/aggressive actions common in the homosexual community,” the prospects of “forcible sodomy” and “exotic forms of sexual expression,” and the case of “a group of black lesbians who decided to gang-assault” a fellow soldier. … Inadvertently, Donnelly achieved the opposite of her intended effect. Though there’s no expectation that Congress will repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell” and allow gays to serve openly in the military, the display had the effect of increasing bipartisan sympathy for the cause.
So, should you honestly thank Donnelly, founder and president of the Center for Military Readiness, for advancing the discussion of civil rights? Well, no. Hate speech is hate speech, no matter how ludicrous and laughable. But you can at least thank her for pointing up the stupidity of the policy of prohibiting gay men and women to serve openly. You couldn’t write satire this hilarious if you tried. Contact the Center for Military Readiness here.

Dennis Pacheco is the Web Editorial Assistant and cartoonist-in-residence at Chelsea Green. He attended the School of Visual Arts in New York, where he majored in cartooning. He lives in downtown White River Junction with his partner, Robyn, and their cat, Marty McFly.

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