Congressman Steve Scalise got himself in a bit of a tizzy this week in reaction to the inclusion of hate crimes legislation in a military appropriations bill. In a sense, I agree with his critique – adding extra punishment for a crime because of the social identity of the victim isn’t compatible with the ideal of justice being administered impartially.
On the other hand, the form of Representative Scalise’s critique of the hate crimes provision strikes me as ludicrous. Scalise said on the floor of the House of Representatives:
“It is a sad day for our country, and a shameful precedent, when the liberals running Congress hold our troops hostage to pass their radical social agenda. It is an insult to our servicemembers who are offended that they are being used as ‘human shields’ in a political war waged by Speaker Pelosi to pass her radical social agenda, and I’m standing up for our troops by opposing this abuse of power. Speaker Pelosi and the liberals running Congress owe our military and their families an apology for playing political games with their mission.”
Representative Scalise is upset that the military is being used to support a “radical social agenda”? Doesn’t Mr. Scalise realize that’s what the military is for?
The military isn’t really used to defend our homes so much any more as to go invade other nations, remove their leaders, and then re-engineer their societies so that they’re more to our liking. Hate crimes legislation is a teensy weensy little form of social engineering compared to what the U.S. military is trained to do with its bullets, tanks, bombs and missiles.
If Representative Scalise is truly upset at soldiers being used as “human shields”, then he ought to do something to stop the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, where thousands of soldiers have died, and hundreds of thousands have served as human shields for the foreign policies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama.