Republican U.S. Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas has placed a hold on the nomination of Eric Fanning.
Eric Fanning made national headlines last September when Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee fibbed about his qualifications to become the next Secretary of the Army. Fanning, who is gay, is immensely qualified and was nominated because of his qualifications to serve as the next head of the Army.
At the time, Huckabee waged a small war against Fanning.
"It's clear President Obama is more interested in appeasing America's homosexuals than honoring America's heroes," Huckabee, said in a statement last fall, ignoring the fact that countless LGBT service members at every level are also America's heroes.
"Veterans suicide is out-of-control and military readiness is dangerously low, yet Obama is so obsessed with pandering to liberal interest groups he's nominated an openly gay civilian to run the Army. Homosexuality is not a job qualification," said Huckabee, who last year also had said he would have said he was transgender in high school if it meant he could have showered in the girls' locker room.
"The U.S. military is designed to keep Americans safe and complete combat missions, not conduct social experiments," the ordained Southern Baptist minister accused.
Now, it looks like Huckabee may get his wish.
Acting Army Secretary Eric Fanning is stepping down, temporarily for now, because the Senate has yet to vote on his nomination, which they have had for well over three months.
"Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., placed a hold on Fanning's nomination in protest over Obama's campaign to close the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility and transfer detainees to the United States," the AP reports, adding that since Army Undersecretary, Patrick Murphy was confirmed last week, there's now someone else to take charge.
Roberts (photo, top left,) was endorsed by a cavalcade of anti-gay Republicans of note for his 2014 re-election campaign, including Huckabee, Tim Huelskamp, and Rick Santorum. That's Ted Cruz in the photo above, campaigning for Roberts.
Roberts, a "Hard-Core Conservative," has a 0% rating from the Human Rights Campaign. He has voted for a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage as well as other obstacles to marriage for same-sex couples, voted against adding sexual orientation to the hate crimes law, voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act.
Back in November, Sen. Roberts placed the hold on Fanning's nomination.
But in October Roberts aired a campaign video which The New York Times called, "Campaign Tactic: Guantánamo Fear-Mongering."
No detainees from Guantánamo are headed for the prisons of Leavenworth, Kan., anytime soon, if ever. But you wouldn’t know that from the campaign of Senator Pat Roberts, a Republican in a very tight race, who has made a terrorist-free state one of his most fervent campaign promises.
“Pat Roberts promises to keep terrorists out of Kansas,” says a newscaster in a clip included in one of his recent television ads. “Senator Roberts issuing a very blunt threat to the White House about inmates at Guantánamo Bay,” says another journalist. And finally the ad turns to Mr. Roberts himself, declaiming, in a voice loud enough to echo across the plains, “Not. On. My. Watch!”
Here's his ad:
Roberts may not have placed a hold on Fanning's nomination because he's gay – or maybe he did – but regardless, no doubt, given his record, that was at least an added bonus.
As for Fanning, given the current state of affairs in the GOP, don't expect Roberts to withdraw his hold on the nomination any time soon. Fanning, in fact, may never become Secretary of the Army, which would be a loss for many reasons, but especially for the U.S. Army.
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