Charlotte's Web Thoughts
Charlotte's Web Thoughts
The Curious Cowardice of Josh Brecheen

The Curious Cowardice of Josh Brecheen

What a coward.
(Members of the Regional Command (South) female engagement teams pose for a picture after a graduation ceremony for the first all-female Afghan National Police basic patrolman’s course class, Jan. 9, 2014. U.S. Army photo by Cpl. Mariah Best)

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Yesterday, Republican Congressman Josh Brecheen of Oklahoma stood on the floor of the U.S. House in support of his amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which you probably know best as the legislation that funds our Defense Department.

Mr. Brecheen’s amendment, which passed the GOP-majority House in a voice vote, would ban any funding in the final version from being used on drag events, in what is clearly a painfully obvious attempt at pandering to anti-LGBTQ hatred.

That, alone, I find hilarious given the very long history of drag performance in the U.S. military, notably among the young men of the Greatest Generation — for that, check out this fantastic write-up from none other than the National War War II Museum (!!!).

Anyway, Mr. Brecheen, in his floor speech, stated this:

"Young men who make up the bulk of our fighting forces are inspired by G.I. Joe. They're not inspired by a Barbie girl in a Barbie world."

The anti-drag nonsense is easy enough for me to laugh off given how patently absurd it is, but this is not. It’s profoundly disrespectful to women service members and veterans, and I find it more than a little hypocritical coming from this particular guy.

Mr. Brecheen was 22 years old on 9/11 and a healthy, able-bodied young man.

He could have enlisted that day or in the many years afterward, but he did not. He declined to serve his country in uniform during a time of war.

But more than 300,000 women have enlisted since 9/11.

More than 9,000 women have been honored for their actions in direct combat.

166 women service members have been killed in combat since 9/11 and more than 1,000 have been wounded.

Women like Lt. Emily Perez (1983 - 2006), the first female graduate of West Point to die in Iraq when she was killed in a makeshift bomb that exploded near her Humvee during a combat mission.

Women like Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, who lost most of both her legs when the Black Hawk she was co-piloting was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade from Iraqi insurgents.

Women like Cpl. Jessica Ellis (1983-2008), a combat medic who volunteered a second time for a dangerous mission clearing a route and was killed in a roadside bomb. She was 24.

What was Josh Brecheen doing during that whole time?

He worked as a political staffer and owned a motivational speaking business called Brecheen Keynotes and Seminars, and then, he ran for office.

I kid you not.

And now Mr. Brecheen stands there, insulting the memory of women who have died in combat while he was a coward who stayed home and, ironically, sold motivation.

Perhaps it’s an appropriate moment for the Congressman to reflect on why he so oddly claims to identify as a patriot when he lacked the courage to serve where the women of this country have so faithfully stood in the breach.

Sit down, Sir.

And by the way, I’d trust Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig with my life long before I’d ever consider the resignation of settling for your third-rate informercial ass.

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Charlotte's Web Thoughts
Charlotte's Web Thoughts
Charlotte Clymer is a writer and LGBTQ advocate. You've probably seen her on Twitter (@cmclymer). This is the podcast version of her blog "Charlotte's Web Thoughts", which you can subscribe to here: