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Why Republican sometimes do the right thing

I’ve commented on this phenomenon before. I’ve been tempted to give it a name, after a local politician who exemplified it, but I’ve held back on that.

By way of background: Today, something remarkable happened in the House of Representatives. The house rejected an opportunity to do something small minded and hateful:

Two dozen House Republicans voted with 190 Democrats to sink the amendment that would prohibit military funds for soldiers seeking medical treatment related to gender transition.

via McClatchy

Amazing, isn’t it? But lets hear from one of those Republicans:

“It’s a hurtful amendment, it’s not needed,” said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami, a noted advocate for LGBT rights who has a transgender son. “I view it as a personal issue, because as a mom I’m impacted, but it’s an issue of fairness for everyone. You don’t have to know someone that’s transgender or have someone in your immediate family to feel this impact. It’s just needlessly hurtful and serves no useful purpose.”

She’s absolutely right, of course, but why, one might ask, is this normally right wing Congressperson making such sense? It’s because the issue personally affects her. If not for the fact that she has a transgender son, there’s little reason to believe she would have cast the vote she did. This is a common phenomenon with Republicans. One example here. It’s truly remarkable how incapable of empathy these people are.

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