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By EDITORIAL  |  May 26, 2010

‘Don’t Scott, Don’t Brown’
Massachusetts’s Republican replacement senator, Scott Brown, is trying to develop a reputation for being conservative but independent. That’s fair enough.

Brown’s recent vote for a watered-down but still-welcome financial-reform bill attracted national headlines. It also prompted a barrage of brickbats from the tea-bag battalions who demand a neo-Stalinist style of political conformity and ideological purity.

The movement need not worry. Brown is back in the tea box again, saying he would not support a repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that requires gays and lesbians to remain closeted if they wish to serve their nation in the military.

Is Brown being moderately sneaky? Or is he being hypocritically moderate? Or is he being true to his own lights? In today’s fractious political world, it is hard to tell.

What’s not hard to figure is that the armed services protect us all — gay and straight. And barring those whose sexual preferences are dedicated to their own gender prevents a sizable cohort of citizens from fulfilling their wish to put their lives on the line for their fellow Americans.

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