If you like her as a performer, you're sure to love her as an activist. Therein lies my problem with Lady Gaga.
I think she's only so-so as a performer, and I detest her as an activist.
Yes, Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta – “Lady Gaga” to her legion of adoring fans — is at it again. Last month she performed at a concert in Phoenix, where she used some unconfirmed anecdote about police raiding the home of an illegal immigrant family and deporting one of its members “over a traffic ticket or something.”
With such informative details as that one, how could she stay out of the recent “don't ask, don't tell” controversy? The DADT policy has been the practice of the nation's armed forces since President Clinton's administration.
Gays and lesbians are allowed to serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard if they don't reveal their sexuality, and they aren't supposed to be asked about it.
That policy has rankled gays, lesbians and their supporters, one of whom is Germanotta. When she went on her rant against Arizona's SB 1070, Germanotta used as justification that Latino boy who may or may not exist. But in taking on DADT, Germanotta took a different approach and based her argument on something that very much exists.
Lady Gaga has found the U.S. Constitution.
During a speech in Maine, Germanotta heaped scorn on DADT. She said it's wrong, that she doesn't like it, and that, I suppose, is fair enough.
Had she stopped there, she could have avoided cramming her feet down her throat the way she did in Phoenix. But noooooo.
“Doesn't it seem to be, based on the Constitution of the United States, that we're penalizing the wrong soldier?” Germanotta asked rhetorically. “Doesn't it seem to you that we should send home the prejudiced straight soldier who hates the gay soldier?”
Now exactly where in the Constitution does it say that? Germanotta is one of those Americans who thinks the Constitution was written exclusively for those with her views, and her views only.
It's unconstitutional for our armed forces to kick out gay and lesbian servicemen and servicewomen, but perfectly constitutional for those same armed forces to kick out those who disapprove of gays and lesbians. That notion of the First Amendment protecting unpopular as well as popular views apparently doesn't sit well with Germanotta.
Why, oh why, can't the woman just shut up and sing? Do we really need her moaning about the plight of a still unnamed Latino illegal immigrant who got deported, while ignoring those in Arizona — Latino, Anglo, black, Native American, legal and illegal — who have been victimized by the criminal element that enters the state from south of the border?
Do we need her tortured, twisted logic about what the Constitution does or does not say? That is, assuming she's even read the darned thing?
The answer would be a resounding, emphatic “no!” Germanotta needs to return to her little world where she dresses weirdly and makes bizarre videos.
That's what has gained the woman her popularity. We don't need her urging our leaders to make policies about our armed forces she has neither served in nor plans to serve in.
Germanotta isn't my cup of tea, musically. When it comes to bizarre, quirky and talented, I'm sold on Jonelle Monae, who's also a better singer and a hotter babe.
But if Lady Gaga cuts the activist act and sticks to singing, I might even become a fan.
Examiner Columnist Gregory Kane is a Pulitzer-nominated news and opinion journalist who has covered people and politics from Baltimore to the Sudan.