DADT is no longer the law of the land. It’s over. The Senate just decided that with 65 votes. About frackin’ time.
UPDATE: Just called a 68-year old friend and told him it was now safe to go back into the Army. (Though I’m guessing that Vietnam was enough for him. He did his part.)
I’ve liked him ever since he stepped into Defense after Rumsfeld. It was so reassuring to see an adult without a personal agenda and very little ego showing. He was in the Bush administration, but not of it. And now, as the Senate Armed Services Committee takes testimony from him and the Joint Chiefs chair and others, I like him even more.
And I like Admiral Mullen. It’s nice for a change to hear people in our government talking with conviction about ‘doing the right thing’. Don’t hear that often these days.
Oh. And John McCain needs to go home and check out the early bird specials. He should also probably be there to chase kids off his lawn.
The screamers on the Ed Show on MSNBC tonight were doing their DADT act. And the screamer on the right said “Our military is no place to begin social experiments. That’s not the right place.”
Tell that to President Harry S. Truman.
This man is afraid of something – in his heart or in his past. He’s deaf and blind to what’s around him. Therre will be a chance to see that up close yet again, when the Senate Armed Forces Committee meets on Thursday and Friday of this week. Fire up yer’ CSpan and pop yer’ corn!
The Pentagon’s study on the impact of repealing DADT was released today. Predictably, those currently serving are fine with it. I’m sure the numbers are different among the senior officer corps, but among the enlisted? No prob.
From Daily Kos today:
The Senate Armed Services Committee will hold hearings on the report on Thursday and Friday, with Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, and top members of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines all testifying. Leading the charge against repeal will be John McCain (R-AZ), the ranking Republican on the committee.
McCain, who has apparently decided to make his lasting legacy be that of the last man standing against the civil rights issue of the twenty-first century, will presumably continue to argue that violating Americans’ 14th Amendment rights isn’t a problem.
. . . but then I saw this. At McClatchy.
WASHINGTON — A majority of Americans want the Congress to keep the new health care law or actually expand it, despite Republican claims that they have a mandate from the people to kill it, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll.
“Well, those [countries] that do [allow gays to serve openly], they’re the ones that participate in parades, they don’t fight wars to keep the nation and the world free,” – Tony Perkins, at the Value Voters Summit. (h/t Balloon Juice )
Well. That ought to earn him a place on Meet the Press this week.
As Congress once again tips its timid toe into the DADT stew, it remains deaf to the reality. Even among active military, the majority support repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (probably the silliest and most blatantly hollow policy of all times). I don’t know who the damn congress critters are afraid of.
This one is a no brainer. The country is ready. The military is ready. Why isn’t Congress ready?
“A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday indicates that 78 percent of the public supports allowing openly gay people to serve in the military, with one in five opposed.
“Support is widespread, even among Republicans. Nearly six in ten Republicans favor allowing openly gay individuals to serve in the military,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “There is a gender gap, with 85 percent of women and 71 percent of men favoring the change, but support remains high among both groups.”
Among my oldest friends in the world are a gay couple who’ve been together nearly 40 years. They both served honorably. One of them did his time in Vietnam. Anyone who opposes allowing gays to openly serve in the military may tell it to them.
Or go to Afghanistan and ask the gay men and women who are no doubt carrying weapons right now as they engage on this 229th day of the ninth year of the War there.
Gay activists, according to this article in the leading gay publication The Advocate, are ‘desperate’ for Obama to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. I absolutely understand; they must continue the pressure until it happens, else – in the nature of things – it’ll be pushed down the road forever.
Here’s the ‘but’: politics matters and unless Obama plays the politics right and chooses his time carefully, I don’t think the repeal will happen at all in this administration. And if he is followed by a Republican, progress could be delayed for a decade or more.
Think the Clinton 1993 health care disaster. Choosing the right time is part of the art of the possible.
In The NY Times this morning, a letter writer contemplates the difficult decision regarding Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
- One possibility would be to form a commission that could select a committee that could study the situation and report back to the commission every three months. After five years, the committee could publish its findings, and Congress could debate how to formulate a policy acceptable to Max Baucus, Ben Nelson and Olympia J. Snowe.
- The other possibility would be to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation.
That’s sure a tough one.
I bet we could get to the second possibility pretty quickly by just asking the folks currently in the military. A lot of them can be found in Afghanisan where it is the 118th day of the ninth year of the War there.
Just saw that the Administration is putting language into the Defense Reauthorization Bill to repeal DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL – a policy that was one of Bill Clinton’s lowest moments. This has always been a case of the nation being miles ahead of the elected ones. Clinton announced his intention to repeal the ban on gays in the military and backed right down to this silly compromise. And what did he get for it – the anger of most Dems for sure, and absolutely no relief from those he was trying to assuage. They were going to keep going after him no matter what. And I know, he had to give cover to congress critters. It’s a bad excuse and it’s become the normal excuse for not doing the right thing.
In any case, we’ll see how it goes this time. Expect the usual heads to explode.