While study after study (after study after study) has shown that allowing gay people to serve in our armed forces would neither compromise unit cohesion nor morale, the Obama Administration is making little progress on repealing the Clinton-era Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell (DADT) policy, barring gays from serving openly in the military.
This despite candidate Obama’s commitment to repealing the ban.Â Indeed, White House Spokesman Tommy Vietor said recently that the president has consulted Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff] Chairman Mike Mullen to make sure “this change is done in a sensible way that strengthens our armed forces and national security.â€
This weekend on FoxNews Sunday, however, Gates said, “That dialog though has really not progressed very far at this point in the administration. I think the president and I feel like we’ve got a lot on our plates right now and let’s push that one down the road a little bit.â€
Pushing it down the road a little bit?Â Say what?Â I do hope the gay organizations are lambasting the Democratic Administration for putting this off yet again.
Here’s a simple solution to push it down the road, but head in the direction of repeal while making it clear that the change strengthens our armed forces and national security:Â With great fanfare, the president should announce a blue-ribbon commission, say, headed by former Secretary of State Colin Powell, to study whether we can repeal of the ban and strengthen our armed forces.Â Yes, I realize their study would repeat studies already carried out.Â But, none of those have had the attention one so publicly commissioned would have.
If they carry this one out responsibly, they’ll learn what we learned in those past studies.Â So, a year hence, the president could push repeal, saying it would help improve national security.
No, I don’t like the idea of waiting, but the primary advantage of this solution would be that it would prevent the president from looking like he’s pandering.Â He could well come across as a leader seeking to resolve this (alas still) controversial issue.Â In the process, he may well build a consensus for repeal.
But, instead of a clear path to repeal, we get something pushed ever further down the road.
(H/t:Â Glenn, via Bruce’s twitter).