Barney Frank says Democrats are punting on repealing ˜Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) Until 2010. Looks like the folks at GOProud were onto something when they pointed out that so far, “Democrats have spent no political capital on moving on important election year promises such as the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell“.
I believe we should and will do ˜Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” next year. . . . We haven’t done the preliminary work, the preparatory work. It would be a mistake to bring it up without a lot of lobbying and a lot of conversation.
It does seem Frank, a key player in the passage of DADT sixteen years ago, has learned from Bill Clinton’s fumbling of the issue early in his Administration. That Democrat President so quickly clumsily pushed repealing the ban on gays in the military that he agreed to the pernicious compromise of DADT to save face.
I agree with Frank that we do need a “lot of conversation.” Let’s hope though that he’s not the one leading it. We need people with long records of support of the military to speak out in favor of repeal.
They can better show why it is in our national interest to repeal the ban. It increases the size of the pool from which our armed forces can draw recruits. And it saves the military time and money. Instead of rooting around in the private lives of soldiers, they can better train them to serve our nation and protect their fellow citizens.
Study after study (after study after study) has shown that allowing open service of gay people in the military will not compromise the effectiveness of the armed forces. A number of nations have allowed gay people to serve openly in their armed forces without undermining unit cohesion.
While I agree with Frank that we need begin this conversation as a preparatory move to Congressional consideration of repeal, I think it’s a mistake to wait. We can start that conversation today. Congress can start moving the legislation tomorrow.
If the President and Congress could rush passage of a near-trillion dollar “stimulus” which Democrats hacked together in a period of weeks, why can’t they similarly speed passage of legislation to repeal a law which numerous concerned citizens, retired military officials and a bipartisan group of Senators and Members of Congress have been pushing for a period of years?
But, it doesn’t look like Barney Frank’s going to be on our side on this one. And that may not be such a bad thing.