You may or may not have heard about former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee’s interview kerfuffle last week with a little-known New Jersey college Leftist website and newspaper. Seems he got all sorts of feathers ruffled on a number of subjects. I’ll blog here in a minute on his words (and their fallout) on gay adoption. But his comments, as reported by the magazine’s website on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell are as follows:
“I wouldn’t support a repeal if I were commander-in-chief,” he said. “You don’t see foot soldiers out there demanding it. I’m not sure that’s the most important thing we ought to be doing for the military.”
“[‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’] touches an extraordinarily small group of people,” Huckabee continued. He dismissed calls to amend the policy as “primarily a posturing point for political purposes,” and an attempt to “force something on the military that they themselves haven’t pushed that hard.”
“I think we certainly should be very sensitive to the fact that the purpose of the military is not to see if we can create social experiments,” Huckabee warned.
This caused a minor firestorm, and I wonder, for what?
As any reader of this blog knows, I’m fully in favor of repealing the policy, so before the usual suspects jump in to mischaracterize what I’m saying, I’d like to make sure that’s clear.
That being clear, I have a simple question: What did Mr. Huckabee say that was incorrect? Let’s examine his quotes:
“I wouldn’t support a repeal if I were commander-in-chief”. Okay, that’s his position, and let’s see why he thinks so:
“You don’t see foot soldiers out there demanding it.” This is, without a doubt a true statement of fact. While polls do say that we military members are leaning more toward a more liberal policy for gay members serving openly, nobody’s in a rush or demanding the policy be changed.
“I’m not sure that’s the most important thing we ought to be doing for the military.” Again, his opinion, but who, besides the most radical gay activist could disagree with that, given we are currently fighting two wars and trying to defend the country from an amorphous terrorist enemy? He’s got a point that the military is kinda busy right now.
“[‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’] touches an extraordinarily small group of people” This is true, as well. 10% (although, I believe the actual percentage of gays in the military runs a tiny bit higher than that of the general population) of the military is not a huge portion. I’ve never even thought of this myself, but he brings up a good point. Overturning the entire military for this small portion does seem a bit drastic. I’m not changing my mind—I still think it should be changed—but this really does buttress my argument that the change should be made because it makes an overwhelmingly positive difference in our performance, not because it’s unfair to those of us gay members.
“primarily a posturing point for political purposes” One of the great things I like to do when someone (without knowing I’m in the military) tries to argue for this change out of ignorance and belicosity over “rights” and such, and “why shouldn’t someone be allowed to serve, bla bla bla”, is, to ask him, “Oh? Here’s a form for you. Tell you what, why don’t you fill it out, and I’ll leave the date blank. I’ll take it to the recruiter and tell him to call you when the policy’s changed because you’re rarin’ to go.” There’s an infantilization of the military going on in America that makes me kind of sick. “Gay” “rights” activists are trying to make us (military members!) victims in order to move their agenda forward. (Sound familiar?) To them, I say, thanks but no thanks. There are a lot of good reasons for overturning DADT, and a feather in your political cap ain’t one of them. Get bent.
an attempt to “force something on the military that they themselves haven’t pushed that hard.” Again, this is true, bit of a rehash of his quote about us not “demanding” it.
“I think we certainly should be very sensitive to the fact that the purpose of the military is not to see if we can create social experiments.” Amen. Our job is to kill people and break things. Openly serving gays, I believe, won’t hurt that mission one iota. However, that’s my opinion. As I’ve said before, the military doesn’t wipe its metaphorical ass without doing an effects analysis study. And I’ll clue y’all in on something: Equality ain’t in the matrix, even for wiping your ass.
In all, Huck’s quote here on DADT is completely based in fact and logic. I disagree with his conclusion and think there are valid national security reasons the policy should be overturned. But it is metaphysically impossible to parse what he’s said here into some sort of bigoted and ignorant rant. He’s right in the things he’s said.
-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from TML)