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Paul Ryan: DADT should not be reinstated

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:42 pm - September 24, 2012.
Filed under: DADT (Don't Ask, Don't Tell),Paul Ryan

From the Huffington Post via numerous friends on Facebook:

GOP vice-presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said that the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy should not be reinstated in an interview with West Palm Beach NBC affiliate WPTV that aired on Sunday.
. . . .

“I talked to a lot of good friends of mine who are combat leaders in the theater, and they just didn’t think the timing of this was right to do this when our troops were in the middle of harm’s way in combat,” said Ryan. “Now that it’s done, we should not reverse it. I think that would be a step in the wrong direction because people have already disclosed themselves.”

“I think this issue is past us. It’s done. And I think we need to move on,” he said.

More on this as time allows.  Good news indeed.  To note, this corresponds with what I’ve been hearing from sources closer to the campaign than I.

Reinstatement of DADT unlikely if Romney wins (& GOP takes Senate)

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:00 pm - June 22, 2012.
Filed under: DADT (Don't Ask, Don't Tell),Gays In Military

The Hill reports:

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) said he doesn’t plan to try and reinstate “Don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT), the former ban on gays serving openly in the military, if Republicans were to take the Senate and Mitt Romney won the White House in November.

McKeon and other Republicans were opposed to repealing DADT when the Democratic-controlled Congress passed it in 2010, but McKeon said Thursday that he didn’t see a reason to re-start the fight over it.

“We fought that fight, and I think right now it’s more important to get the things that our warfighters need,” McKeon said at a breakfast roundtable with defense reporters, in response to a question about whether he would try to reinstate it under a Republican-controlled Congress and White House.

Seems McKeon has realized that allowing gays to serve openly in the military hasn’t compromised military effectiveness or unit cohesion.

H/t:  Jennifer Rubin.

Rick Perry jumps the shark

Supporting the status quo on gays in the military, that is, after the repeal of the misguided Clinton-era Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell (DADT), may not help a candidate win Republican votes in states like Iowa with a large concentration of social conservatives.  That said, saying, as Rick Perry does in his new ad, that “there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military, but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school” is more the mark of desperation than of sound political strategy.

Now, I’m all for kids openly celebrating Christmas and praying in schools (if they so choose  — and provided they do so on their own, that is, not in prayer organized by a teacher or school official). As should all people. Heck, the “free exercise” clause of the First Amendment guarantees it. (And the “establishment” clause does not trump it.)

It’s a nice rhetorical trick to contrast the open service of gay people in the military and the open celebration of Christmas, but the juxtaposition just doesn’t work, save perhaps to remind voters of the candidate’s social conservative bona fides.  In doing so, Perry is really jumping the shark.  His campaign is sinking and he is making a desperate ploy to gain traction.

I doubt this tack will work.  Even among socially conservative Iowa Republicans (as among Republicans nationwide), jobs and the economy are the key issues: (more…)

Santorum’s bizarre response to question on gays in military

To explain why I found former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum’s response to the question on gays in the military so bizarre, let me fisk the entire comment and offer a conclusion at the end of the post.  First, the question from Stephen Hill, a serviceman deployed in Iraq:

In 2010, when I was deployed to Iraq, I had to lie about who I was, because I’m a gay soldier, and I didn’t want to lose my job.

My question is, under one of your presidencies, do you intend to circumvent the progress that’s been made for gay and lesbian soldiers in the military?

And the candidate’s response:

Yeah, I — I would say, any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military. And the fact that they’re making a point to include it as a provision within the military that we are going to recognize a group of people and give them a special privilege to — to —

I chose to break the former Senator’s comment here because up until this point, I agree with everything he is saying.  Our soldiers should not be engaging in sexual activity while on duty.  And the military shouldn’t give special privileges to any group.

To be sure, it’s bizarre that the Senator begins his response as he has, saying sexual activity has no place in the military.  (He’s right about that.)  Perhaps, he believes that if gay people serve, they would necessarily engage in sexual activity with their fellow soldiers.

and removing “don’t ask/don’t tell” I think tries to inject social policy into the military.

Well, he does quality his remarks with an “I think,” but his thought is at odds with the meaning of repeal.  Here he makes a huge leap from the first part of his response.   (more…)

A New Era in the US Military

Most of this summer I didn’t get to post too much because I had been quite busy preparing for another deployment. It’s from that forward location that I’m able to post for you today, this historic moment.

And it’s appropriate, I think.

I joined the military after Bill Clinton had signed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, so I never lived in a military where simply being homosexual was grounds for discharge. I lived my entire military career, up until today, as a closeted gay man in uniform. I followed the rules, kept it to myself (save a few other gay servicemembers and a handful over the years of closely trusted colleagues), and never ran afoul of the rules. I did my job, and I did it well.

I continue to do so, and I am not alone.

So it’s fitting, then, that I should spend this day—when gay “rights” groups back home will celebrate some sort of liberation of mine—simply doing what I’ve been doing for about 20 years: my job. While politically-minded activists will be slapping themselves on the back and praising the newly-granted privileges I and my fellow gay servicemembers now enjoy, we and tens of thousands of other deployed troops will spend today doing what we do: Our job.

While I appreciate your gladness on my behalf, please do take a moment today and keep in mind that there were some of us who were serving under DADT without regard for it.

While I am grateful that the era of homosexuality being the military’s business has ended, I am grateful more so for those who, like me, joined the military knowing the score and choosing this rewarding life anyway.

While I welcome those young men and women into the ranks of our military who heretofore had waited the policy out, I am much more proud of those who didn’t require their own terms be met in order to answer the call to serve in the first place.

It’s already Tuesday, September 20th, 2011 where I am, so I’m one of the first gay servicemembers in history who can legally come out. I won’t of course, but from now on, I’ll belay the gender-nonspecific pronouns and no longer demure when the stories turn to family. I just Skyped with my boyfriend back in the States and we talked about this whole thing. He’s proud of me, but I’m also proud of him (as all my colleagues are of their families back home). I’m in love with him, we’re quite a pair. And if I wanted to, I could take a picture of us into my office today and put it right on my desk.

-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from A Forward Operating Location)

Administration Certifies DADT Repeal

There is some good news today; the administration certified the final repeal of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell:

Service members today welcomed a key milestone in repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT), as President Obama, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, formally issued their certification to the Armed Services committees of both houses of Congress, signifying that the military is ready for the transition. In 60 days, as prescribed in the law passed by Congress and signed by the President last December, repeal will be final.

So much better to have the military certify this than have a court mandate it. The president dilly-dallied on this one, delaying this day. But, with pressure from left-wing gay bloggers and indeed some principled congressional Democrats as well as at least one Senate Republican, he finally acted.

One reason Obama succeeded where Bill Clinton failed was that the Illinois Democrat, unlike his Arkansas counterpart, made this a military issue rather than a gay rights’ issue.  Whereas Clinton moved to repeal the ban while standing beside Barney Frank, Obama sought to repeal the legislation Clinton signed by dispatching his top military aides to Capitol Hill.

Kudos to all those who worked hard to make this day come to pass.  Our nation will be more secure when it can draw on the strengths and patriotism of gay men and lesbian who wish to serve the country which has given us so many opportunities, chief among them, the ability to live free.

Today In The Annals Of Democrat Party Governance

Today in 1993, President Clinton signed one of the most landmark anti-gay rights laws ever passed in the United States of America — the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law.

Gay leftist revisionist history types like to blame Republicans in Congress for *making* Clinton sign a law.

FACT: Democrats controlled the US House under Bill Clinton until 1995

FACT: THE leading elected official advocating for outright ban of gays in military and then DADT was US Sen. Sam Nunn (D-GA)

FACT: Bill Clinton ran radio ads in his 1996 re-election campaign heralding his support of DADT and the Defense of Marriage Act

Facts are stubborn things.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

DADT Pre-Emptive Fire from the 9th Circuit

News this evening coming down that the 9th Circuit Court has, once again, decided it knows better how to defend America than do our own Armed Forces, elected officials, or duly appointed and confirmed leaders of the DoD.

Still looking online for something official from the court, but the short story is that they’ve decided that, since DADT repeal is chugging along just fine, it’s time to screw up the entire process.

It seems that the court has used the continuing success of an orderly process combined with a lawless Administration which refuses to do its job to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed” with respect to DOMA as its basis for deciding to run the US military regardless of what’s best for National Defense.

With former SecDef Gates predicting certification (the needed step for implementation of the end of DADT) occurring within the month, and current Secretary Panetta stating in his confirmation process that he supports repeal and will work to implement it upon certification, I’m still puzzled why LCR continued their suit.

No, I’m not puzzled as to why they said they were continuing: Because they don’t trust, apparently, the military and/or the Administration to actually do what they said they’d do (let alone follow the law). Naturally, having witnessed the current Commander in Chief in action lo these two long years, I can understand why you’d want to see the cash first. But there have been zero indications that there would be any problems with the repeal coming to fruition. Even the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps told his troops to “get over it” and press on with our duties to implement the new policy.

It boggles the mind, then, why anybody who respects the military and our mission would insist on pressing forward with this case. Let’s review the facts:

The whole purpose of passing the law last December was because everybody (except, apparently the 9th Circuit Court and the glory hounds at LCR) realized that we needed an orderly transition from the DADT world to the non-DADT world. As that process continues, it’s not any less important that it take place orderly. Any disruption is unnecessary and needlessly dangerous. (more…)

Top Enlisted Marine Cool with DADT repeal

The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire blog features today some snippets from an interview with “Sgt. Maj. Micheal Barrett, recently selected to be the senior enlisted adviser to Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos”. With a “long military resume, including combat service in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Nathan Hodges quips that “he doesn’t need a microphone to get his point across.” And when he comes to Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, he cites a most important charter:

“Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution is pretty simple,” he told a group of Marines at a base in South Korea. “It says, ‘Raise an army.’ It says absolutely nothing about race, color, creed, sexual orientation.

“You all joined for a reason: to serve,” he continued. “To protect our nation, right?”

“Yes, sergeant major,” Marines replied.

“How dare we, then, exclude a group of people who want to do the same thing you do right now, something that is honorable and noble?” Sgt. Maj. Barrett continued, raising his voice just a notch. “Right?”

Sgt. Maj. Barrett then described conversations with U.K. troops, who saw a similar ban lifted a decade ago, with little disruption. And to drive the point home, he produced a pocket copy of the Constitution.

“Get over it,” he said. “We’re magnificent, we’re going to continue to be. … Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines.”

Emphasis added.

FROM THE COMMENTS:  ILoveCapitalism offers:

What’s important is that the military preserve its high performance and no-nonsense attitude by applying a uniform code of conduct to punish those individual gays – or straights, whomever – who do undertake actions that disrupt morale and unit cohesion.


Rumsfeld: Time to let gays serve openly in the military

Look at the things you miss on a busy weekend when you take a nephew to Disneyland.

One of former President George W. Bush’s top military advisers joins his friend, the most pro-gay Vice President in U.S. history,in coming out in support of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell (DADT) repeal:

Former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who served at the Pentagon under two Republican presidents, says the “time has come” time for gays and lesbians to serve openly in the US military.

Two months after President Obama signed a law that will lead to the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Rumsfeld told ABC News Radio that the nation is ready for open service.

“First of all, we know that gays and lesbians have been serving in the military for decades with honorable service,” Rumsfeld said.  “We know that [repeal of a ban on gays serving openly] is an idea whose time has come.”

Rumsfeld says he has “enormous respect” for the ground commanders and service chiefs who have expressed concerns about the impact of gays serving openly on unit cohesion, and he urged the top brass to implement the new law “with care.”

Pretty much summarizes my view.  Kudos, Mr. Secretary.   Just wish you had pushed repeal when you were in office.  (But, then again, maybe he did and that’ll come out in his book.)

McCain Vows to Make DADT Work

Now that Congress has repealed Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell (DADT), seems that John McCain has changed his tune a bit, vowing to make repeal work:

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Thursday he would work to help implement the repeal of the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, despite his opposition to that legislation.

McCain signaled he had made peace with the lame-duck bill to do away with the military’s ban on openly gay and lesbian service members, which he had sharply criticized.

“I think I have to do everything I can to make sure that the impact on the morale, retention, recruitment and battle effectiveness of the military is minimized as much as possible,” McCain said on Fox Business. “It is a law and I have to do whatever I can to help the men and women who are serving, particularly in combat, cope with this new situation. I will do everything I can to make it work.”

Well, maybe he hasn’t changed his tune, but has instead resigned himself to its passage.  And because of his high regard for the military, he realizes that for the sake of our armed forces, it must be made to work.

Where will the gays Democrats go after they get what they want?

Comes interesting news this week that an internal Democratic poll shows strong support for President Obama among gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and the transgendered. Of note, this poll was done before the repeal of DADT last month.

Some serious concerns about the interpretation of this poll. First of all, the poll was released only to the Huffington Post blog and only “on the condition that the full survey not be published.” Whenever a) the internals of a poll are not released and b) the results are sent only to a partisan publication for dissemination, it’s clear an agenda is being advanced by the numbers, that might not be borne out by the actual findings.

What’s more, in such an instance, plenty of questions arise: 64% either “approved” or “strongly approved”. So was that 10% “strongly” and 54% simply approving? Perhaps that’s splitting hairs, but it’s still significant. That the original results aren’t released suggests the depth of support might not be as impressive as its breadth. Another question: Where are these folks? There are no comparable approve/disapprove numbers from the same poll to indicate this demographic is any more supportive of Obama than the population (from which the respondents were separated as being “LGBT”) overall. Point being, poll gays and lesbians in San Francisco, you’ll likely find the same level of overwhelming support for Teh One as you would from that city’s overall population. Bottom line, this poll leaves many more questions than answers, if you’re willing to ask them.

But one great thing it does is offer up once again the opportunity to discuss the following thesis:

As more “gay” issues are settled by democratic means (as opposed to court mandates and decrees), and are therefore taken off the table, do you suppose gays and lesbians will begin to concern themselves with more important issues like the economy and national defense when it comes to picking their representatives? When HRC, Equality Matters and the slew of other left-wing advocacy groups don’t have things like DADT, ENDA, and marriage to flail about, do you think gays and lesbians will start to vote on more universal issues, and therefore gravitate more toward those who share American values of small government, low taxes, individual liberty, and a strong national defense?

To expand on the point to which Dan alludes directly below, the caricature of conservatives being ogres who simply hate gays and want to keep us all down and “would send us all to an island if they had their way” may be useful in this (and previous) day and age when some are still so animated about certain “rights”. But take away those “struggles”, and who would you vote for?

-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from TML)

Palin Silent on DADT Repeal

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 9:09 am - January 4, 2011.
Filed under: DADT (Don't Ask, Don't Tell),GOProud,Sarah Palin

This morning, a piece on GOProud’s web-site reminded me of something a reader told me our LA dinner last month.  Sarah Palin who loves to use Twitter and Facebook to comment on the events of the days was silent on an issue about which everyone was then buzzing:  repeal of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell (DADT).

This silence doesn’t fit with the media image of a Palin as a socially conservative anti-gay demoness eager to keep gay people in the closets and lesbians at the loom.

Our good friends at GOProud report that the former Alaska Governor re-tweeted a Gay-Friendly, Anti-DADT Comment:

New York Magazine has this great post about a Twitter tweet sent by conservative radio talk show host and GOProud Advisory Council Chair Tammy Bruce.  Bruce’s comment was re-tweeted by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

Read the whole thing.

Military Will Quickly Adapt to DADT Repeal

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 7:36 pm - December 21, 2010.
Filed under: Blogging,DADT (Don't Ask, Don't Tell),Military

I haven’t been in much of a mood to blog lately, perhaps it’s the let-down from finishing my Ph.D, perhaps the rain has made me pensive (in the reflective, not melancholy connotation of the word).  (Or perhaps, it’s just wanting to crack the stack of books unrelated to my dissertation that has accumulated.)

Just a few moments ago, via Michelle Malkin‘s Buzzworthy, I caught Cassy Fiano‘s most excellent piece on the repeal of DADT.

Unlike yours truly, she did not favor repeal, but castigates those who contend it will destroy our armed forces:

Why is it so unbelievable that the military would be able to figure out the best way to implement homosexuals serving openly? As the wife of a Marine, I find it deeply insulting to our men and women currently serving with honor to suggest that the mere addition of gay men and women will somehow make our entire military crumble. Understand this: the vast majority of heroes in uniform are better than that. The few that are not won’t last. . . .

Our troops have overcome much worse than the repeal of DADT, and given time, they’ll adapt and overcome this too. It’s too bad that we can’t have the faith in them that they have earned, and so richly deserve.

Read the whole thing.  I mean that.  Just read the whole thing.  (Did someone nominate her for Grande Conservative Blogress Diva?)

Linking and commenting on my AOL piece, Bruce Kesler, another opponent of repeal, alerts us to Max Boot’s must-read reflection on repeal, DADT Will Soon Be a Non-Event:

In a year’s time, I predict, the lifting of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy to allow gays to serve openly in the military will have become a non-event. The military will adjust, as it always does, sooner or later, to social trends. The military rules that now govern relations between men and women will be extended to gays. There will undoubtedly be issues of sexual harassment and sexual relations and sexual tensions to handle — just as there are today. But handle them the military will.

Again, read the whole thing.  It’s short.  Both writers, like the bloggers here, have strong respect for our military.  The men and women who can confront terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan can accommodate gays in their ranks.

What Next for Gays After DADT Repeal?

In the wake of Senate passage of DADT, the folks at AOL asked me to write a piece on what’s next for gays.  In my piece, I looked at the process of repeal and the prospects for gay influence in the 112th Congress:

Despite all the hullabaloo over Senate passage of legislation repealing the Clinton-era “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy barring gays from serving openly in the U.S. armed forces, gay men and lesbians will still have to wait a bit before being able to serve openly, to say nothing of making progress on other legislative fronts.

After President Obama signs the legislation,” reports AP national security writer Robert Burns, “the Pentagon must still certify to Congress that the change won’t damage combat readiness.” That provision likely secured the support of the two most junior Republicans in the Senate, Massachusetts’ Scott Brown and Illinois’ Mark Kirk, both men with a record of military service.

But this has many wondering how the armed forces will proceed with implementing the policy.

You can read the rest here.

DADT Repeal Strengthens Commander’s Hands?

In an earlier thread, a reader brings up a legitimate beef regarding the treatment of gay and lesbian servicemembers in a post-DADT world. His concern stems from a situation that happened when he was on active duty in the Navy:

It’s been my experience observing Gay sailors when I was in the Navy, that they’re perfectly fine when they’re sober. When they get drunk, they let it all hang out.

One guy [presumably* one of these gay sailors] on our ship got wasted, and decided to suck off some guy who was sleeping in his bunk. Needless to say, when the guy woke up he was rather upset. Created a huge stir on our ship for weeks.

But because of PC attitudes, even way back in the early 1980s, the Gay guy only got a slap on the wrist.

Now, I can’t speak for the commentor’s leaders, but I will say that military commanders (especially aboard a ship) normally exercise a great deal of latitude in dealing with issues of conduct within their units. Sometimes, however, their hands are tied.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell would certainly have tied the hands of this commander given this incident. Again, I can’t speak for the commander’s decision, or the whole scenario, but it’s altogether possible that something other than “PC attitudes” was behind his choice to only give “a slap on the wrist” to the offending sailor.

LA Dinner, Tues. 12/21; Quick Note on DADT Repeal

First,  let me thank Nick for coming back to blogging at exactly the right time (almost in the same way Athene appears to the various Greek heroes–at the right time with the right tool or counsel).  I’ve been in a kind of reflective mood this weekend and have not had much energy to blog, so very much appreciate Nick’s various posts on DADT repeal.

I will shortly offer some thoughts to offer on who really shone in the movement for repeal.  For now, I’ll just single out Aubrey Sarvis of Service Members Legal Defense Network (SLDN) for reasons I articulated in this post:  unlike leaders of other gay organizations in the nation’s capital, he, even in the heyday of Obama’s Washington, was reaching out to Republicans.  I believe that it is in large part due to those efforts that eight Republicans backed repeal, including the two most junior Republicans in the Senate.

Without Republican votes — and without the active involvement of Maine Republican Susan Collins, repeal would not have happened.

Just a quick note that our LA dinner with be this Tuesday, December 21.  After fixing the date, I realized that it is the same date as Scott Schmidt’s campaign kickoff at Eleven, 8811 Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood.  So, I’ll push back our start time until 7:30 to accommodate those who want to attend Scott’s event and those who want to avoid rush-hour traffic.

If I haven’t already given you the details, please drop me a note and I will.

DADT Repeal May Usher In A Colorblind Society

One of the best arguments I’ve heard against the repeal of DADT (which, as we say in the business is now OBE) is that it will lead to a new level of mamby-pambyness vis-a-vis gay troops demanding they be treated “fairly”. Often as we’ve noticed, when any “rights” group is looking for “fairness” it’s often simply code for “special rights”.

For the majority (based on my experience) of gay troops, our lives will likely not change much on a day-to-day basis. I, for one, am not planning to “come out” to anybody save a few close friends where I work. I’m expecting, in fact, that they likely know about me anyway. (After all, such a devilishly handsome man with so much going for him my age not married? He must be gay! Har har, but anyway…) Inasmuch, I don’t expect most gay troops will be demanding anything much more than simply not getting kicked out if we forget to use the gender-neutral pronouns when speaking of our dates.

This is not to say there won’t be a few (which will likely seem like much more than a few) flamboyantly unprofessional troops whose conduct will surely be seen as unbecoming and hopefully will be counseled right away. That will be a touchy subject I’ll save for another post.

For now let’s talk about “special rights”.

Many have argued this is a stepping-stone to a larger “gay rights” agenda. I’ve never seen it as such, and I regret that there will definitely be many gay “rights” champions who will misuse this to further their own agenda (much as those opposed to gay “rights” will also use it to further their agenda). They have no concern necessarily about the defense of the Nation nor about the military. We are a tool for them to use and they should be ashamed, if they knew any such thing as shame in the first place.

There’s another thing that I think might come of this which would be a good sign. Check out this quote from the DoD’s report on the repeal of DADT:

We do not recommend that sexual orientation be placed alongside race, color, religion, sex, and national origin, as a class eligible for various diversity programs, tracking initiatives, and complaint resolution processes under the Military Equal Opportunity Program. We believe that doing so could produce a sense, rightly or wrongly, that gay men and lesbians are being elevated to a special status as a “protected class” and will receive special treatment. In a new environment in which gay and lesbian Service members can be open about their sexual orientation, we believe they will be accepted more readily if the military community understands that they are simply being permitted equal footing with everyone else.

(emphasis added)

This is a sentiment I (as most libertarian conservatives) have long espoused: Equal treatment, not special treatment. Which leads to the next logical question: Why should “race, color, religion, sex, and national origin” be the basis for special treatment either? If gays and lesbians “will be accepted more readily” if not treated differently, wouldn’t that also be the same for members of these other groups? What an interesting outcome of this whole episode if the entire concept of “special” categories of troops went by the way-side?

For all the talk (and legitimate, I might add) of “unintended consequences” surrounding the repeal of DADT, what a happy accident it would be if, by virtue of this new policy change, we had to rethink how we treated everybody. Because if there’s no good reason to treat gays and lesbians as “diversity programs” (and there isn’t), then why do we need them in the first place? This could be a whole new chapter in respecting each other as individuals and as part of a larger team rather than the social balkanization the Left so often loves to use to drive us apart.

-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from TML)

Reflections on DADT’s Repeal

Today truly is an historic day for the military. As Dan posted earlier this morning, cloture was reached on a bill sponsored by hawk Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Susan Collins (R-ME) (<--notice no "D" in there) and minutes ago the full Senate voted 65-31 to enact the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010". I'm very pleased for a few reasons: First of all, this happened fairly. While there's an argument that this was thrust into the waning (and flailing) moments of a lame-duck session of the legislature, given the way the vote came down, it would likely have passed in the next Congress anyway, save for the leadership's likely reluctance to bring it to a vote in the first place. In that sense, there's a bit more democracy going on here in that the majority who would vote for it actually did get a chance to have the vote today that they probably wouldn’t have gotten in the 112th Congress next year.

Another aspect of fairness is that it passed on a stand-alone basis, not tucked into the Defense Authorization Bill as Harry Reid had tried to do earlier. By tying such a monumental act to an authorization bill that must be passed every year, Sen. Reid displayed his typical underhandedness and craven lack of integrity that in the end turned out to not even be necessary. That this vote was on its own bill shows the type of transparent and out-in-the-open nature of government that the Tea Parties were trying to achieve. It’s a shame that it came only after Sen. Reid’s back-room bargaining failed. In the end, though, baby-steps…

Third, I cannot express how grateful I am that this didn’t happen at the rap of a judge’s gavel. Nothing could have been more destructive than had our military been forced to make this change not because our commanders had been directed to do so by our elected civilian leaders, but by judicial fiat. Simply put, the judicial branch is not (despite this Administration’s obsession with trying our enemies in civilian courts) charged with, nor does it have the temperament for, taking on the responsibility of national security. While all would agree that the policy is discriminatory, that in and of itself is a very very poor reason to make such a huge change to policy. For example, the ADA doesn’t quite apply to the military, now, does it? On the other hand, give me a truly national-defense reason for considering applying it so, and I (and all military commanders) will be all ears.

Also, while the actual voting seemed to come up quickly, this action was actually very soberly taken and with great deliberation and thought. When the DoD commissioned a survey and the Secretary of Defense implored Congress to wait until that survey’s results and the larger study’s recommendations could be made on how to implement repeal, many looked at the calendar (after the election in which everybody knew the Democrats would lose much power) and sighed. However, patience has paid off and many minds (including those of some Senators’) were changed as a result of the study. Serious thought and concern for our military and the impacts of this action led many of our civilian leaders to support this repeal. Had the activists at HRC (and, yes, LCR also) had their way, this would have been rammed through this summer or fall before the study was made public. The result would have been certain defeat as the effort would have been seen as what it would have been: Another attempt to once again rush through legislation before we’ve had a chance to come up for air and think (and talk) it over.

Finally, and most consequentially, I’m pleased for our Nation. As I’ve stated many times in the past, DADT is a policy that puts our national security at risk. Forget all the whining and pleas about how “unfair” and “bigoted” the policy is. Set aside the childish theatrics of chaining oneself to the White House gate in order to stand up for your “rights” (which, apparently to some, include service in the military for some reason). And let go of the false premise that the policy either drummed out an inordinate number of troops or otherwise dissuaded so many from enlistment in the first place (both are extremely broad generalizations that don’t stand up to statistical rigor). After this repeal is implemented and gay men and women are allowed to openly serve, as I’ve mentioned before, those with security clearances will no longer be blackmailable (for being homosexual, that is) and therefore no longer pose that threat to national security.

As I’ve maintained from the beginning of this debate, the real reason for repeal of this policy should be rooted in national security. While I regret that, even up to the end (as I watched speeches on C-SPAN2), that argument was rarely raised, and when so, was poorly made, the end result will be that national security is strengthened. In these days of Wikileaks and our lowest-ranking members having access to our highest-priority information, removing this security risk is vital.

I’ve got some more thoughts on this, and I’ll be writing a lot this weekend and over the next few weeks as the policy is hashed out in practical terms. But for now, let’s enjoy the knowledge that our nation will be that much more safe as this security threat will soon be removed.

-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from TML)

Before this all goes down…

Posted by ColoradoPatriot at 2:23 pm - December 18, 2010.
Filed under: DADT (Don't Ask, Don't Tell)

There will surely be many words written here and in other places—many by yours truly—about today’s repeal of DADT. Before the deluge, please allow me to indulge this:

I thank God for the gay men and women who have been serving during (and even before) DADT in spite of it. While many gay activists have been on the sidelines carping about “rights” and “integrity” and “honor”, these brave men and women put their Nation before themselves and sacrificed as their colleagues never had to. They were called by service and answered in a way that speaks volumes about their dedication to the mission of the military. They chose to serve even as doing so meant keeping such a big part of themselves under wraps.

They were infantilized, pitied, and even demeaned by their supposed “supporters” for having consciously put their nation ahead of their own desires and identities. Many of them will continue to serve silently and with great dignity. I am humbled to have served with them.

I welcome into our ranks those openly gay men and women who will now choose to join the military, but I will forever be honored to have served next to those who answered the call without requiring their own terms as a prerequisite for their service.

-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from TML)