Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Don't Ask Policy Fatally Wounded

OK, no pun intended, but I blew it. I can mealy-mouth it a bit and say my premise that President Obama was weak in his passing and faint call for Congress to end don't-ask-don't-tell may have been accurate, but I can't deny that this train is ready to leave the station.

Thanks, Mr. O.

Yesterday, two big old brass hats called for the overturn of the inefficient and vindictive policy. Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen said, "Speaking for myself and myself only, it is my personal belief that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly would be the right thing to do." Of course, in military and political parlance rank is rank. He wasn't just speaking for himself.

Mullen's commanding officer, the President, had said what he wanted. Mullen is now right there on record. Moreover, Defense Secretary Robert Gates followed him with a similar call for a repeal of DADT.

There opposition here is not so much the old boys, rather the alter kaker crowd. No one more epitomizes it than the still anti-gay Sen. John McCain. Even yesterday, his talking head was parsing his irrational resistance to the obvious, to fairness and to decency. Trying to align his previous statements that when the Pentagon calls for repeal, the Senate should immediately consider it, Spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan said, as the WAPO put it, "Mullen said repeatedly that he was speaking for himself and not for the military, and she dismissed Gates's testimony because he was expressing the Obama administration's line."

The old snarler himself said the testimony "disappointed" him. "At this moment of immense hardship for our armed services, we should not be seeking to overturn the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy," he said bluntly, before describing it as "imperfect but effective." To those on planet Earth, of course, this just the time, when we have been bleeding highly qualified interpreters, soldiers and officers. And as Obama and is military minions have noted, it's the right thing to do...civil rights, fairness, equality and all that.

Today's New York Times lead editorial on the subject dismisses each of the the alter kaker objections. It states simply, "Their action leaves no further excuse for Republican lawmakers to go on supporting this discrimination."

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