• Gay BlogAds

  • Gay News Watch

  • Chris Tweets

  • « Question Time for the President? | Main | We are the uniter, not the divider »

    February 04, 2010

    Do not adjust your dial

    Posted by: Chris

    What must viewers of Fox News thought two nights ago when the panel of usual suspects were unanimous in agreeing with President Obama's call to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell to allow gays to serve openly in the mlitary?

    Said Charles Krauthammer, the curmudgeonly, neoconservative WaPo columnist:

    I think it is a good idea, and I think the administration's approach, which is a gradual approach, is the right one, which is to study how to do it over a year and then to implement it over years.

    Remember when the armed forces were racially integrated in '48, it was over five years. Now, I don't think that these are equivalent entities, but in terms of adaptation, I think you're going to want a period of time. But look, the mores in the country have changed, certainly in the last 16 years, and certainly among the young. I think it's a form of discrimination that's sort of outlived itself.

    The British and Australian and Canadians, who have serious armies, have already done this. I think we ought to study how it should be done in the most reasonable way, but I think it's a good idea to get it under way and get it started.

    Proclaiming himself a libertarian, Stephen Hayes of the conservative Weekly Standard, chimed in:

    I also think personally that this is a policy that's outlived its usefulness. I don't think there is a reason a proud, patriotic gay or lesbian American shouldn't be able to serve, shouldn't be able to choose to put his or her life at risk in order to defend the country.

    Bill oreilly margaret hoover gays in the military dont ask dont tell And this was Margaret Hoover, great-granddaughter of the iconic Republic president, agreeing with both Bill O'Reilly and a second Fox News blonde on the question:

    O'REILLY: Does anybody care about "don't ask, don't tell" anymore, do you think?

    HOOVER: Wow. I'm so psyched you just phrased it that way. When you have Australia, the United Kingdom and Israel all allowing gays to serve openly in their military, I think you're right. I think that the issue has been acculturated so differently with folks in my generation as opposed to in 1960s when my dad enlisted in the Army.

    CHERYL CASONE (Fox Business anchor): But these are people -- these are people that are willing to protect me, stop terrorists from coming into my backyard and coming after me. And you're going to kick them out because they say they're gay? Give me a break.

    HOOVER: Yes. And translating Arabic, by the way. The one dearth we have is people who actually speak Arabic, and you're kicking out Arabic translators.[retrieved from the Nexis database]

    With the top Pentagon brass, and three former Joint Chiefs chairman including Colin Powell on board, just how much cover do congressional Republicans need?



    TrackBack URL for this entry:


    1. Amicus on Feb 4, 2010 8:46:40 PM:

      Just a heads up, from someone who can't help but listen back.

      Gay military couples/families - gay adultery is conduct unbecoming?

      HR1283 - silent on the issue. SLDN website - I didn't see a single reference to UCMJ on their website. In fact, just reading that bill one can see why some see the whole effort as ignorant of military traditions and a giant leftwing conspiracy against them and an imposition to lead social change.

      I don't want to make an issue before one is raised by the opposition, but in 1993 everyone was told that ending the policy was just a matter of an XO and what a surprise that turned out to be for the President, who may have been led to believe the same.

      Perhaps, just a pause to have *one* set of answers ready, maybe, so this President doesn't get hung out to dry over his 'promises', too much.

      I also suspect it would be better to lead with a proposal than wait for the issue to come.

      Does Article 125 go out completely? Oral sex, same-sex or not? J/O with your nongay buddies - protected behavior? I can think of some others circumstances, too.

    1. Rance on Feb 4, 2010 11:01:23 PM:

      How much cover do the Congressional Republicans need? Well a better question would be "How much cover do the Congressional Democrats need?". Apparently much more than they have now. They are doing absolutely nothing on this in 2010. And 2011 will see many of them going home.

    1. Chris on Feb 5, 2010 1:41:43 AM:

      @Amicus: It's a fair question but not one I think will wind up being central to the debate. I'm sure the UCMJ rules on adultery and sodomy will be among those issues taken up by the Pentagon "special investigation" Gates announced this week. I think most legal observers would agree that the Lawrence vs. Texas ruling rendered obsolete both types of laws, certainly in the private sector but also within the military. The short "answer" we ought to give those who raise such sex regulations is as an issue that whatever rules we adopt ought to adhere to the Constitution and ought to apply equally to gay and straight servicemembers.

      @Rance: Not sure how you can even write that after the events of this week. Dems ought to act, yes, but there are plenty of moderate Republicans who could absolutely ensure easy passage of DADT repeal (and other gay rights measures) if they would only speak out and vote on our behalf.

    1. Amicus on Feb 5, 2010 10:34:03 AM:


      I was just posting elsewhere that I'm guessing that the debate this time is not going to center on unit cohesion, even though they will play it for what last measure it is worth. I'm guessing it is going to be about partner benefits, DOMA, and personal conduct issues - and using the military to "experiment' on those topics.

      Ollie North was already out talking about barracks for polygamous or polyamorous partners on FOX (whatever he said). If you look up the section of the code 10 USC 654, 'homosexual act' is defined in law, but that doesn't do a PL much good. Also, the model legislation from SLDN/Pat Murphy "endorses" 'bi-sexuality' in law. Not for nothing, but WTF. We're talking the military, here.

      All of these issues are real and I think it would be a mistake to trust the Gates review on them - although I have a great deal of confidence in Gates. However, he is just as likely to give the military too much leeway in implementation, possibly suggesting that DADT remain in place, 'for a while yet'.

      The vets groups have to get together and come up with a model set of conduct rules and maybe how/what they can compromise on, in terms of benefits, otherwise this is going to be a free-fire zone and we're going down, again.

    1. Amicus on Feb 5, 2010 11:26:37 AM:

      Actually, I should take care not to confuse the debate and the legislation (at least the house bill).

      I believe that no benefits are sought in the pending legislation that might be interpreted to be outside what is proscribed by DOMA.

      Of course, that doesn't mean it cannot be introduced in the popular debate.

    1. Amicus on Feb 5, 2010 11:36:27 AM:

      And here's the North transcript - apparently it hasn't gotten as far as I'd heard. Nambla, marriages, and chaplains...

    1. Rance on Feb 7, 2010 1:42:41 PM:

      How could I possibly disparage the Democrats? Well there have been over 600 discharges since Obama was sworn in as president. So I am sorry but I do not share your unbridled enthusiasm for the Dems.

      And what have the Dems done this past week? They had hearings, yes. But they have put this on the one-year "study" track. When Obama and Congress put a hold on discharges I will be more encouraged. Have they done that yet? Perhaps I am too negative? Have they done that? Please advise.

    1. Chris on Feb 11, 2010 12:27:56 PM:

      @Amicus: I wonder about the partner benefits/DOMA issue. Strikes me as an opportunity more than a threat. It may well be that Congress will pass DP benefits for gay service members as part of DADT repeal; such benefits are even less controversial in the private sector, given their wide availability. The hangup might well be DP benefits for unmarried heterosexuals; something that I hate to see tacked on to gay DP benefits, considering they can marry and we can't. DOMA strikes me as an issue only because allowing out gay service members means we will have some soldiers and sailors married to same-sex spouses (military and civilian). The Pentagon review will undoubtedly hit that speed bump, but the easy solution will be to follow whatever rules the rest of the federal government does on recognition of gay marriages (i.e., nada until DOMA is separately repealed).

      As for Ollie North, the more he prattles on about polygamous marriages, the better off we are. That canard hasn't worked for years. Remember it was child-baiting (gay marriage force-taught in schools) and the yuck factor that won the day on Prop 8 -- both issues pushed ironically by the post-polygamous Mormon Church.

    1. Chris on Feb 11, 2010 12:28:10 PM:

      @Rance: If you think my enthusiasm for Dems is unbridled, then you obviously don't read this blog. Take five minutes and randomly click on some more posts and I think you'll see that's not the case. But it is every bit as simplistic to solely blame Congressional Democrats for not repealing DADT as it is to blame Congressional Republicans for obstructing (or failing to act for the many years they controlled Washington). The truth is gray, my friend, and only by pushing both parties -- and dismissing neither -- will we move the ball forward.

    1. Amicus on Feb 14, 2010 5:57:38 PM:

      Chris, housing for couples is a big deal inside the military and extending them could create friction if it isn't handled well. (There is a great fear of fraud, that is not unfounded, if I recall correct, as well as some of the typical fears). Health benefits could be considered a big deal for civilian partners, because they are so generous; and a big deal inside the military, because the current system is under capacity strain. Survivor benefits cannot be easily overlooked. There are a lot of other benefits, like detachment pay, etc.

      As advocates, I can't conscience leaving anything to the Pentagon study - since when do we turn over our lives for others to define. If there is a range of benefits that are doable, it should be advanced. Otherwise, when the policy is "announced", it's going to come off like a sad day, rahter than a glad day.

      Obama's recent XO on benefits for Federal employees did not include health care...

    1. cheap ugg boots on Nov 22, 2010 3:38:00 AM:

      If you missed last week's at times remarkable exchange, I strongly encourage you to view the video below. As someone strongly sympathetic to the president, I thought he made mincemeat of his critics, but whatever your politics, the largely respectful and meaningful exchange is the type that has been so sorely lacking in Washington for years now.

    1. cheap uggs boots on Nov 29, 2010 2:38:17 AM:

      Moreover, as the prop 8 trial has showed for anyone following it via the liveblogs, I'm inclined to agree with their expert witness that gays are politically powerless.

    The comments to this entry are closed.

    © Citizen Crain - All Rights Reserved | Design by E.Webscapes Design Studio | Powered by: TypePad