Thursday, February 25, 2010

Don't Ask Don't Tell, Pt.2

Posted By on Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 2:28 PM

I need to follow up on yesterday’s post about Democrats stalling on repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Some reactions to the DADT issue are – let’s be generous here — flawed, especially the argument that Obama needs to be sure he has the military honchos on his side before repealing DADT. That’s pure nonsense. In America and other advanced nations, the military answers to civilian authority, not the other way around. It's one of the reasons our system is better than some tinhorn oligarchy like Burma.

In 1948, when Pres. Truman integrated the armed forces, he faced opposition from famous World War 2 general Omar Bradley, who said Truman was wrong and that it wasn’t the business of the military to engage in “social experiments.” Truman, who, unlike Obama, was willing to use the power of the presidency, said he realized one day that “Since I’m the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, I could just deliver an executive order.” Which is what he did. Yep, that’s how the military was integrated: the President told them to do it. Period. No stroking of special interests, no kowtowing to bigots, just straight-ahead decisiveness.

Like we said yesterday, Dick Cheney — Dick Cheney! — is for repealing DADT. How far into la-la land do you have to be to place yourself to the right of *that guy? The fact of the matter today is that untold (literally) numbers of gays and lesbians are currently serving in the military, and, overall, the present generation of soldiers simply isn’t as biased against gays as the most vocal opponents of DADT repeal. In a very real sense, repealing DADT is basically a matter of the government catching up to the country’s changing views. In times like these, let those with archaic, bigoted views have their say, then let them know they need to get out of the way.

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