October 11, 2009

Obama on Don't Ask Don't Tell: "Do not doubt the direction we are heading and the destination we will reach."

Don't think that just because you elected the man who promised he'd give you want you want, you're going to get it right away. You'll get it some time. Your goal is out there in the future. We're heading toward it. We'll get there someday.

People who loved Obama The Candidate now have to face up to the fact that they elected Obama The Candidate, the Eternal Candidate. You might want him to wake up and know that now he is the President, but Obama The Candidate, Obama The Candidate... we thought that was so wonderful, and he would like you to please think it's still wonderful now?

I remember 40 years ago, when we had Richard Nixon for our President and he couldn't stop saying "I am the President." It was a ridiculous verbal quirk of his. Quite annoying. We knew he was the President. Did he have to keep rubbing it in? Did he think he could get more power by asserting that he was the guy with the most power? But we sure knew he knew he had the power.

Barack Obama is the opposite of Nixon. We feel like we need to keep saying to him: You are the President. He's not some random well-meaning good guy who's on our side. He has the power. He'd better be careful what he uses it for, but it's getting pretty annoying listening to him pretend that he's standing alongside of us observing the unfolding of history.

78 comments:

Pogo said...

Despite ACORN and Rezko and Rahm and the SEIU, I am not a crook.

michael farris said...

Obama does not do. Obama receives. The only way for DADT to be removed is to conceive of it as some kind of reward for his Awardedness.

Maguro said...

"Do not doubt the direction we are heading and the destination we will reach".

In other words...stay the course.

miller said...

I feel so Hope-y Change-y!

Michael Hasenstab said...

Lucy is holding that football and Charlie Brown is set to give it a good kick. Again.

_______

If I might suggest, Mr. President, perhaps it would be a good plan to first give the military what it needs in Afghanistan, and then fix DADT.

john said...

"Obama is Like Nixon."

How can that be? No one I know voted for Obama.

Flexo said...

We feel like we need to keep saying to him: You are the President.

Mr. "I won" knows full well that he is the president, at least when he is shoving things down the throat of the half of the country that did not vote for him. The guy who says he is willing to talk and compromise (but only so long as we end up doing it his way) and who says he wants bi-partisanship (which means Republicans caving in).

If the guy thinks that he is The One, and just a few days ago he was anointed as the Prince of Peace, he surely knows that he is, at the very least, president.

former law student said...

Teddy Roosevelt believed "speak softly and carry a big stick" to be a West African proverb.

http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/treasures/images/at0052as.jpg

give the military what it needs in Afghanistan

What does the military need?

Truman had the courage not to give the military free rein.

AllenS said...

The presidency appears to be above his pay grade.

danielle said...

Obama is not pretending to be Obama the Candidate, he is being the Obama the President in a govt w/ 3 co-equal branches, and in a real politic where there are constraints and tradeoffs, some of which are political. I'm impatient as well, but its disingenuous to blame the president instead of doing more effective things like pressing your congressmen and senators and working to help change the minds of your fellow citizens.

If your complaint is that pushing this through is not a high enough priority, then I'd ask you to think more realistically about what this country is currently facing, and the passion that this issues stirs on both sides of the argument ... and then press your congressmen.

bearbee said...

....well-meaning good guy who's on our side.

??!!!

Despite ACORN and Rezko and Rahm and the SEIU, I am not a crook.

Hope it doesn't become labeled the 'Bo speech.'

former law student said...

Don't think that just because you elected the man who promised he'd give you want you want, you're going to get it right away. You'll get it some time. Your goal is out there in the future. We're heading toward it. We'll get there someday.

Rereading this, I wonder if Althouse is suggesting she preferred the "I won" Obama. Damn the Republicans, full speed ahead!

Skyler said...

He's hold dadt hostage until he buys off the generals.

The military does not want open homosexuals in the military, for good reasons. Many may not agree, but that's their opinions, and mine.

I imagine that he's going to put a deal to his generals: If you want to win the war with the money and troops required, you have to accept homosexuals.

The generals know that winning a war is more important and will cave.

This will keep the same thing that happened to Clinton from happening to B. Hussein.

James said...

Sometimes, late at night, I have the following fantasy. in 2012, a strong Republican candidate runs against a weakened President Obama, and the Republican, after clinching the Republican nomination, comes out strongly in favor of gay rights - supporting gay marriage, repealing DADT, etc. Dismissed as empty rhetoric by the pundits (which is good, because he/she wouldn't get enough votes in the general election if they didn't), the new Republican prez shocks everyone and actually follows through on their promise, and the support of the LGBT community shifts right. If you think this could never happen, look what happened to Southern Democrats in the civil rights era.

Is this fantasy possible? Maybe not. But it's probably more realistic than my other fantasies involving me, Summer Glau and Eliza Dushku.

Skyler said...

Please forgive the typos. It's hard to type with a two year old underfoot.

Ron said...

-sniff- Nixon...I miss that bastard!

AJ Lynch said...

Sorry but DADT, DOMA, etc does not make my Top Ten list if I am president today. It astounds me that it gets so much attention.

c3 said...

What I found intriguing is his statement of intent to repeal DOMA. Why make that statement now? Why pick that fight? I can only understand it politically as a series of dominoes:
-Who would be upset by that statement? Republicans and Blue Dogs.
- In the short run, how would I be hurt by upsetting Republicans and Blue Dogs? Healthcare? Well I won't get Republican support anyway so that doesn't make a difference. Blue Dogs? As long as I don't include a public option, I'm probably ok with them.
-What about Afghanistan? Well first off, public opinion is on my side so... Republicans? Yes, I need their support but if I push for less than the 40,000 are they really going to vote against me? Blue Dogs? ditto
-So how does speaking against DOMA help? Who likes that? Liberal democrats like that and I need to sell them on Healthcare reform without a public option. So I need to wine and dine them before I ________ them. (And they all know I REALLY wanted a public option, not mention single payer)
- BOTTOM LINE: I have to get Healthcare reform. That would negate all of the doubters, negate the SNL skits etc.

Seneca the Younger said...

The military does not want open homosexuals in the military, for good reasons. Many may not agree, but that's their opinions, and mine.

Skyler, I'm an old guy. I remember when the military didn't like black people in the military, for fear it would cause dissension, interfere with unit cohesion, and so forth.

Seneca the Younger said...

Why make that statement now? Why pick that fight?

Because he knows it's not something he can actually do. Pelosi and Reid have already said that ain't coming to the floor anytime soon. So he gets credit for his intentions without having to actually act on it.

Peter V. Bella said...

Obama on Don't Ask Don't Tell: "Do not doubt the direction we are heading and the destination we will reach."


Jeez Louise! No wonder the guy is so popular, especially with the generation entitlement set of young people. He paraphrases Dr. Seuss. Man oh man. He sure got a great edjumacation at them there Ivy League schools. Dr. Seuss 101. Does that there Harvard have a Dr. Seuss legal writing course too?

AllenS said...

Seneca tell me when "the military didn't like black people in the military". Any certain years when this happened?

Peter V. Bella said...

"So he gets credit for his intentions without having to actually act on it."

Just like the Nobel Peace Prize!!!!

PatCA said...

"Do not doubt...."

Do not lose any sleep waiting for it, either.

Peter V. Bella said...

Obama: "I am gong to do this, that, and the other thing. I am going to bring about change and give you hope. I am going to end this and start that. As soon as President Pelosi gives me permission. First I have to ask her to go to the bathroom."

ricpic said...

All this tripe about Obama the ineffective. He knows exactly where he's taking us and he's taking us there with lightning speed. The destination is socialist prison -- if you're not one of the elect.

rcocean said...

Althouse: He's a uniter, not a divider.

L. E. Lee said...

The Althouse Hillbillies spend about 65% of their time calling President Obama a communist radical and the other 35% claiming he is an unprincipled sell out. Crazy Althouse Hillbillies.

miller said...

You, on the other hand, spend 100% of your time calling everyone Althouse Hillbillies. Are you saying you are better because you are predictably boring and uninsightful?

edutcher said...

"Everything Obama says has an expiration date"

- Rush Limbaugh

This is no different from closing Guantanamo or pulling out of Iraq.

Joe said...

Obama has never stuck his neck out for anything. Bush did, Clinton did, even Carter did, but not Obama. He plays everything absurdly safe.

(I'm also bemused by liberals now correctly pointing out that it is Congress that passes laws, though I don't suppose that will affect their claims that Bush was some sort of extra constitutional political magician.)

tjl said...

"the support of the LGBT community shifts right. If you think this could never happen, look what happened to Southern Democrats in the civil rights era."

A glance at gay websites this morning shows pretty widespread dismissal of O's speech as just more vacuous posturing. The LGBT community will most likely never shift right but it's certainly fallen out of love with the One. (Except for Andrew Sullivan who's still lovesick).

Bissage said...

Do not doubt the direction we are heading and the destination we will reach.

The good news is the Hebrews eventually reached the land flowing with milk and honey. Then they got to kick back and take it easy, and they never had to worry about anything ever again.

Dark Eden said...

So am I wrong to interpret this as him saying to me, "Don't worry you dirty fags and dykes, we'll get around to your petty little issues some day so just shut up about it and do what we tell you now."

Der Hahn said...

danielle said...
Obama is not pretending to be Obama the Candidate, he is being the Obama the President in a govt w/ 3 co-equal branches, and in a real politic where there are constraints and tradeoffs, some of which are political.


danielle, in case you fell asleep some time before Nov 1, 2008 and have only recently awakened, let me pass on some information.

Obama, a Democrat, is President.

Sixty of the one hundred Senators are Democrats.

Two hundred fifty-six of the four hundred thirty-five Representatives are Democrats.

Ending DADT is part of the Democrat party platform.

raf said...

Obama needs to keep something to be elected for in '12. If he actually fulfills all his minor promises (which are the most important things to the niche groups that make up a large piece of his coalition)he won't have anything left to promise them. The most important objective is reelection.

wv: econst. The more easily amended -- er, updated -- on-line version.

Jeremy said...

"Don't think that just because you elected the man who promised he'd give you want you want, you're going to get it right away."

And that is exactly the case.

President Obama can't do everything in his first term (or, for that matter, in the first nine months), which is what the wing nuts constantly think should be the case...or it must not be true.

*You know, like when Bush said he absolutely wouldn't get involved in "nation building." (Right)

Once the economy settles down, health care reform is passed and he gets us out of Iraq...he'll take care of DADT and he'll also yank our asses out of Afghanistan, too.

He'll have at least 7 more years as President to make sure you all eat your share of crow.

Diamondhead said...

Obama won't do anything on gay issues because his most fervent supporters tend to hate the gays. And if we're counting votes, black people are more numerous than gay people, and just as likely to get disillusioned and stay home. And all those enlightened white liberals? Meh. Where are they gonna go?

danielle said...

Oh Der Hahn, if only it was that simple .... gosh. i dont even know where to begin !

would you be surprised if I told you that democrats are not all the same ? If you dont believe me, please refer to how health care reform is going.

also problematic are the political repercussions ... giving Republicans something to use politically when there are so many things that we really need to cooperate on ... like the economy, those 2 wars ..

Dark Eden said...

President Obama can't do everything in his first term (or, for that matter, in the first nine months), which is what the wing nuts constantly think should be the case...or it must not be true.
>>>

The problem with this is the math is never going to get better on DADT. The Military is always going to oppose it and fight tooth and nail against it and eventually someone is going to have to suck it up take the hit and repeal the thing. Its something you don't need to spend $100 billion to do. All you need is the will to take the hit that will inevitably follow.

There's a lot of things like that, which Obama could have focused on, but instead he nationalized businesses to save his Union pals, spent 787 billion on goodies for left wing special interest groups.

All this would take is the will to make a decision. And Obama doesn't have that ability. What must really frost lefties is if Bush had decided that repealing DADT was a good idea, he'd do it the next day and take the hit without even hesitating, and NO ONE on the Dem side has that kind of intestinal fortitude.

AJ Lynch said...

Diamondhead - no matter what he does, I doubt Obama could lose many black voters.

Diamondhead said...

No, probably not. He could lose a few points off his approval rating? I don't know. I don't get it. He doesn't bat an eye trying to upend 1/6th of the economy but he won't lift a finger on DADT, which is a de minimus issue in the long run, and one in an area he frames as being about civil rights.

class-factotum said...

The presidency appears to be above his pay grade.

At first glance, I read this as "above his gay grade."

Alex said...

danielle - do you support unilateral nuclear disarmament?

Synova said...

"A day after the president's remarks, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., the chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said he expects the ban to be lifted, but he said it's critical that the administration have the support of military leaders."

Which won't happen. Why? Not because military leaders hate gays or even because they don't want them in the military or even because they feel that integration can't be done without destroying unit cohesion... but because it will be a hassle. People don't *volunteer* for a hassle.

"A Republican on the committee, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, agreed with Levin that support within the military is important and said such a policy decision shouldn't be based on a ''campaign pledge.''"

Ha! He's calling Obama's "campaign pledge" a vote getting scam.

"Some gay-rights advocates said they already have heard Obama's promises and now want a timeline."

As well they should. And they should be given a report about what has been done so far. Is there a committee? Is someone working out some of the kinks to present a plan? Is someone talking to military officers tasked with explaining military life and what can and can't be done for integration? Do they have (former?) service members who are gay on the task force to give input on being gay in the military?

Of course there are gays in the military. Are we going to still pretend there aren't, at least until after basic training is over? How will housing be assigned and will the military services receive funds to upgrade housing? Will there be restrictions on gay service in order to accommodate them the way there are restrictions on women?

Obama doesn't have to work on the problem *now* but he certainly has no excuse not to assign someone else to work on it.

EDH said...

I support a "don't ask, don't be a flamer" (especially in the showers) policy.

Synova said...

Skyler: "The military does not want open homosexuals in the military, for good reasons. Many may not agree, but that's their opinions, and mine."

Seneca: "Skyler, I'm an old guy. I remember when the military didn't like black people in the military, for fear it would cause dissension, interfere with unit cohesion, and so forth."

I think that the analogy of women in the military rather than blacks is more appropriate and far more equivalent.

Because it's one thing to say that we can all shower together and another to actually do it. I did basic training in a co-ed squadron... there are/were approximately 1 female for every 10 males in the military and we spent three days making beds until enough girls showed up to make a full unit.

(The Marines, last I heard, actually have a week longer boot camp for women that includes a "look female but not like a slut" make-up lessons.)

Now, there are reasons both that privacy in basic training doesn't really matter very much and also reasons that identifying as gay or lesbian in basic training would be really stupid. But it's Congress and parents that need to be convinced that "bad stuff" isn't going to happen to the "children" that enlist.

After basic there isn't any real reason not to accommodate privacy... until war happens.

People talk about unit cohesion and the truth is that the rules in place to accommodate women in the military and in war zones compromise unit cohesion. When part of a unit does not *live* with that unit it inhibits the sort of off-time problem solving and bonding that happens.

So... will or won't these same restrictions and requirements apply to gays in the military?

And is that what gay people want in order to serve openly?

Methadras said...

I love these arguments. Getting over color in the military is done pretty quick. Getting over gender in the military is still a tricky subject because of the nature of genders serving in times of peace and war. Getting over homosexuals serving in the military? That's something a little different. It's one thing to know that the guy fighting next to you will always be there for you, but it's another thing if you have to question whether the guy standing next to you may also have a thing for you. It's a distraction. Just like having women serve alongside men. It's a distraction that isn't needed and undermines concentration.

Besides, how will homosexuals distinguish themselves as serving openly? Will they were a special pin? Get a different bar on the fruit salad? Maybe inject the color pink on their rank stripes? What is it about everyone knowing you are a homosexual while you serve in the military is so appealing at this point? DADT gives homoesexuals the best of both worlds. You serve and you keep your sexual conduct private. That's what they want right? or is it something else? Because the way I see it, if you don't admit your a homosexual, then you don't get booted and the guy or gal next to you doesn't have to question your orientation. Outside of being shunned and causing all kinds of havoc, what is the real purpose of homosexuals wanting to serve openly? Otherwise, homosexuals at this point are only living up to the stereotype of being human hand grenades thrown into a crowd.

Darcy said...

If Republicans were smart tactically, they would endorse repealing DADT. Right now.

Call them all on their bluff. And in the process, do the right thing.

former law student said...

The problem with homosexuals serving in the military as I see it is not that some one might peek at you in the shower and enjoy it, but that there might be a culture of favoritism a la David Letterman at Worldwide Pants. Special treatment, promotions, etc. etc.

That being said, wouldn't it be better if everyone knew who the homosexuals are?

Now I'm thinking of the sister of a co-worker, years ago. Ugly as a mud fence, in high school no boy had ever looked at her twice. Upon graduation, she joined the military and got knocked up before she got out of basic training.

Cedarford said...

danielle said...
Obama is not pretending to be Obama the Candidate, he is being the Obama the President in a govt w/ 3 co-equal branches, and in a real politic where there are constraints and tradeoffs, some of which are political. I'm impatient as well, but its disingenuous to blame the president instead of doing more effective things like pressing your congressmen and senators and working to help change the minds of your fellow citizens.


The problem is that as even Woodrow Wilson recognized - Congress is inherently unaccountable to the people for acts done in toto under the Committee system. Only a change in Parties has a chance to alter the way the place is run and we all saw how fast the Republicans were corrupted and co-opted by DC insiders, NYC financiers after the Gingrich "revolution"...and how fast the same Ruling Elites managed to get in positions of power and call the shots under Pelosi and Obama. The same people that got away with murder under the "dereg is great Bushies" just turned their coats and where standing behind Obama when he announced the trillion-dollar bailouts.

Woodrow Wilson pointed out that when a Party is solidly in power, and a President gives them maximum deference, the Committee system ruled by seniority where key decisions are made by long-time legislators in "safe" districts makes Congressional accountability impossible for voters.

Don't like Nancy Pelosi or Barney Frank? Well unless you live in her 90% liberal Democratic Dictrict or in Barneys well-gerrymandered 90% District (or Charlie Rangle's civil rights court ruling mandated safe Black District) - you have absolutely no say in what they do.

The same in the Senate. Do any people actually believe Chris Dodd cared what people in Wisconsin thought of his sleaze? ONly what loyal Dem voters CT thought of the bacon he brought home for 25 years counts. Same crap with Murtha. Or Tom Delay.

In the face of that, only a strong President can stand up to Congress and balance their interests and seniority/Committee Empires - with the overall best interests of the Nation.

Adept, strong leaders like Truman, Eisenhower, Nixon, Reagan, and Bill Clinton managed that. LBJ did too because while DEms dominated - LBJ had to fight the Dixiecrats all the way.

Weak Presidents like Carter failed that Presidential obligation.

Same with feckless ones like Bush who let Congress do as they wished as long as he could focus on fighting Evildoers! and bringing Freedom to grateful noble Iraqi and Afgan Freedom lovers. From 2001 to 2006, Dubya Bush failed to veto a single spending bill.

Obama not like Nixon? Yep. He probably shivers like a cornered rabbit when an aide comes to him with a phone and says Nancy Pelosi or Vladimir Putin is on the line and they sound angry.

"Angry? You mean they don't like me as much??? I have to do what I can to make them like me again!"

Please, Give me Truman or Nixon - warts and all. I'd rather have a leader that ticks off Congress, even members of his own Party. Even the Jewish media owners.

Obama got the Nobel Peace Prize. Truman, Eisenhower, Reagan, Clinton never did.

The difference was that those 4 were actual Peacemakers.
Nixon's contributions in particular were immense. To making a more stable, peaceful world where WMDs were banned or greatly reduced...with volunteer militaries replacing mass conscription and "easy acceptance of casualties".

Far better to be remembered as a true Peacemaker than be a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate who whined about problems other people actually fixed or still have to fix.

Skyler said...

Lee wrote, The Althouse Hillbillies spend about 65% of their time calling President Obama a communist radical and the other 35% claiming he is an unprincipled sell out. Crazy Althouse Hillbillies.

I don't see the inconsistency.

Skyler said...

Synova postulated, (The Marines, last I heard, actually have a week longer boot camp for women that includes a "look female but not like a slut" make-up lessons.)

True at one time, but this hasn't been the case since at least the 80's, possibly the 60's or 70's, though I would bet it was the later rather than earlier in that range.

Diamondhead said...

"If Republicans were smart tactically, they would endorse repealing DADT. Right now."

It would be the right thing to do, I think, but would it be smart tactically? From time to time, I hear people say that Republicans should go pro-choice, too. Granted, abortion is more important to religious conservatives than gays in the military by orders of magnitude. But wouldn't they just be risking the base? Can Republicans win by going to the left of Democrats on social issues?

Zachary Paul Sire said...

It's one thing to know that the guy fighting next to you will always be there for you, but it's another thing if you have to question whether the guy standing next to you may also have a thing for you.

Amazing.

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Why should openly gay men be allowed to work anywhere? I mean, they could work at the mall or maybe certain restaurants or for all gay companies, but other than that, they shouldn't be allowed to work in jobs where there are straight men. Everyone would just be too distracted.

Cedarford said...

----Diamondhead said...
"If Republicans were smart tactically, they would endorse repealing DADT. Right now."

It is a sorta interesting position...and comes with an assumption that:

1. The military would be immensely better off with "inclusion" targets. Just as commercial airlines would be with 50% female pilots of which 5% of the total pilots would optimally be Wise Female Latinas and black females. And nursing would be hugely better off if only 50% of nurses were male...

2. There is this flood of untapped gay talent eager to flood into the military so they can have gay wedding ceremonies atop M-1A1 tanks and on Navy subs...

3. That the issue is soooooo important to females and progressive Jews that have no inclination to join the military themselves that they would harm the military, it's funding, it's ability to protect us and deter enemies until the blessed day of Gay Warriors happens.

4. That the culturally conservative white, black, and Latino communities where soldier volunteers actually come from - rather than Jewish parts of Miami or feminist studies Depts at universities - will volunteer at the same rate and relish the diversity of their new gay comrades!

5. That politically, politicians somehow believe that Republicans have been badly hurt by stances against certain gay rights - and somehow, their path back to power is blocked by gay friendly majorities that must exist somewhere but not in all the states that turned down gay marriage laws..

6. That the military was wrong. Just as they were "wrong" that females in all branches in the military did not lower unit cohesion in some, or lower physical standards, or trigger major legal headaches like the Tailhook witch hunt, the constant cases of fraternization, favortism..
No, gays will be different!

chuck b. said...

Heterosexual masculine identity is a delicate, fragile thing. Like a pretty flower.

Peter V. Bella said...

"He'll have at least 7 more years as President to make sure you all eat your share of crow."

Wrong. If Obama and this particular legislature gets their way there will be no crow left to eat. We will have eaten them all to survive as we will have to money due to confiscatory taxes and no businesses left here. When they raise all of our taxes and drive out profit making businesses for pipe dream stupidity there will not be enough left for food.

But we know you will survive with your, ahem, "Mexican pharmaceutical company."

tjl said...

"It's one thing to know that the guy fighting next to you will always be there for you, but it's another thing if you have to question whether the guy standing next to you may also have a thing for you."

If he had a thing for you he'd be even more motivated to be there for you and give his life for you.

former law student said...

Why should openly gay men be allowed to work anywhere? I mean, they could work at the mall or maybe certain restaurants or for all gay companies, but other than that, they shouldn't be allowed to work in jobs where there are straight men.

Actually it could be a good sexual harassment training opportunity for straight men. Hopefully the gays would help them find out what it was like to be leered at, and subject them to all sorts of suggestive talk.

Darcy said...

Diamondhead (and Cedarford):

I don't see this as a big risk to the Republican base. I think it's the decent thing to do, and I don't think it is as upsetting (to some) as gay marriage. I also don't think it comes close to the issue of abortion with the base.

Win-win. Right thing to do. Plus, it would totally take the issue away from the other side, some of whom are shamelessly using it (as politicians do) with no intention of doing anything about it.

Methadras said...

Zachary Paul Sire said...

It's one thing to know that the guy fighting next to you will always be there for you, but it's another thing if you have to question whether the guy standing next to you may also have a thing for you.

Amazing.


What's so amazing, cream puff? You know it's true and proclaim amazement? More of your projected delusions.

Methadras said...

Zachary Paul Sire said...

Why should openly gay men be allowed to work anywhere? I mean, they could work at the mall or maybe certain restaurants or for all gay companies, but other than that, they shouldn't be allowed to work in jobs where there are straight men. Everyone would just be too distracted.


Wow. You've really stooped to lower your argumentative standards now haven't you. Tell me again why being a homosexual working in a restaurant is the same as being a homosexual serving in the military? Oh, that's right, because to you it's just a job, no different than say a ditch digger is to a hamburger flipper. Does your stupidity know no bounds? Military service is an exceptional circumstance that does not compare to your idiotic examples. Moron.

Methadras said...

Darcy said...

Diamondhead (and Cedarford):

I don't see this as a big risk to the Republican base. I think it's the decent thing to do, and I don't think it is as upsetting (to some) as gay marriage. I also don't think it comes close to the issue of abortion with the base.

Win-win. Right thing to do. Plus, it would totally take the issue away from the other side, some of whom are shamelessly using it (as politicians do) with no intention of doing anything about it.


Politically Republicans have nothing to lose by keeping the status quo with DADT. Since it was Clinton that instituted it, and now it's the Democrats that are gesticulating about it's removal while Republicans voice their disagreement, if President Barely repeals it, his backlash gets bigger, he appeases a 2% - 4% nationwide homosexual minority that has an even more minuscule representation in the armed services and Republicans are there to say we told you so.

It's a risk to the base because currently they believe that their voices are being squelched in favor of nanny statist soft-socialism.

Darcy said...

I disagree, Methadras. I think the Republicans will be framed as the opposition here, as always. If it wasn't so, this would already be a done deal. It doesn't matter that this was Clinton's doing, don't you see that?

scinfinity said...

Why talk about it?

Obama you can pass it RIGHT NOW. Congress is full of people from your party who claim to support it.

...but gays have shown they will only vote Democratic and give them money regardless, so why even take their desires seriously?

Synova said...

"It's one thing to know that the guy fighting next to you will always be there for you, but it's another thing if you have to question whether the guy standing next to you may also have a thing for you."

"If he had a thing for you he'd be even more motivated to be there for you and give his life for you."

No, actually. Or rather *yes* but not in a good way. The absolutely last thing needed is any sort of favoritism. Fraternization is against the rules in the military for a reason, and while you can be great buddies with the people in your unit special friendships are destructive.

This isn't a minor issue.

Now, sure, it's stupid to *wonder* if the guy next to you has a thing for you if *neither* of you are interested. Because that's the rule. You don't *get* to be interested. Not in your commander, not in your NCOIC, not in the guy in the next bunk.

There are rules about romance *already* and the military doesn't think twice about dictating your private life, no matter how private. You don't GET a private life. So if you're a guy and you fall in love with the wrong gal in the military something has to happen. You transfer, someone gives up their military career (I'm quite serious), or tries to get commissioned or *something* before you even get to have that relationship. The same with gays... YOU DON'T GET TO have a relationship with another gay person unless that person is not in your chain of command or your same unit. (The guard has their own rules and the details will vary between services... but accept this as close enough.)

So...

NO, you do not get to "have a thing" for the guy you're fighting next to. If you do, you're breaking rules and endangering the other people you are fighting with.

Synova said...

It would be bad for the Republicans to insist on a repeal of DADT since that would only put us back to the status quo where a declaration that one was NOT homosexual was a condition for enlistment.

I realize that everyone hated Bush for the years since Clinton signed DADT as a way to get around the rules against homosexuality in the military and that the Ivy League has used it as an excuse to keep ROTC off of campus, but maybe it's time to stop going for the fantasy here.

DADT was devised as a way to ALLOW gays in the military.

And if Republicans push to repeal it that inconvenient fact will suddenly be remembered again.

Synova said...

Also, I wonder...

In all likelihood if the restriction on gays in the military is lifted it will be replaced with restrictions on assignments in order to accommodate privacy issues. In all likelihood this will restrict gays to assignments stateside or at major military bases overseas and will probably ban them from combat career fields.

And Harvard and Columbia will find a different excuse to ban ROTC from their campuses.

Skyler said...

Synova has good points. I think another important point is that the military relies on young men to enlist in large numbers in order to fill its ranks. These men are recruited primarily as a way of proving their manhood. Allowing homosexuals to serve openly will affect that motivation for enlisting.

I can't imagine the onslaught of sensitivity training that would be inflicted on us. And then the endless "celebrations" mandated to glorify homosexuality. I guess we'll finally have a good reason to be glad that the club system has died out because I can't imagine the e-club or the o-club becoming known for being gay bars.

I don't think people understand how badly this would go over.

Methadras said...

Darcy said...

I disagree, Methadras. I think the Republicans will be framed as the opposition here, as always. If it wasn't so, this would already be a done deal. It doesn't matter that this was Clinton's doing, don't you see that?


I understand what you are saying, I just don't see it playing out the way you think it will. Republicans have already proclaimed that they are in favor of DADT because they didn't have much of a say so when Clinton instituted it regardless of their objections to begin with. I can see for some people it won't matter that Clinton had anything to do with it, but it's still 2 presidents ago and people, especially those in the military are not ones to forget it.

Republicans have already been proclaimed the opposition party, therefore this will only be a pile on to oppose anything that Obama puts forth as they see, through their base as another erosion or weakening of the military. I just don't buy into what you are suggesting.

Synova said...

I don't think that the affect on recruiting would be as bad as all that, Skyler. Granted, I'm female, so I could be wrong.

I think that integrating gays openly (as in, they don't have to lie) could be done in a way that had minimal impact. However, I don't have any faith in Congress to manage it without imposing a whole lot of gawd awful, pain in the *ss regulations that the military will have to figure out how to subvert without getting caught.

I have a sneaking suspicion that when it's all said and done the people *actually* involved... military commanders and NCO's and those gays and lesbians who feel a desire to serve in the military... will wish, really hard, that it could all be relegated back to the sort of issue that is officially ignored until and unless it becomes an "issue".

I don't think, sometimes, that very many people understand the concept of what it means when any particular thing is regulated in the military. (Or why those who have served in the military, while agreeing for the most part that the service has to be that way, are so adamant about freedom in the civilian world and minimal government regulation.)

Darcy said...

You're obviously right, Synova. I did mean that DADT was well-intentioned, but wrong. I support gays serving in the military without having to deny their sexual preference. What that means as far as getting there could be very complicated. I just think it should be done.

They're there. They're serving. Humiliating them after they've voluntarily signed up to defend their country is abominable, and I think that's what this law does.

former law student said...

These men are recruited primarily as a way of proving their manhood.

In my experience this is generally true only of Marines, particularly the ones who join when they turn 17.

Sigivald said...

Has even a solitary member of Congress introduced a bill to repeal 10 USC 654 (DADT)?

If not (as I believe to be the case), what does that tell us about what Congress thinks is important?

It tells us that they don't think it's worth the cost, no matter what chatter they make on the subject.

The President isn't needed for anything but his signature on the bill passed by the Senate and the House, after all.

Congress could start the process tomorrow if it was so inclined, wheras the President has no power to do more than to ask them to.

That said, that he can't even be bothered to ask Congress to do it... or even think about doing it?

Pathetic.

Methadras said...

Darcy said...

You're obviously right, Synova. I did mean that DADT was well-intentioned, but wrong. I support gays serving in the military without having to deny their sexual preference. What that means as far as getting there could be very complicated. I just think it should be done.

They're there. They're serving. Humiliating them after they've voluntarily signed up to defend their country is abominable, and I think that's what this law does.


Ah, now we get to the meat of it. So for you, DADT is humiliation, while serving without a DADT restriction somehow won't be. You are talking about a military force that is roughly .5% homosexual that will be surrounded by 99.5% of heterosexuals out in the open? You are just asking for problems and the laws of unintended consequences is going to really hurt.

In an optimal world, homosexuality would have the same equity as heterosexuality, but this isn't an optimal world and homosexuality is viewed in such a negative way that when confronted with it, people tend to shun it completely or move as far away from it as possible. When you try to institute public policy based around the certain characteristics of a group of people, what you really end up doing is taking your eye off of the critical mission and instead have to redirect towards something else. In this case, homosexuals serving openly in the military. The next logical question is why do you care so much about this? If homosexuals cared so much about serving in the military, they should do it based on what they can bring to the services, not what their gender/sexual identity would confer to that service. This type of sexual coddling is bizarre.

Darcy said...

I don't understand you, Methadras. On one hand, you say "In an optimal world...", and then go on to say that it is sexual coddling to want gays to have the same - the same - expectations of anyone else serving in the military. That their sexual preference won't make them ineligible to serve.

Why do I care so much? Because I feel a special debt of gratitude for those young men and women who are stepping forward, especially in a time of war, to serve their country. I think we owe them the highest respect.