July 27, 2017

"There are thousands of transgender people already serving among the 1.3 million active-duty members of the military."

"These are people who have volunteered their service and have potentially put their lives on the line, and yet their President, who managed to come up with a flimsy doctor’s note back in the day, denies them their dignity, their equality. He will not 'accept or allow' them in the military. Imagine the scale of this insult.... When you begin to consider the meanness of what Trump has done, it is worth remembering him saying that he was 'smarter' than the generals on military matters, and that he mocked John McCain’s service in Vietnam because 'I like people who weren’t captured.' When you begin to think about the scale of this offense, it is worth remembering Khizr Khan, the Gold Star father who lost a son in Iraq, addressing Trump directly from the lectern of the Democratic National Convention: 'You have sacrificed nothing and no one.'"

From "The Cruelty and Cynicism of Trump’s Transgender Ban/The President’s tweets are a naked attempt to divert attention from his scandals," by David Remnick (in The New Yorker).

ADDED: Look how positive Trump was to LGBT rights when he was campaigning:

356 comments:

1 – 200 of 356   Newer›   Newest»
Tim said...

I call bullshit on the "thousands" of transgenders serving in the military. If they are, why are obviously mentally ill people allowed to serve?

Ralph L said...

So Obama doing nothing for them for 7 years is just great.

MayBee said...

I want to know the status of the transgender people in the military.

I said yesterday, I can easily imagine post-op trans people serving, if they have been cleared for potential depression (as Lady Gaga tweeted today, 45% of transgendered people have attempted suicide. That's disqualifying for them).
But mid-trans, or transitioning just by wearing different hair-- like the man with his period in HuffPo?- that doesn't seem military ready. That seems too complicated.

madAsHell said...

This is just another turd that Obama pooped in the punch bowl.

traditionalguy said...

The Great Culture War begins. The rioting weirdos demand impeachment. Good luck with that Demmis. Nobody cares.

gspencer said...

If you're flatfooted or colorblind, you can't join the military. But if you have a mental disorder on who you are, you should be allowed in?

TwilightofLiberty.com said...

I will never understand how we got to the point that obvious mental illness is so celebrated and defended by the supposed best and brightest among us. That statements such as "Its not only women that menstruate" or "Its transphobic to not want to be with a woman with a penis" are taken seriously and not laughed out of the room. Never. I will never understand this lunacy.

And, yes, I know that it doesnt matter if I understand it or not. I just have to accept dudes going into the locker room whole my young daughter is in there or else I'm a monster.

Good for Trump. For one day, the grown-ups got to make a decision. Refreshing.

Mike Sylwester said...

Why is the number stated to be "thousands"?

Isn't the exact number known?

rhhardin said...

Whining shouldn't win in the military. Be big boys about it or you don't fit.

Lawcruiter said...

Is it just me - or is this endless hysteria about Trump being evil becoming the muzak for our times. A synthesized drone to soothe the nerves of the lefties...

rhhardin said...

There's a lot of swamp draining to be done in career officers too.

rhhardin said...

It all started going downhill with tailhook.

No babes at parties.

Renee said...

I call BS on the number as well. Lets say 3000 out of 1,300,000. 1 out of 4500 or so.

You have to be on HRT for your entire life, plus the cost of your 'maintenance' of stereotypical female appearances.

Mike Sylwester said...

After I wrote my comment, I read Remnik's article.

No, he does not provide even the slightest basis for his word "thousands".

However, The New Yorker still does have funny cartoons.

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

I must admit, this came completely out of the blue as far as I was concerned. Nothing Trump campaigned on, etc. Politico now says some Republicans were threatening not to support a budget for the military (and the wall) unless payments for transition surgery (sex reassignment surgery or, of course, gender reassignment surgery? I had to look it up) were removed. I would think the strategic issue with such surgery is not the financial cost, but the fact that it is a lengthy and difficult process for a person to go through--including emotionally difficult. Is this consistent with performing military service? Is it reasonable to ask people to postpone such surgery until after their military service is over? Maybe commit that the VA will pay for it? (Although this brings the old-fashioned Republicans back to attention).

Trump haters are pathetic in going through the greatest hits of the past. Yes, Trump should have ignored Mr. Khan. He ran the risk of turning a guy who ran a somewhat sleazy pay for play immigration scheme into a hero; fortunately, Mr. Khan turned out to be Hillary's only Muslim friend, so there was no great celebration of diversity here. What Trump said about McCain--surviving as a prisoner isn't necessarily heroism--was extremely rude but, I'm afraid, funny. The only way American POWs survived in Vietnam was by signing false confessions, and then there was an element of luck in surviving various diseases, etc. Perhaps only a rude asshole would say it--and I have no idea why a presidential candidate would say it, except that Trump was upset at the sneering condescension McCain showed to him--but some of us might be glad he said it. Remnick is practising civility bullshit.

David Begley said...

There is one public transgender at the big Air Force base in Nebraska. Top coverage in the Omaha paper. The LGBT lobby probably gave the OWH the story.

Ann Althouse said...

gone into practice, and it affects real people who relied on a welcome into the military. You're going to discharge them now? And what about people who were led to believe that their transition would be viewed in a positive light, paid for, and treated with compassion, with accommodations of the need to recover from surgery and so forth. These people are in the middle of doing something to their bodies. It's horrible to summarily boot them out of the military. It doesn't matter whether they are mentally ill or not, because the govt embarked on a program and people changed their lives to enter the program. It's similar to Obamacare. If it had never been enacted, that would be one thing. But it's been around for a while. You can't just say let's start over. You have to start where you are.

Michael P said...

If people who have made sacrifices in the service of our country are the only ones whose voices we should listen to about military issues, it seems we could resolve this easily: Have a binding popular vote among active duty military personnel on whether the military should allow transgender people to serve.

Or do those voices not count either?

Tim Gilliland said...

My take:
The gay lobby is a business. They have very nice jobs and run huge nonprofit orgs.
For years they soaked up money from wealthy gays and liberals fighting for gay rights.
They won.
Donations fell through the floor. They have to have a new cause.
Hence the T in LGBT.
So they started this bandwagon as a means to keep the beer and skittles flowing, they couldn't give two hoots in hell for the mentally ill victims of Gender Dysphoria who are harmed or kill themselves over all the attention they have got.
As Gov. Lepetomaine said in Blazing Saddles, "Gentlemen! we've got to protect our phoney baloney jobs!"

Owen said...

How solid are the numbers here? Do we even have a stable definition of what we are trying to identify and develop good policy about? Maybe is asking the right questions here. Rather than look at this intersection (between "trans" people and military establishment) from the POV of the individual "trans" people --which the journalists and activists always do-- we need to look at it from the POV of the military establishment which is paid, and has pledged, to fight the nation's wars.

War doesn't care about the drama of your transition. If your transition slows you down or leaves you too weak to do your job, you will die or be maimed; and, far worse, you will cause the death and maiming of those who depend on you.

That for me is the issue. How does this drama fit within, not impair or complicate, the mission?

We need more light and less heat here.

Molly said...

I disagree with trump's decision, but I am apparently alone in being concerned about discrimination in military service against the hard of hearing, the short, the overweight, and hermaphrodites. How in the world can we justify discrimination against those groups? Or do you just not care because those groups don't have a well-oiled publicity machine to stir up angry phone calls and blog comments?

Bob Ellison said...

RAND "estimates the number of transgender individuals currently serving in the active component of the U.S. military at between 1,320 and 6,630 out of a total of about 1.3 million service members".

That's fascinating. Such accurate numbers! Such a wide range! What the hell were they thinking when they published this? It's an embarrassment.

Anyway, that's probably the source of the "thousands" thing.

Fernandinande said...

Seems to me that men pretending to be women could pull it off, but women pretending to be men would rarely pass the physical tests.

MayBee said...

Trangenderism became Something That Must Not Be Questioned very quickly. It became political before there was any kind of real discussion about whether it is really what is best for the people involved.
I mean, I don't really care if adults want to live as a different gender. But the speech around it has become really fraught, really quickly. And we've seen other waves of what has been deemed best for people to be really not what is best for people- from medical treatments (lobotomy and electric shock therapy), to food science (salt, fat)- to really know that that which is declared true really is. Just in general, whenever "Shut up, hater" is the answer, the question needs to be asked even more.

Is it a form of body dysmorphia? If so, should it be indulged? People have all kinds of impulses. Not all of them self-preserving. Should it be considered along with sexualities, like heterosexuality, homosexuality, or bisexuality? It seems very different than that. It seems more like anorexia, or the people who feel compelled to fill their bodies and faces with piercings and tattoos.

Anyway, we just skipped over any kind of informed discussion or even medical debate about it.

deepelemblues said...

It is typical of these liars to grossly exaggerate the number of people who are members of the protected class. They've been doing it so long with homosexuals that people think there are far, far more homosexuals than there are. Some surveys have had their respondents say they think 25% of the population is homosexual. 25%! The real percentage is 2-3%. Now you have liar remnick saying there are thousands of transgenders in the military. It's such transparent lying.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Trump made a binary choice.

Either you are a male or you are a female. Either you are IN the military and abide by the rules, not expect special treatment, or you are not in the military.

People in the military don't have the luxury of distraction. Distraction is not only expensive, time consuming, and DIStracting, and in combat, it can be a life or death situation. Now THERE is a binary choice.

I feel the same way about women serving in combat roles in the military. The distraction can be a life or death causing situation.

If you, as a person, are so conflicted that you can't determine if you are male or female and need to have years of medical intervention to artificially change yourself to model what you "think" you are, then you don't need to be in the military and the military doesn't NEED you.

Trump made a good decision based on the advice of those who have to deal with the distraction.

LarsPorsena said...

'Thousands'? Maybe 'tens of thousands'
You will all be comforted by the thought that our newest aircraft carrier has single-sex
sanitary facilities installed. Of course, the old patriarchal urinals are cheaper, cleaner, and more easily maintained but there's no price we won't pay for 'equality'.

MayBee said...

Owen said...
How solid are the numbers here? Do we even have a stable definition of what we are trying to identify and develop good policy about? Maybe is asking the right questions here. Rather than look at this intersection (between "trans" people and military establishment) from the POV of the individual "trans" people --which the journalists and activists always do-- we need to look at it from the POV of the military establishment which is paid, and has pledged, to fight the nation's wars.

War doesn't care about the drama of your transition. If your transition slows you down or leaves you too weak to do your job, you will die or be maimed; and, far worse, you will cause the death and maiming of those who depend on you.

That for me is the issue. How does this drama fit within, not impair or complicate, the mission?

We need more light and less heat here.


Yes yes yes!

Ralph L said...

You have to be on HRT for your entire life
The Daily Mail said the "vaginas" must be dilated regularly to avoid permanent constriction.

Fernandinande said...

They might be able to use people like that guy in the link above to confuse and scare the enemy, at least if the enemy were in a bar.

Ann Althouse said...

Please watch the video I just attached to this post. It collects the many statements Trump made when he was campaigning that indicated he was much better on LGBT rights than Hillary Clinton.

Tim Gilliland said...

Does anyone know if the situation of the active duty military has been addressed? I cannot imagine them being summarily discharged overnight, but they may be told either to dress and act as their biological sex, or resign.
The fact that the VA or military is paying for gender reassignment surgery just boggles the mind. Wouldn't this to anyone outside government be an elective procedure? I sure as hell doubt the private health insurance covers this.

MountainMan said...

The only scandal covered up yesterday by Trump's announcement was the arrest of Imran Awan and the growing scandal associated with the Pakistani IT staff and their potentially illegal activities running the Congressional IT network. A story that has been brewing for weeks and yet has to received any significant coverage from the lap dog main stream media since it involves Democrats, especially Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

Laslo Spatula said...

Damn.

I was going to do a character, "Nigella Tomkins, Transgender Civil War Hero," but then I Googled 'transgender Civil War' and see that the Washington Post already has an article about such a person.

My riff about Sherman's March in high heels will sadly go in the dustbin.

I am Laslo.

Ann Althouse said...

"Trump made a binary choice...."

You know what else is binary? Bait and switch.

Look how Trump campaigned.

He's choosing to make a liar out of himself.

Susan said...

It is too bad for the people caught in the middle of all of this but the bandage needs to be ripped off. Quick is better than leaving them hang in limbo.

They have had enough uncertainty in their lives.

Darrell said...

Terry McAuliffe says 93 million trangendered join the US military each day. Maxine Waters say 700 billion trangenders will be harmed by Trump's decision. You decide.

Bob Ellison said...

Reminds me of Joseph Heller's description of Doc Daneeka doing "short arm inspection" in Catch-22. What will that be like in the future?

Chris N said...

If someone is so confused (emotionally, physically, mentally) as to not know which gender they are, I'm fine with them not being in combat nor making vital decisions for people in life/death situations in issues of national security.

A win for such people, a win for the military, and a win for all of us citizens.

A loss for ideologues who get their sense of moral self-worth, purpose and identity from carving up the world into oppressors/the oppressed, and play identity politics with such confused people.

The fact that such provably bad ideological constructs are establishment (The New Yorker) is probably a loss for the establishment too...and all of us.

MountainMan said...

I'm with DBQ. There is no right to serve in the military. There are lots of reasons you can be excluded from serving: too tall, too short, too heavy, too skinny, diabetes, chronic diseases, mental illness, criminal record, whatever. I agree also, as I have said before on this blog, that women need to be removed from ground combat units. That is another Obama decision that should be reversed and I hope will follow shortly.

Kevin said...

Khizr Khan is of course free to denounce Trump on a political platform, but then he becomes part of the political platform for better or for worse.

If we had a media, they would point out that Khizr Khan is an immigration lawyer who specializes in immigration from Muslim countries and opposes Trump's plan to limit immigration from Muslim countries. Perhaps he has a vested interest that it would be fair to know about?

Khizr Khan Deletes Law Firm Website that Specialized in Muslim Immigration


Khan has also said that the nasty Donald Trump has a "black soul" and "blackness of character", using racist imagery that is not OK to African Americans.

http://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-khan-sacrifice-black-soul-000000450.html

Khan claims that Trump does not understand the Constitution, but as an immigration lawyer should mention that the Immigration Act of 1952 gives the President the power to exclude "any class of people". And Khan also has a history of writing favorably about Sharia law and implying that it will supersede the Constitution.

http://dailycaller.com/2016/08/01/khizr-khan-has-previously-written-extensively-on-sharia-law/

Quote: Khizr Khan ... has previously written in a law journal about Islamic law. He specifically wrote about the purity of the Quran and the Sunnah over all other texts and interpretations.

All of this is fair game in a political debate. Khan has the right to say whatever he wants, and to be questioned for it.

Owen said...

Tim Gilliland: what you said. It's just business.

This is a GREAT issue for the activists. If they were honest, they would name their organization "Will S*** Disturb For Pay LLC" --but if they were honest, they wouldn't be in that line of work at all.

Rocketeer said...

It doesn't matter whether they are mentally ill or not

Wrong.

You can't just say let's start over. You have to start where you are.

We just did. You simply don't like the path chosen.

Ann Althouse said...

"The fact that the VA or military is paying for gender reassignment surgery just boggles the mind. Wouldn't this to anyone outside government be an elective procedure? I sure as hell doubt the private health insurance covers this."

But what about people who joined the military because this was offered to them?

What about people who joined because it was offered AND are part way through a surgical process?

These people must be treated with compassion and fairness. Trump is a fool if he doesn't quickly figure out how to do that. These people will be very sympathetic when they are presented in the press. And again, it won't matter whether they are mentally ill (or if many or most people believe they are). We treat mentally ill people with compassion in this country. It's one thing to decide they don't belong in the military and exclude them from Day One. But Day One is in the past. You can't get there from the present.

BDNYC said...

Some people clearly think of the military as a benefits provider and social change incubator. Interesting to see the left embrace the military as an institution and an entitlement. Pretty soon it will be every person's patriotic duty to join up and get their education and surgeries paid for; who's to say they aren't allowed to serve their country? If the military can't afford all these new responsibilities, Congress will just have to appropriate more money.

Of course, the future of warfare is, as always, in technology. We are obviously moving toward more artificial intelligence and automation in the military. In a decade or so we could probably cut the military workforce dramatically and rely more on drones and so on. When that happens Democrats will cry about the disadvantaged minorities and transgenders who are losing their benefits.

Drago said...

Please watch the video I just attached to this post. It collects the many statements Trump made when he was campaigning that indicated he was much better on LGBT rights than Hillary Clinton.

No one who falls outside the specifications required for service in the military has a "right" to serve in the military.

Ralph L said...

But it's been around for a while
According to Reuters:
"Under Obama, the Pentagon last year announced it was ending its ban on transgender people serving openly, calling the prohibition outdated.

The Defense Department had been expected to begin formally allowing transgender people to enlist this year. But Mattis on June 30 approved a six-month delay in that step."

deepelemblues said...

And yes, discharge them now. And no, the policy of forcing me to pay taxes to pay for their surgery and therapy while they are unable to do their duties has not been around for a while. It's an Obama policy that is only a couple years old. And no, the military is not the institution to be providing surgery and therapy to transgenders. What a joke. It's not horrible, it is sensible and pragmatic. People having expectations they shouldnt have and getting upset when something that never should have started is stopped, tough shit. Oh yes we can say start over. Enough of this feelings bullshit. It's all feelings all the time now from everybody on all sides. But but those people expected something! Too bad. What a terrible way to do politics and policy, but but they expected it and it's horrible not to fulfill their expectations! No, it's stupid to run a government based on that kind of thinking.

Rocketeer said...

I had a friend who joined the army out of high school, planned on making it a career. Passed all medical exams, met the PT requirements, reported for basic and began training. After graduating basic, he was diagnosed with extreme hypertension. Maybe he had it previously and they somehow missed it, maybe he developed it subsequent to his exams. Didn't matter. Summarily but honorably discharged, no benefits. And as for his part, disappointment, but no whining.

MayBee said...

But what about people who joined the military because this was offered to them?

What about the people who had a doctor and an insurance plan, and then Obamacare made them lose it?

This is the stuff that happens all the time when government changes its mind.

Hari said...

When there is a conflict between the rights of the individual and the effectiveness of the military, which should prevail? Trump is saying it is the latter. There can be an argument made that having transgender troops is irrelevant to the effectiveness of the unit, but that is not what the generals are saying. Assuming the generals are correct, should Trump have rejected their advice?

MayBee said...

Obama did this at the end of his presidency to give someone else the problem of dealing with it, while he got credit.

Mac McConnell said...

Bradley Edward Manning, enough said.

Rusty said...

What is the military for? What is it's function.?

Mike Sylwester said...

Ann Althouse at 8:46 AM

What about people who joined because it was offered AND are part way through a surgical process?

Let's get an exact number.

I served in the US Air Force for 14 years.

People were kicked out all the time for all kinds of reasons.

For example, people who were passed over for promotion two times in a row were kicked out. No big deal.

MikeR said...

Meh. He said LGB_T_ because people would have flipped out if he left out the "T". All his quotes made it clear that he was talking about gay and lesbian.

The Cracker Emcee Activist said...

Althouse, to the average Joe and Jane LGBT means Gays, full stop. I've yet to meet anyone who's truly comfortable with trannies. Admittedly, I am a Cracker.
The ease with which Trump threw his enemies into hysterics astonishes me. That they are oblivious to how their hysteria is viewed by others delights me.

Mac McConnell said...

There is no right to join the US military.

sunsong said...

Thanks for posting this. Trump is a liar, a bully and a jackass...

MayBee said...

We treat mentally ill people with compassion in this country. It's one thing to decide they don't belong in the military and exclude them from Day One. But Day One is in the past. You can't get there from the present.

If you are allowed into the military and then found to be mentally ill, you don't get to just stay in the military.

Ann Althouse said...

"No one who falls outside the specifications required for service in the military has a "right" to serve in the military."

I agree, but as citizens, we should debate about what the specifications should be AND about the way to change a specification, once it has been adopted. It's a political issue and we are debating about it.

There will be a lawsuit (I believe I saw that in the news), so we may find out if there are any rights. I think there may be a good argument that there are some due process rights about kicking people out of the military after they have been accepted. But Trump should just have a policy ready to go to treat these people very well (such as an honorable discharge followed by paying for the completion of medical treatments already begun).

Darrell said...

Every military or civilian person in the Defense Dept. that had a hand in formulating and implementing this policy (and Global Warming policies) should be packed up and shown the door today. The military has one mission--to protect and defend the U.S. of A. Social engineering is not a consideration.

Owen said...

Prof A: "If it had never been enacted, that would be one thing. But it's been around for a while. You can't just say let's start over. You have to start where you are." Fair enough: reliance interests, even some estoppel. But that just means damages. Buy out the contracts, manage the tough cases, do equity to these folks who volunteered and are serving.

But taken to its limit your argument would mean that all policies are permanently locked. That can't be true. Trump is CINC and we have to live with his decision which let us hope is based on a careful and informed consideration of what is best for the armed services and our national security, not the hopes and plans of any individuals, transgendered or not.

As for Trump making a liar of himself: hey, like that's never happened before. He is a politician and will pay a political price. So too will every participant in the debate.

Fabi said...

I'm excited to see the left running with this latest outrage. Democrats 2018 -- A Freak In Every Foxhole

deepelemblues said...

The professor is losing her mind with nonsense here.

Only 23% of people think transgenders should be in the military. So try again with that 'trump needs to do this or he'll be made to look bad.' Wrong.

Can't get to day one in the present? Trump just did. The professor can flail around making pronouncements that have no bearing on reality as much as she wants. It wont change a thing. Who are these people in the middle of going through surgeries? Do they exist? Find some examples, please.

Fairness and compassion. Any time someone talks to you about fairness and compassion in the context of politics and government policy, hold on to your wallet tight and be prepared for a deluge of nonsense about how the government should be doing something the government has zero business doing. Because of the feels. Enough with the feels. Grow up.

Ken B said...

Missing from this discussion: any consideration if the generals are right that trans soldiers would impair readiness or performance. Isn't that the key issue? Is it true, and if so why is it true, and is it an artifact of prejudice that could be overcome or not?

I know Ann, these are yes/no questions, so very binary, shame on me. Still they seem the right ones.

David Begley said...

Tim Gilliland is correct about the LGBT lobby as a business. Same thing regarding the Green lobby. The real war on water and air pollution was won so carbon dioxide had to be found to be the cause of global warming. And global warming is going to kill your grandchildren at some unstated date in 2100 or beyond but ACT NOW.

Michael said...

On some "news" channel this morning I heard that there are between "1,500 and 15,000" transgendered people in the military. LOL. Straight faces too. I would support leaving those who have completed their transgendering in place. I would eject any and all who decide they would like to swap out at Govt expense. I would be shocked if there were 500 trannies in all branches but I have been shocked before.
In watching TV and reading the "news" a visitor from Mars would conclude that of the US population 39% would be gay, 15% trans, 50% black 20%Latino and 45% white. .5% Asian.

Maggot Food said...

Sorry, Ann. Bait and switch is far from binary, and serving in the military is not a right. If he works to expand some other right out there for the LGBTQ community while keeping them out of the military, is that not fulfilling his campaign promise? We keep people out of the military for a wide range of physical, mental, emotional and behavioral reasons. This is just one of them.

MayBee said...

I agree, but as citizens, we should debate about what the specifications should be AND about the way to change a specification, once it has been adopted. It's a political issue and we are debating about it.

I agree, but we really weren't and aren't allowed to debate about it. It was "adopted" without debate. Polls show 23% of Americans support transgendered people in the military.

What happens is we are told some rights are too important to debate and allow the majority to infringe on the rights of the few. And so someone (in this case, Obama) acts without debate or agreement. And then going back to the way things were becomes too outrageous to do.

Jack Wayne said...

Althouse apparently thinks that once you've rolled down the slippery slope, there's no going back. Very binary.

bagoh20 said...

"These people are in the middle of doing something to their bodies. It's horrible to summarily boot them out of the military. It doesn't matter whether they are mentally ill or not, because the govt embarked on a program and people changed their lives to enter the program. It's similar to Obamacare. If it had never been enacted, that would be one thing. But it's been around for a while. You can't just say let's start over. You have to start where you are."

Isn't that exactly the argument for not changing the military policy and enacting Obamacare in the first place. It changed all the rules for people who were counting on them staying unchanged. Rules that are many many times older than these brand new policies enacted with little review ("We have to pass it to see what's in it.").

Fixing such a mistake by returning to the long-held and long-tested former policy seems not only more compassionate to more people, but morally required.

Fabi said...

"And so someone (in this case, Obama) acts without debate or agreement. And then going back to the way things were becomes too outrageous to do."

Worth repeating. Beautifully encapsulated, MayBee!

rhhardin said...

But what about people who joined the military because this was offered to them?

It's an Althouse hot-button. Something that guys abstract from, and women front-page. A voting difference that's played by democrats.

Whine and win.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Please watch the video I just attached to this post. It collects the many statements Trump made when he was campaigning that indicated he was much better on LGBT rights than Hillary Clinton.

...He's choosing to make a liar out of himself.


I can't watch the video now. Did he specify serving in the military as one of those rights? If not, what right of theirs do you believe he is not supporting?

Darrell said...

Maybe RuPaul can set up a Drag Wars TV show to take in the outflow.

lgv said...

The press conflates military ban with anti-LBGTism in general. This isn't necessarily the case. There are many reasons to ban certain people from the military.

The news keeps showing an old interview with Mattis about gays in the military. He doesn't care who anyone sleeps with on their own time. Again, this is not the same as accepting Trans people. It is about accepting gay people. There is a difference.

Without the liberal press, this decision would fade away pretty quickly because the public mostly agrees or doesn't care.

holdfast said...

This is another time bomb left by Obama. After a mere 7.5 years in office, Obama took action on this incredibly urgent issue and formally ended the ban last summer, but delayed actual implementation so it would be Hillary's problem. Too bad, now it's Trump's problem to solve.

As for folks who joined up recently specifically to get this benefit? GTFO now.

For folks who have served honorably for years and are struggling with this issue? Find a way to transition them to the civvie side of DoD and try to be fair and compassionate.

Michael K said...

it affects real people who relied on a welcome into the military. You're going to discharge them now?

Would you please tell me how you know this ?

I examine applicants to the military, male and female.

I think the gay thing was appropriate, given the changes in the current culture. There were gays serving honorably for centuries.

Transgender was a rare situation like Jennie Hodgers in an era when physical exams were either primitive of not existing. There were women serving openly, including a Confederate officer who gave birth in a Union prison camp. Her husband was also a Confederate officer.

There was no "sex reassingment surgery" then.

I am unaware of any situation where a serving member of the military would be allowed to go through such surgery now.

Please tell me how you know this has happened. I don't believe it but no doubt we will be bombarded with such nonsese now that Trump has made this decision.

Once again. as with gay marriage, tolerance is morphing into compulsion. Celebrate gay marriage or trans-sexuals or be punished severely.

Ralph L said...

No open transgender has yet been allowed to enlist.

MayBee said...

Are there people who joined the military with the promise of gender reassignment surgery?

Ralph's quoted material says the policy of openly transgendered people joining the military never went into effect.

Crimso said...

"It collects the many statements Trump made when he was campaigning that indicated he was much better on LGBT rights than Hillary Clinton."

I don't think it's "bait and switch" at all. More like "I have been more supportive of you than Clinton or Obama, and since I've been elected you have all taken a giant shit on me. So why should I care about you any longer? I'll go ahead and [dare I say it?] 'transition' to being against you."

Fernandinande said...

MayBee said...
or the people who feel compelled to fill their bodies and faces with piercings and tattoos.


The military violates the fundamental human rights, as well as the First Amendment rights, of those pitiful downtrodden victims of an oppressive society, er, those people:

"Face, neck and hand tattoos, however, remain against regulation, with the exception of one ring tattoo per hand. Racist, derogatory and sexist tattoos are also outlawed."

Dust Bunny Queen said...

There is nothing in the video about promising that transgender people should be allowed to serve in the military, that they are entitled to government money to fund their medical procedures while serving, that the military must accept the burden of 'employing' those people, that the military must accept the chaos, disruption of duties, performance degradation, morale decay of the other normal military personnel that are forced to serve alongside the transgenders. Respectfully, I see no bait and switch.

Trump says that people have the right to live their lives, love who they want etc. I agree with those sentiments. There is no right to demand that others must subsidize their lives or put their own in danger.

If you are qualified for the job in question, then a person should not be discriminated on the basis of religion, political persuasion, gender **, gender orientation, or even transexual medical transformation.

Qualified for the job, is the parameter that is meaningful. Many homosexual people are qualified and should not be prevented from working. Many people of whatever orientation are not qualified. For example the woman (or man) who wants to be a firefighter, but doesn't have the physical strength to do the job should not be given that job as some sort of a prize. It puts the other fire fighters and citizens in danger.

Trump made an Executive decision based on information and recommendations from the experts in the field on what is the best operating mode for the units/the military as a whole. These experts, this time, happen to be military. Next time the Executive decision may be base on financial or IT experts. Do we expect the Chief Executive to not base his decisions on facts? Or should we be making decisions on emotion and political correctness despite the damage it does to the organization?

**gender is not the same thing as sex. Sex is an act. Gender is a state of being.

Michael said...

I was not aware that the military offered an incentive of free trans surgeries etc. Can this be true? Was this offered as suggested by Althouse?

Christopher said...

You're going to discharge them now? And what about people who were led to believe that their transition would be viewed in a positive light, paid for, and treated with compassion, with accommodations of the need to recover from surgery and so forth. These people are in the middle of doing something to their bodies. It's horrible to summarily boot them out of the military. It doesn't matter whether they are mentally ill or not, because the govt embarked on a program and people changed their lives to enter the program.

All of that was an idiotic decision, but we must keep supporting it forever because it was decided that way in the past.

Makes sense. I know Libs are big on respecting past practice.

As for the estimates of "thousands" of transgenders in the military, I've read there was a Rand study that covered a wide range of estimates. You'll never guess which end of the range is being assumed as rock-solid truth now.

MayBee said...

Ralph- That's being completely ignored by most of the people outraged about this, including Althouse.

Mike said...

But it's been around for a while. You can't just say let's start over. You have to start where you are.

It was announced a year ago and had been under study for a year before that and during the last year, before being implemented. So, no, this is not a reversal of an active policy but a decision not to go through with what Obama told them to do last June. They didn't say "we're starting over," they said "whoa, we're not going down that road."

Don't you recall Mattis announced June 30 that he "needs six more months to study" the transgender issue before implementing Obama's changes? That means they had not actually changed anything about the policy as of a couple weeks back. Let's not let the stupid dishonest press coverage hype it too much!

Nothing is changed. Nothing has changed. You just have Obama's empty words from June 2016 droning about the "right side of history" to base the hysteria on.

chickelit said...

Althouse wrote: But what about people who joined the military because this was offered to them?

What about people who joined because it was offered AND are part way through a surgical process?


Great topic for litigation. I watched the video you linked. I didn't see any offering if reassignment surgery, nor do I recall Trump campaigning on that. There is very possibly quite a bit of daylight between what someone feels they were offered and what they hoped for. Let's explore that.

How about Trump letting them serve w/o expectation of surgeries?

AllenS said...

Althouse, Trump is the POTUS, and, most importantly, the Commander in Chief. A lot of people (more than likely a majority) did not like Truman integrating the military, but it happened. 69 years to the day of Trump's announcement.

Bob Ellison said...

Yesterday (I think-- maybe on Tuesday), Terry Gross on NPR did a story with a drag person on how drag culture is a big, big deal, and important to appreciate and keep real. (By the way, this person, as I recall, perhaps badly, was saying he's a heterosexual drag male.)

This is a coordinated press attack. Where's Journolist these days? It would be so easy to set up a server in Hillary's basement to keep everyone on-message.

grackle said...

There will be a lawsuit … there may be a good argument that there are some due process rights about kicking people out of the military after they have been accepted … Trump should just have a policy ready to go to treat these people very well (such as an honorable discharge followed by paying for the completion of medical treatments already begun).

Of course there will be a lawsuit. And there will be a Lefty circuit judge. There always is. And a decision from the Lefty circuit judge against Trump. This we know this already. This is predictable.

But then - another decision by the SCOTUS, on which President Hillary(shudder) DID NOT get to appoint another Lefty judge - so we’ll get to see Gorsuch in action instead of a Lefty judge trying to make the Constitution irrelevant.

Thank You, Prez Trump.

Laslo Spatula said...

Althouse said:

"You know what else is binary? Bait and switch.

Look how Trump campaigned."

I don't intend to analyze this point, but rather look at how we got here.

As Althouse states, Trump seemed rather LGBT tolerant -- more than the Left had any reason to expect of a Republican Presidential candidate.

If the Left had proceeded with the idea that they could accomplish things with an opposition President where -- socially -- much overlapped, do you think this would have happened?

Trump would've loved to be loved, and the Left could have probably used that to get a considerable amount of what they want before the next election.

They could've made him a McCain. He would get the Left's love, and his supporters would fade, thinking he went soft.

The non-stop attacks -- not of policies, but of his legitimacy -- leave Trump with no one but his base. There is no carrot to the Left's stick, and they have forced him into a corner.

The Nixon analogy applies: he did a lot of things that the Left wanted (created the EPA, implemented the first affirmative action programs, enforced desegregation of schools, etc) but the Left's hatred of him created a paranoia that was accurate: it ain't paranoia if they ARE out to get you...

If you keep poking Bruce Banner you get the Hulk.

I am Laslo.





TestTube said...

Ann, addressing your point:

I am not sure that it is realistic to demand compassion from the military (or the government in general).

But it IS valid to demand fairness (You may not get it, but you can at least demand it).

So what were these people promised? Specifically:
-- Who are THESE people? Are they people who joined the military expecting to receive medical treatment for transgenderism? Or are they people who joined the military without disclosing their transgenderism? How many people are we talking about here? I doubt that it is thousands.
-- WHAT were they promised? Sexual reassignment surgery? Hormone treatment? Post-service support?
-- WHEN was this promise made? Had they enlisted or taken a commission under this promise?
-- HOW was this promise made? Did they get it in writing? Was it part of their enlistment contract? I seem to remember when I signed up, part of the contract, which I had to specifically sign, was an explicit declaration that I did not get promised, nor would I expect to receive, anything not mentioned in the contract.

Fernandinande said...

Mike Sylwester said...
However, The New Yorker still does have funny cartoons.


Have you noticed they put the caption in text under the image, rather than on the image itself, so you can't easily save or email the cartoon?

Laslo Spatula said...

Sorry about the added lines. Not intended.

I am Laslo.

tcrosse said...

Not to belabor the point, but I have been assured by people in the know that Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation are two separate and distinct things. LGBT: one of these things is not like the others. One of these things just doesn't belong.

Ralph L said...

Jeez, it's HB2 on testosterone.

Hagar said...

There are no exact numbers because there is no definition of "transgender" beyond a person declaring himself as such.
If there are any such people who have actually embarked on a government funded program to alter their physiology, they will presumably be taken care of in some fashion.

If I understand it correctly, Obama's policy on such matters was not yet in effect, so any "transgenders" presently in the military must be there under false pretenses, which I believe already is cause enough for involuntary discharge?

EDH said...

On policy, I agree with Maybee, and I bet Trump will move in that direction, at which point his opponents will look like the extremists.

I can easily imagine post-op trans people serving, if they have been cleared for potential depression (as Lady Gaga tweeted today, 45% of transgendered people have attempted suicide. That's disqualifying for them). But mid-trans, or transitioning just by wearing different hair-- like the man with his period in HuffPo?- that doesn't seem military ready. That seems too complicated.

For persons serving, leaving the the military is a restoration of the rights Trump promised LGBT, not the denial of those rights.

As for promised benefits, you know we're talking about the VA?

Dude1394 said...

He still is, but there is NO DISCUSSION allowed with the left.

MaxedOutMama said...

I don't think support for LGBT rights has anything to do with demanding the right to serve in the military for persons with acute mental problems.

As the policy now stands (after being shifted back to the previous policy), individuals who are able to maintain normal social/behavioral/mental function while living with their birth bodies will serve in the military. Just like before.

The only people who won't be able to serve are those who feel that they must "transition" - whether that is to living socially as the opposite sex or through hormones/surgical modification.

Anyone who believes that this policy is somehow discriminatory toward the "T" people should first be taking up the cause of those with familial dyslipidemia (can't serve), allergies, gout, asthma, auto-immune disorders, sleepwalkers, arthritis, spinal problems, eye problems, diabetes, kidney disorders, depressives, etc. The range of disorders which prevent a person from serving in the military are vast, and that's because function under pressure with minimal to no medical treatment for extended periods is an absolute requirement of military service.

Next we'll be demanding that we hand out driver's licenses to blind people. How crazy has our society gotten that we can even collectively contemplate for one MOMENT the idea that we should be giving weapons to people with acute mental disorders and sending them off to the battlefield? Because that is what the severe form of gender dysphoria is - an acute mental disorder. That's why the otherwise quite harmful interventions are legally permissible - the persons who need them have a morbid condition.

Ann, you are off your rocker to be thinking this way. How CAN you swallow the idea that these poor individuals, who indeed deserve compassion and as much help as society can provide, are in any way able to serve without acute disruption to the mission?

Unknown said...

> he was much better on LGBT rights than Hillary Clinton

There is a right to be in the military? I gotta reread that Bill of Rights.

Never fear, the Supremes will invent a penumbra or flagella to cram it down the Deplorables throat.

It would be a shame to lose more Bradley Mannings over this, wouldn't it?

Ralph L said...

If you keep poking Bruce Banner you get the Hulk.
But now you can poke Bruce Jenner.

Excellent comment, Laslo.

Mike said...

IF Obama really cared about Transgenders he would have put mandatory surgery into Obamacare. But that trans-social movement happened a little too late to be shoveled into the ACA. Sad.

Khesanh 0802 said...

Ann; The military is not a social services organization. Obama and Ash Carter thought it was, but it is not. If people want to transgender let them do it on their own civilian time and with their own civilian money,

Sebastian said...

Being generally supportive of "LGBTQ" "rights" doesn't contradict a strict policy on military service.

Pushing back against Khan and McCain when they were being dicks showed Trump would fight and not turn the other cheek.

"we may find out if there are any rights" There you have the blessings of American law: we "may find out." And we all know how we will "find out." Then, of course, we no longer need to "debate" it, because, after all, thanks to our overlords, we will have "found out."

Hagar said...

Is there any evidence that Bruce Jenner has actually committed to any physiological changes? I.e., his act may just be another Kardassian publicity scam?

Mike said...

But what about people who joined the military because this was offered to them?

What about people who joined because it was offered AND are part way through a surgical process?


I think you're describing unicorns there. Those people don't exist. The policy never actually changed. It takes a long arc to turn a battleship around.

deepelemblues said...

Ann; The military is not a social services organization. Obama and Ash Carter thought it was, but it is not. If people want to transgender let them do it on their own civilian time and with their own civilian money,

Or, if the government is so hellbent on spending the money for gender reassignment surgeries and therapies and for psychological therapy, and to socially engineer society so as to be "fair and compassionate" towards transgenders, then do so through the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Education.

Not the Department of Defense.

sunsong said...

The military wastes more money than just about anyone. I heard Pelosi says that the military spends MORE on Viagra than on gender reassignment. The argument about cost is particularly lame.

exiledonmainstreet said...

A military commenter at another blog made this observation:

"I had to remove a Master Sergeant from our deployment roster to Afghanistan due to Crohn's disease which had been successfully controlled, but he had not completed an entire year without a relapse, and he was still undergoing the steroid treatment. A simple case of being unable to guarantee that he could be adequately medicated even at a large Forward Base at Camp Leatherneck/Camp Bastion was enough to remove a key enlisted leader.
Prior to deploying the first stop in the process was medical/dental. Getting waivers for Marine/sailors who required daily medication or even short term cycles was very difficult. "

Never mind the debate as to whether transexualism is a mental disorder or not. Why should people who require hormone treatments on a regular basis be treated any differently than others who are risks in combat situations because they are dependent on medications which might not be available in the middle of nowhere?

Michael K said...

I'm still waiting for an explanation of how this happened.

I don't think any of this is true.

We had a briefing in June about how this was going happen July 1. It was painful to watch and nobody knew how the hell this was going to work.

The military is not the place for social experiments. As far as the racial thing is concerned, there were black soldiers in the Union army in the Civil War. There were black civil servants in DC until Woodrow Wilson, the most racist president we have had, resegregated the civil service.

Granted the black soldiers were in segregated units for the most part, many but not all with white officers.

Angel-Dyne said...

Wiser, more prescient heads than mine would find nothing remarkable about our having reached the point where allegedly thoughtful, rational people have elevated a boutique sexual perversion into a civil right's holy-of-holies, which must be defended at all costs from common-sense scrutiny, and promoted with the same coercive "educational" apparatus progs already have on hand to fight wrongthink of all kinds.

Being less wise and prescient, I would have thought that ordinary people, even progs, were not this gullible. A brief exposure to any of the actual "I'm a woman trapped in man's body!" types, and the accompanying out-of-nowhere PR putsch (let alone the "trans children" stuff all over the place), surely, would have triggered some healthy skepticism. Followed by a "Whoa, hang on, this has gotten a little out of hand, let's take a few deep breaths and think about what's really going on here before we follow anybody over a cliff, OK?"

Guess not. Though I suspect most people aren't as mindless and gullible as the noisy ranks of mainstream punditry and facebook catladies would lead one to believe.

Mark said...

In the 80's, everyone loved dress wearing Klinger of MASH.

It's amazing how reactionary everyone has gotten since then.

exiledonmainstreet said...

sunsong said...
The military wastes more money than just about anyone."

So they should waste more money on feel-good-ism?

That's not a smart argument.

deepelemblues said...

The military wastes more money than just about anyone. I heard Pelosi says that the military spends MORE on Viagra than on gender reassignment. The argument about cost is particularly lame.

'They're already spending so much money on so many other things they shouldn't, it's lame for you to object to this particular example.'

An atrociously bad argument.

JPS said...

Can someone remind me:

What does the law currently state regarding transgenders and military service?

Did President Obama shepherd a change through Congress - which, no offense, Obama fans, was not his style after Obamacare - or simply order the change in his capacity as Commander in Chief?

Fritz said...

It's the liberal ratchet in action. Once they give away a benefit, they believe it is irrevocable.

Ralph L said...

Is there any evidence that Bruce Jenner has actually committed to any physiological changes? I.e., his act may just be another Kardassian publicity scam?

It said it had the surgery in January.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Even IF the Military were to accept transitioned transgenders (already had their bits rearranged) there are ongoing medical issues that must be continually taken care of. Hormonal treatments etc.

These ongoing medical issues are why many people are rejected from the military. The necessity for continual monitoring would be prohibitive, distracting AND dangerous to everyone. Medical Military Disqualifiers

My brother was rejected during the draft in the Vietnam era because his eyesight, uncorrected is so bad that if he were to lose his glasses in a combat situation, he would be a liability to himself and his combat partners. My husband was rejected during the same time for Osgood Slatters Disease.

IT is a rational decision to exclude people who have medical issues that transgender surgery and hormonal treatment entail.

There is no RIGHT to serve in the Military. It is a privilege and an honor, NOT a right.

The military is also not a charitable institution.

William said...

What's the policy of the military on bariatric surgery? If a morbidly obese person wishes to serve his country, should the military pay for the surgery and all the post op treatment and counseling?

MayBee said...

. I heard Pelosi says that the military spends MORE on Viagra than on gender reassignment.

That would make sense if only by the numbers. So many more men in the military than transgendered people.
Also, I imagine the surgery and treatments required for transgendered people are more invasive- and take people out of service more- than what Viagra is treating. You can still serve in active duty while suffering erectile dysfunction.


On a sidetone, it fascinates me how often the cost of Viagra comes up, now in an argument about transgender people but often in comparison to women's health rights. As if Viagra is somehow bad, or dirty, or proof of male dominance.
Does anyone stop and think about how men who are being treated for erectile dysfunction feel? About what it must be like to lose the ability to enjoy sexual activity or to satisfy your partner? What about the partners of men who are being treated? Why isn't Viagra celebrated by heterosexual women?

BDNYC said...

I think it would be fair to grandfather those transgenders who joined since the policy changed. I bet most of them joined just to get their surgeries paid for, and I can't really blame them for that. It's a bit of a scam, sure, but the government is the stupid one for offering it.

But spare me the nonsense about their patriotism and whatnot. If you get the surgeries, and therefore spend 1/4 of your contract in therapy or recovery, you should be placed on the front lines ASAP.

MaxedOutMama said...

Oh, and Ann - the policy change NEVER WENT INTO PRACTICE. The previous admin had scheduled the policy change to begin this last June 30th, and Mattis delayed it due to functional problems.

There ARE no individuals who enlisted in the military under the "new" policy. Zip.

There may be serving indivduals with this disorder, but their ability to continue to serve is predicated on their ability to function.

You don't know the facts and you are taking a position without bothering to learn them. It doesn't look good.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Mark said...
In the 80's, everyone loved dress wearing Klinger of MASH. "

Ha! It was the '70's, but more to the point, Klinger was not a transsexual. He had no intention of cutting off his dick. He dressed like a woman because he wanted the military to think he was crazy and discharge him so he could go home. The joke was that his ploy was ineffectual.

Some guys whose draft number came up during Vietnam wore panty hose when they appeared before the draft board for the same reason.

Because it was understood by everyone then that men who wanted to dress like women were unsuitable for military service.

Mike said...

JPS said...
Can someone remind me:

What does the law currently state regarding transgenders and military service?

Did President Obama shepherd a change through Congress - which, no offense, Obama fans, was not his style after Obamacare - or simply order the change in his capacity as Commander in Chief?


See all my comments above.

Ralph L said...

Did President Obama shepherd a change through Congress
He didn't have to. Clinton could have allowed open gays in 1993, but got rolled by Sam Nunn, and compromised his CINC prerogative in the DADT law.

MayBee said...

Women: We love being sexual beings! As we age, we still want to be seen as desirable! But if men get viagra to have sex with us, that is just evidence of the patriarchy.

Fabi said...

M*A*S*H was also a sitcom -- not reality.

Chuck said...

A respectful question for Professor Althouse: Is it really the case, that the military had dropped all forms of discrimination against declared transgender people? Respectfully, that is not my understanding. My understanding is that then-Secretary Ash Carter announced it as a future policy, to go into effect after a period of study within the D.o.D. In any event, I'd like to sort out those persons who joined the military as secret, concealed, closeted, undisclosed transgenders, versus people who placed any sort of contractual reliance on any statement by Ash Carter from last year.

If there are persons who placed legal "reliance" (law school profs love notions of "reliance") then perhaps a severance payment is in order.

All the more reason, I submit, to have done much more consideration of this policy, instead of blurting it out on Twitter without running it by Secretary of Defense Mattis or the Joint Chiefs.

BDNYC said...

I forget: did the military pay for Chelsea Manning's surgeries?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I heard Pelosi says that the military spends MORE on Viagra than on gender reassignment. The argument about cost is particularly lame.

I heard that Pelosi is in contact with space aliens (as opposed to the illegal ones) who are speaking to her through an implant. This explains her frequent brain freezes. It is hard to listen to our Alien Overlords and speak to the media at the same time.

James K said...

But what about people who joined the military because this was offered to them?

What about people who joined because it was offered AND are part way through a surgical process?


The numbers must be minuscule and maybe zero, since the policy was only recently put in place, if at all. And isn't this precisely one of many reasons it's a horrible policy, that it would lead to people joining the military because they could get this surgery paid for?

Yet another instance of a benefit that once given cannot be removed, even if it's outlandish and has only been in place for a matter of months.

Darrell said...

did the military pay for Chelsea Manning's surgeries?

Or the Bureau of Prisons . . .

LilyBart said...

I heard Pelosi says that .....

Pelosi also said that Food Stamps stimulate the economy. She's either stupid or evil. Honestly, I'm not really sure which.

MountainMan said...

@Michael K: "Granted the black soldiers were in segregated units for the most part, many but not all with white officers"

All US Colored Troops in the Civil War had white officers. The first black commissioned officer in the US military was 2nd Lt. Henry Ossian Flipper, who graduated from West Point in 1877. He served in the West with the 10th US Cavalry, a black unit with all white officers, except from him. Flipper was from Atlanta and was the son of slaves owned by Ephraim Graham Ponder, a distant relative of mine.

Kevin said...

Ann said: I think there may be a good argument that there are some due process rights about kicking people out of the military after they have been accepted.

No Ann, that's where your wrong. I served in the Navy. You sign a contract that specifies the terms of your service. The length, and any incentives you may have been promised to join. These would typically include schools.

Things you're supposed to get, you get up-front, because if they can't fulfill what's in the contract you agree to modify or are immediately discharged. That's the resolution. You go home.

The system is set up so that no service member tells the military what to do. You know what happens if something outside the contract changes? The needs of the service come before your personal desires.

Like where you are and have two years left? You're moving across the country and immediately going to sea because they need your skills. You want to make a career out of the service but they're downsizing? You're out at 15 years with no pension or benefits. Think you're getting out and war starts? Sit down and shut up, you're going nowhere.

Listen to the vets who make up your commenters. They will teach you this stuff happens all the time. The only reason it's shocking to the readers of the NYT, is that they never served and don't know anyone who has.

If it wanted to, the military could come to Congress tomorrow, push through a draft, and start sending your family members to a war zone. You think these same people will be forced by the courts to provide therapy, support, and elective surgery to people they feel they can do without?

It doesn't work that way.

Unknown said...

For Ann: What about the rights of the soldiers already there? Do you not recall the military announcing they would punish any female soldier/sailor/air(wo)man who complained about the male claiming to be a girl in the shower or in her barracks?

Expelling the transgendered now protects women (and also men, but the women transitioning to men in the military and taking on the higher physical requirements is probably nil).

Transgendered rights or women's rights: Pick one. That's what this has turned into. A binary choice. The transgendered lobby is insisting that women have no rights of privacy anymore.

Why do you appear to agree with them? I can't really believe you are on board with this lunatic idea that all I have to do is check a box on some form this morning and I suddenly have an unlimited right to perve on women who will be punished for complaining about it, and no one can challenge my declaration of "I'm a girl now!" And of course I can transition back tomorrow, after I've gotten enough thrills in the showers. But that's the current position of the transgendered lobbyists and their supporters. I don't really think you support that.

Do you?

--Vance

LilyBart said...

Its a practical matter (as explained by another poster):

It's a logistics nightmare. Let me explain: currently you can't serve in the military if you have any medical conditions that require constant treatment or excessive accommodation. That's why people with asthma, diabetes, permanent STD's/STI's (like HIV), people with cancer or a recurring history of cancer and individuals with physical disabilities can't serve (except in very rare cases where a specific waiver is granted). Transgender individuals require hormone replacement therapy, they require psychiatric care during transition, and if they elect to get surgery it can take 2-4 years for them to recover to the point of being eligible to deploy. On top of that, after the surgery they are at a higher risk of infection for the rest of their life, which complicates any attempt at sending them to the field to train where hygiene isn't always able to be pristinely maintained or overseas. An overseas deployment also puts the individual at risk because they may not have steady access to their hormone replacement drugs, which leads to withdrawal and hormone imbalances as well as health problems. So, just like diabetics and cancer patients and individuals with physical or mental disabilities, it just isn't feasible to accommodate these people so that they can serve

Chuck said...

And now a slightly less respectful question for Professor Althouse: So you are figuring out that things that Trump said in the course of his election campaign were flatly, baldly, substantially and even outlandishly untrue. Welcome to the club. Is this really your first inkling of that?

Would you now say that your interest in Trump as a candidate, and your heretofore lack of any serious criticism of Trump was based in large part on the notion that Trump was indeed "pro-gay, and being cagey about it"? Did you view Donald Trump as a vehicle to transform the Republican Party into a pro-LGBT organization?

Kevin said...

But what about people who joined the military because this was offered to them?

Show me where it says on their enlistment contract where it says gender reassignment surgery is included.

You can't. No one can. If they could, these photos would be all over Twitter.

exiledonmainstreet said...

"That statements such as "Its not only women that menstruate" or "Its transphobic to not want to be with a woman with a penis" are taken seriously and not laughed out of the room. Never. I will never understand this lunacy."

It's a modern day, secular version of Gnosticism.

Fabi said...

"...without running it by Secretary of Defense Mattis or the Joint Chiefs."

That's the second time you've made that assertion. Care to prove it?

William said...

Chelsea Manning is not an inspiring example, but what's truly dispiriting is to see how her self indulgence and sanctimony are presented as some kind of nobility and self sacrifice.....It doesn't seem to me that military service would be a congenial atmosphere for someone who is transitioning. If the attempted suicide rate for transgendered people truly is 45%, I doubt that it would much lower for transgendered service members. And you can bet that if a well publicized transgender did make such an attempt, his service companions would be held responsible for their brutish and bullying behavior.

Kevin said...

But what about people who joined the military because this was offered to them?

What about people who work in a bar that is gay-friendly, but is sold to another owner. Is the new owner Constitutionally-required to maintain gay-friendliness?

For how long? What if the definition of gay-friendly changes? Does the new owner have to accommodate the new definition because the people who took jobs there did so depending on the gay-friendliness of the place?

hstad said...

Sorry "AA" your personal your analogy is wrong! "... It's similar to Obamacare. If it had never been enacted, that would be one thing. But it's been around for a while. You can't just say let's start over. You have to start where you are...." Of course you made that same intellectual arguement when Obama replaced a very good functioning health care system which was liked by 80% of the USA population. I think you emotional closeness to this is pure bias!

chickelit said...

Chuck mused: ...then perhaps a severance payment is in order.

Good for one penectomy

Drago said...

sunsong: "The military wastes more money than just about anyone. I heard Pelosi says that the military spends MORE on Viagra than on gender reassignment. The argument about cost is particularly lame."

Well, if Nancy Pelosi says it then it must be true!

What she is not telling you and you are perhaps a bit too dull to find out for yourself is that those viagra numbers represent military retirees as well as active duty and that viagra is prescribed for conditions other than just male ED.

Hey, as long as Nancy can remember who the President actually is and not freeze up on camera, its a good day.

Darrell said...

flatly, baldly, substantially and even outlandishly untrue

Add "wrong" and you've described a Chuck comment.

Bruce Hayden said...

Althouse wrote: But what about people who joined the military because this was offered to them?

What about people who joined because it was offered AND are part way through a surgical process?

Great topic for litigation. I watched the video you linked. I didn't see any offering if reassignment surgery, nor do I recall Trump campaigning on that. There is very possibly quite a bit of daylight between what someone feels they were offered and what they hoped for. Let's explore that.


Well, maybe. You have to find someone first who has a provable reliance interest. No identifiable plaintiff with an identifiable claim means no Case or Controversy. And, maybe they might get some monetary damages. BFD in the scope of things. Not going to get injunctive relief for r the like. Higher courts aren't going to start telling the militatary how to run itself at this point. Under the Constitution, it is very clear that POTUS is CINC. They aren't. Besides, their reliance interest claim is going to be very weak, since the Obama policy never went into effect - as with a bunch of other things, he threw the time bomb to his successor, delaying implementation until he was safely away to Tahiti, etc. which is to say that it is highly unlikely that a single active duty military person will be found partway through a govt funded transition - unless, like Manning, they are in prison at the time. But if they, miraculously, do, fine, pay them off.

chickelit said...

Chuck further mused...Would you now say that your interest in Trump as a candidate, and your heretofore lack of any serious criticism of Trump was based in large part on the notion that Trump was indeed 'pro-gay, and being cagey about it'? Did you view Donald Trump as a vehicle to transform the Republican Party into a pro-LGBT organization?

I think that's a bingo, Chuck.

Ralph L said...

The transgendered lobby is insisting that women have no rights of privacy anymore.
And yet the NCAA and women's coaches were up in arms over HB2. Crazy.

LilyBart said...

If it had never been enacted, that would be one thing. But it's been around for a while.

This is true until its not true, like anything else. Personally, I think political types use this as an excuse not to do things that might upset vocal people.

Chuck said...

MaxedOutMama said...
Oh, and Ann - the policy change NEVER WENT INTO PRACTICE. The previous admin had scheduled the policy change to begin this last June 30th, and Mattis delayed it due to functional problems.

There ARE no individuals who enlisted in the military under the "new" policy. Zip.

MaxedOutMama posted that comment as I was writing my own to largely the same effect.

Ditto, as they say.

I just don't think that Professor Althouse's "reliance" argument has any basis in fact. But I put it out as a respectful question, because until yesterday, I wasn't following or studying the issue. Apart from the experts, the D.o.D. staff, and the activist/lobbyists, who was?

Kevin said...

You can't just say let's start over. You have to start where you are....

You mean like suddenly deciding that a marriage is not between a man and a woman? Or that women now have an unchallenged right to kill their unborn child? Or that if you liked your doctor it's too bad because your insurance was "substandard"?

It's amazing how many comments are the equivalent of "it can change when I'm doing the changing, but otherwise cannot".

The entire Trump presidency is a refutation of that principle by the majority of the voters. Even lifelong Republicans are having a hard time with it.

Birches said...

This article is good. What about the people already in the military isn't really an issue. Perfectly good soldiers are kicked out all the time.

Jim Howard said...

I have not read that the handful of currently serving transgender military members are going to be discharged, only that gender reassignment is disqualifying for enlistment and comissioning.

The probable test case is going to be this transgender NROTC midshipman who has been getting some publicty lately because she wants to be a Navy SEAL.

Since she's in NROTC she is not yet comissioned, although she is probably under contact.

TosaGuy said...

Our esteemed hostess said:

"gone into practice, and it affects real people who relied on a welcome into the military. You're going to discharge them now?"

Yes. The military changes its enlistment and terms of service rules all the time and a change of conditions for the servicemember will trigger discharges.

1) Single parent without alternate care for your child: You will be discharged
2) Not promoted within a prescribed schedule. Discharge
3) Military needs to cut 500 people of your rank and/or job skill. Discharge
4) Develop a disease or condition. Discharge
5) Can't make height/weight standards. Discharge
6) Can't pass the physical fitness test. Discharge
7) Get a DUI and in a leadership position. Discharge


From an Army Regulation 135-178: Enlisted Administrative Separations

6–7. Other designated physical or mental conditions a. Criteria. The separation authority (para 1–10, of this regulation) may approve discharge under this paragraph on the basis of other physical or mental conditions not amounting to disability (AR 635–40) that potentially interfere with assignment to or performance of military duty. Such conditions may include, but are not limited to, chronic airsickness or seasickness, enuresis, sleepwalking, dyslexia, severe nightmares, claustrophobia, personality disorder, transvestism, and other related conditions in accordance with AR 40–501, paragraph 3–35 and other disorders manifesting disturbances of perception, thinking, emotional control or behavior sufficiently severe that the Soldier's ability to perform military duties effectively is significantly impaired.


I've led people in combat who were not fully focused on the mission at hand because of personal issues that should have put them out. It's scary as hell because it puts everyone around them in danger.


Perhaps there is room for post-treatment transgenders in the military, but there is too much going on with the servicemember during the process to make them a fully effective member of the military.

Snark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TwilightofLiberty.com said...

Why are so many people who've never worn the uniform talking about military policy? Especially when they are largely people that have zero interest in serving anyway and look down on those who do? I'm constantly lectured that my lack of a uterus disqualifies me from talking about abortion. Shouldnt all these civilians STFU because fairness or tolerance or something?

Kevin said...

Did you view Donald Trump as a vehicle to transform the Republican Party into a pro-LGBT organization?

When did being pro-LGBT include government-paid gender reassignment surgery? I don't remember that from their parades, flags, or leaflets.

Because if that's what they're now demanding, there is going to be a majority of the country that is suddenly anti-LGBT by that definition.

Snark said...

A Tweet, PSA style, with no implementation specifics and apparently little if any communication with the Pentagon. Can you conceive of being a current active duty transgendered person, not even knowing if you have a job going forward? How shocked, anxious and alone you might feel? Trump being Trump, utterly sociopathic as usual.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Ann Althouse said...Ann Althouse said...
gone into practice, and it affects real people who relied on a welcome into the military. You're going to discharge them now? And what about people who were led to believe that their transition would be viewed in a positive light, paid for, and treated with compassion, with accommodations of the need to recover from surgery and so forth. These people are in the middle of doing something to their bodies. It's horrible to summarily boot them out of the military. It doesn't matter whether they are mentally ill or not, because the govt embarked on a program and people changed their lives to enter the program. It's similar to Obamacare. If it had never been enacted, that would be one thing. But it's been around for a while. You can't just say let's start over. You have to start where you are.


Yes; government programs and entitlements, once started, can never be stopped.
The Obama administration made it a policy that transgender people will be accepted to the military and their various surgeries and treatments paid for. That was a really bad policy, but nice centrist people gave Obama two big wins and he gets to set whatever policy he wants. You'd think that he couldn't bind future Presidents with his own decisions but you'd be wrong--he created an entitlement and the courts will definitely decide that important new rights are at stake. The program will therefore never be allowed to expire.
Some of us mean nasty ugly small-government supporters talk about the problem of a ratchet effect when we say we have to oppose even nice-seeming changes and programs that expand the scope and scale of the government and create obligations on the citizens to pay for entitlements and the like. We're portrayed as heartless and cruel--"how could anyone vote against giving free belly rubs to cute puppies?!" and we lose. We're usually assured "don't worry, this is just a small program, it's just a temporary change, if this becomes a problem and you get the votes to overturn it later you can...that's what living in a democracy is!" Sometimes we do manage to get the votes, but, oops! The courts, see, they won't let things go back. They won't let nice sympathetic people be harmed by taking away their programs and their free stuff, so we'll just have to keep paying. Oh well, who could have seen it coming, right?

So there you have it. While I might think the primary goal of the military should be to kill people and break shit, it turns out that goal is really secondary to all sorts of other concerns. Social concerns, you might say. We can't hurt the feelings nor harm the pocketbooks of sympathetic folks, after all, and if some liberal President made a stupid fucking decision (for political purposes) that harms the efficiency and effectiveness of the military but also benefits a sympathetic group, well, sorry buddy, the military's just going to have to suck it up on this one.

The needs of the transgender population are more important than the needs of the military as a whole. Pretty simple, really.


HoodlumDoodlum said...

[I will point out, though, that the same compassion you nice centrist people show in saying "the government made a commitment that people relied upon and must make people whole" is entirely absent in a huge number of cases...mostly cases that just happen to line up with Leftist ideology. Businesses relied on the rules and regulations in place when they began, but you change those rules to the business owner's detriment all the time with nary a thought. Environmental regulations, takings cases, all kinds of business rules and regulations, etc--you don't seem to shed too many tears for the good people who get utterly fucked over by capricious government decisions (often delivered using just a "pen and a phone") in those cases. But I guess not everyone's as deserving of sympathy as the transgender community.]

Drago said...

Snark: "A Tweet, PSA style, with no implementation specifics and apparently little if any communication with the Pentagon."

#FakeNews

sunsong said...

exiledonmainstreet,

So they should waste more money on feel-good-ism?

That's one reason I don't agree with your side...to call basic human decency feel-good-ismm is such a put down and confirms my understanding of the right as lacking compassion.

But the argument about cost is especially lame because where are the posts complaining about the waste?

It's like you don't really care about the waste or the cost...this about bigotry, imo

The right seems to me to LOVE thinking about and deciding who deserves and who doesn't...who has value and who doesn't

You totally lose me there

exiledonmainstreet said...

LilyBart said...
I heard Pelosi says that .....

Pelosi also said that Food Stamps stimulate the economy. She's either stupid or evil. Honestly, I'm not really sure which."

One does not cancel the other. It's possible to be both, as the SJWs demonstrate daily.

Drago said...

TwilightofLiberty.com: "Why are so many people who've never worn the uniform talking about military policy?"

Because the lefts march thru the institutions in order to destroy those institutions and allow for the left to rebuild (fundamentally transform) society is experiencing a few minor speed bumps on the way to their next "utopia".

Chuck said...

Fabi said...
"...without running it by Secretary of Defense Mattis or the Joint Chiefs."

That's the second time you've made that assertion. Care to prove it?

I cannot prove it. The whole thing was done without any mention of Mattis; who is on vacation. And in his most recent commentary on the matter, Mattis said it was under study in the Department of Defense and he was awaiting the conclusion of that study.

And the Joint Chiefs' communications staff had no comment, no answers, no nuthin'.

They may have simply been informed. Or not.

It is really up to the White House now, to explain which generals, and which experts, were consulted. And how the decision was arrived at. What the process was.

Fabi, your question is fine; it should just be directed at the White House.

Drago said...

sunsong: "But the argument about cost is especially lame because where are the posts complaining about the waste?"

Dick Cheney cancelled an entire boondoggle advanced tactical bomber for the Navy, saving hundreds of billions, but he was a Nazi so it doesn't count. (see A-12 Avenger).

Fabi said...

Asking the taxpayers to foot the bill for sexual reassignment surgery is in no way related to "basic human decency".

SGT Ted said...

"Look how Trump campaigned.

He's choosing to make a liar out of himself."

Hey, maybe he just "evolved" on the issue, like Democrats do when they do the opposite of what they campaigned on.

Henry said...

Skimming the comments, has anyone noted that Trump's tweeted ban is actually not military policy?

Also some facts:

How many transgender troops are there?

A 2016 RAND report estimates that there are 2,450 active-duty transgender troops and about 1,510 in the reserve. The report, however, put the range at anywhere between 1,320 and 6,630 transgender service members in the U.S. military.

The same RAND study estimated that it would cost a maximum of $8.4 million a year to cover those transgender troops who sought health treatment. This makes up less than 1 percent of annual spending on active-duty health care.

What is the actual policy?

The Obama administration set a July 1, 2017 deadline for the military to start accepting qualified transgender recruits.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis delayed the July 1 deadline to fully lift the ban by six months to Jan. 1, 2018, which he said would give the military more time to evaluate “the readiness and lethality of our forces.” It only impacted new recruits, not those currently serving.

So some conclusions:

1) Trump's announcement didn't completely come out of the blue. The July 1, 2017 deadline had been delayed, but the issue was on the table.

2) Trump's announcement is factually incorrect. The military had delated the accepting of transgender recruits, but made no decision on transgender individuals currently serving.

3) Congress determines what service member health care covers.

4) The annual budget of the Blue Angels is $39M.

Ralph L said...

The reduction in military effectiveness is a feature, not a bug, for too many on the Left, and has been since Vietnam.

Drago said...

LLR: "I cannot prove it."

Doesn't matter.

You got it in. Twice.

So you've served your purpose here.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Speaking of compassion for individuals vs. collective responsibility, wasn't it Professor Althouse who said, back in the splooge stooge discussions, that it was morally right to fuck over an individual guy (who was not the biological father of a kid) and make him pay to raise a child since the alternative would be for "all of us" to collectively pay?

Isn't this close to the opposite argument? The transgender people want free surgeries (or whatever) and if the military changes the rule then they won't get it...but the appeal here is that that'd be a terrible injustice for individual transgender person (to have to pay for that themselves) so we must all collectively be made to pay.

In one case it was fair to burden someone who wasn't really responsible because the alternative was for society collectively to pay, but in this case is't unfair to burden someone individually and we as a society should collectively have to pay. I've seen several arguments already that "the military has so much money, this is only a drop in the bucket" and so on.

Weird reversal, huh?

Drago said...

LLR: "They may have simply been informed. Or not."

It was their decision. Trump just announced it.

In this political climate I don't blame any military officer for not wanting their fingerprints on this decision given how the left and their "lifelong republican" allies would treat them afterwards.

This policy decision has massive active duty support, regardless of what a "magnificent" obama or a "brilliant" maddow might tell you.

Fabi said...

Why would I ask the White House, Chuck? You made an assertion as fact, not them.

Rick said...

You totally lose me there

When I lose people who claim hate is love I conclude I'm on the right track.

Michael K said...

"He served in the West with the 10th US Cavalry, a black unit with all white officers, except from him."

That's what I said. There were black officer after the Civil War, not during.

There still seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about this. All the transgender stuff did not happen.

There may be active duty personnel who cross dress off duty.

I cannot imagine that they are allowed to go through the transition while on active duty,

AllenS said...

Althouse --

Before you decide to school the military or veterans about anything, you should learn about Memorial Day and Veterans Day. That should be an easy assignment, but since I've read this blog, you have not been able to understand the difference in the two holidays. If you have any policy questions about our military, ask a veteran or a presently serving enlistee.

Chuck said...

Drago, you've convinced me what an important issue it is, and how badly we need more, and more accurate information!

Let's get to the bottom of it, ASAP: Which generals and experts did Trump consult with prior to his Tweet/announcement? Who were they, when did they consult with Trump, and how did the decision-making proceed?

When do you suppose we'll get answers from the White House?

MayBee said...

The same RAND study estimated that it would cost a maximum of $8.4 million a year to cover those transgender troops who sought health treatment. This makes up less than 1 percent of annual spending on active-duty health care.

Can that be right? That is about $1,266/person per year. That can't possibly to to cover surgery.

Drago said...

LLR and #CNNStrongDefender: "When do you suppose we'll get answers from the White House?"

Never, as that would defeat the purpose of Trumps announcement to protect the military leadership against the political backlash from you and your leftist compatriots.

Mike said...

Can you conceive of being a current active duty transgendered person, not even knowing if you have a job going forward?

Can you conceive a unicorn?

Same thing.

Michael K said...

"Trump's tweeted ban is actually not military policy?"

You seem to be the expert. What is military policy ?

All I have to go one is DODI 6130.4

Show me where that section about trannies is.

David said...

There were a few black officers during the Civil War. Very few. And as far as I know, all in subordinate not command positions.

Henry said...

@MayBee. I assume that many transgender persons do not pursue surgery.

Phil 3:14 said...

"If you keep poking Bruce Banner you get the Hulk.
But now you can poke Bruce Jenner.

Excellent comment, Laslo."

If you've paid any attention to Laslo and his favorite sex act you would know that you could always "poke" Bruce Jenner.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Althouse wrote: But what about people who joined the military because this was offered to them?

What about people who bought a piece of land because it had a pond that they could use to give water to their cattle, but then the Obama Administration's EPA published a rule that classified that area as a protected wetland, which made the land itself basically worthless? What about, what about?
Oops, not a taking--the Supreme Court is happy to say that unless the government's action completely destroys the value of your property you can't do a thing about it. Oh well, sorry guy, them's the breaks.
Detrimental reliance means nothing when it comes to government rules and regulations, as far as I can tell. Most of you nice centrist people don't seem to mind when rule changes like the one in my example fuck people over, but do seem to care an awful lot when a rule change like the one Trump tweeted might harm the interests of a very small group of people.

I guess some animals are more equal than others, huh?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

It is really up to the White House now, to explain which generals, and which experts, were consulted. And how the decision was arrived at. What the process was.

No. It isn't. Trump is the Chief Executive. It is an Executive decision. Technically, he is not beholden to anyone to explain his decisions. In reality, and as a good PR policy, he might decide to do this, and probably will. But....he doesn't have to do so.

This insistence that Trump (and other Republican Presidents) should spend hours justifying and explaining are just another tactic by the left to hamper and restrain any progress that the President can legally take.

MayBee said...

Henry- that doesn't even seem like enough to cover hormones for many, considering it's an average that would include surgery for some.

David said...

"4) The annual budget of the Blue Angels is $39M."

That clinches it. No transgender Blue Angels. Already spent their allocation.

deepelemblues said...

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Yeah, but farmers and herders are gross old white Christian people who voted for Drumpf and vote for those other Nazi Republicans (aka all Republicans), screw them. Why can't they just die already?

Michael K said...

I know there were black sergeants but did not know about officers.

Henry said...

@Michael K. I'm not an expert. I just like to find actual facts. Oddly, this makes me generally not offended by Trump, since I don't take anything he says seriously. What he does is important. What he says is not.

Anyway:

Mattis delays new transgender policy for US military

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is giving the military chiefs another six months to conduct a review to determine if allowing transgender individuals to enlist in the armed services will affect the "readiness or lethality" of the force.

Dateline: June 30, 2017.

Michael said...

The government both can and does do Uturns on laws. In the 80s the Reagan administration passed a tax law which retroactively impacted taxpayers who had been lured into real estate investments that used accelerated depreciation to boost tax advantages. Too bad Doctors and Lawyers and businessmen! Poof, just like that you were fucked.

sunsong said...

I'd love to see some reaction to this guy:


liberal redneck

Henry said...

Althouse wrote: But what about people who joined the military because this was offered to them?

My reading of the Obama decision would be that this isn't possible since the decision to accept transgender recruits was never implemented. That's not to say that people may have joined the military with health care in mind. But it technically couldn't have been offered to them.

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