Friday, May 28, 2010

Is The End In Sight?


The House voted yesterday to let the Defense Department repeal the ban on gay men and women from serving openly in the military, beginning, I hope, the end of DADT.

My fingers are crossed, but I am not holding my breath.

The repeal will not be allowed until 60 days after a Pentagon report is completed on the ramifications of allowing openly gay service members, and military leaders certify that it would not be disruptive; that report isn't due until the first of December.

A lot can happen between now and then.

Before the vote, the battle lines were quite clear, and quite different. Those in favor of a DADT repeal called the amendment a matter of basic fairness and equality, while those against assailed the President and the Democrats for destabilizing the military to advance a liberal agenda.

See how that works? The Democrats call it fair; the Republicans--and a few asshat Dems--called it liberal. Well, for me, if liberal is fair, then I'm proud to be liberal.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “On Memorial Day, America will come together and honor all who served our nation in uniform. I urge my colleagues to vote for the repeal of this discriminatory policy of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ and make America more American.”

Fairness.

In addition to the House vote, the Senate Armed Services Committee approved a similar measure yesterday. The vote, in a closed session--much to the chagrin of John McCain who wanted it televised so he can improve upon his new ultra-conservative image--was 16 to 12, with one Republican, Susan Collins of Maine, in favor, and one Democrat, Jim Webb of Virginia, opposed. Committee chairman Carl Levin said he believed that the full Senate would support permitting the repeal.

And, like the House amendment, the Senate measure would allow Pentagon leaders to revoke the ban 60 days after the military completes its report, and President Obama, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen, certify that it won't hamper military readiness and effectiveness or “unit cohesion.”

President Obama said: “This legislation will help make our armed forces even stronger and more inclusive by allowing gay and lesbian soldiers to serve honestly and with integrity.”

Fairness. Honesty. Integrity.

But chiefs of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines have all objected, and, in letters solicited by Grampa McCain, have urged Congress to delay voting on the issue until after the Defense Department completed its report. McCain said: “I think it’s really going to be really harmful to the morale and battle effectiveness of our military.”

Fairness. Honesty. Integrity.

I thought those were tenets of the military, and yet John. McCain has vowed to keep stomping his feet and being all anti-gay when the measure reaches the Senate floor.

Senator Joe Lieberman, who sponsored the repeal measure, said: “The ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy doesn’t serve the best interests of our military and doesn’t reflect the best values of our country....[b]ottom line, thousands of service members have been pushed out of the U.S. military not because they were inadequate or bad soldiers, sailors, Marines or airmen but because of their sexual orientation. And that’s not what America is all about.”

Fairness. Honesty. Integrity.

2 comments:

madtexter ☺☺☺☺☺☺ (corey james) said...

I was always a bit too Nancy to join the armed forces. I just detest war and everything it stands for. But don't get me wrong, I'd sooner blast an enemy to Kingdom Come than let them take over my civil liberties.

And can I tell you a secret? I was a bit military-like when I was in college - I was in ROTC. Butch, baby...BUTCH!

Robbie said...

I'm glad this is nearly over. I nearly joined the Marines when I was eighteen and the only thing that stopped me was a back injury.