New Wrinkle in Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell Fight: Just Don’t Ask About the Told

This week, a new strategy emerged in the effort to keep brave and qualified gay soldiers in the military, despite the still-in-effect-for-the-foreseeable-future “Don’t ask/Don’t tell” policy.  From Advocate.com’s Kerry Eleveld:

Seventy-seven Congressional members led by Democratic Representative Alcee Hastings of Florida sent a letter to President Barack Obama Monday urging him to take immediate action to stop the investigations of “don’t ask, don’t tell” violations. The letter does not call for an executive order halting discharges but rather a change in how the policy is implemented within the Department of Defense.

“It is a presidential moratorium, it is a significant presidential action, but it’s not an executive order,” said Christopher Neff, political director at the Palm Center, a research institute at University of California, Santa Barbara. “They basically want the military to disregard anyone who ‘tells’ [of someone’s sexuality] as long as there isn’t a [Uniform Code of Military Justice] violation or something criminal.”

Kerry asked Robert Gibbs about it at yesterday’s briefing, explaining it well in the process:
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DOMA Defense ‘Apology’ Should Have Come From Top of White House Ladder

There has been some walk-back on the Justice Department’s brief in defense of DOMA, which seemed to equate same sex marriage with incest.  As Jake Tapper reports, the qualms come from a staff secretary to the President:

In a panel discussion at the liberal American Constitution Society Friday, President Obama’s staff secretary, Lisa Brown, expressed personal reservations about some of the language in the Justice Department brief against same-sex marriage that cited the ability of states to refuse to recognize incestuous marriages as a comparison with same-sex ones.

“It was an awful lot better that the brief that was written in the Bush administration,” Brown said, as first reported by Politico’s Josh Gerstein. “There’s no question — personal statement — that there were some cites in there that should not … have been in there.”

Setting aside the weakness of the statement (“Mr. Dahmer said, of his freezer, that there were some heads that should not have been in there…”), this is something that should have come quicker, and from higher up, than this.  The opportunity was certainly there, as the very same Jake Tapper gave Robert Gibbs a shot at clarifying this earlier in the week: Continue reading

Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell Opinion Poll: 3 Questions

I’m conducting an opinion poll about the military’s “Don’t ask/Don’t tell” (DADT) policy for use in an article later this week.   There are 3 seperate polls, please choose only one.

Click here to take the poll for Self-identified Conservatives.

Click here to take the poll for Self-identified Liberals.

Click here to take the poll for Self-identified Independents.

If you wish, you can click here to see other articles that I’ve written on the topic.

Independent Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell Opinion Poll: 3 Questions

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Liberal Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell Opinion Poll: 3 Questions

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Conservative Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell Opinion Poll: 3 Questions



Playboy Gets One Right: Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell is Dangerous

Ana Marie Cox (AMC) has just written her first article for Playboy, and in the process, has provided the magazine with a large measure of redemption.  The piece is compelling and timely, especially given the Supreme Court’s denial of cert to a challenge to DADT.

In the piece, Ana Marie frames the issue of the military’s “Don’t ask/Don’t tell” (DADT) policy as both a civil rights issue, and a much more immediate national security issue.  For good measure, she posits that repealing DADT is just good politics:

But one of the key components of recent Democratic victories has been candidates’ refusal to cede military issues to the traditionally hawkish GOP. Repealing DADT should be a part of reclaiming national security as a bipartisan issue. Honestly, would there be a more “efficient use of gays in the Army” than having them hunt down Islamic extremists, arguably the only group more uncomfortable with the idea of homosexuality than social conservatives?

That’s probably my favorite passage in the piece, though I encourage reading the whole thing.

There are also a few points that I would add. Continue reading