Sunday, December 5, 2010

'Don't ask, don't tell' on the way out

Debra J. Saunders is the conservative columnist at the EssEffChron. 'Conservative' does not have quite the same connotation in Frisco as it does in, say, Bachmann's district.

One gay service member noted that a repeal would "take a knife out of my back." Amen to that. They have our back; we should remove the knife pointing at theirs.

Besides, I have to agree with the gay service member who predicted, "If it is repealed, everyone will look around their spaces to see if anyone speaks up. They'll hear crickets for a while. A few flamboyant guys and tough girls will join to rock the boat and make a scene. Their actions and bad choices probably will get them kicked out. After a little time has gone by, then a few of us will speak up. And instead of a deluge of panic and violence ... there'll be a ripple on the water's surface that dissipates quicker than you can watch."

That doesn't mean that there won't be problems. As Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., noted during Thursday's Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, the review also found that 58 percent of Marines in combat units and 48 percent of Army combat troops feared that repealing "don't ask, don't tell" would have a negative or a very negative impact on the ability of their units to work together. America is at war and Washington has to address the concerns of combat troops.

Besides the fact that the 'concerns of combat troops' are mainly leadership, intel, a good plan, ammo, comm, supporting arms on call, and a little food and water, that one's almost easy to understand: combat troops are generally cockstrong macho young guys, very fit, trained up to the nines, and with a sense of comradeship and invulnerability in their mission, as in "Yea though I walk through the Valley Of Death, I 'm the meanest motherfucker in the valley". Operative word is 'young' which presupposes the modifier 'dumb' - 'gay' does not fit well in their idea of the macho world they inhabit.

That said, the trigger-pullers are remarkably well disciplined and will do what they are told. No one took a poll before Iwo Jima or Normandy. They'll get over it about the time a gay corpsman patches one of 'em up under fire. Or when they are told to. Besides, Marines never leave their buddies' behind anyway. Heh.

What the troops 'think', heh, has never been much of a concern. Still not a problem.

Everyone knows that "don't ask, don't tell" eventually will be repealed. It's only a matter of time. So the question is: Will it be repealed by people who care about the military and the rights of dissenters, or will it be repealed by an arrogant judge with a political agenda? That is the choice before the Senate.

There's the rub. "Activist judges" seem to be OK when they decide that a corporation is a citizen with all the 'free speech' (actually many thousands of times the money 'free speech') of an individual, but not OK when they go against something the right wing wants its Senate lapdogs to be in charge of not doing.

One way or another, DADT is over but for the shouting. Or in McCain's case, the drooling.

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