Military chiefs lobby for ignoring DADT compromise
May 26th, 2010
Senator John McCain (the newly crafted ultra-conservative unhesitatingly homophobic Senator John McCain who magically appeared during the last Presidential election, not to be confused with the previous incarnation of Senator McCain which was moderate, “maverick”, relatively gay friendly, and sought solutions rather than grandstanding) is leading the charge to oppose abandoning Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. McCain is in a battle for his party’s continued nomination and apparently he’s decided that he’ll gladly throw his reputation as a statesman to the wind in order to serve yet one more term in the Senate. (yes, I’m bitter)
As part of his campaign in favor of retaining federally mandated institutional discrimination, McCain has solicited and received letters from the various chiefs of staff expressing their dissatisfaction with the compromise.
I remain convinced that it is critically important to get a better understanding of where our Soldiers and Families are on this issue, and what the impacts on readiness and unit cohesion might be, so that I can provide informed military advice to the President and the Congress.
I also believe that repealing the law before the completion of the review will be seen by the men and women of the Army as a reversal of our commitment to hear their views before moving forward.
I share the view of Secretary Gates that the best approach would be to complete the DOD review before there is any legislation to change the law. My concern is that legislative changes at this point, regardless of the precise language used, may cause confusion on the status of the law in the Fleet and disrupt the review process itself by leading Sailors to question whether their input matters. Obtaining the views and opinions of the force and accessing them in the light of the issues involved will be complicated by a shifting legislative backdrop and its associated debate.
I believe it is important, a matter of keeping faith with those currently serving in the Armed Forces, that the Secretary of Defense commissioned review be completed before there is any legislation to repeal the DA/DT law. Such action allows me to provide the best military advise to the President, and sends an important signal to our Airmen and their families that their opinion matters. To do otherwise, in my view, would be presumptive and would reflect an intent to act before all relevant factors are assessed, digested and understood.
I encourage the Congress to let the process the Secretary of Defense created to run its course. Collectively, we must make logical and pragmatic decisions about the long-term policies of our Armed Forces – Which so effectively defend this great nation.
Yes, gentlemen, I get it. You don’t really support the end of anti-gay bias in the Military, you just said that you do in the hopes of continuing the practice until the composition of Congress changes to one which will let it stay in place.
But for me, here’s the bottom line.
This policy is discriminatory. It is based in animus, presumption of superiority, and ignorance. It will change. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether Military leaders or enlisted personnel like it; ours is a civilian controlled military, not the other way around.
So I don’t care if ridding our Military of bigotry is personally inconvenient. I don’t care if it would be a hassle. I don’t give a whit if service personnel feel insulted that they aren’t consulted on federal legislation. And I really give absolutely no value to whether or not you personally favor anti-gay discrimination.
Because you have two jobs: keep our citizens safe, and advance the values of our nation. Not your values, not Senator McCain’s values, but the values protected by our Constitution and enjoyed by our people.
You don’t work for Senator McCain. And while you may report to the President (though apparently with contempt), you don’t work for him either. You work for us and it’s time that you recall it.
And the legislature doesn’t exist to do your bidding. They are elected by the people, they answer to the people, and they enact the laws and policies that the people demand. Sure your advice on military matters is of value, but your objections to their fulfillment of obligations that they made to us are offensive to our very democratic process.
We the people reject your discriminatory policy. You have no veto power. And if you cannot fulfill your duty, then it’s time for you to tender your resignation.