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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Don't Ask Don't Tell

Let's put to the side whether or not don't ask don't tell is or isn't a good policy. Why would the president decide now to make an issue of this? Most people remember that Clinton's first two years were a debacle because of health care. Some forget that before that debacle Clinton took on the contentious issue of gays in the military. Don't ask don't tell grew out of that. It was, however, a hugely divisive issue. Clinton immediately lost a lot of popularity by taking it on.

Obama has no such luxury. When Bill Clinton took on this issue, we were in general peace and prosperity and it was the beginning of his term. Obama is already hemorrhaging popularity. We're in two wars. Our economy is on the bring and Obama picks now to take a hugely divisive issue.

What's worse is that this policy couldn't be implemented any time soon. Are we going to have the Pentagon implement a new homosexual policy at the same time they're implementing a new strategy in Afghanistan? With several theaters of war and a GWOT there's really no good time to implement this?

Is the President really willing to take on the consequences of what would happen if this policy was implemented improperly? If this leads to poor morale and discipline and lives are lost it will be on the president's hands. It's one thing to implement a new such policy during peace time but quite another during two wars.

Finally, let me leave you with this thought but a retired military. One of the main arguments against openly gay in the military is that it will make those around them uncomfortable in the showers. So, if we allow openly gay in the military, will we lead to unisex showers?


AG said...

Your last point is irrelevant because they're already there uncomfortable in the shower whether they change it or not. And its not like the military is a paragon of sexual assault prevention.

75% of Americans support the repeal, that's why all those military officials keep saying "its time".

This is a winning issue for the President. Assuming he can stand up to the ultra-right and actually implement it unlike health care.

mike volpe said...

It's not irrelevant because if you don't know they're there you don't notice.

I haven't seen any polling but if you think a contentious fight about an issue most people don't care that much about now is a good idea that doesn't speak too much to your political acumen.

AG said...

How can you not know they're there. They ARE there, you just don't know who they are, but they ARE IN FACT there.

mike volpe said...

I'm not sure what your point is. It has little to do with anything I said.It certainly doesn't mean that we should allow openly gay people in the military or that it's a good political move to be there.

It's out of sight out of mind. If you don't know that someone is gay you aren't concerned that they're staring at you.