Friday, October 15, 2010

Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Do What?

Well, this whole thing has now become seriously confusing.

A little while ago, courts found both DADT and laws against gay marriage to be unconstitutional. Everyone advised that it is great news, but will take years before it has any real meaning because it has to wind its way up to the Supreme Court.

Well, maybe not. The court issues an injunction against DADT and the military folds like a cheap suit. In a way, this is what you expect them to do, since they are subject to civilian authority, but it leaves a weird feeling. Sort of like a boxer collapsing between rounds. They’ve been fighting this for years, and one little peck from a different direction and they’re down.

It could make you wonder about the staunchness of our military.

The weird thing is that the court issued an injunction in one case, DADT, to end the unconstitutional practice and in the other case, gay marriage, to continue the unconstitutional practice. I’m probably the only one who thinks that’s weird.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch so to speak, the Justice Department is vowing to appeal the issue and get DADT reinstated, while President Obama is still making speeches about ending it. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who thinks that’s weird. Almost certainly he has noticed that it is actually ended right now, but he wants Justice to reinstate it so that he can get Congress to end it “in a more orderly fashion.”

He for sure has a different definition of “orderly” than I do.

Justice is seriously freaked out about this ruling, outdoing the military in issuing hyperbolic rhetoric about its effects, and saying that it will "harm the government's critical interests in military readiness, combat effectiveness, unit cohesion, morale, good order, discipline, and recruiting and retention of the armed forces."

They missed its effect on “physical fitness” and “sartorial splendor” I think.

The military may feel it is subject to the courts, but civilian government is a different matter, and the civilian side at the Pentagon has also got its pants in a pretty tight wad. It says that military leaders need time to learn how to prohibit discrimination against gays and lesbians in the military. After all, this is a brand new idea that just came up, and we haven’t had any time to study it yet. You need to give us time, because we don’t know what discrimination is or how to prohibit it. We don’t have any different races in the military, and we have no women, so…

"Without this education and training," he said, "commanders in the field will not have the necessary guidance and will not be able to enforce the new regime in the consistent, even-handed manner that is essential to morale, discipline and good order.

"Equally importantly, service members must know what is expected of them."

Stanley also warned that "a poorly implemented transition will not only cause short-term disruption to military operations, but would also jeopardize the long-term success of the transition. Either outcome would irreparably harm our military and the national security of the United States."

(emphasis mine) I fear for our military, I truly do. I fear for our nation.

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