Saturday, December 18, 2010

Pretty good news

Don't Ask, Don't Tell is (almost) history.

You doubtless know that the Senate has voted 65-31 to repeal the law. As the House had already voted in favor of repeal, the deed is done except for Obama's signature, which is a foregone conclusion.

Many are doing handsprings of joy over this, but that should be tempered somewhat: The bill does not trash the provision immediately; rather it requires the military to establish procedures for ending it. The actual final elimination of this version of official bigotry could take anywhere from a couple of months to a year and maybe longer if some of the dipshits in the military :cough: James Amos :cough: try to drag it out. Advocates are making a point of telling people "Don't come out yet. It's still not safe."

Still, the question about ending DADT is no longer if it will end but just exactly when.

So why do I call it "pretty" good news? Two reasons, one of which is precisely that delay.

The other is that frankly I have trouble getting greatly enthused about events and decisions that encourage joining the military. Somehow, I just can't accept the idea that the ability to "maintain combat effectiveness" in two immoral wars which should be stopped immediately is a good measure of justice.

Still.... Still.... Still, it has to be seen as a step in the right direction. Its symbolic value, and therefore its potential to assist progress on a broader front, is enormous. And so yes, it is good news. And I will enjoy it as such.

Footnote: The Obamabots are going to leap to chalk this up as a win for him, as proof of his greatness. And yes, he was openly in favor of repeal and yes, it is one area where he didn't try to weasel out of an earlier position. But let's be truthful: Other than saying he wanted it to be done, what did he actually do about it? Did he lobby? Did he twist arms? Did he expend any political capital at all?

It seems to me that the people in DC who deserve the most credit here are Harry Reid and - although it makes me gag a bit to say it - Joe Lieberman, who refused to let the issue die in the post-election session of the Senate.

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