Saturday, May 29, 2010

Ending DADT Continued

The NYT has a nice interactive graphic for who voted for and against repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell. The surprises to me are:
  1. That The Dems have more House seats in southern Texas and the mountain states than I expected.
  2. That some Democrats in New England voted against the repeal.  Same for Wisconsin and Minnesota, but I guess Democrats representing rural voters have to be weenies.  And they can afford to be since they knew that it would pass.  One thing I learned in grad school by osmosis is that vote outcomes in Congress are an equilibria--that folks figure out what the margin will be and then the leaders let those in risky districts opt out.
  3. Speaking of which, more brave Democrats in the South than I would have expected.  The few "deviant" (hee, hee) Republicans are in predictable spots: California, Washington, Delaware, Illinois (Chicago), Pennsylvania, Florida's south Miami area.  No Republicans anywhere else except for the one representing New Orleans.*
 Not so surprising:
Indeed, both opponents and supporters of the ban say a host of thorny practical questions will face the Pentagon if Congress gives final approval to legislation allowing the repeal of the ban, which could happen this summer.NYT
 While some of these would be difficult, still a big improvement over the status quo of kicking out people who are qualified and forcing people to lie about who they are and to live in fear.

Similar questions were asked when blacks were allowed to integrate previously all-white units. But that transition was not without its difficulties too, including instances of racial violence.
Just because it is hard and may be costly does not mean it is not worth doing.  What is right is worth doing.

And for bad reasons to continue the status quo:

Ms. Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, a nonprofit policy group, also predicted fierce debate over rules governing antidiscrimination policies toward homosexuals. She said she and other supporters of the ban worried that service members who oppose homosexuality on religious grounds would be denied promotions, a policy she called “zero tolerance” toward anti-gay discrimination.
“Over a period of time, not all at once, people who find themselves out of step with zero tolerance will not re-enlist,” she said.
She says this like it is a bad thing.  Again, substitute race here for homosexuality and see if this stands up at all?  This is not far-fetched at all since folks used the bible to oppose the integration of African-Americans.  I like the irony of flipping DADT on its head--it is ok to have homophobic thoughts--you just cannot express them without consequences in the near future in a post-DADT military.  That would be a delightful irony, indeed.

But it is not a done deal yet, and officers and enlisted folks are still being persecuted prosecuted for being gay or lesbian.

 See also here for some good links and an interesting take on it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Today, on this week, George Will explained why Republicans in Congress are persisting in opposing the end of DADT when even conservatives and Republicans support that change: They're not intelligent.