We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
We have a Donít Ask, Donít Tell Congress controlled by the Democrats, uncaring about its impacts on our health, finances, or national security. The Congressional Democrats are deserving of repeal in November.
Donít bother to ask what is really within the thousands of pages of ObamaCare, and tell Americans lies. --The Director of the Congressional Budget Office does tell, despite the assurances that ObamaCare would somehow reduce health care costs and government spending on healthcare:
In CBOís judgment, the health legislation enacted earlier this year does not substantially diminish that pressure. In fact, CBO estimated that the health legislation will increase the federal budgetary commitment to health care (which CBO defines as the sum of net federal outlays for health programs and tax preferences for health care) by nearly $400 billion during the 2010-2019 periodÖ.
[I]t is not clear what specific policies the federal government can adopt to generate fundamental changes in the health system; that is, it is not clear what specific policies would translate the potential for significant cost savings into reality. Moreover, efforts to reduce costs substantially would increase the risk that people would not get some health care they need or would like to receive.
Donít bother to find out how the military could adjust to openly gay enlistees or the effects on recruitment and retention, readiness, or military families (half of the military are married).Tell the members of the Joint Chiefs, responsible for military personnel, and the military that their views donít count.
Democrats ignored those pleas and voted anyway. Their concern was that if they waited until the Gates study is complete, after the November elections, Republicans could pick up enough seats to block repeal in 2011.
Perhaps the biggest affront was the fact that the White House, Mr. Gates, Adm. Mullen and Democrats settled on a compromise without allowing the four service chiefs to see it or comment.
Don't ask how we get out of the mess if you don't tell in November, and before in letters, meetings, and contributions to and participation in campaigns.
I'm as livid as any Farmer about the current Congress and its habit of ramming things down America's throat. That said, open acceptance of gay servicemembers is going to happen, I hope, and it will happen against the inclinations of the brass. I don't understand their reluctance; I doubt they are especially homophobic or more religious than most Americans. Most of them are around my age; we came of age as the wave of sentiment against homosexuality changed.
The brass have had nearly 20 years to think about how to accept gay servicemembers with minimal disruption. They've had longer than that to read writing on the wall that the gay exclusion policy will someday fail. The usual twin arguments -- lower-ranks are against gay members and gay people will disrupt units -- are both demonstrably false. We have two hundred years of "What the heck? Who turned out to be gay? Not him!" to prove it.
Those who know my by-line know that I'm a veteran. I lived in barracks and tents, used communal showers. Of course some of my barracks mates would be surprised and even a little worried about knowing who in the barracks was gay. Most would get over it quickly. The rest -- well, I'm sorry, but we don't accept overt anti-Semitism or anti-Catholicism in the service either. You get over it or you get out. This is the kind of thing where the civilians are supposed to tell the military to act for justice. Not social justice, individual justice.
Thanks for writing.
I'm sure many agree with you.
I'm also sure that most would want any integration to be done with care, for those who wish to be openly gay and serve, and for others who may be opposed or neutral or favorable and their families, for readiness, for recruitment and retention, for accomplishing primary missions, for national security.
The Democrats in Congress, as usual, acted with hasty disregard for all these necessities.
I want open acceptance to occur with as little disruption as possible. I think the brass will only work on that when they have a drop-dead date. In the military we called that a "suspense". I think this was the right way to convince the brass it will happen and I wish Republicans had led this.
I also think it's going to happen with less trouble than the brass seem to think. We don't need to integrate gay servicemembers; we have them already. Gay servicemembers don't need any privileges or special protection, they just need an official policy that says they are welcome as they are. Straight servicemembers really have nothing to lose here, or at least nothing they're entitled to expect.
Barracks privacy and deployment privacy would be valid issues with or without gay servicemembers.
Thanks for replying.
That may be your view, but I don't think it is the mission of many in the gay rights community, and their legal arms.
And, there is a difference between serving and serving openly if that causes otherwise avoidable, dealt with methodically rather than by Congressional Democrats' haste, problems that may not best serve such volunteers or others.