Monday, July 20, 2009

"Let them Serve": Let Obama pressure Congress now to end "don't ask don't tell"


Today, Monday July 20, the Washington Post has a major editorial urging Congress to take action to repeal “don’t ask don’t tell”. The editorial discusses the efforts of Congressman Patrick Murphy, and points to the website “Let Them Serve”. The editorial (link here) is titled “Marching Orders: Ending ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ will take an act of Congress – and voters actively pushing for it”. Notice the grammatical gerund construct (the Post didn’t put the word “are” before “actively”). The Post also mentions the legal analysis from the Palm Center saying that Obama could lift the ban by Executive Order – although we saw that suggestion with President Clinton in 1993. There’s some praise for the attempt of Defense Secretary Gates (Republican, no less) to end the discharges after forced outings. The Post, however, agrees with the President that changing policy "legally" probably (or even certainly) requires Congress, and the courts probably have done all they can. But -- and so -- in the long run, this, like so many things, requires political will – and the ability of voters to look into their own lives.

Surveys show that voters support ending the DADT policy, although there seems to be some superficiality in the way the question as posed, as if we were talking about a separate “category” of beings. The existential arguments will surely return.

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