Monday, January 07, 2013

Log Cabin takes out ad in Washington Post against Hagel for Secretary of Defense


Log Cabin Republicans took out a full page ad in the Washington Post, today, Monday January 7, 2013, p. A7, to question President Obama’s presumptive nominee for Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel. The ad must have cost thousands; someone must have donated the money to pay for it.   Both liberals and conservatives have criticized the choice.

Apparently there have been two ads, according to the LCR press release, here

Log Cabin  points out several sins:  In 1996, Hagel said he would support the Defense of Marriage Act, DOMA, which Bill Clinton signed.  In 1998, he called a Clinton ambassadorial appointment James Hormel (to Luxembourg) “aggressively gay”.  In 1999, he opposed repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell”.  In 2005, he criticized a federal judge’s ruling invalidating a Nebraska law invalidating same-sex marriage. 
Hagel apologized for all these remarks recently in 2012.

Is the “times change” defense enough?  Even public school systems tell kids that. 

In 1996, the idea of DOMA might have seemed defendable, even “progressive”, if it made it easier for states to start experimenting with same-sex unions and marriages, without concerns about Full Faith and Credit.  In the 90s, allowing states flexibility would have been seen as a quasi-libertarian position.  That’s not so now. We’ve outgrown the “states’ rights” trick.

And in 1993 to 1994, not “asking” was seen as an “advance” regarding gays in the military. (Before, “asking” at recruitment had been required, although that hadn’t actually been so in the 1960s with the draft – a fact that very few politicians or activists knew in the 90s. )  One problem as that the attitude turned more into “ask if necessary” and the continuation of witchhunts, even though they were sporadic in nature.  The malignancy spread to problems like the Solomon Amendment and then ROTC recoupments.  In the end, HBO would tell us about “The Strange History of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. 

Social advances generally do take time.   

Hagel would be the first enlisted veteran to become Secretary of Defense. 

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