Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Kagan is right on "don't ask don't tell"

Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan endured a rather persnickety line of questioning from Sen. Jeff Sessions (R- Ala.) on the ban on military recruiting at Harvard when she was the dean of the law school. In a pointed challenge, Sessions demanded to know her stance on "don't ask don't tell," the ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly in the armed forces.  And without hesitation, the woman who is a bit of an enigma when it comes to her personal views, answered forcefully that the prohibition "was unjust. I believed it then and I believe it now."

Kagan's principled position is in line with Secretary of Defense Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mullen. Sessions, not Kagan, is the one out of step on this issue. 

By Jonathan capehart  | June 29, 2010; 10:02 AM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan capehart  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Disappointed in DC Mayor Adrian Fenty
Next: Sessions slugsfest over military recruitment at Harvard

Comments

Good for Kagan for not weaseling on that one--and for being right on the merits, too.

Posted by: 1toughlady | June 29, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Jonathan it's fine if people take her position on the policy, there's room for honest differences of thought.
What's not ok, and indicative of borderline extremism, is wanting federal money for Harvard while relegating the military recruiters to second-class status on campus.
If schools don't want the military on campus then fine, but you don't get the money. To try to have it both ways indicates a question of judgement that is entirely appropriate to probe.

Posted by: slatt321 | June 29, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

No, what is abusive is for the Federal government to blackmail private universities into discriminating against minorities, often in violation of state laws, using tax payer money.

Most taxpayers support the repeal of DADT, and gays pay as much in taxes as their non-discriminated against straight peers.

Posted by: AxelDC | June 29, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Gays are not allowed to serve in the US military. DADT was put in place to allow service as long as it wasn't brought up.

If you did away with DADT today, then the military would be obligated to root out gays and discharge them. Kagan says that DADT is unjust but fails to understand that it is a positive half-measure, which is better than nothing at all.

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | June 29, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Or kitchendragon, we allow gays to serve openly - in the same capacity we allow straights to serve openly.

And then we have a full measure.

Posted by: Greent | June 29, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

There is no civil right to serve in the military. There is no constitutional right to serve in the military. Therefore, not allowing people to serve is not a violation of their rights. The military should be about nothing other than protecting and defending us. Anything that gets in the way of that should not be allowed. Gay people can serve in the military, providing they put that service above their personal need to out themselves. Which is more important to them?

Posted by: rocks1 | June 29, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I find it pretty amazing that there is a debate that DADT is not blatantly discriminatory. While one may argue in reasonable terms why they believe in DADT (I disagree, but nevertheless I have heard reasonable people argue it), one cannot in reasonable terms argue it is not discriminatory and fairly random. The military recruiters were not "treated like second class citizens"--- they were simply not allowed to recruit as they may have in other places. You act as though Harvard placed them on a pedestal to be attacked with tomatoes... or to lie about themselves.

As for whether serving is or is not a right... that is not the issue. The issue is whether an armed force that stands for honor and defends what have traditionally been American values simultaneously forces its members to hide their identity and punishes them for failing to hide it.

The rest of the country and world works side by side with gay people every single day to solve incredibly difficult problems... I don't believe it is outside the military's capability to maintain discipline and diversity. Your arguments are analogous to the arguments for racially segregated units. I have actual faith in those who serve as being more mature and serious in their duty... do you not?

Posted by: Rickster623 | June 29, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

It's high time for DADT to be repealed and for GLBT citizens to enjoy the same rights as other citizens. Kagan will make a fine supreme court justice. Sen Sessions is an embarasment!

Posted by: lsf07 | June 29, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I don't think military recruiters should be allowed on campus anywhere.

Well maybe they could have an office somewhere out of the limelight, but I don't think they should be roaming around trying to get kids to drop out of school so they can go get killed on the battlefield somewhere.

And I think being gay is a very private matter that the public shouldn't have to be dragged into all the time, and it disgusts me everytime I feel like I have to treat someone different just because they like to take it in the a.s.s.

Posted by: lindalovejones | June 29, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

There is no civil right to serve in the military. There is no constitutional right to serve in the military. Therefore, not allowing people to serve is not a violation of their rights. The military should be about nothing other than protecting and defending us. Anything that gets in the way of that should not be allowed. STRAIGHT people can serve in the military, providing they put that service above their personal need to out themselves (or: proclaim that they are straight). Which is more important to them?

Now, rocks1, do you hear how foolish that sounds? Being gay or straight has as much influence on how good a soldier is as whether that soldier's hair is curly or straight. As in: NONE.

Posted by: wiccan | June 29, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Poor little Jeffy Sessions, whining about Kagan treating the military like "second-class citizens..."

...while the military was and is treating gay people like second-class citizens.

Pot, kettle, black. Hypocrisy much, Jeffy?

All I saw was a bitter, angry man still seething because he flunked his own confirmation hearing years ago - because he was a confirmed racist. Get over it already, Jeffy!

Posted by: slavicdiva | June 29, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

DADtell was a necessary evil. That was the only way they felt gays could serve their country side by side straights. Their is a reason why the barracks and shower halls are gender separate. If you are a woman would you want to shower in a room full of guys and vice versa ? What about bathrooms? Why do we have gender specific bathrooms? If we are to force these changes in the military, why not in the rest of society?

Posted by: cygiant | June 30, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company