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Why conservatives should repeal 'don't ask don't tell'

It's a great sadness that Senate Republicans blocked efforts to repeal 'don't ask, don't tell' Tuesday. Ending discrimination against gays in the military got 56 votes -- which would have been an astonishing result a couple of decades ago -- but that was four votes short of the 60 that filibuster abuse has rendered the new majority in the U.S. Senate.

But there are at least some profiles in courage on this issue, and I want to salute Bret Stephens, a columnist for the Wall Street Journal, for trying to persuade Republicans to join the equal rights cause. He made a strong political case to the GOP -- but also the central substantive case:

… it's worth noting that there are an estimated 48,000 homosexuals on active duty or [in] the reserves, many of them in critical occupations, many with distinguished service records. If they pose any risk at all to America's security, it is, paradoxically, because DADT institutionalizes dishonesty, puts them at risk of blackmail, and forces fellow warfighters who may know about their orientation to make an invidious choice between comradeship and the law. That's no way to run a military.

Stephens is exactly right. Some day, many of his fellow conservatives will join him. DADT will be a thing of the past, and the United States will join its many allies who reject this foolish barrier to the patriotic service of Americans who are gay or lesbian. It's too bad the first step could not be taken today.

By E.J. Dionne  | September 21, 2010; 5:05 PM ET
Categories:  Dionne  | Tags:  E.J. Dionne  
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Comments

There's a difference between "conservative" and "right-wing"; "conservative" used to mean things like support for individual liberty, states rights (as opposed to Federal control) and religious freedom. But today, it is the "right-wing" as evidenced by the tea baggers and their grip on the ideology formerly known as "conservative". They are all about thought and mind-control, deciding who can worship where, who can do what and etc. It's William Jennings Bryan populism at its worst.

Posted by: header | September 21, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, sure......you think maybe that it could have had something to do with the outrageous illegal alien amnesty that got tacked on? Or any of a number of other piece of crap legislation that Reid and others tried to foist off on Americans? Your crappy Op-Ed piece doesn't fool the vast majority of Americans who understand just what went down. Nice try, but...>FAIL!

Posted by: stinkyliberals | September 21, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

If Dionne has ever written about when he served in the military, I missed it. I was in the US army in wartime. There were two homosexuals in our small unit but it was no big deal and no announcement was ever asked for or needed. Military discipline trumps any felt or invented need to make public announcements of the extremely personal.

Posted by: mhr614 | September 21, 2010 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Leftists couldn't peel off Snowe, Collins, and Brown? Wow, that tells me all I need to know..

Posted by: wewintheylose | September 21, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

@stinkyliberals: you are a dumbass. There is no amnesty provision. Saying so is a lie. But that is what republicans and their teabagging cohorts do. Easier than trying to actually serve the American people. Bunch of retards.

Posted by: spf1 | September 21, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

It was all Reid's fault. He's the guy who put the Dream Act nonsense in there.

Still, no one has come forward with any proposals at all to deal with the well-known sexual problem associated with Abu Ghraib.

It's called SEXUAL SADISM.

Why isn't Dionne interested in solving that problem? Is it that he values Iraqi lives worthless, or is he into sexual sadism in his spare time?

He had plenty to say way back when. Now he's silent when he should be screaming at the top of his voice.

Guy must be H E DOUBLETOOTHPICKS on the water board eh!

Posted by: muawiyah | September 21, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

The GOP must be trying to hold on the few supporters they really have. Take away the talk radio, Fox News, and most of the corporate media, and they'd be irrelevant.

The world is passing conservatives by. We're trying to move forward, but are always held back by these people. I used to think that they were necessary in the same way that George McGovern once stated: They were good for the occasional sanity check in case liberals went too far with the legislation and other initiatives they were pushing. I don't believe that anymore.

You know that things are bad when the RNC posts on its website things that Republicans accomplished almost two centuries ago, while they were largely liberal.

I think all this business about the Democrats being in trouble has to be a fabrication. Surely, after eight years of Bush, the American people can't be so stupid as to want to return to that. I can see how some conservatives, in their desperation to stay relevant, would burn down a village to save it - but not the rest of us.

Posted by: retiredzoomie | September 21, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

As usual EJ misses the point.

This repeal getting shot down has more to do with Harry Reid mucking up the process and less to do with the Evil GOP.

EJ you dope, the votes (4) were there, but Harry Reid needed to add legalization of illegal Mexicans and Reid then said NO to GOP amendments to the legislation.

Gays, you suckers, you got played again but Mr Reid thanks you for the votes to get himself and other Dems elected.

Posted by: ravioliman6666 | September 21, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.


E.J. Dionne Jr. is a Marxist and a liar.

Posted by: FormerDemocrat | September 21, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Why do the moderators allow this garbage from FormerDem?
As for DADT, it is a tragedy that the GOP blocked its repeal.
The American public needs to figure out quickly that voting for the crazies in November will not be in their best interests. We may have some legitimate gripes with the Democrats, but they are by far our best choice in the upcoming elections.

Posted by: bertram2 | September 21, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Justs reinforces the FACt
that
the GOP
is a
Racist
Homophobic
Hate (word of the day)
mongering party

ISA

Posted by: vettesport | September 21, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

"Why do the moderators allow this garbage from FormerDem?"

There aren't any moderators; there's only the "Report Abuse" link, which doesn't seem to do much.

The WaPo's comment threads are a cesspool -- about 80% trolls. Actually moderating them (the way the NYT does) would be too expensive I guess; and being a troll magnet draws the eyeballs that the advertisers want.

It's a damn shame.

Posted by: herzliebster | September 21, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Formerdem I really feel for you and those that have to live with you in person. You seem like such a joy!

Posted by: hansenthered | September 21, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

The Dream Act was supported by the DoD, for the information of all those saying that it was some egregious maneuver of Reid's.

Posted by: lde2c | September 21, 2010 10:49 PM | Report abuse

Dionne has never worked a day in his life.

NEVER.

Born with a platinum spoon.

Who is this man to talk about conservatism?

What nerve, how insulting.

Posted by: docwhocuts | September 21, 2010 11:01 PM | Report abuse

The funny thing is that two of the most aggressive militarizes in history had no problem with homosexuality; Greece, Ireland,Russia and Israel, not to mention Native Americans.

Posted by: PeterODay | September 21, 2010 11:26 PM | Report abuse

What kind of wimps are we raising that fear for their masculinity yet turn a blind eye to raping their fellow soldiers . Do they not realize we are all cousins and that women being raped could be their siste, daughter or mother

Posted by: PeterODay | September 21, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse


E.J. Dionne, Jr., queen of the leftist movement serves up another steaming pile of BS.

Posted by: screwjob21 | September 22, 2010 12:09 AM | Report abuse

We need homosexuals in the military about as much as we need pedophiles in day care centers. Oh, and that will be the next liberal democrat crusade. They will refer to you as a bigoted pedophobe when you try to keep the molesters off your kids.

Posted by: penniless_taxpayer | September 22, 2010 1:15 AM | Report abuse

IF there was a remotely decent argument in favor of Dont Ask, this kind of garbage wouldn't be neccessary. The despicable KKK bigotry of comparing gay people to "pedophiles". The scummy personal attacks (NONE remotely true) on the writer (writing IS work, he's not remotely close to Marxist) and the outrageous falsehood that desperately needed humane moderate immigration reform is "amnesty".

I find it hysterical, in the worst meaning of the word, that these chest pounding testosterone-poisoned he-men of the radical right who never met a bomb or weapons system they didn't love are ready to hold up military spending because as much as they love war, they hate gays and Hispanics even more.

As the kids say these days...WTF???

Posted by: columbiamocowboy | September 22, 2010 7:28 AM | Report abuse

Gee whiz EJ, if this was such a really great deal, why didn't your Democrat buddies just bring up the issue as a stand alone bill? Why must you feel the need to put shady legislation on the back of a military appropriation bill? Why the need to hide it with something else instead of exposing it to sunlight. Typical of liberal dealings, never play straight with the opposition and blame the same when ever something goes wrong. I agree with the fact that since you and your buddies couldn't get Snow or Collins to join in, its probably just another ploy by Ried and Barry to stir the base. I don't think the we won, you lost strategy is working now the progressives are pouting that Republicans won't work with them. Poor babies, maybe next time offer an olive branch instead of the back of the hand. I can see November from my house.

Posted by: elcigaro1 | September 22, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Thank you EJ for a very thoughtful opinion piece. When we separate out people who differ from us by way of sexual preference,gender, race, religion, or political affiliation we do so at great harm to ourselves and our country. Our strength, as a nation, lies in our unity. Our vulnerability/ weakness is manifested in our divisiveness. It is sad that we lag behind the rest of the world in welcoming our homosexual brothers and sisters into the military. It makes me wonder if, as happened to the Roman, British, and other empires through history, we aren't breaking down from within. I hope we can all stop, look, and realize that we are all one.

Posted by: tribebuilder | September 22, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

There are 25 nations who allow openly gay soldiers to serve and 13 of them are members of NATO. Probably the little countries we don't need right? Wrong. The UK, Germany, France, and Spain top the list. Some of the non-NATO countries allowing homosexuals to serve are: Australia, New Zealand, Finland...Some nations that do not allow homosexuals to serve: China, Egypt, Iran, Cuba, DPRK, Yemen, Serbia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Venezuela...The United States.

Posted by: kevin_rigsby19 | September 22, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

There are 25 nations who allow openly gay soldiers to serve and 13 of them are members of NATO. Probably the little countries we don't need right? Wrong. The UK, Germany, France, and Spain top the list. Some of the non-NATO countries allowing homosexuals to serve are: Australia, New Zealand, Finland...Some nations that do not allow homosexuals to serve: China, Egypt, Iran, Cuba, DPRK, Yemen, Serbia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Venezuela...The United States.

Posted by: kevin_rigsby19 | September 22, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Dionne, you're SUCH a hack. There was ZERO chance to pass the bill with the Nightmare provision. Reid knew this, YOU know it. So, why did you write this POS article?

Posted by: illogicbuster | September 22, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

A dishonest gimmick by Democrats..Having said this, if we allow homosexuals to use communal showers and toilets there appears to be no reason that heterosexuals shouldn't share like facilities. Explain how this would affect female recruitment and how would we replace their vital jobs?

Posted by: twann9852 | September 22, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

"There are 25 nations who allow openly gay soldiers to serve and 13 of them are members of NATO. Probably the little countries we don't need right? Wrong. The UK, Germany, France, and Spain top the list.
Some of the non-NATO countries allowing homosexuals to serve are: Australia, New Zealand, Finland..."


I notice that those are all countries that Obama likes to snub.


"Some nations that do not allow homosexuals to serve: China, Egypt, Iran, Cuba, DPRK, Yemen, Serbia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Venezuela...The United States."

You mean the country where that Mao fellow, who seems to be so popular with this administration, once ruled?
And those other countries where Obama likes to travel, and apologize on behalf of the REAL oppressors of the world in America?
Those places?
Wow...That's weird.
It's almost like the leader that you trust to fight for gay rights, likes those folks who would like to behead all gays, more than gays.
Hmmm

Posted by: MrMeaner | September 22, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

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