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Harry Reid: Get don't ask don't tell repeal done this time

By Jonathan Capehart

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) wasn't above bald-faced pandering to Hispanic voters during his tough reelection campaign, including an attempt to pass the DREAM Act by attaching it to the defense authorization bill. The entire measure went down in flames in September. Adding the immigration bill to the legislation also had the benefit of siphoning off needed Republican votes for the repeal of don't ask don't tell. Well, now Reid gets a second chance to do the right thing. I urge him to move heaven and earth to get the ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly in the military overturned during the lame-duck session next week.

The chief of the Marine Corps doesn't want this to happen. Neither does Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who is working to strip the repeal from the military spending. But Reid must ensure that McCain doesn't succeed. All the relevant constituencies are in sync. The White House reiterated its support for junking don't ask don't tell yesterday. As did Defense Secretary Robert Gates over the weekend. And the results of a survey of servicemembers and their families that will be a part of the Dec. 1 report from the Pentagon Working Group can be boiled down to three words: no big whoop.

So, let's get this thing done already!

By Jonathan Capehart  | November 9, 2010; 10:13 AM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

Am I confused? I thought the Democrats and their supporters really, really, really wanted to focus on jobs and the economy.

Would the Democrats really want to focus on DREAM, DISCLOSE, and DADT for the next 2 years? Forget about budgets, tax rates, and deficits, we have special interest groups to satisfy, and Reid, Pelosi, and Obama are our leaders.

Posted by: pilsener | November 9, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

Mr Capehart,

who do you think that you're kidding with "no big whoop"?===>give us a break!

it's obvious that NOBODY in the armed forces (other than "the more or less hidden" members of the homosexual minority) wants "don't ask, don't tell" repealed
OR
wants "open" homosexual behavior even tolerated in the military forces, much less "accepted".

also, spare us the KNOWING LIE that tolerating "open" homosexuals in the forces is "a Constitutional issue". = it is NOT, as there is NO Constitutional right to serve in the volunteer military forces, any more than there is a right to be hired by any other employer.
(IF there was compulsory national military service for all citizens, you MIGHT have a valid point, but "the draft" is GONE, forever.)

yours, TN46
USA, Retired

Posted by: texasnative46 | November 9, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

pilsener,

WELL SAID! you are 100% correct. ===> the DIMocRAT extremists care ONLY about pandering to each of "the special interest groups", that now comprise their "party".

the DIMocRATS care NOTHING about the rest of us Americans and/or for the general welfare of our republic.= that's WHY the DIMs are FINISHED as a major politcal party.

yours, TN46

Posted by: texasnative46 | November 9, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

pilsener,

WELL SAID! you are 100% correct. ===> the DIMocRAT extremists care ONLY about pandering to each of "the special interest groups", that now comprise their "party".

the DIMocRATS care NOTHING about the rest of us Americans and/or for the general welfare of our republic.= that's WHY the DIMs are FINISHED as a major politcal party.

yours, TN46

Posted by: texasnative46 | November 9, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Afraid to put the issue to a vote? Reid and others know it would fail if it stood on its own merits. That's why it is attached to a vital appropriations bill.

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | November 9, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

DADT is one of Bill Clinton's greatest achievements and a large part of his legacy.

The homosexual agenda was a thorn in Clinton's side just as it is for Obama. Clinton was able to strike a compromise with the conservatives of the time in a masterful stroke of bipartisanship and the result is DADT.

Homosexuals are free to be in the military as long as they leave their disfunctional, homosexual baggage behind. That is a good and fair compromise.

This will allow homosexuals to serve their country and prevent America's military services from becoming homosexual enclaves similar to what happened to the Catholic priesthood some years ago.

Homosexuals running rampant in the priestly ranks nearly destroyed the Catholic church.

The church is still paying out multiple millions of dollars in reparations to thousands of previously molested boys and boys who have grown into manhood with psychological damages.

Posted by: battleground51 | November 9, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Maybe McCain will get sick again and have to go to Walter Reed for that "socialized" medicine his far right party has come to hate.

Regardless, DADT should be ended. Discrimination of anyone is unconstitutional.

As a matter of interest, were Gays and Lesbians denied the right to serve during the Revolution, Civil War, Spanish American War, WWI, WWII, Vietnam, Panama, and that other Reagan So. American military action? Somehow, I doubt anybody bothered to ask in those days about a potential GIs sexual orientation. The armed services just needed good soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen - guys who would do the job to the best of their ability and protect our nation.

Posted by: valkayec | November 9, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Re: "Adding the immigration bill to the legislation also had the benefit of siphoning off needed Republican votes for the repeal of don't ask don't tell."

You're delusional. The Dream Act has the support of the Pentagon, some Republicans, and many churches. I agree that DADT should get a stand alone vote. That way when it doesn't pass, you won't be able to scapegoat Hispanics or anybody else.

Don't try to "Other" Hispanic people to make yourselves seem manstream. You aren't fooling anyone.

Posted by: sunnyday1 | November 9, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

"it's obvious that NOBODY in the armed forces (other than "the more or less hidden" members of the homosexual minority) wants "don't ask, don't tell" repealed
OR wants "open" homosexual behavior even tolerated in the military forces, much less "accepted"."

This runs completely contrary to every survey I've seen on the topic. You must be getting your "information" from Fox News. Did they fail to tell you that Gates and Mullen are all for repeal, for example?

Posted by: lizgwiz | November 9, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

DADT is a very generous compromise. It allows gays and lesbians to serve without violating the privacy rights of heterosexuals. If a gay soldier can't get over the kid-in-a-candy-shop effect of being around naked male soldiers, then he can receive a prompt and honorable discharge.

It's illegal to force someone at work to be naked before anyone who could become sexually or romantically attracted to him or her. It's a right that is as clear and obvious as the right of a woman to receive an abortion, or the right of an atheist student to not hear teacher-led prayer in school. Majority consensus has nothing to do with it.

I've seen many people post about how cool and fun it is to have gay friends and such. That's all okay. It's just that the policy cannot assume that everyone is going to be friends. It must eventually be about rights when people cannot agree amicably. When it becomes about rights, we all know that any woman can assert a privacy right from all males and lesbians, and any man can assert a privacy right from all women and gays.

Posted by: blasmaic | November 9, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

lizgwiz,

you can believe the "main-SLIME press" or you can believe me, "an old soldier" of over 28 years service, who has many hundreds of GI "contacts", who are still on active duty.
(unlike the "journalists", who are OUTSIDERS & generally thought to be "the enemy" by GIs, i hear "the straight poop" & am told THE TRUTH.)

THE TRUTH is NOT what you may wish it was, what your opinion is and/or even what you believe that it should be. on the contrary, it is SIMPLY nothing more or less than THE TRUTH.

face it, "lizgwiz", you "know NOT & know NOT, that you know NOT" & (i'm sorry but) your UNknowing/ignorant opinion is less than worthless to this conversation.


yours, TN46
USA, Retired

Posted by: texasnative46 | November 9, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Capey baby, guess what. Your "oh-in-passing-let-my-pandering-destroy-our-military" madness is DOA for another 6 years.

Posted by: wjc1va | November 9, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Thank you so much TN46 for all you did to make the world free for straight White Anglo Protestant Males. I fit within that category, and it's so good to know that I have the freedom to not have to deal with anyone who I don't feel comfortable around, for not having to respect another person's religion or race, so I can sit on my fake leather couch drink my watered down beer watch TV on my Chinese made flat screen and listen to attack ads telling me that I will be better off if the billionaires get to keep their tax cuts. That's what made us great.

Posted by: daubry | November 9, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

"we all know that any woman can assert a privacy right from all males and lesbians"

Then what everybody knows just ain't so. Privacy isn't a group affair, where you get to pick and choose just whose eye-tracks you're protected from. In particular, I have no idea where you're getting this "women vs. lesbians" jazz. That men and women are billeted separately in the military has nothing to do with privacy; barracks aren't private. It's done because some heterosexuals, particularly post-adolescent males, have a hard time controlling themselves with naked members of the other gender in close proximity. Gay men don't represent a problem with this target audience, though lesbians might.

Posted by: fzdybel | November 9, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Over 70% of Americans want to see DADT repealed.

70%!

Not repealing DADT would be bowing to pressure of the LESS THAN 30% of Americans who oppose a repeal.

There is only one "special interest" minority here, and it is those who are against a repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell.

Republicans are NOT listening to the American people.
DO WANT OVER 70% OF AMERICANS WANT. REPEAL DON'T ASK DON'T TELL.

Posted by: paulflorez | November 9, 2010 8:03 PM | Report abuse

Dear Paulflorez....aboiut 100% of our soldiers don't want openly gay people serving in their foxholes. 100% OF THE US MILITARY DON'T WANT IT.

Posted by: wjc1va | November 9, 2010 9:05 PM | Report abuse

fzdybel, the military can't provide complete privacy to each soldier, but they can assure that they are shielded from anyone who could develop a sexual or romantic interest in them. That's why women and men are sex-segregated. You write as if you are completely brainwashed on the subject.

Posted by: blasmaic | November 9, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Gays are falling/have fallen into the same Democrat Party Trap that other minorities in America have. "We're your best/only friend" running up to the election. After election "Outta here. Gotta run to the money and serve them. Screw you." Call em "DINO's"

Posted by: stanusc82 | November 10, 2010 1:35 AM | Report abuse

Dear Paulflorez....aboiut 100% of our soldiers don't want openly gay people serving in their foxholes. 100% OF THE US MILITARY DON'T WANT IT.

Posted by: wjc1va

----------------------

ABSOLUTELY 100% FALSE. But don't let facts stand in the way of your bigotry, wjc1va.

Read this, moron:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/29/AR2010102900640.html

Posted by: B-rod | November 10, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

daubry,

inasmuch as i'm NOT "a white person", i'd guess that you've just made yourself (in your SILLY/FALSE post above) LOOK really FOOLISH.
(the many readers of this forum, who know who i am "in real life", are LOL at you.)

fyi, SEXUAL PERVERSION (which is how "homosexual behavior" is described in the Manual for Courts Martial & the punitive articles of the UCMJ) is FAR from a "religion" or a "race" & and only a FOOL and/or a LIAR would try to make them seem the same.

like most "stay safe at homes", you do NOT have a clue about what you are prattling on about. - perhaps if you had served in the forces, instead of sitting at home on your couch & drinking cheap beer, "out of the line of fire", you wouldn't LOOK like a DUMB-bunny as you would have kept your BIG mouth tightly closed.

laughing AT you.

yours, TN46

Posted by: texasnative46 | November 10, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

wjc1va; all,

EXACTLY 100% CORRECT! = the civilian "stay safe at homes" should BUTT OUT.

to ALL: IF you failed to serve in the armed forces, "you have no dog in this fight" & "know NOT & know NOT that you know NOT".

yours, TN46
USA, Retired

Posted by: texasnative46 | November 10, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

B-rod,

laughing AT your arrogantly STUPID, fact-FREE nonsense/opinion. - you would do well to read what i've written above, heed what i said & get the message: you have NO clue.

yours, TN46

Posted by: texasnative46 | November 10, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Washington Post: This "texasnative46" is abusing the posting privilege. Why aren't his comments removed? He offers nothing thoughtful or enlightening, only ranting name-calling. He should be blocked in order to encourage respectful discussion.

Posted by: tttvance | November 10, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

Washington Post: This "texasnative46" is abusing the posting privilege. Why aren't his comments removed? He offers nothing thoughtful or enlightening, only ranting name-calling. He should be blocked in order to encourage respectful discussion.

Posted by: tttvance | November 10, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

tttvance,

perhaps the reason that my compatriot-in-arms is allowed to post here is that he gives balance to the leftist, hate-filled, arrogant, "obama-worhipers" of the forum
and
he is generally correct about what he posts.

when a leftist complains about "name-calling", it has been my experience that the person, who is doing the whining/complaining about "name-calling", is:
1. at least intelligent enough to realize that he/she has irretrievably lost the argument
or
2. can think of nothing of actual importance to say in response,
or
3. feels intellectually inferior to the person that he/she is complaining about
and/or
4. is just "a cry-baby".

sadly, i must tell you that most of the "posters", on this forum, from the left side of the political spectrum, are:
1. incapable of making a intelligent counter-argument to what "TN46" says
(he is considerably more intelligent & better educated than his critics on the left. - i wonder how many of them have an earned doctorate in any subject?)
and
2. simply are unable to cope with being told that they are inadequate to the task.

fyi, i too am retired from the Army (with just over 26 years of active service) & "TN46" is correct about the attitude of at least 90% of US military personnel toward homosexual behavior.

if you desire "a sudden mass exodus" by GIs from active duty (in the middle of two wars), just allow "open service" & "open"/public "same sex" behavior" by members & you will surely get your wish.

sincerely yours, Retired MP46

Posted by: retiredMP46 | November 10, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Retired MP46,

It has been my experience that people who name call-- and yes that's what your friend has been doing-- are merely loud-mouth bullies. Your own language, "leftist, hate-filled, arrogant, 'obama-worhipers'" is as reprehensible and moves the conversation not toward what is right, but who shouts the loudest. Not interested in playing your games.

You and your friend may be intelligent and well-educated, but certainly it does not show based upon your comments on this forum. You throw out "at least 90% of US military personnel" are against changing DADT, without the slightest empirical evidence. Neither of you have done the hard research; it means nothing to throw out numbers. Having "many hundreds of GI 'contacts'" means little when considering there are over 1 million active men and women in the military.

You may fight DADT all you want, but in time, it will be repealed, and it will be sooner rather than later. Any person willing to give his or her life for their country deserves the respect which allows them to be who they really are.

The American people are fair people, and eventually do the right thing. It's a civil rights issue, no less than the right for women to serve in combat and for African Americans to serve in integrated units.

And when gays can serve openly in the military, future generations will shake their heads and wonder, "Why was this a big deal?"

Posted by: tttvance | November 11, 2010 2:17 AM | Report abuse

tttvance,

don't you just hate it when i point out how ignorant, prejudiced, hate-FILLED & silly that the posts of the majority of leftists here on "post partisan" are?

the facts are that there is NO way to do the "hard research" that you want, as members of the forces are unwilling to engage in answering questions that might well "get them in trouble with the brass".

may i gently suggest that "open service" by homosexuals IS NOT & CANNOT be a civil rights issue, as there is NO Constitutional right for ANYBODY to serve in a volunteer military force any more than it is a Constitutional right to work at General Motors, Dell Computers, Walmart, 7-11 or any other company/agency.
(sadly for the "homosexual lobby", constantly repeating errant nonsense remains nothing but errant nonsense.)

yours, TN46

Posted by: texasnative46 | November 11, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

TN46: “don't you just hate it when i point out how ignorant, prejudiced, hate-FILLED & silly that the posts of the majority of leftists here on 'post partisan' are?”

Personally, I let facts and reason—and when appropriate, appeals to one’s sense of decency and humanity—speak for me, not personal attacks, which however justified in your mind never move the discussion in a positive direction. Since you don’t have dictatorial powers to decide the issue, why not have a rational discussion rather than being a flamethrower?

Posted by: tttvance | November 11, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

TN46: “… members of the forces are unwilling to engage in answering questions that might well ‘get them in trouble with the brass’.”

May I gently suggest that if indeed military men and woman are keeping their real feelings to themselves they are cowardly and are expediently kissing ass. However, I don’t believe for a moment that our military is cowardly or kissing the brass’ ass. That would be most unbecoming.

Posted by: tttvance | November 11, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

TN46: “… there is NO Constitutional right for ANYBODY to serve in a volunteer military force any more than it is a Constitutional right to work at General Motors, Dell Computers, Walmart, 7-11 or any other company/agency.”

The word “constitutional” and “unconstitutional” is thrown around loosely by conservatives/Tea Party as if they somehow alone have acquired the knowledge of the true and exact intent of our Founding Fathers. Our Founders did not see themselves as all-knowing, and thus they intentionally and wisely prepared a constitutional framework that allows for reasonable flexibility, based largely on precedents, a living document that moves with the times.

Based upon your logic, African Americans would have had no right to be integrated into the military because it is voluntary. That certainly was the intent of America through 1947; and considering the 3/5 clause, the Founders never intended for nor saw African Americans to be equal to white people. I think we are a much better country because our Founding Fathers formed a constitution with the flexibility to expand and become more inclusive. Don’t you?

Regarding private employers, if you are qualified for a job at GM or Wal Mart and can prove you did not receive that job because of your race, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability (Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, et al), then yes, your constitutional rights have been violated and those companies would face severe consequences.

Admittedly, America isn’t as far with guaranteeing the civil rights of gays and lesbians, but we’re getting there. While the United States does not yet offer federal protection against job discrimination based on orientation, 20 states and Washington, D.C. have laws prohibiting employment discrimination against gays and lesbians. About 85 percent of Fortune 500 companies have enacted their own policies banning discrimination against gays and lesbians. Repeal of DADT will be one more gigantic step forward for America.

On this Veterans Day, I’ll end with my respectful thanks to you for your service to the country we both love.

Posted by: tttvance | November 11, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

tttvance,

actually, you have fallen into the same sophistry (and/or INTENTIONAL DISHONESTY) as MANY other LIBs and/or "gay activists" have. = BEHAVIOR & SEXUAL ACTIVITY is NOT the same as "race", gender, national origin, religious preference or any other similar "non merit factor" under "Title VII".
(as a "person other than white", i'm OFFENDED & DISGUSTED that anyone of "reasonably normal intelligence" would suggest that "sexual behavior" is the same as "skin color" or "race". = for example, i cannot change my "race"/skin-tone but BEHAVIOR can be modified.)

furthermore, UNLIKE you & the other "stay safe at homes", i KNOW how GIs feel & further KNOW that there will be "a mass exodus of" persons from the armed forces, as a result of any change to the "behavior status" on homosexuals serving in the forces. - do you REALLY think that you know more about this subject than the servicemembers, who will be affected by such a needLESS & UNwise change?

as i told another "civilian", you "know NOT & know NOT that you know NOT".= therefore, you should leave such decisions on changes to the status of homosexuals within the forces to those of us who DO know what we are talking about. period. end of story.

yours, TN46
coordinator, CCTPP

Posted by: texasnative46 | November 12, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Yes there are behaviors that can be modified-- like your choice to be "OFFENDED & DISGUSTED." (You do like caps, don't you?)

Being a fair person, you, of course, include in your pejorative "stay safe at homes", neocons like Dick Cheney who got us needlessly and tragically into a war with Iraq, yet never served a day in the military. (Cheney thought Vietnam was a noble cause, yet dodged the draft 5 times so others could fight for his country.)

I'm not writing to you to change your mind; it clearly can't be, and thankfully, your total power is in ranting. That's fine. I write to express my thoughts and to show those who tend to agree with me that you shouldn't engage in a shouting match or name-calling. Facts and reason are way more productive-- along with appeals to decency, fairness and humanity.

As I wrote earlier, the American people are eminently fair, and in time DADT will be repealed. Not a thing you can do to stop it.

You remind me of a statement I recently saw on a t-shirt: "To save time, let's assume I know everything."

Thankfully, in America, it doesn't work that way.

Posted by: tttvance | November 12, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

tttvance,

"hide & watch", as DADT will remain the official policy of the US military forces for at least another decade & perhaps forever. = my sources at the Pentagon tell me that DADT will remain the policy of the US military, as BHO hasn't the GUTS to change it.

there is nothing "eminently fair" about forcing anyone, who is forced to live in an open squad bay, to put up with any "open behavior", which the UCMJ & the Manual for Courts Martial describes as a "sexual perversion, which is punishable under the UCMJ".
(would you, IF you were making the rules for the forces, force young women in the services to undress/sleep/bathe next to hetrosexual males? = fyi, it's the SAME problem.)

YES, i count everyone (who was qualified to serve in the forces & who chose NOT to, in order to avoid "hazardous service") to be included in the "stay safe at homes", i.e., in the group of persons who, when speaking about subjectss relevant to the armed forces (of which they know/understand NOTHING - like you, for example) to keep their fat mouths tightly closed & to "butt out".

yours, TN46
USA, Retired

Posted by: texasnative46 | November 12, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

TN46,
A few years ago I don't think you would have conceded, "DADT will remain the official policy of the US military forces for at least another decade." Progress is being made!

If only Cheney and non-military neocons had followed your advice. We would have a lot more American military and Iraqi civilians alive.

I'm sure this does not relate to you, but how quiet the world would be if we only spoke about those things we truly know something about. Might be a better world, too.

You might want to check out that t-shirt for Christmas.

Posted by: tttvance | November 12, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

tttvance,

here's a teeshirt for you for Christmas:

"Even though i'm a "stay safe at home type guy", who never served, i feel qualified to make policy for the Armed Forces."

one thing i DO agree with you on is: NOBODY, who has never heard a shot fired in anger, should send men/women off to die in foreign wars.- this is especially true when they (LBJ, Carter, BHO & any number of other DIMocRATS come immediately to mind.) have NO interest in actually WINNING the war.

yours, TN46
coordinator, CCTPP

Posted by: texasnative46 | November 15, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

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