Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 11:51 AM ET, 12/ 2/2010

Give Lieberman some credit on don't ask, don't tell

By Eugene Robinson

I've had quite a few occasions to be critical of Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I) of Connecticut, so let me take the opportunity to praise him for being right, and righteous, on an important progressive issue: getting rid of don't ask, don't tell.

Lieberman has been a passionate advocate of ditching the stupid, unfair, counterproductive policy that keeps gays and lesbians from serving openly in the armed forces. His status in the Senate, his hawkishness or Iraq and Afghanistan, and his good relationships with the military brass have all helped mightily in bringing DADT repeal to this point. While it's true that Lieberman -- let's be honest -- sometimes seems to delight in making progressives want to tear out their hair, it's also true that on social issues, and in many other ways, he's still a Democrat at heart.

At this morning's DADT hearing, Lieberman was clear and unambiguous. "In our time, one of the great transitions occurring is the growing readiness and understanding among the American people that you simply -- it's just wrong and un-American to discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation," he said.

And, of course, he's right. Allow me to give credit where it's due.

By Eugene Robinson  | December 2, 2010; 11:51 AM ET
Categories:  Robinson  | Tags:  Eugene Robinson  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Quick reax to Senate don't ask don't tell hearings
Next: Obama's false choice on interrogation

Comments

Eugene: Just because Lieberman agrees with you on DADT doesn't make him right on the issue.

Posted by: DQuixote1 | December 2, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Eugene, Just because Lieberman agrees with you on DADT doesn't make him right on the issue.

Posted by: DQuixote1 | December 2, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

DQuixote1:

Yes, yes it does.

Posted by: Greent | December 2, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Repeal DADT? Bradley Manning, the wikileaks 'leaker' was a gay man in the military unsure of himself and seeking acceptance.

The fact that his boyfriend is a drag queen has no bearing on his mental state...perfectly normal, right as rain.

Posted by: twann9852 | December 2, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

The news on repealing DADT looks good. 70% of both the military and public support repeal.

So whats the problem ? Buried in the details.. is the fact that 60% of active combat troops in the Marines and Army OPPOSE it and believe it will hurt morale, effectiveness and retention.

Since REPEAL support is very strong in the non-combat roles (80% of the military)...

Why not REPEAL DADT for those roles ?

Why not have a 2-stage repeal ? for the sake of military morale and effectiveness ? Delay repeal in the combat ranks til 2020 ?

Posted by: pvilso24 | December 2, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Repeal it. Now.

Posted by: jckdoors | December 2, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Gotta go with Gene on this one... I have had my issues with "Liebermann, party of one" from time to time, but he gets this one spot on.

Homosexuals are not inferior beings... homophobes are.

Posted by: OldUncleTom | December 2, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

pvilso24 makes a very good point. Although I am more inclined to be more general and support modifying TITLE 10 Subtitle A PART II CHAPTER 37 § 654 (also known as DADT) to be totally in line with the Subsection (a) Paragraph (14) which says:

The armed forces must maintain personnel policies that exclude persons whose presence in the armed forces would create an unacceptable risk to the armed forces’ high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability.

This, BTW is *exactly* what U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton did in the case of USAF Maj. Margaret Witt, a case that is *not* getting the attention it should be getting, because the rabble does not give a rat's back end about the lives of our soldiers. Really, they are hard hearted SOBs that way. They only care for their agenda.

My rewrite would make *all* disruptive behaviour, which both obnoxious homosexuality and gay bashing would equally be only *part* of the package and where the standard applied by Judge Leighton would lay waste to those who put themselves above their service and *demand* the *right* to serve in the Military that they really don't care about!

I don't expect we will get that. We are not that smart, it seems. However, it warms my insides a little to know that *just* outright repeal actually turns the clock back to Reagan's Era, where the CIC makes the choice that was *never* successfully constitutionally challenged because of the very language in the constitution. Try reading it sometime, or don't sputter on about "unconstitutional" this or that like *you* knew better. I am certain Obama would let Gays serve openly whether he personally wanted to or not, but the Next President might not be so restrained, and *now* they have outed themselves. Heck, just the paranoia of that might keep the smart ones (probably worth keeping) in the closet no matter what...

;'{P~~~

Posted by: Clearbrook | December 2, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Why would you give this Zionists traitor any credit for anything? Isn't he part of the crazy troika McShame, Graham, and the Lieb?

Posted by: CHAOTICIAN101 | December 2, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

"The news on repealing DADT looks good. 70% of both the military and public support repeal.

So whats the problem ? Buried in the details.. is the fact that 60% of active combat troops in the Marines and Army OPPOSE it and believe it will hurt morale, effectiveness and retention.

Since REPEAL support is very strong in the non-combat roles (80% of the military)...

Why not REPEAL DADT for those roles ?

Why not have a 2-stage repeal ? for the sake of military morale and effectiveness ? Delay repeal in the combat ranks til 2020 ?"

Too bad they oppose it, it's not their station to question military policy, just damned well better obey it or get the hell out. You still want to keep them second class citizens. What a bizarre approach.

Posted by: mtravali | December 2, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

In 1975, the Secretary of Defense was adament that women should not be admitted to the Service Academies because, since they were not allowed in combat there was no need and because it would undermine morale in those institutions. Gen Clark, the USAFA Superintendent, opposed it because integrating the dorms would lead to marriages, pregnancy, abortions, and destroy good order and conduct.

"I am vitally concerned that this proposed reorientation of Academy life to accommodate females would provide continuing disruptive and adverse influence on the discipline and morale which underlies the motivation of the cadet wing." Lt Gen AP Clark (Foster, 1974)

“The United States Military Academy is dedicated to the development of combat leaders...Admitting women to West Point will irrevocably change the Academy. And…the change can only be for the worse.” - Secretary of the Army Howard H. Callaway
(2d sess., 93d Cong, 3 Jul 74)

Should we have left the decision to integrate women into the Service Academies to a vote of the Armed Forces, or solely to the opinions of the senior leaders?

Posted by: kreuz_missile | December 2, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Repeal DADT? Bradley Manning, the wikileaks 'leaker' was a gay man in the military unsure of himself and seeking acceptance.

The fact that his boyfriend is a drag queen has no bearing on his mental state...perfectly normal, right as rain.

Posted by: twann9852
-----------------------------------------
John Anthony Walker was heterosexual in the Navy and spied for the Soviets from 1968 to 1985. He provided the Soviets with more than 1,000,000 encrypted naval messages. So according to your logic all herosexual white males should not serve either as there could be a danger of them turning into spys.

Posted by: daburge | December 2, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

'{P~~~

Posted by: Clearbrook | December 2, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

It looks like you have a strong point to make, but I have utterly no idea of what you are talking about.

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | December 2, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

People and their puritanical hang ups... Just repeal the darn thing and get over yourselves.

Posted by: ozpunk | December 2, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I am tremendously impressed by Admiral Mullen and his statements about his personal opinion being formed by the importance of integrity within the military. Oh if only any of the senators, including those who support the repeal, understood what integrity was all about

Posted by: dcostello | December 2, 2010 9:07 PM | Report abuse

I guess he bases his opinion, right or wrong on his time in the service, oops looks like he somehow didn't serve in the military.
Another chicken hawk champing at the bit today after milking those deferments during the 60's? I'm tired of these people who couldn't step up to face the possibility of dying then making decisions for men and women who have the guts to face death now. Recuse yourself Senator and let warriors make decisions for warriors.

Posted by: NICKYNUNYA | December 3, 2010 7:27 AM | Report abuse

I don't give Lieberman credit for anything. His entire philosophy can be boiled down to two words: "Kill Arabs." The man is an utter disgrace!

Posted by: scoogy | December 3, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

I'd love to see how many "progressives" are in the Army and Marines. Progressives are the ultimate free riders - Why not make a unit of Progressives - openly gay, liberal, and "sensitive." They would be slaughtered and cut to pieces on the battlefield but so long as we feel good about ourselves that would be acceptable. Eugene, you don't know JACK about the military so just shut your pie hole and go to San Francisco where you'll be happy.

Posted by: Capitalist-1 | December 3, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

no lets not give him credit for anything, he is an israel agent first and an American second, besides being a complete hypocrite and general a$$hat.

Posted by: calif-joe | December 3, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

DADT will be repealed sooner or later and the military will cease to be a good 'ole boys club. Men will no longer be able to accuse women of being lesbians and threatened to have them discharged because they refuse to have sex with them. Men who are insecure about their sexuality egos will not long be able to accuse fellow soldiers of being gay to bolster their weak egos. soldiers will have to do a good job regardless of sexual orientation. As a retired Army officer I can tell you that it is not sexual orientation that is a problem in our armed forces. Rape of female recruits is a big problem, and lack of adequate medical care for combat soldiers experiencing PTSD is a big problem. And yes I have been in combat!The Army has lowered it's standards for recruitment to include some criminals now, which has caused more problems than the repeal of DADT will ever cause.

Posted by: 10bestfan | December 3, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

The interesting thing, no matter what COngress does, the DoD syrvey may end DADT as the military's exception to legal rulings against discrimination are all based on military necessity - the survey itself is Exhibit A that there is no military necessity for the policy.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | December 3, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company