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Posted at 5:56 PM ET, 01/13/2011

Back to the future on DADT with Tim Pawlenty

By Jonathan Capehart

Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.) just grabbed the gold star for pandering to the conservative base of the Republican Party in his quest for the 2012 presidential nomination. In an interview with Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, an anti-gay group that rails against the so-called homosexual agenda, he said he would reinstate don't ask don't tell (DADT).

Bryan Fischer: "One last question, we have about 45 seconds left, put you on the hot seat one more time. We just saw the ban on homosexual service in the military repealed, overturned. Conservatives will be working over the next couple of years to see that that ban is reinstated. If you become president in 2012, will you work to reinstate the prohibition on open homosexual service in the military, would you sign such a prohibition if it got to your desk?"

Gov. Tim Pawlenty: "Bryan, I have been a public and repeat supporter of maintaining 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' There's a lot of reasons for that, but if you look at how the combat commanders and the combat units feel about it, the results of those kinds of surveys were different than the ones that were mostly reported in the newspaper, and that is something we need to pay attention to. But I have been a public supporter of maintaining 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell,' and I would support reinstating it as well."

Hey, governor, let me ask you the same questions I asked of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) as he led a mercifully unsuccessful campaign to maintain the ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly in the military.

Why would you defy the Pentagon leadership? Why would you defy the American people? Why would you stand in the way of others yearning to serve their country, but who are denied simply because of who they are? More importantly, what would Pawlenty do to those soldiers who are out of the closet if he gets the chance to reinstate DADT?

The men and women who put on the uniform to protect and defend the United States do so because they love this country and want to serve. For the life of me I can't understand why that is so difficult for some to understand.

By Jonathan Capehart  | January 13, 2011; 5:56 PM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

Why is it that while not all Republicans are racists, all racists are Republicans?

Why is it that while not all Republicans are anti-semites, all anti-semites are Republicans?

Why is it that while not all Republicans are homophobes, all homophobes are Republicans?

Posted by: affable100 | January 13, 2011 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Pawlenty would not even fix bridges in his state, even though his DOT issued warnings. Then the I-35 bridge fell down, killing 13 people. His successor faces a huge budget deficit of over $6 billion. He sure is playing to the "base" on the DADT issue. We don't need a bible thumper as Commander and Chief.

Posted by: ners1507 | January 13, 2011 7:41 PM | Report abuse

With nearly 80% of Americans behind the DADT repeal only a total fool running for President would ask to reinstate it. But then again he was talking to Fischer who believed Hitler and the meanest of the SS troops were gay. Two idiots.

Posted by: bobbarnes | January 13, 2011 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Jonathan, are you going to get in some trouble with your Editors for going against Washington Post policy and not writing an article about Sarah Palin?

Doesnt the Post have a quota of at least 100 Palin articles a day to make your finiancial goals?

I imagine that when Sarah Palin released her video yesterday morning, a siren went off in the Washington Post newsroom with employees running around bumping into each other, papers flying in the air and Columnists scurrying to their desks to write the 74 Sarah Palin articles that have appeared in the Post the last two days.

Seriously, there have been more articles about Sarah Palin in the Post the last two days than about Jared Loughner.

I understand a newspaper needs to make a buck but this is ridiculous.

Posted by: Bcjbs1 | January 13, 2011 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Jonathan, are you going to get in some trouble with your Editors for going against Washington Post policy and not writing an article about Sarah Palin?

Doesnt the Post have a quota of at least 100 Palin articles a day to make your financial goals?

I imagine that when Sarah Palin released her video yesterday morning, a siren went off in the Washington Post newsroom with employees running around bumping into each other, papers flying in the air and Columnists scurrying to their desks to write the 74 Sarah Palin articles that have appeared in the Post the last two days.

Seriously, there have been more articles about Sarah Palin in the Post the last two days than about Jared Loughner.

I understand a newspaper needs to make a buck but this is ridiculous.

Posted by: Bcjbs1 | January 13, 2011 7:55 PM | Report abuse

Well, the job of the army is to kill the enemy, not to be nice to the soldiers. Pawlenty evidently thinks that the repeal of DADT will make the Army less efficient in its mission. That is a debatable point, but it is certainly not dishonorable to be on either side. The Army is no place for civil rights - in fact, you don't even have a right to live. If your sergeant tells you to charge the enemy, and kill as many as possible before you are wiped out, you have to do it!

Posted by: vinyl1 | January 14, 2011 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Pawlenty is a pander bear, for sure.

Posted by: 1toughlady | January 14, 2011 9:03 AM | Report abuse

It is clear that those who hope to vie for the GOP space on the 2012 presidential ticket understand that they will be judged by those who hold the most extreme views.
Pawlenty has shown that he would be an extremely weak candidate---and has decided that insulting gays is the way to garner support of the more extremist in the party.
The fact that he has been considerably less than effective in his current role seems to matter less than the fact that he has expressed such disdain for some loyal Americans who simply want to serve their country....while being true to who they really are.
Seems to me to be a script designed for not only failure---but a way to keep recent wounds open .
As for "civil rights" in the military? Tell that to Harry Truman.
How dare we expect the best and brightest young people among us who are willing to sacrifice EVERYTHING for their country to either live a lie----or simply not volunteer for service?
And if...as so many republicans seem to want...we continue to get involved in never-ending war, we will eventually NEED to reinstate the draft.
Will we then question each draftee about their sexual preferences? And if so, will all the sons and daughters of wealthy republicans suddenly "come out of the closet?"
It would, at last,relieve them of having to conjure up ways to avoid the draft like so many of their parents did in the Viet Nam era. (Would have Dick Cheney have publicly expressed love for Donald Rumsfeld? Or Rush Limbaugh trade his "ass pimple" for a professed love for Glen Beck?) Just wondering.
It must be very difficult to be a republican in today's world.
I wonder too if John McCain TRULY believes that other Americans who spent time as POW's included NO gays. If so....he is, once again, deluding himself.

Posted by: edwardlazarus1 | January 14, 2011 9:23 AM | Report abuse

It is clear that those who hope to vie for the GOP space on the 2012 presidential ticket understand that they will be judged by those who hold the most extreme views.
Pawlenty has shown that he would be an extremely weak candidate---and has decided that insulting gays is the way to garner support of the more extremist in the party.
The fact that he has been considerably less than effective in his current role seems to matter less than the fact that he has expressed such disdain for some loyal Americans who simply want to serve their country....while being true to who they really are.
Seems to me to be a script designed for not only failure---but a way to keep recent wounds open .
As for "civil rights" in the military? Tell that to Harry Truman.
How dare we expect the best and brightest young people among us who are willing to sacrifice EVERYTHING for their country to either live a lie----or simply not volunteer for service?
And if...as so many republicans seem to want...we continue to get involved in never-ending war, we will eventually NEED to reinstate the draft.
Will we then question each draftee about their sexual preferences? And if so, will all the sons and daughters of wealthy republicans suddenly "come out of the closet?"
It would, at last,relieve them of having to conjure up ways to avoid the draft like so many of their parents did in the Viet Nam era. (Would have Dick Cheney have publicly expressed love for Donald Rumsfeld? Or Rush Limbaugh trade his "ass pimple" for a professed love for Glen Beck?) Just wondering.
It must be very difficult to be a republican in today's world.
I wonder too if John McCain TRULY believes that other Americans who spent time as POW's included NO gays. If so....he is, once again, deluding himself.

Posted by: edwardlazarus1 | January 14, 2011 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Well Capehart, let's put the card on the table, again. Homosexuality is a perversion. Now if you like it, fine...most Americans don't. And the vast majority of soldiers in combat units won't put up with it. If a soldier declares he's a homosexual in a front line unit, he likely won't last very long. Sorry to bust your bubble Capey, but those are the facts of the matter.

Now you want to be a homo and be a cook, or a clerk, might get away with it. Try joining Special Forces or the Rangers or Paratroopers though. So Capedmanintights...you can rant all you want. But this ranting is not going to change the majority opinion...that behavior is not normal; it is abberant.

Posted by: wjc1va | January 14, 2011 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Jon Stewart did a masterful job of skewering Pawlenty on the Daily Show this week.
.
Completely civil, but questions about the whole GOP that Pawlenty just kept avoiding, like what would the GOP reaction be if Obama had proposed bills that Bush proposed (No Child Left Behind, Medicare Prescription Drug (ok well we know this response)).
.
Did he thing the rhetoric of the GOP (treason, tyranny, socialism) actually matches the reality? Also, since Bush did way more towards tyranny with the expansion of Presidential power (that Obama has maintained) why is it Obama that bears the blame rather than Bush?
.
Was simply masterful to watch

Posted by: rpixley220 | January 14, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

A moderate dude like Pawlenty has no chance w/ the Republicans, pander or no. I hope he tries to pull the debate towards the center, but we all know he will get pulled to the right, as this exhibits.

Posted by: danw1 | January 14, 2011 11:58 AM | Report abuse

OutMilitary.com is providing a supportive environment for friending, sharing and networking between gay active military, vets and supporters.

Posted by: skoa | January 14, 2011 2:12 PM | Report abuse

OutMilitary(dot_com) is providing a supportive environment for friending, sharing and networking between gay active military, vets and supporters.

Posted by: skoa | January 14, 2011 2:16 PM | Report abuse

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