Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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January 15, 2011

DADT DEAD-ENDERS DIG IN.... This is starting to get pretty silly.

A member of the House Armed Services Committee plans to introduce legislation next week designed to put the brakes on repeal of the military's ban on openly gay troops.

The measure by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) would add the four military service chiefs to the list of those who must sign off on repealing the policy before it can be officially scrapped. [...]

The aide said Hunter could introduce the bill as soon as Tuesday evening, adding that "15 to 20" members -- so far all Republicans -- have signed on.

I'm genuinely surprised so many Republicans are bothering to pursue this. Remember, it's not just Hunter -- Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), the new chairman of the House Armed Services Committee's military personnel panel, said he'd look for chances to bring back DADT, too, and presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty (R) announced this week he would "support reinstating" the repealed, discriminatory policy.

There's just no point to any of this. To reiterate a point from the other day, conservative Republicans almost beat back the effort to repeal the policy late last year, but they came up short. The public wanted to see the change; military leaders wanted to see the change; and lawmakers in both parties approved the change. The moment President Obama held a celebration to sign the legislation, conservatives should have realized the game was up. There was a political fight, and they lost.

And yet, the far-right doesn't want to give up. Hunter, Wilson, and others surely know that this effort is pointless and unpopular, so why do it? Because in Republican circles, the power of anti-gay animus remains strong.

As a result, dead-enders will keep wasting their time on this nonsense.

Steve Benen 9:00 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (24)

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Comments

I don't know why libs are making a big deal of this - it has zero chance.

And we all know these guys are pandering to the homophobic Fundamentalist Christian crowd.

Posted by: JEA on January 15, 2011 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

This is designed to gin up their base; from their perspective it's hardly "a waste of time." It's meant to draw sharp contrasts between the war-lovin', he-man GOP and the girly peacenik Dems. It may not play out in the court of public opinion in the ways they intend -- the country has shifted on LGBT issues quickly and more significantly than Tim Pawlenty may grasp -- but it adds to the "messaging" the House Republicans want to cement in the minds of the mushy middle.

As Digby and others have noted, the central organizing principle of the GOP is hatred of Democrats. They'll do anything to overturn Democratic legislative successes.

Posted by: BrklynLibrul on January 15, 2011 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

Never, ever, not ever, let a great wedge issue go to waste.
You keep is simmering on the back burner until the next election cycle, and then it's back to good old, tried and true, "God, Gay's, and Guns!"

Posted by: c u n d gulag on January 15, 2011 at 9:18 AM | PERMALINK

Say what you will about appearances, but Republicans FIGHT for what they believe in. I think this is why Republicans WIN ELECTIONS.

I wish Obama had this kind of fight - but, as much as I want to believe, I don't expect I'll ever see that.

Posted by: Mark-NC on January 15, 2011 at 9:18 AM | PERMALINK

The truly insane part of this is Republicans kept insisting repeal had to be done by Congress even though repeal was inevitable through the Court finding it unconstitutional.

Republicans have nothing to move the country forward, so in order to take up congressional time and look like they're doing something, they're going to beat this dead horse.

Posted by: karen marie on January 15, 2011 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK

Wait a second, here. This means that the military's service chiefs would end up being de facto Members of Congress--and would basically give them veto authority over their Commander-in-Chief. Congress passes laws, the president signs them, and the military follows them. The military doesn't come together and get a consensus before deciding that they be followed. I figured a Captain in the military would be smarter than this. Honestly, Hunter needs a good lecture on how things work. As an actively-serving military member, this is one of the silliest and most embarrassing things I've ever seen from a representative.

Posted by: Ben on January 15, 2011 at 9:29 AM | PERMALINK

What's not to understand?

Never tell a bigot they're wrong. It doesn't work. They have to discover their humanity on their own.

Posted by: Rochester on January 15, 2011 at 9:29 AM | PERMALINK

To continually highlight the efforts of dead-enders is to continue a negative spot light on the actual accomplishment of allowing all Americans to openly and honestly serve in our voluntary military!

Any "base-directed" legislation effort destined to die in one of the two chambers, and/or has a veto by this president awaiting if such legislation gets passed both chambers, should simply be ignored! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on January 15, 2011 at 9:32 AM | PERMALINK

They're just into repeal. It's their new thing. Health care, DADT, 14th amendment, 17th amendment, whatever. "You name it we'll repeal it" is the new bumper sticker.

Posted by: wordtypist on January 15, 2011 at 10:24 AM | PERMALINK

"this effort is pointless and unpopular, so why do it?"

Because by keeping it alive, eventually they'll win. Things are never settled and done in politics. Democrats, both elected and otherwise, would do well to remind themselves of this.

Posted by: zandru on January 15, 2011 at 10:33 AM | PERMALINK

Well, should this effort really come as any surprise? The South lost the Civil War, but many Southerners are still fighting it as best they can.

Posted by: sparrow on January 15, 2011 at 10:52 AM | PERMALINK

"As a result, dead-enders will keep wasting their time on this nonsense."

Wasting the People's time is more like it.

Posted by: Wren on January 15, 2011 at 11:28 AM | PERMALINK

Actually, I think the only reason republicans do this stuff is to spend and waste money. I mean, look at what they did in Clinton's terms, spend all those millions supposedly investigating Whitewater only to find out he was being serviced in the oval office and lied about it which ended up with impeachment proceedings. They play a money wasting shell game. We'll just have to see what it is they are really going to do. That is, besides impeach Obama for being a Kenyan-born muslim that pals around with terrorists.

Posted by: Schtick on January 15, 2011 at 11:41 AM | PERMALINK

Not at all surprising. Questions for the press to ask about this anti-repeal initiative: "Where is the GOP plan for jobs? Why are they spending time on this instead of on jobs? When are they going to 'pivot' to the economy?" Those same questions came up for Obama and the Dems whenever they did anything not 100% focused on jobs, so let's put the questions to the GOP too.

Posted by: meander on January 15, 2011 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

Great, my congressman wants to surrender legislative and executive power to the military chiefs. What ever happened to being true to the Constitution? Last month's slogan?

Posted by: Tigershark on January 15, 2011 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

A certain percentage of the population will always be homophobes no matter how large the majority who understand the complexity of human sexuality becomes.

Whether they are pandering to their base or are true believers the DADT dead-enders are here to stay. It's a great fundraising tool, just like abortion and gay marriage. When the military doesn't fall apart because some of its members are gay, when the reigning military potentates who support DADT retire, as most of them already have, when more states sign onto marriage equality, the DADT dead-enders will still not change their minds, but they will belong to a shrinking crowd of impotent bigots.

Ignore them.

Posted by: rrk1 on January 15, 2011 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

zandru - no, they won't eventually win on DADT.

Instead, they will perpetually lose in a way that still allows them to claim victim status, allows to continuously fund raise, and allows them to distract their base from what they really do. Now that it is overturned, DADT will serve as a vote-getter and distractor in the same way that abortion talk is -- because that's all talk. Bush didn't really try to overturn abortion when he had all three branches of the government working in lockstep.

Posted by: Rathskeller on January 15, 2011 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

Because by keeping it alive, eventually they'll win. Things are never settled and done in politics. Democrats, both elected and otherwise, would do well to remind themselves of this.

@zandru, this is demonstrably true, as through sheer persistence and hard work conservatives have largely overturned the liberal consensus that developed from the collective experience of the Great Depression.

Posted by: AK Liberal on January 15, 2011 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

zandru - no, they won't eventually win on DADT.

Instead, they will perpetually lose in a way that still allows them to claim victim status, allows to continuously fund raise, and allows them to distract their base from what they really do. Now that it is overturned, DADT will serve as a vote-getter and distractor in the same way that abortion talk is -- because that's all talk. Bush didn't really try to overturn abortion when he had all three branches of the government working in lockstep.

Posted by: Rathskeller on January 15, 2011 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

sorry about double comment, there was a server error.

Posted by: Rathskeller on January 15, 2011 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

@Rathskeller:

Well, I do hope that you're right in DADT not being reinstated - or worse. And I do agree that they'll keep whining about it.

But I did want to emphasize that it's not safe to consider the issue settled! As long as there's a significant, well-monied and passionate force trying to unsettle it.

Posted by: zandru on January 15, 2011 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

By keeping this issue alive it allows these people to get headlines back home and their names before the public. How many days has Pawlenty gotten himself mentioned for this? Free publicity.

An anti-gay stance has served them well electorally in the past and may do so in the future.

Posted by: Seould on January 15, 2011 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

Let us rejoice that dead-enders are wasting their time on this nonsense. It is better by far than their spending time on something, on anything, they might actually accomplish.

Posted by: tamiasmin on January 15, 2011 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

AK Liberal, I think you'll find that the "liberal consensus" was DEPENDENT on the experiences of the Great Depession.
Much of what was done during the Depression was done ONLY because of the Depression; ie, PWA, CCC, CWA and the NRA (National Recovery Act, NOT the other one!). I imagine that SS, agricultural subsidies and unionization are three liberal policies that AREN'T solely dependent on the economic crisis of the 1930s, although it certainly helped in their original implementation.
As those who were adults then die off we no longer have anyone who can speak authoritatively about what it was truly like. Republicans/Teabaggers may buy books, but I seriously doubt if they actually read them and certainly NOT anything that runs contrary to their beliefs (Amity Shae, anyone?).
The same is true in Europe. Much of the "social compact" that is being trimmed or even removed, was a direct result of the devastation caused by WWII. Reading books about WWII or watching documentary films may provide a knowledge of WHAT happened, but they cannot replace the actual EXPERIENCE of having lived through it.
Santayana's remark about repeating history is, unfortunately, accurate. So is "experience is the best teacher" and that's what we're going through right now.

Posted by: Doug on January 15, 2011 at 7:01 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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