October 9, 2009

Obamic Options 002: The Limits of Tolerance of Pinkos

Hatched by Dafydd

Five months ago, in the heady days of Barack H. Obama's spring fling, I noted that he (along with most other liberals) was far more interested in destroying traditional marriage, by foisting same-sex marriage (SSM) on Americans, than he was in extending actual liberty to U.S. servicemen who happen to be gay.

That is, while Obama is wild to enact SSM nationwide, if he can ever figure out how to do it, he nods off when anyone starts talking about repealing the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy (DADT) of President Bill Clinton and actually doing what Clinton and Obama both only talked about -- letting gays serve openly in the military, instead of serving in secret.

Five months later, we have this dramatic and unexpected statement from National Security Advisor Gen. James Jones:

President Obama will focus "at the right time" on how to overturn the "don't ask, don't tell" ban on gays serving openly in the military, his national security adviser said Sunday.

"I don't think it's going to be -- it's not years, but I think it will be teed up appropriately," James L. Jones said.

Like every policy that "earned" Obama his Nobel Peace Prize, this one is a great big ol' fifty-gallon hat, but neither hide nor hoof of any cattle. He talks a really good fight; he's still promising that he'll deliver on this one, any day now:

The Democrat-led Congress is considering repealing the 1993 law. Action isn't expected on the issue until early next year.

Right. Congress is going to take up gays in the military -- in an election year.

Later, Jones clarified the timetable with great precision:

Mr. Jones, appearing on CNN's "State of the Union," said Mr. Obama "has an awful lot on his desk. I know this is an issue that he intends to take on at the appropriate time. And he has already signaled that to the Defense Department. The Defense Department is doing the things it has to do to prepare, but at the right time, I'm sure the president will take it on."

The great thing is that this statement can never be a lie; in fact, it can never even be wrong! If Obama isn't "taking on" DADT, then clearly it's not the "appropriate time." What could be simpler?

So... any bets on whether Barack Obama will have moved to repeal DADT -- by time his 2012 reelection campaign gets underway?

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, October 9, 2009, at the time of 7:38 PM

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The following hissed in response by: MrDamage

So I'm wondering here, will the new model military be required to provide separate shower and toilet facilities to gay people? As I understand it, the military is required to provide separate male and female facilities for men and for women. But if gay soldiers don't need separate facilities from heterosexual soldiers, why do male soldiers require separate facilities from female soldiers?

OK, so gay men aren't going around eyeing off heterosexual men in the showers. Cool. Or, at least, that's what the people rolling their eyes as they read this are about to assure me. That being the case, is it truly necessary to separate men from women? If it is necessary, what is the distinction between heterosexuality and homosexuality that makes it necessary to duplicate sanitary facilities for men and women?

So do we need:
1. a mens facility and a womens facility
2. a Het Male, Homo Male, Het Female and Homo female facility
3. a Male, Female and homosexual facility
4. a single facility for all genders and preferences

Obviously, option 4 is the most financially efficient option. No duplication of facilities and no unused capacity when 1 gender is present in far greater numbers than the other

If the morale and safety of female soldiers would be harmed by such an arrangement however, what of the morale and safety of heterosexual soldiers?

The above hissed in response by: MrDamage [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 10, 2009 4:17 AM

The following hissed in response by: MrDamage

Oh, and traditional marriage? Obama is too late. "No fault" divorce got there first.

The above hissed in response by: MrDamage [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 10, 2009 4:19 AM

The following hissed in response by: BigLeeH

This is one of those issues where I think the current setup -- don't ask, don't tell, and by inference, don't snoop, don't swish -- is the best compromise that can be worked out. It allows the services to accommodate quietly gay, deeply patriotic individuals who want to serve, while providing an unarguable means of excluding in-your-face homosexuals who are attracted to the military by their desire to act out some psycho-sexual drama that has nothing whatsoever to do with the defense of their country.

This being the case, I am not that excited about the idea of taunting the president about his foot-dragging on the issue. I am fine with most of his procrastinations, actually, and would rather see right-wing pundits point out the idiocy of his agenda, rather than focusing on the sluggish pace at which his promised damage to the country is being done.

The above hissed in response by: BigLeeH [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 10, 2009 8:30 AM

The following hissed in response by: Sachi

Whether you support gays in the military or oppose it, it does not matter. Becuase Obama is not serious about repealing DADT. He only talks about it, so that he can keep gay support during an election cycle.

If Obama really wants to repeal DADT, he can simply issue an executive order. But he won't. Gays are stupid to trust Obama.

The above hissed in response by: Sachi [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 10, 2009 9:10 AM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh


I don't mean to alarm you, but gay soldiers already share bathroom and shower facilities with heterosexual soldiers, often even when the sexual orientation of the gay soldier is an "open secret."

It seems not to cause the promised horror, disruption, or plummeting morale. Perhaps your fear is groundless.

We separate male from female bathroom and shower facilities because ours is a culture of gender privacy; both sexes are by and large uncomfortable doing those things together, and sexual orientation has nothing to do with it: I am quite sure that gay men and women are as uncomfortable showering among the opposite sex as heterosexuals are.

For that matter, men and women traditionally separate into gender-determined groups on many occasions having nothing to do with excretion or nudity, and have done so for thousands upon thousands of years -- even in primitive societies where public nudity is the norm. The difference between men and women is far vaster than the difference between gay and straight.


You may be mistaking me here: I'm not "taunting" Obama about his inability to follow through on this particular promise; I support the repeal of DADT and the integration of gays and bisexuals into the military without having to conceal the facts of their sexual preferences.

The concealment itself is an invitation to blackmail, and it forces servicemen to be in a constant state of fear that they might accidentally do something to out themselves -- and their career is ended. It's based upon the fundamental fallacy that because homosexuality is a sin, homosexuals are naturally untrustworthy in other areas, too.

But of course, it's likewise a sin for unmarried people to have sex; but that doesn't mean that everyone who doesn't "save it for marriage" is therefore untrustworthy, or a cheater, or a liar. In fact, we make gays into liars by threatening them if the truth ever slips out.

I utterly oppose same-sex marriage for reasons I have clearly enunciated over several years of blogging. Simply put, the most fundamental fact of humanity is that we are split into two distinct genders who think, act, and feel differently from each other. For that reason, a marriage combining male and female, one and one, is one of the very foundations of Western civilization, and we monkey with it at our peril.

But I absolutely support liberty, including the liberty of sexual preference; I lead cheers for Lawrence v. Texas, which held that all "anti-sodomy" laws across the nation were unconstitutional infringements on liberty. Pretending that everybody is heterosexual has never been a foundation of Western civ, though of course many governmentx have persecuted gays (notably in recent decades the Soviet Union) and routinely accused them of everything from bestiality and rape, to treason, to insanity.

I believe there is a fundamental right to privacy -- which does not extend to unlimited abortion, of course, because there is a competing right to life of, say, an eight month old "foetus." But if the right to privacy doesn't at least extend to the most intimate moments with a mature, consenting lover; if the federal or state government can regulate what gender we can sleep with or what sexual positions we can use when we do -- did you know that if you engaged in oral sex with your own wife in the state of Arizona a couple of decades ago, you are a sodomite under Arizona law? -- if the government can reach that bloody far into our private lives, then we do not live in liberty; we live in tyranny.

I have never understood a conservative who passionately believes that the government cannot tell him whether he can smoke or drink, because that's too much of an intrusion... but of course it should be able to tell him which gender he cannot put his penis into, even with permission. Or for that matter, even in an opposite-sex encounter, that he can insert tab A into slot B, but not into slot C.

Either the State can reach so deeply into your personal life -- or it can't; to draw distinctions between sexual liberty and other kinds of liberty is a preposterous contradiction that can only be driven by (a) theocratic tendencies or (b) rigid Victorian conformity... go ahead and arrest or expel homosexuals, but don't you dare touch my Marlboros!

[Don't Ask, Don't Tell] allows the services to accommodate quietly gay, deeply patriotic individuals who want to serve...

No; it allows them to serve if they're willing to lie and lie and lie, to watch every word, to constantly look over their shoulder for somehow who might spy upon them, and always to be afraid somebody might find out -- and use that knowledge to extort money or betrayal from them.

...while providing an unarguable means of excluding in-your-face homosexuals who are attracted to the military by their desire to act out some psycho-sexual drama that has nothing whatsoever to do with the defense of their country.

The services can already ban "in-your-face" "psycho-sexual dramas" of both heterosexual and homosexual variety. If you want to strengthen that, fine. But do you believe that male servicemen should be allowed to sexually harass female servicemen, just because it's straight harassment, not gay? I'm quite certain you do not.

In other words, flamboyant sexual exhibitionism is the problem -- not homosexuality. So let's rigorously enforce the already existing rules against that, rather than single out one of the two types of sexual harassment for harsh punishment -- which sends the message that the other isn't really that bad after all.


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 10, 2009 1:36 PM

The following hissed in response by: MrDamage

"gay soldiers already share bathroom and shower facilities with heterosexual soldiers, often even when the sexual orientation of the gay soldier is an "open secret.""

I'd say there's a fairly large distinction (as you point out in some alarm yourself) between a situation in which one is required to be discreet about ones sexuality and one in which a gay soldier can violate the privacy of straight soldiers without consequence. I'm inclined to suspect that a male soldier who takes exception to being ogled in the shower is less likely to receive a sympathetic hearing in todays political climate than a gay soldier who complains that he is being victimized after being indiscreet about ogling his peers.

"both sexes are by and large uncomfortable doing those things together, and sexual orientation has nothing to do with it"

I can only disagree here, it strikes me as profoundly unlikely that sexual orientation has nothing to do with segregation of sanitary facilities based on gender. I believe (i.e. I have no proof and am open to evidence to the contrary, if such exists) that the use of shared facilities by men entails an assumption that all users of the facility are either heterosexual or are willing to feign heterosexuality for the duration of their visit to the facility. Male behaviour wrt the use of urinals seems to me to bear this out.

The above hissed in response by: MrDamage [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 10, 2009 9:41 PM

The following hissed in response by: BigLeeH


There is a libertarian argument made for gay marriage, too. It is bogus, but ubiquitous, and it basically asserts that it is an unwarranted intrusion for the government (or any other busybody, for that matter) to tell a same-sex couple whether or not they can get married. After all, the argument continues, marriage is a personal, largely private affair, of concern only to to the couple and their friends and families. How can it possibly harm society as a whole for two people to live together as a married couple?

On the face of it this is a fairly strong argument from a libertarian point of view. There is nothing that married couples do that a true-believer libertarian would not allow a gay or lesbian couple to do also. Live together? Check. Put tab P in slot A? Sure, if that's what they are into. Rent a church, have a ceremony, exchange vows? Why not? Argue about how much one of them spent on draperies? Ok, fine.

But the problem is that they can do all of these things but most people still don't think of them as married. You can pass a scrupulously fair Civil Union law that give domestic partners the same rights of survivorship and shared medical decision-making as married couples [with all of which I am fine, by the way] but as long as the common understanding of "marriage" involves the union of one man and one woman then entering into a civil union doesn't quite close the deal. The insistence on same sex marriage is an attempt legally force the rest of society to change their understanding of the institution -- to force their unwilling neighbors to call them "married" -- and there is nothing libertarian about that.

As a libertarian I think that people should be able to eat whatever they want, and however much they want, but it doesn't follow that I think the armed services should repeal their physical fitness requirments. Or to put it the other way around, the fact that I support the physical fitness requirement doesn't necessarily mean I am for sending storm troopers to break into houses at night to toss the pantry looking for Twinkies.

As far as I know there is no constitutionally protected right to military service which would be violated by passing over a prospective recruit for being a cheeseburger or two over the weight limit, and I don't think it makes me a bigot to think that the effort required to accommodate openly-gay military service personnel is more than they are worth. I'm not saying that gay soldiers aren't worth as much as straight ones, or that they are BAD or that it is sinful to poke your willy up another soldier's bung hole -- I just think that if you add diversity training classes to a boot-camp curriculum already bulging with sexual harassment seminars you will have very little time to teach the recruits which end of the gun the bullet comes out of.

The above hissed in response by: BigLeeH [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 11, 2009 12:34 AM

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