November 30, 2010

Don't Gasp, Don't Kvell part I - a Reader Shibboleth

Hatched by Dafydd

Let us suppose that, during the "lame donkey" session of Congress (before the newly elected 112th Congress takes power), some combination of Congress, the federal judiciary, Attorney General Eric Holder, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and President Barack H. Obama manages to overturn the infamous "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) policy requiring gays in the military to hide their sexual preference.

Suppose further that after an initial flurry of angst and hairpulling, within six months or so, the troops settle into the "new normal" that gays can serve openly. Whatever roiling occurred dies down, and things drift back into the usual SNAFU of the American armed forces.

Suppose even further that we're not obliterated by some enemy during that half year due to a gay soldier doing... I don't know, something that only gay soldiers might do that costs us the war. Offhand I can't think of anything, but whatever it is, it doesn't happen. We muddle along as usual until the next elections.

Then suppose (this one isn't much of a reach) a Republican president is elected in 2012 and the GOP captures the Senate to go along with the House; now they control all the elected levers of power and can by and large do what they please. I know, it's a lot of s'pposin'; but now we come to the speculation:

In 2013, would you favor or oppose the incoming president and 113th Congress repassing DADT, requiring now openly serving gays to clam up and future gay recruits to hide their sexual preference again?

If so, why? If not, why not?

Inquiring minds -- at least one inquiring mind! -- want to know...

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, November 30, 2010, at the time of 10:06 PM

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The following hissed in response by: Bart Johnson

The rule before President Clinton signed DADT was no homos in the military at all. DADT is a weakening of the rules that worked for the previous 200 years.
Never satisfied, now we are led to believe that DADT is some kind of new suppression of rights, and that needs urgently to be repaired.
Repeal DADT? Sure, if you go back to the status quo ante.

The above hissed in response by: Bart Johnson [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 1, 2010 2:05 AM

The following hissed in response by: Aurelius

Given the situation you describe, no I cannot see a re-imposition of DADT or the previous ban.

Given the shift of American society to acceptance (if not approval) of homosexuals, I cannot imagine being able to garner anything close to enough votes for such an action. Nor would the leadership (or administration) be so tin eared to public opinion and priorities, to allow such a move to come to a vote.

The move to the right in the country is focused on the economy, the economy, and the economy.

Having said all of that, another "Bradley Manning" type incident, or something else that does result in the loss of American (specifically Military) life could change that dynamic.

The above hissed in response by: Aurelius [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 1, 2010 6:34 AM

The following hissed in response by: snochasr

I don't think it would be re-imposed as such, and under the highly unlikely scenario you describe, where no ill effects have resulted, it wouldn't be necessary. If, however, the armed services are a mess, as I would expect, then some new rule will be passed; which way the "compromise" will go on the scale I can't predict.

The above hissed in response by: snochasr [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 1, 2010 3:44 PM

The following hissed in response by: Baggi

I have three boys. I found military service to be honorable and as of right now I would encourage all three of my boys to join and to serve.

I would not encourage that of my daughter, for reasons that don't need to be discussed here.

However, if serving in the military means my boys will have to take showers with men who lust after them, sleep in tight quarters, in the field, with men who desire sexual relationships with them, or have to treat some men in their ranks differently, or risk claims of discrimination, then i'll encourage my boys to have nothing at all to do with our nations military.

The same is true with serving in the Navy. My brother served in the Navy, on ships with women, long months at sea, and he describes no end of problems with that.

I'm not inclined to encourage my boys to risk their lives for a social experiment. No thank you.

The above hissed in response by: Baggi [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 1, 2010 9:10 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh


You evaded the question, Baggi. I didn't ask whether or not we should change the policy now; I asked whether, if the policy were changed, and after a couple of years it seemed to be working all right, should Republicans still try to reinstate the ban when they return to power?


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 2, 2010 10:55 AM

The following hissed in response by: LarryD

Baggi explains why she thinks the question is academic, because the part about "working all right" will not be true.

It's similar to "assume that the Bush Tax cuts expire, the economy grows by 3%, and federal revenues increase 15%. Would the Republicans still push for a tax cut".

The above hissed in response by: LarryD [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 2, 2010 1:20 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh


Yet answering the question asked is what a hypothetical is all about.

In answer to the one you offered, I would say yes, we should still pursue tax cuts, because taxes are too high -- regardless of whether the economy grows (particularly at a mediocre 3%). There, see? That's what it looks like when someone straightforwardly answers a hypothetical. That didn't hurt... much.

I don't believe the economy would grow that fast if we didn't extend the tax cuts -- not specifically because of their expiration but because it would betoken an Obama administration that still didn't "get it" about the government existing to serve the people, not vice versa -- but I can still respond directly to a hypothetical question.

...As can Baggi: Even if (she or he, I have no idea) passionately believes that allowing gays to serve openly will lead directly to the decline and fall of American national security, Baggi can nevertheless respond to a hypothetical that doesn't assume everything that he or she assumes: Responding to a hypothetical does not imply that you accept the premise of that hypo.


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at December 3, 2010 4:02 AM

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