OFF THE GRID

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: Can’t the President Be a Man?

May 26, 10 | 7:46 AM   byMichael Wolff
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For God’s sakes, this baloney is still going on.

In something that is being spun as a positive and even forthright action, the White House is favoring a deal that would allow gay people to serve in the armed forces—sometime after the Pentagon completes a study of how the policy will affect “readiness, recruitment, and retention.”

And, pray tell, what happens if those geniuses at the Pentagon discover that there will be a funky impact?

And even if we assume this is just blah blah and a way for everybody to look appropriately Solomon-like, what the hell?

There isn’t anybody not seriously repressing his own true self who isn’t sick and tired of this business and, if he once thought otherwise, who isn’t seriously remorseful (or at least sheepish) about having supported "don’t ask, don’t tell".

What’s more, it is, as it was 18 years ago—and ever-more so having defied all logic and sense for an entire generation—on the surface absurd. It is perhaps the most ignored (and when it isn’t ignored, capricious) law that has ever been passed—as soon as it was passed it became ignored or capricious.


(AP Photo)
 
More importantly, the president specifically ran against it. This was a key branding issue for the guy: I’m upfront enough, and realistic enough, and fair enough, to say this law is bullshit and I’ll repeal it.

More than a year later he hasn’t acted at all on it and is only now going along with some more backdoor crappola.

The right-wing, pro-military, united Republican opposition has to be tactically out-flanked in order to get it done, is the excuse.

But that’s really the excuse for not wanting to waste political capital on dealing with the real issue: mind-bending and insulting (crippling, I think you might argue) hypocrisy, that real scourge of public life.

The president has converted DADT back into the issue of the right of gay people to serve openly in the military. But this hasn’t been the issue in a generation. The issue is that the political world—even the liberal political world—was willing to avoid the issue to save its own skin (really just not to inconvenience it).

Instead of the president doing as he said he would—declaring his opposition to shameful and ridiculous avoidance and pretense—he’s indicating he’ll be satisfied with just a slightly lower level of pretense.

No balls.

More of Newser founder Michael Wolff's articles and commentary can be found at VanityFair.com, where he writes a regular column. He can be emailed at michael@newser.com. You can also follow him on Twitter: @MichaelWolffNYC.
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