Patterico's Pontifications

11/21/2008

Obama to Delay Action on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:26 am



Lonely Man Barack Obama is looking to delay any action on “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” until 2010. He says he wants to build consensus and consult with military leaders first.

No matter how you feel about the policy, this is good. (I oppose the policy.) If you support the policy, you don’t want to see it change. If you oppose it, you don’t want to see a retread of the Clinton mistakes; Obama should do this in a measured and diplomatic manner.

Looks like Obama has learned something from the Clinton years.

Which is easy, I guess — since all those Clinton people are in his White House now, telling Obama about their previous mistakes firsthand.

47 Responses to “Obama to Delay Action on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell””

  1. This is a good sign.

    Amphipolis (fdbc48)

  2. Obama is keeping his cake hole shut about a lot of things. For now, he’s doing the smart thing and talking about what kind of puppy to get the girls. I think that until inauguration day, the man will continue doing what he does best, being a Sphynx.

    MJBrutus (fdc0cd)

  3. The real question, Patterico, is how (or if) Our Mr. Sullivan defends this action. I mean, given the target of his bromance.

    Eric Blair (2708f4)

  4. Obama must be thinking…what would Mohammad do?

    Perfect Sense (9d1b08)

  5. Hey, Perfect Sense. We KNOW what Mohammad (pbuh) would do regarding gays, in the military or elsewhere!

    But…but…it’s the religion of peace!

    Still, TdJs will begin braying that Christians do all kinds of terrible things. I say look at the numbers.

    But then, JD would denounce me.

    Eric Blair (2708f4)

  6. Still, TdJs will begin braying that Christians do all kinds of terrible things. I say look at the numbers.

    I’d rather not look at the numbers… the inquisition and Crusades were pretty nasty… And the Protestant/Catholic issue in England and Ireland was anything but bloodless.

    Scott Jacobs (a1c284)

  7. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” should refer to the Obmamedia’s treatment of the one.

    Mossberg500 (9fd170)

  8. Scott,

    1) The Crusades were a reaction to the Muslim invasion of Europe. I never hear Muslims apologize for that so WTF do the same.

    2) Point being made is that it is not a peaceful religion as practiced by its believers and certainly never has been. Where have Muslims lived in peace with neighbors as a “minority” party. Errr, nowhere. When they are in charge and you do as they say …. vunderful.

    Which gets to my next point — the reason Islam is not a peaceful is that it has yet to go through the fires of a Reformation likes those in Europe where millions died and many more emigrated to get away from the turmoil.

    Those religious problem in Europe gave rise to the modern day Nation State, Secularism and a general belief that killing each other over what is written in a religious book or based on what the Grand Mufti or Pope says is plain dumb.

    Christianity learned respect the hard way — by killing each other in the name of the same Jesus/God/whatever — the world of Islam has not walked in those fires in any meaningful way sing the Shia/Sunni split.

    “Civil Wars” have a way of settling scores and — in the end — establishing peaceful relations.

    But I digress. Is there some more Tupac nonsense I can get my hands around today??

    Da'Shiznit (089453)

  9. Maybe Obama is a Secret Closet RethugliKKKan? Conspiring with his Zionist masters to trigger “No H8” protests nation-wide, so that he invoke the Cheney Doctrine and use combat brigades returning from Iraq to steal Democracy from the People!!!

    [Let’s see, have I omitted any typical Leftie ranting conspiracy theories here? Hmmm, this might actually become fun!]

    509th Bob (b6cc49)

  10. The real question, Patterico, is how (or if) Our Mr. Sullivan defends this action. I mean, given the target of his bromance.

    I’ve got a case of *ahem* “personal lubricant” that says Excitable Andy will be crushed by this news. The blow will be especially galling since Andy has undoubtedly been:

    1. Feverishly working on ways to “get that b***ch Michelle out of the White House for a day so I can tell Barack who really loves him.”

    2. Consulting with top medical experts on how he get his chromosomes changed, “So I can have Obama’s baby and make my life complete.”

    MarkJ (42fe5b)

  11. Da’Shiznet, the crusades happened three centuries after the Muslim invasion of Europe; that’s a pretty long time for a response to build.

    From what I was able to tell – back when I was taking a history seminar on the crusades, before I dropped out because work demands on my time prevented me from doing the work for the class – the consensus among historians who specialize in medieval history is that the crusades were primarily driven by the internal political/economic needs of western Europe. In the years preceding the advent of the Crusades, there was little to no pressure for the recapture of lands taken by Muslims, except in Iberia, which was not a primary source of Crusaders.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  12. I’m torn on this.

    On the one hand, I think the policy is *worse* than simply not allowing gay people to serve, as it encourages people to lie about themselves, which undermines their honor in general; and I think that public opinion, and in particular military opinion has shifted enough in the last sixteen years that this isn’t particularly controversial anymore. I’d like to see it repealed sooner rather than later.

    On the other hand, it’s not the most important issue facing the country at the moment; and to the extent that it will consume political capital, I’d prefer that Pres-Elect Obama focus on other things; and I think it’s a good sign that he’s looking to build consensus; if he follows that pattern in general, the country will be much better off for his Presidency, regardless of how this issue turns out.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  13. Patterico, at the risk of coming across as a square, beware sliding into the snide/jackass left position of throwing silly jabs at Obama whenever possible. Obviously “Lonely Man Barack Obama” isn’t nearly as bad as the things used to describe Bush, but it’s definitely a slippery slope, and Obama hasn’t even taken office yet 🙂

    Justin (747191)

  14. Aphrael, I agree that I think the military personnel would be ok with homosexuals. At least I hope so… but I think it should be left entirely up to the military branches themselves to decide whether or not to allow them. Military effectiveness, at least in a volunteer force, should trump all else.

    And I don’t say that to imply you don’t feel that way, I just wanted to expand on your comment.

    Justin (747191)

  15. Justin: it can’t be left entirely up to the military branches, as the ban on homosexuals is codified into law; the military can’t change its mind on the issue until Congress changes the law.

    Congress should consult the military before changing the law, and perhaps ideally it should change the law by removing the clause without explicitly requiring that homosexuals be allowed to serve openly, but nothing can be done without Congress first.

    aphrael (e0cdc9)

  16. Good move on Obama’s part. He is at least putting on the appearance that the confidence and trust of the troops is important. When Clinton took office they were almost dismissive of the military folks – for a time there was a no uniform policy for those working in some of the WH areas. Senior leadership had to send out reminders periodically advising that sending around jokes about the CINC was not appropriate or professional.
    As far as the current policy it is a management headache. On one hand you are not supposed to pry into someone’s intimate life, which most people didn’t do prior to the policy, but on the other hand if you see something you are obligated to turn them in, which was the old policy. Adding the “don’t ask” part put a PC collar on the second part “Maybe he was just grinding with that guy because they are good friends…. Oh well never mind” or a different individual sees two women hug and just “knows” they are gay. Turns out they are cousins but costs them months of stress and interviews because of one person’s misinterpretation.
    I’m a black and white kind of person about regulations. Either say “Gays can serve” or “Gays may not serve” and be done with it. The sexual harassment and EOT regulations can apply to same gender situations just as easily as they do for opposite gender. Just as requiring that a person’s orientation go on their application. If the policy is no gays serve, then the lie is up front, if discovered later they are in fact gay.

    voiceofreason2 (590c85)

  17. In retaliation for this betrayal, will gays vandalizing cars and homes with Obama signs? Will they stop patronizing businesses that supported Obama?

    Perfect Sense (9d1b08)

  18. Sigh. I am SO tired of hearing the “Crusades” canard played, endlessly, just like “Timothy McVeigh.”

    The truly “inconvenient truth” is to ask which faith is responsible, since 1900, for more death and destruction than any other?

    It ain’t the Mormons.

    But for some reason, progressive left relativism must make the Crusades from many hundreds of years ago equivalent to Wahabist terror currently. And strain at the gnats of Christian offenses while excusing horrific abuses by fundamentalists Muslims (genital mutilation, anyone?).

    Let me know the next time Jimmy Swaggart’s followers cut the head off a Jew, okay? And televise it.

    Again, look at the current numbers.

    Muslims can be moderate. But for whatever reason, I don’t hear many moderate Muslims criticizing extremists. I hear moderate Christians criticizing Christian religious fundamentalists daily.

    I recommend Irshad Manji’s book on this topic; it give me hope of moderation in the Muslim world.

    Islam can join the 21st century. And should.

    Eric Blair (0b61b2)

  19. I don’t believe Harry Truman ‘built consensus’ and ‘consulted with military leaders’ first. He did it with Executive Order 9981 which allowed him to end-run around Congress.

    luagha (5cbe06)

  20. The truly “inconvenient truth” is to ask which faith is responsible, since 1900, for more death and destruction than any other?

    Why 1900? COnsidering the “growing pains” of Christianity happened centuries ago, and that Islam is at best just starting in on theirs makes that a fairly biased comparison.

    I’m hardly saying that The Religion of Peace is anything of the sort, but if you wish to argue numbers, it is far more fair to use the full set instead of hand-picking your numbers…

    Scott Jacobs (a1c284)

  21. Ummm….

    “…that Islam is at best just starting in on theirs makes that a fairly biased comparison…”

    Speaking of bias. Islam was founded, essentially, 700 years after Christianity. And you apparently believe that the “evolution” of religious faiths must be equitably compared?

    You are just trying to excuse people who do unthinkable things.

    Again, I respect Sufis. I respect most modern Muslims. But they seem strangely silent. I wonder why.

    Could it be because the nutjobs kill them or threaten them when they do?

    Oh, but this is our fault. I forgot. Tell that to Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

    I picked the beginning of the 20th Century due to the advent of modernism. But if you want to compare death rates at any period of religious history, I recommend you pick up a few history books before holding forth. You won’t like what you find, and will, Howard Zinn-like, no doubt respond that awful Westerners wrote the books.

    Sorry to sound cranky, but relativism make me cranky. I mean no disrespect.

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  22. More Change for the Gullible.

    SPQR (72771e)

  23. Tell that to Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

    Or tell it to Rushdie – but oh, he’s off the Fatwa list at present. Lucky him – but of course, he still had to live in hiding for over a decade.

    In addition to Eric’s points, I’ll just add the ridiculous rioting in Europe over the printing of cartoons that the nutjobs thought was defamous of their religion. There is no moral relativism to be made between the two religions – none. You threaten to kill someone by their exercising their right to free speech, your argument is null and void.

    Dmac (e30284)

  24. “Obviously “Lonely Man Barack Obama” isnÂ’t nearly as bad as the things used to describe Bush, but itÂ’s definitely a slippery slope, and Obama hasnÂ’t even taken office yet.”

    That’s why it’s so goofy that he’s making a point of talking about how lonely the job is.

    It’s mockworthy, and I won’t be passing up the chance — as long as it Feels Right to make fun of him for it.

    Patterico (039de3)

  25. You are just trying to excuse people who do unthinkable things.

    Uh-huh… I’m used to that form of debate on this matter.

    You’re an idiot, apparently, who much cherry-pick his time-frames to get the numbers he wants. You want equal numbers? Chop off the first 700 years of Christianity, not almost all.

    I picked the beginning of the 20th Century due to the advent of modernism

    Which for a variety of reasons has mostly skipped the middle east, where you find a significant portion of the Islamic faith.

    But hey, don’t let me stop you from making fallacious comparisons…

    You threaten to kill someone by their exercising their right to free speech, your argument is null and void.

    Again, hardly a thing wholly owned by Muslims…

    But like I said, feel free to do as you like.

    Scott Jacobs (a1c284)

  26. Maybe his first 100 days — nee, his entire first term — will be filled with delaying actions. Call it “the Pelosi method”.

    Icy Truth (aedb2f)

  27. He was pilloried for it as he has been pilloried for pretty much anything, but in my book Bush’s line, “I’m the decider,” is right up there with Truman’s “The buck stops here.”

    Obama has never been the decider of anything, and that’s what we are seeing played out.

    luagha (5cbe06)

  28. Maybe his first 100 days — nee, his entire first term

    Obama said either right before or right after the election that the first 1000 days of a president’s term in office are pretty important, and I could not possibly agree more…

    Especially since there’s only 1461 days total in a president’s term…

    Scott Jacobs (a1c284)

  29. Obama is going to be the king of delay. If he doesn’t act, then he won’t get blamed. He and his leftist illuminati ideals are going to do what he’s always done – hide behind others until it’s time to take credit for something.

    Jeff (08332a)

  30. You’re an idiot, apparently,

    Excellent technique to advance your argument there – I’m convinced. First one to start tossing insults around wins the day – mission accomplished.

    Dmac (e30284)

  31. No matter how you feel about the policy, this is good. (I oppose the policy.) If you support the policy, you don’t want to see it change. If you oppose it, you don’t want to see a retread of the Clinton mistakes; Obama should do this in a measured and diplomatic manner.
    Careful Pat. You don’t want to go down that “Obama is a good man” road again. These folks here don’t like to hear that.

    love2008 (1b037c)

  32. I thought Obama was going to slam dunk the Don’t ask – don’t tell cross dressing in the military. Then again maybe that was his teleprompter that said that.

    The teleprompter seems to have a mind of its own and says things that Obama later on denies or does the opposite.

    Is their a sure way of knowing what Obama really believes?

    Typical White Person (f74f9f)

  33. Aphrael,

    The Battles of Tours and Covadonga stopped the Moorish invasion of Europe. The Moors settled in for what was about 700 years in Spain. This implementation of apostate religions in Christian land however was a big deal to the Papacy — but it could do nothing about it. There where no mechanisms to fight back.

    Western Europe and the Papacy basically abandoned the Iberian Penninsula comforted by the fact the Pyrennes protected them on one side and the Eastern Empire protected it on the right,

    The Moorish invasion, however, was a wake up call to Western Europe and its noble class. The displacement of Iberian Nobles was a shock to their cousins in southern france and northern italy, This awakening led to the establishment of governments absent since the fall of the Roman Empire. There was a need to defend oneself from this foreign force. The rise of Charlemagne as an example.

    Now the Papacy was in a pickle and none to happy….. it had apostates in Christian lands and ever powerful nobles who could usurp Rome’s dominance ….. the Pope decided to kill two birds with one stone — the re-conquest of “rightfully” Christian lands from the Apostates of Muhammed.

    So………… that gold and treasure certainly where a part of this of course. Both parties did so for power and glory.

    But fact is, if the Moors don’t invade lands not demographically, ethnically theirs …………….

    Yeah, Crusades where no worse than the Moorish invasion of Europe.

    Da'Shiznit (089453)

  34. He should just order it not enforced. No need to go to congress or continue degrading our capacity.

    imdw (36ddaf)

  35. “When they are in charge and you do as they say …. vunderful.”

    Nobody expects the spanish Inquisition!

    imdw (dadb5b)

  36. IMDW,

    Point is Muslim minorities in non Muslim countries are very antagonistic. Go to Britain, France, India, China, Russia, etc……. no peace, always a problem.

    Living side by side with Muslims, in peace, in a secular, multi-cultural, democratic, non-muslim society is near impossible.

    But hey ….. we are the horrible people.

    Da'Shiznit (089453)

  37. (I oppose the policy.)

    And by that, you mean you sympathize with the idea of the culture of the military being forced to accomodate the whims of, among others, homosexuals in general and loud-mouth gay activists in particular? If so, that’s puzzling to me. But not so much just because of an acquiescence towards such people’s sexuality, but because at least 80% of them can be categorized as — and will self-identify as — liberal or leftwing.

    Personally, I’m getting sick of all the pushiness and woe-is-me martrydom of the gay/leftist crowd. No better example of that is recent case of the homosexual guy who sued a major online dating service (e-harmony) because it had been set up to cater expressly and exclusively to straight males and females. And as true with a wide variety of ambulance-chasing lawsuits, the defendant knuckled under and the plaintiff now is dancing on air.

    Meanwhile, how should the military treat bisexuals? Maybe they can be accepted as enlistees one month, then disqualified the next?

    Mark (411533)

  38. And by that, you mean you sympathize with the idea of the culture of the military being forced to accomodate the whims of, among others, homosexuals in general and loud-mouth gay activists in particular?

    Don’t know about Kevin, but I don’t care who someone is sexually attracted to. If they want to cowboy up and serve this country, I really don’t think it’s right to say they can’t.

    It isn’t bowing to some leftist crowd, it’s allowing those ready and willing to serve to be true to themselves.

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  39. Don’t know about Kevin, but I don’t care who someone is sexually attracted to. If they want to cowboy up and serve this country, I really don’t think it’s right to say they can’t.

    I spent seven years in the Army. I served with both gay and lesbian soldiers. No one respected or thought much of the nellies or the bull dykes. Your run of the mill alternative lifestyle soldier earned the respect of everyone.

    It really is about how you act. Not what you suck.

    highpockets (c4b196)

  40. “Living side by side with Muslims, in peace, in a secular, multi-cultural, democratic, non-muslim society is near impossible.”

    And here I thought I was doing that everyday.

    imdw (45af4f)

  41. Aphrael wrote:

    Congress should consult the military before changing the law, and perhaps ideally it should change the law by removing the clause without explicitly requiring that homosexuals be allowed to serve openly, but nothing can be done without Congress first.

    My concern is with security. When I was interviewed for a clearance (a long, long time ago) I was asked if I had ever had a homosexual encounter or had cheated on my wife. The reason was clear: if either were true, and I had to keep it a secret, I would have had a blackmailable vulnerability. If I had cheated on my wife, but she already knew about it, it wouldn’t be a vulnerability.

    DA/DT allows service members who are homosexual to serve, as long as they keep their homosexuality a secret. If they should come up for duty requiring a clearance, the necessity of maintaining their homosexuality as a secret — upon pain of discharge — provides a vulnerability to blackmail which cannot be addressed by simple disclosure.

    The heterosexual Dana (556f76)

  42. it’s allowing those ready and willing to serve to be true to themselves.

    And if “to be true” means someone who is motivated as much by politics as by genetics (or whatever a person believes fuels his or her behavior), and his (or her) politics also is in the activist/leftist category of “I’m out and I’m proud, I’m gay and I’m proud, I’m queer, get used to it!!!” — and the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy has been replaced by something far more permissive, even closer to the attitude of “do your own thang, baby!” — that won’t affect the culture of the military?

    Maybe the culture of, say, Hollywood or certainly San Francisco wouldn’t be negatively impacted by such politics and behavior, but other cultures probably would be.

    Mark (411533)

  43. The actual period of Moorish control of spain was about 300 years; after the middle of the eleventh century, the Moors were in retreat. You are correct that Tours stopped the Moorish invasion.

    That said, the notion that the invasion was a “wake up call” to the noble class which resulted in the crusades is absurd. Not only were there several centuries distance between the two, but for most of the intervening time, the big threat to the survival of France, Germany, and Britain was the Norsemen, who invaded all three territories, took control of the government of England twice, and threatened widespread destruction on the north coast of Europe.

    I agree that the crusades were no worse than the Moorish invasion of Europe. My quibble is entirely with the ahistoric notion that the crusades were a response to the Muslim invasion of Europe.

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  44. DA/DT allows service members who are homosexual to serve, as long as they keep their homosexuality a secret. If they should come up for duty requiring a clearance, the necessity of maintaining their homosexuality as a secret — upon pain of discharge — provides a vulnerability to blackmail which cannot be addressed by simple disclosure.

    Yes. This is one of the reasons DADT is bad policy.

    Allowing openly gay soldiers to serve openly would solve this problem.

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  45. No one respected or thought much of the nellies or the bull dykes. Your run of the mill alternative lifestyle soldier earned the respect of everyone.

    It really is about how you act. Not what you suck.

    Bingo.

    One of the problems with this debate is that the people who are opposed to allowing gays to serve in the military think that what will happen is that gay activists will try to turn the miilitary into Folsom Street Faire. That won’t work; the culture of the military would reject it, and most gay people would agree that it’s inappropriate in any event.

    The in your face gays will still be social outcasts in a military which allows gay people to serve openly; but the normal every day run of the mill non-activists gays will no longer need to keep their sex lives secret on pain of discharge.

    aphrael (9e8ccd)

  46. New policy on Andrew Sullivan: we promise to never ask, if he promises to NEVER tell.

    Icy Truth (84d054)

  47. That won’t work; the culture of the military would reject it, and most gay people would agree that it’s inappropriate in any event.

    Not to all the idiots out there (which includes quite a few gays, since at least 80 to 90% of that group associates with liberal/leftist politics), who love to manipulate society with ambulance-chasing lawsuits, such as the one that targeted the online dating service of e-harmony.com for not accomodating homosexuals.

    Mark (411533)


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