Alarming News

October 26, 2006

Someone remind me, and Hillary, which co-presidents enacted “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

Gay City News (via Drudge):

No other issue raised during the gathering garnered the heat that marriage did. Clinton spoke passionately against what she said was the injustice, waste, and stupidity of the military’s Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy that has led to 10,000 discharges in the past 13 years, including some involving personnel with specialized skills such as language translation.

Posted by Karol at 03:46 PM |
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Well, yeah, she disagrees will Bill on all kinds of stuff.

Posted by: Joe Grossberg at October 26, 2006 at 4:50 pm

So, she was Co-President, except when she wasn’t.
Convenient, that.

Posted by: Mark Poling at October 26, 2006 at 4:58 pm

Not just enacted but FIRST thing enacted as President.

Posted by: ken at October 26, 2006 at 7:40 pm

So it goes. She has her own ideas about life, the universe and everything. Grownups make up their own minds about things all the time.

Posted by: Michael at October 26, 2006 at 8:39 pm

I’m not trying to make a point here, I actually just don’t remember, but I thought that DADT came out of a compromise after Clinton tried to allow gays in the military and took a lot of shit from the right about it. Is that wrong?

Posted by: Sam L. at October 26, 2006 at 9:06 pm

Sam, I actually recall it being a bit worse than that. DEMOs pandering to their base (which is basically any group that plays the “I’m a victim” schtick) were pushing equal rights for gays in the military as an election issue. GOPers were perfectly happy to play along, pointing out that if a DEMO were elected and gays were allowed in the military, then all our soldiers would be too busy getting busy in the barracks to defend our precious bodily fluids.
Stay with me here.
So Clinton, in a classic triangulation move, enthusiastically promised to do nothing at all about the “problem.” Instead of quietly ignoring the issue of gays in the military, he promised to actively ignore it. Very Loudly his military would not ask, and would require only that gays in the military Very Quietly refrain from revealing their orientation.
GOPers couldn’t get traction with the general electorate when claiming this was tacit acceptance of homo soldiers. DEMOs, on the other hand, told their base to chill, because this was tacit acceptance of homo soldiers. Independents tended to find the whole debate uncomfortable, and were happy to see it shoved back in the closet. (Yeah, that was intentional).
Thus was a classic Cerberus of a political problem (three headed, each of which are vicious and stupid) wrestled into submission by the Heracles or Arkansas. And yeah, we’re still all dealing with the poisonous spittle drooled out by the beast thusly tamed.

Posted by: Mark Poling at October 27, 2006 at 11:35 am

I think Mark Poling’s summary of the policy and politics behind the institution of DADT is as good as I’ve seen.
The best way for HRC to handle this would be to say “My husband, with the best of intentions, screwed this one up. The theory is better than the policy was in practice.” The strategy only works, however, if she comes up with something better – and I can’t figure out a second “third way” for her to go. She may be stuck offending either gay rights groups or anti-gay groups and living with the political consequences.

Posted by: Charles at October 27, 2006 at 5:48 pm
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