Don't Ask Don't Tell, and some non-DADT things
Mood: content
Posted on 2010-12-13 14:34:00
Tags: activism gay politics links
Words: 477

As I guessed last time, it looks like the Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal's chances are not good. It's pretty disappointing especially considering that it's not going to get any easier with the next Congress.

I emailed my Senators about DADT, and Kay Bailey Hutchinson responded:

Dear Friend:
Thank you for contacting me about our nation's "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy. I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Officials from the Department of Defense previously testified before Congress that the current policy has served the military well. However, in recent months, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates publicly stated his support for repealing the "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy, pending the results of an internal Pentagon review.

The internal Pentagon review report was released on November 30, 2010, and its findings indicated that the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" would bring about limited disruption to unit cohesion and retention. I respectfully disagree with the report's findings. I will not support a repeal of the "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy. After speaking with military personnel and former leaders of our armed services, I remain very concerned about how repealing this policy could negatively impact unit cohesion and overall troop readiness -- especially during a time of war.

Our military has obligations around the world, including intensifying efforts to topple the Taliban and al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. I, along with many others, am concerned that a drastic change in the military’s "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy could hurt morale, recruitment, and retention at a time when our armed forces need to maintain a strong presence at home and abroad.

Please be assured that I will keep your thoughts in mind. I appreciate hearing from you, and I hope that you will not hesitate to keep in touch on any issue that is important to you.

Kay Bailey Hutchison
United States Senator

Her response is disappointing but not surprising. I'm at least glad that's she's reduced to disagreeing with a Pentagon report based on anecdotal evidence...

Other politics things:
- A good chart of taxes by type. Taxes haven't been this low since the 1950s! And they're getting lower, which seems unsustainable.

- Peter Orszag, who until recently ran the Office of Management and Budget for the federal budget, is now taking a job at Citibank. I agree that this shows a problem with structural corruption even though there may be no actual corruption going on here. But it sure looks fishy.

- Today, a federal judge ruled part of the health care overhaul to be unconstitutional, although what this means in practical terms is very unclear, even if it stands on appeal.

Other other things:
- The Atlantic (now officially My Favorite Magazine(TM)) is currently making money. Hurray!

- Due to a giant snowstorm, the roof of the Metrodome collapsed and let in a bunch of snow. Really crazy footage there! (an HD version available here)


Comment from mathjoker:

Her response is disappointing but not surprising. I'm at least glad that's she's reduced to disagreeing with a Pentagon report based on anecdotal evidence...

Translation: My senator is a moron, but at least she's a determined moron.

Of course, things could be worse - you could have John McCain and Jon Kyl.

Comment from gregstoll:

On this issue, you are correct. McCain is still reasonable on some issues...right?

(and to be fair, the one I got a response from is the more reasonable of the two...)

Comment from ext_360650:

Senator Hutchison,

My friend Greg Stoll recently shared with me your response to his urging that you vote to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell. I was disappointed with your response and would like to inform you that another one of your constituents supports repealing this discriminatory policy.

In your response, you disagreed with the conclusion of the Pentagon report saying that repealing DADT would "bring about limited disruption to unit cohesion and retention" based on your anecdotal evidence. However it seems to me that many people, possibly including those whose opinions shaped your decision, haven't considered the idea that many homosexuals won't come out to their units. Many won't do so because they recognize the potential for disruption just as they recognize who they can come out to outside of the military. I believe you should have more faith in those who have been persecuted for they are a much better judge of prudent behavior in this matter than we are.

I am confident that Don't Ask Don't Tell will be repealed eventually. Women didn't have the right to vote until well into the 20th century. Women still don't earn nearly as much as men do in the same position with the same education and the same experience. Racial discrimination was still rampant across the country until the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Interracial Marriage was still illegal in some states more than twenty years after American forces required Charles de Gaulle's Free French Forces to march into Paris as "whites only" unit ( It is time to start putting the systematic discrimination against the GLBT citizens behind us.

I would be honored to say that my (adopted) state had a hand in ending our latest form of discrimination. Please support the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell.

Michael Benza

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