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DADT Proponents Offer Up A Bowl Of Bigoted Goulash

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It's worth pointing out some recent statements by the irrational simps who linger on the deranged margins of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell debate.

Here, for example, is armchair warrior extraordinaire Michael O'Hanlon, dropping pure stone-age drivel on CNN:

"We can talk about this delicately or we can just be fairly direct," O'Hanlon said. "There are a lot of 18-year-old, old-fashioned, testosterone-laden men in the military who are tough guys. They're often politically old-fashioned or conservative; they are not necessarily at the vanguard, in many cases, of accepting alternative forms of lifestyle."

Of this, Glenn Greenwald has already weighed in with his distinctive brand of withering truth:

First of all, O'Hanlon sounds like he just stepped out of a 1981 Moral Majority documentary. Who still talks about sexual orientation being an "alternative form of lifestyle"? That was always a dishonest and propagandistic phrase -- as though gay people intrinsically lead a different "lifestyle" -- and it's rare these days to hear anyone outside of Jim Dobson and Maggie Gallagher use it. And the apparent belief of O'Hanlon that there's an inverse relationship between masculinity and acceptance of gay people ("testosterone-laden men who are tough guys") is ludicrous, though, almost certainly, his saying this unintentionally reveals some disturbing psychosexual undercurrents that are driving O'Hanlon himself.

Second, O'Hanlon's views on the repeal of DADT were the same ones cited to oppose racial integration and an expanding role for women in the military (it's not me, but those primitive enlisted men, who will cause problems). It's also unbelievably disrespectful of the military itself and its rank-and-file, since it assumes that those who join the military are consumed with such uncontrollable bigotry and are incapable of adhering to its policies and dictates. That, too, seems to say much more about O'Hanlon than the "rank-and-file" members of the military whom he's disparaging.

Greenwald's last point demands to be repeated. How on earth do people like O'Hanlon get away with justifying an indefensible practice, when they ground it in nothing but their disgustingly low opinion of our fighting men and women? And beyond that, presuming to speak for them, when, in fact, recent surveys of those same soldiers have revealed that "having a gay or lesbian colleague in their unit had no significant impact on their unit's cohesion or readiness."

I suppose that I should give Bill Kristol some credit, for merely holding a low opinion on gay people:

Advocates of repeal will say sexual orientation is irrelevant to military performance in a way these attributes are not. But this is not clearly true given the peculiar characteristics of military service.

For just a taste of some common sense, here's Andrew Sullivan:

I wonder, for example, if he believes that Israel, whose security is much more potentially vulnerable than our own, is weaker because it doesn't bar perfectly good soldiers because they violate ancient Leviticus strictures.

But look: Here's some real talk that you can take to the bank, right now. Kristol has the same innate knowledge of the "peculiar characteristics of military service" as he does about the route of the San Francisco Pride parade, which is to say, the null set.

Let me tell you something about the peculiar characteristics of the gays and lesbians who join the military. Despite the bigotry of self-appointed military experts, despite the cowardice of elected officials and despite the fact that revealing their very identity could end their careers, they nevertheless sign up in large numbers to defend this nation.

"Don't Ask Don't Tell" needs to be repealed. And at some point, perhaps in the very near future, it's going to be repealed. And that's going to be the end of that.

Michael O'Hanlon's "testosterone-laden tough guys" [Glenn Greenwald]
Kristol Rallies The Christianists [Andrew Sullivan]

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