Monday, October 12, 2009

Obama: Voted Change, Got More of Same, pt II

There is a heartbreaking story in Monday's Washington Post about a gay sailor who was abused by his shipmates before being drummed out of the Navy for being homosexual.

It appears as though Obama is set to continue Don't Ask, Don't Tell for the time being.

And that's too bad.

America is in the process of building a "Systems Administration force" and we are going to need all talented people we can get - gay or straight.

The young man in the story in the WAPO was trained to train bomb sniffing dogs - a very sys admin skills set which can save lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was also making the journey from "green to gold" (moving from being an enlisted man to being an officer). Officers trained in sys admin duties have been in short supply for the last few years, and that fact has cost American lives.

But Obama does not seem interested in rectifying the situation. He does not seem interested in stopping the kind of human rights abuses described in the WAPO story.

He does not seem interested in calling the bluff of outstanding universities like Harvard - which bans military recruiters and ROTC units from its campus - ostensibly because of DADT. Would the cause of building a sys admin force be bolstered by recruiting from Harvard?

Ironically, on other issues of vital national security Obama has been unable to stand up to his own party. 

But on this matter, he seems to be going against his own base in favor of some imagined "middle America" where being gay is still frightening to regular people.

Mr. President, I'm a straight (and straight laced) conservative who lives in Ohio, I promise you, anyone who is sitting around worried that some "queers" might get into the army is pretty far off the reservation and highly unlikely to vote for you under any circumstances. It may shock you to know that an increasing number of liberals, moderates and conservatives are coming to agreement on this issue - its just not the wedge it was in 1993 or even 2004.  On the other hand, lifting DADT will increase the talent pool from which our future sys admin force can recruit and that will make America safer and stronger.

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