DADT dead-enders latch onto ‘shower issue’

DADT DEAD-ENDERS LATCH ONTO ‘SHOWER ISSUE’…. With Congress already having passed a repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, and President Obama gladly putting his signature on the repeal legislation, I’m not sure what more conservatives hope to accomplish.

There was a political fight, and they lost. None of the leading anti-gay Republicans, not even John McCain, has any intention of trying to bring the DADT policy back. The right had a good run — DADT survived 17 years — but as of last week, it’s over.

At least, it should be. Some dead-enders are not only still fighting, they’re latching onto one angle in particular.

Groups opposed to the open service of gay and lesbian members of the military will continue to fear-monger about gay and straight service members showering together to sexualize the open service issue, Jarrod Chlapowski of Servicemembers United told TPM in an interview.

“I see that as being a talking point to just raise fears and draw attention to their general opposition to the issue and that’s not something that I think will go away anytime soon,” Chlapowski said.

Again, even if this were a good argument — it’s not, but if it were — the talking point seems entirely too late. The fight is over and the good guys won.

But then there’s the problem with the argument itself. It’s likely some conservative pollster found that the “shower issue” was the most effective in some focus groups — one anti-gay crusader called it a “huge issue” the other day — but it’s still awfully weak. Indeed, it’s easily dismissed with one obvious-but-overlooked observation: straight servicemen and women have already been showering with gay and lesbian colleagues. DADT didn’t forbid gays from joining the military; it forbid them from acknowledging their sexual orientation.

Gay troops have been showering alongside straight troops for quite a while. The same is true of professional athletes, students at dorms with communal showers, and gyms across the country.

It’s a non-issue, and a pointless conservative effort.