Sooner rather than later

SOONER RATHER THAN LATER…. Lt. Dan Choi has been serving the nation with great distinction. He’s a West Point graduate, a combat veteran, and an officer in the Army National Guard. He also happens to be fluent in Arabic, a skill that’s in short supply and high demand. If we’re lucky, our military will have a lot more men and women like Dan Choi willing to put on the uniform and volunteer to serve in a time of war.

Choi, however, isn’t going to be allowed to serve anymore. He acknowledged in March that he’s gay, and this week, was told the military was ending his career. Choi appeared on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” to discuss how frustrating this is to him personally, and how insulting it is to his unit. In the same clip, we see Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.), a retired Navy admiral and the highest ranking officer serving in Congress, who is anxious to end the indefensible “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

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By now, we’ve all heard every argument, from every angle, so there’s no point in rehashing the debate. I would, however, love to hear a conservative DADT supporter explain why the United States is stronger, safer, and more secure with Lt. Choi out of the military.

President Obama has committed to ending the absurd and discriminatory policy, though the administration doesn’t appear to be in much of a hurry. That said, just this week, the president sent a handwritten note to Second Lieutenant Sandy Tsao, who was recently kicked out of the military for acknowledging her sexual orientation.

“It is because of outstanding Americans like you that I committed to changing our current policy,” Obama said in his note. “Although it will take some time to complete (partly because it needs Congressional action) I intend to fulfill my commitment.”

For what it’s worth, Sestak told Maddow last night that he’d like to see congressional action on this before the fall. He’d prefer that the president not use his authority to suspend enforcement of the law, hoping instead that Congress can change the law and send it to the White House for Obama’s signature.