DEAD-ENDERS NOT QUITE DONE WITH DADT?…. Towards the end of the lame-duck session last month, lawmakers took the long-overdue step of repealing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy. President Obama gladly signed the bill into law, and the process within the Defense Department continues apace.
At this point, the debate, such as it was, is over. There was a political fight, and conservatives lost. Even Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the leading foe of repeal, is moving on. Last week, he balked at calls that he keep fighting to bring DADT back, and this week, McCain told Don Imus, “I will do everything I can to make [the new law] work.”
That’s the obvious answer. There’s no chance of turning back the clock, so one can either pout or deal with the change (or perhaps both).
And yet, some dead-enders haven’t gotten the memo.
The new Republican chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s military personnel panel says he will hold hearings to look at the Pentagon’s plans allow openly gay people to serve, and he will look for chances to reinstate the ban lifted by Congress in December. [emphasis added]
That chairman, by the way, is Rep. Joe Wilson (R), the right-wing South Carolinian, best known for heckling President Obama in 2009 during a speech to a joint session of Congress.
Wilson is not only still in Congress, he’s been rewarded with the chairmanship of a panel that oversees military personnel — and he’s still hoping to bring back “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
To be sure, the odds of Wilson succeeding are about zero, but the fact that he considers it a priority, even now, goes to show how deep the anti-gay animus runs in some Republican circles.