DADT DEAD-ENDERS JUST WON’T QUIT…. I expected Republicans to complain after the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law was repealed. I didn’t expect them to keep talking about a pointless drive to bring DADT back. The right put up a fight, and lost. It’s over.

Except much of the GOP just doesn’t see it that way. At the national level, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R), a former moderate, announced in January he would “support reinstating” the unpopular and discriminatory policy. This week, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) was also asked whether he’d bring back the old law, which was opposed by the vast majority of Americans, and rejected by bipartisan majorities in Congress.

“I would — because that’s really what the military wants,” [said] Huckabee. “There’s been some talk that the military is fine with having same-sex orientation people. But if you really surveyed the combat troops, that is not at all the case.”

I see. So, the DADT repeal effort was backed by the Secretary of Defense, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, multiple former chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and most American servicemen and women, but Mike Huckabee, who never served, knows what the military “really” wants.

Keep in mind, it’s not just Pawlenty and Huckabee. On Capitol Hill, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s military personnel panel, has also vowed to fight to bring DADT back, and Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) is looking for ways to prevent implementation.

There’s just no reason for this nonsense. It’s one thing to pop off in December, during the debate over the bill itself, but to keep talking about it now is kind of pathetic.

That said, with Pawlenty and Huckabee weighing in like this, I wonder if this might become another 2012 litmus test for the GOP field. Will Romney, Barbour, et al, be expected to also call for reinstatement of the ridiculous policy? Will the party’s base expect them to?

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.