DADT dead-enders make a last-gasp plea

This sort of obsession just isn’t healthy.

House Republicans are asking President Barack Obama to hold off on allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military, saying it would be “premature” to do so now.

The letter from 29 lawmakers delivered Friday to the White House comes as legislative efforts have fizzled to block or stall implementation of the repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that prevented gays and lesbians from serving openly. […]

“Such a dramatic policy change should be taken cautiously, even more so now while we currently have American troops in harm’s way in Iraq and Afghanistan,” the lawmakers wrote.

The letter was circulated by Rep. Duncan Hunter of California, who sponsored one of three restrictions on the repeal included in the annual defense authorization bill that passed the House on May 26.

First, Hunter’s restrictions in the defense authorization bill will be rendered moot once final certification is complete, and that’s apparently just weeks away.

Second, the notion that the change “should be taken cautiously” was debated at length when Congress voted to repeal the policy — seven months ago. A cautious process has been underway ever since.

And third, how in the world could so many members of Congress hate gay military service personnel this much? I mean, really. It’s one thing to give some inconsequential speech to a right-wing outfit, bloviating about bringing DADT back. It’s something else altogether to spend several months on a pointless crusade, only to end up writing a pathetic “pretty please” note to the president, begging him to see things your way.

Why bother? It’s not like there’s been widespread clamoring on Fox News or talk radio about why Republicans aren’t doing more to fight the end of DADT. The vast majority of GOP activists have moved on to other issues.

Maybe it’s time for these 29 Republican lawmakers to do the same thing? The political fight is over, and reason won. Implementation continues apace; polls show Americans supporting the DADT policy’s demise, and there’s nothing the GOP can do to bring the old policy from coming back.

Let it go.

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Steve Benen

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.