"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)

1.10.2007

what are we going to do?

Ending the military's "Don't Ask; Don't Tell" policy towards gays serving in the armed forces seems to me to be about as likely as Texas legislators passing a public health policy that acknowledges that most Texas teenagers don't wait until they're married to have sex. The civilian leadership at the Pentagon can't openly support such a policy because Bush can't afford to alienate the 30% of Americans who still think he's doing a good job. A legal change seems even less likely. It would be politically problematic for the Democrats in 2008 (especially in the districts that elected conservative D's) and of course any Republican Senator running for president has to appeal to the religious right members of the party's base.

Then again, an awful lot of the military's limited number of Arabic linguists turn out to be gay. And that's not helping the war on terror. Whatever Bush says tonight, it's clear that a lot of the old parochialisms need to be rethought. It is unconscionable to have allowed a bad strategy to continue -- and to thus have allowed American soldiers and Iraqi civilians to die -- in the name of waiting until after the elections to deal with a sticky issue. Something has to be done.

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