The Troops Would Be Offended By Washington Times’ Shocking DADT Editorial

Adam Serwer does a skillful job of debunking this fairly shocking editorial from the Washington Times that’s full of more gay baiting insinuations than I can count:

Pentagon officials have been pretending that they have not already made up their minds on this issue. Generals have issued blanket denials that the conclusions for the forthcoming working group report on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” have already been decided. It appears that as the White House rams its radical homosexual agenda through the military, too many generals and admirals are willing to sell their brothers in arms down the river if it means they can keep a shiny set of stars on their epaulets.

The destructive force unleashed by the Pentagon’s collaboration with the leftist agenda is apparent from the circus created when homosexual activists like Dan Choi sashayed over to the Times Square recruiting center to make a political point in the short period in which the Phillips order was effective. Leftists are only interested in political points and symbolism here. Providing defense to the nation in the most effective way possible is the furthest thing from their mind. Treating military recruitment primarily as a diversity issue opens up a closet full of absurdities. On what basis, then, would the military discriminate against the elderly? Why can’t grandpa become a paratrooper? Should the military not reject someone merely because he is handicapped? Why not a wheelchair-bound infantryman?

The judiciary’s chieftains suffer no ill consequences when the unintended consequences of their decrees prove to be ruinous. That’s why answers to the thorny questions of public policy belong to the elected branches of government. Military leaders also need a reminder that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is still the law of the land, regardless of the personal desires of the commander in chief.

It’s worth noting that during this year’s DADT debate, such blatant homophobia has been reserved to very reactionary fringes of conservative thought, as mainstream Republicans have attempted to envelop their opposition in terms of military need. And so, this editorial is shocking not just because it’s so offensive, but also because supporters of the policy have generally eschewed these tactics in recognition of the fact that the American public has evolved beyond their implications. Not so The Washington Times, apparently.

As Serwer puts it, “Look, I could point you to the empirical evidence showing DADT discharges slowing after 2001 when the military stopping being able to take recruits for granted. I could point out that countries like Israel allow gay troops to serve openly…But that would all be useless. Because Judge Virginia Phillips already made most of those points in her ruling overturning the policy, and the Times editorial board didn’t address any of them.”

The people who make these kinds of arguments are also implicitly aligning themselves with the troops and have to generally believe that they are serving as a voice to the uniformed men and women who cannot speak out openly against repealing the policy. And I’m sure some small number probably agree with WT’s argument, but I imagine that the majority of American troops — many of whom continue to serve alongside gay servicemembers without any problems — must feel just as repulsed and disgusted by the assumption that they’re all homophobic as we are.