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Jim Webb to Military Gays: Not So Fast, Mary

Posted on May 25, 2010
Flickr / Rob Shenk (CC-BY-SA)

Democratic Sen. Jim Webb says he won’t vote for the compromise ending the ban on gays in the military until the Pentagon completes its review of the policy, even though the whole point of the compromise is that the ban wouldn’t actually end until the military completes its review.

Let’s play six degrees of discrimination: Before he was a Democrat, Webb was Ronald Reagan’s secretary of the Navy. The Ronald Reagan directive keeping gays out of the military served, in a roundabout way, as the inspiration for don’t ask, don’t tell. Oh wait, that’s not nearly six degrees.  —PZS

More background from AP here.

Jim Webb’s statement and AmericaBlog’s response:

“Secretary of Defense Gates and Admiral Mullen have laid out a specific and responsible plan to examine the current ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy in a manner that includes a comprehensive survey of those wearing the uniform. The White House and Secretary Gates both said today that, ideally, the Defense Department should complete this review before legislative action is taken. There is no question that a review of the policy is necessary and important. I see no reason for the political process to pre-empt it.”

So has the President called Webb to let him know that isn’t what the White House meant? Has the Secretary of Defense called Webb to explain? What was the White House thinking when they issued a statement of support for the legislation that started by expressing the wish that nothing be voted on this year? Did they really think no members of Congress would get the hint?

The White House permitted Gates to, yet again, roll the President of the United States of America, while the President tried, yet again, to stake out a position, but then not really own, defend, or promote the position. And, as always the result is one big disaster.

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By dihey, May 27, 2010 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

If you believe that gay soldiers will be allowed to serve openly or not so openly when the abominable amendment has passed and Mr. Obama has signed it into law you will be in for gigantic disappointments come next December. In order for gay soldiers to serve openly or not openly 10 USC Sec. 654: Policy concerning homosexuality in the armed forces must be amended. Guess who is empowered to make such amendments? The military? No. According to sub (1) that is the exclusive right of the Congress! What needs to be changed is sub (13): The prohibition against homosexual conduct is a longstanding element of military law that continues to be necessary in the unique circumstances of military service. If you expect this to be amended after the November elections you are a saint.

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By dihey, May 27, 2010 at 6:49 am Link to this comment

The repeal of DADT only is terrible because we would go right back to where the superior asks and the soldier must tell.
I have read the text of the Lieberman amendment. It is disturbing to me because it asks the “Comprehensive Review on the Implementation of a Repeal of 10 U.S.C. § 654 (section 654 of title 10, United States Code) ” under D: “Recommend appropriate changes (if any) to the Uniform Code of Military Justice”.
Notice: recommend and “if any”.
I interpret this to mean that DADT could change into AandT.

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By dihey, May 25, 2010 at 5:57 pm Link to this comment

The hundreds of you who were/are upset over the “show your papers” law of Arizona, where are you cowards hiding? Here is an amendment to a law that gives the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chief of Staff the power to determine whether a law passed by Congress is or is not a law. That is an infinitely more dangerous and illegal power grab by the executive than the Arizona law. Apparently you care absolutely nothing about the further erosion of the constitutional separation of powers. You care only that your ox was gored. You are disgusting.
It does not matter how these three persons eventually vote. They do not have the constitutional power to be legislators.
Webb’s opposition, however, is nonsensical, i.e. makes no sense because it does not deal with the fundamental flaw.

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By dihey, May 25, 2010 at 2:52 pm Link to this comment

I have argued elsewhere that the “compromise” is almost certainly unconstitutional because it gives the President two opportunities to sign or not to sign twice a piece of legislation sent to the President by the Congress. The constitution gives Mr. Obama only one shot.

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