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Jim Webb to Military Gays: Not So Fast, Mary

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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