Daniel W. Drezner

My one post on repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c It Gets Worse PSA http://www.thedailyshow.com/ Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor The Daily Show on Facebook One of my guilty pleasures is Ana Marie Cox’s Twitter feed, and based on what I’m reading there, there’s apparently some hearings going on down in Washington ...

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
It Gets Worse PSA
http://www.thedailyshow.com/
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor The Daily Show on Facebook

One of my guilty pleasures is Ana Marie Cox’s Twitter feed, and based on what I’m reading there, there’s apparently some hearings going on down in Washington about repealing the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) policy with respect to homosexuals serving in the military. The House has already voted to repeal; it’s up to the Senate now. The Defense Department report seems pretty through and clear that, in the end, it’s a repeal that should take place as soon as possible.

Senator John McCain, who earlier in the decade voiced cautious support for the repeal of DADT, is now digging deeper into his bunker expressing serious reservations about any change in the policy. He wants the soldiers polled directly (though that’s kinda what the DoD report already did) and wants their opinions to dictate the policy change (which kinda contradicts the 200+ year traditions of civilian control of the military and, you know, the chain of command).

In doing so, McCain seems to be undercutting his past statements on how and if/when to repeal DADT, as Jon Stewart demonstrates to devastating effect in the clip above. This has prompted much pop psychoanalysis about what’s exactly driving John McCain’s truculence.

My position, based on careful consideration of the matter, is as follows:

1) The perceptual bias in the testimony to date is focusing on the risks and costs of changing the status quo. Will unit cohesion be compromised? Will the change undermine national security during wartime? This partially misses the point: the status quo is undermining national security far more than any change. The rigorous enforcement of DADT is preventing competent and patriotic soldiers from serving their country, particularly in high-demand positions like, say, Arabic translators. It’s fine to say that repealing DADT might have some costs — but those costs have to be weighed against the costs of continuing as is. And from what I read, those costs are serious to the country and debilitating to the affected soldiers.

2) I therefore really and truly don’t give a s**t why John McCain’s position has shifted. I just want to know why the ranking minority member of the Senate Armed Services committee is throwing national security, civilian control of the military, and the hierarchical chain of command under the f***ing bus. John McCain is weakening the institution he claims to love the most. I don’t care why he’s doing it — I just care that he’s doing it. 

That is all.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
It Gets Worse PSA
http://www.thedailyshow.com/
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor The Daily Show on Facebook

One of my guilty pleasures is Ana Marie Cox’s Twitter feed, and based on what I’m reading there, there’s apparently some hearings going on down in Washington about repealing the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) policy with respect to homosexuals serving in the military. The House has already voted to repeal; it’s up to the Senate now. The Defense Department report seems pretty through and clear that, in the end, it’s a repeal that should take place as soon as possible.

Senator John McCain, who earlier in the decade voiced cautious support for the repeal of DADT, is now digging deeper into his bunker expressing serious reservations about any change in the policy. He wants the soldiers polled directly (though that’s kinda what the DoD report already did) and wants their opinions to dictate the policy change (which kinda contradicts the 200+ year traditions of civilian control of the military and, you know, the chain of command).

In doing so, McCain seems to be undercutting his past statements on how and if/when to repeal DADT, as Jon Stewart demonstrates to devastating effect in the clip above. This has prompted much pop psychoanalysis about what’s exactly driving John McCain’s truculence.

My position, based on careful consideration of the matter, is as follows:

1) The perceptual bias in the testimony to date is focusing on the risks and costs of changing the status quo. Will unit cohesion be compromised? Will the change undermine national security during wartime? This partially misses the point: the status quo is undermining national security far more than any change. The rigorous enforcement of DADT is preventing competent and patriotic soldiers from serving their country, particularly in high-demand positions like, say, Arabic translators. It’s fine to say that repealing DADT might have some costs — but those costs have to be weighed against the costs of continuing as is. And from what I read, those costs are serious to the country and debilitating to the affected soldiers.

2) I therefore really and truly don’t give a s**t why John McCain’s position has shifted. I just want to know why the ranking minority member of the Senate Armed Services committee is throwing national security, civilian control of the military, and the hierarchical chain of command under the f***ing bus. John McCain is weakening the institution he claims to love the most. I don’t care why he’s doing it — I just care that he’s doing it. 

That is all.

Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at Tufts University’s Fletcher School. He blogged regularly for Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2014. Twitter: @dandrezner

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