Why We Elected the Right President
This morning's hearing on DADT should help people to better understand why we chose the right President of the United States in 2008.
Senator McCain is clearly incapable of seeing beyond his own narrow world view or of thinking outside the box. It is without question that the senator served his country proudly and suffered in Viet Nam. Currently however his an aging, out of touch man. At the outset of hearings, he petulantly objected to a the time that each questioner would have and referred to this a "transcendant issue." Beyond the fact that he has constantly come up with new reasons to ignore a report he promised to observe, his questions show just how like George W Bush he is in looking not for reasons to inform a decision, but reasons to support a decision he has already made.
He is clearly angry about the fact that his concepts of LGBT people are dissolving around him.
Senator McCain's focus on debunking the study is that the direct question was not asked, "Do you favor the repeal of DADT?"
As a military man, his dismissal of the military leader's approach to gathering information is quite surprising. The idea that active duty military be allowed to vote on a question like would be unprecedented. In fairness, the senator admitted that the responses to a direct question should be used as only one factor in the decision.
There is another major problem with the idea of polling troops. Regardless of the guarantees of privacy in response, in an era of DADT how many would respond positively given peer pressure and the fear that they might be labeled gay or gay-loving. Let's not forget the make-up of young enlistees. Most are straight out of high school. (This was tangentially referred to in response to why the response of Marines are more negative than any other branch of the armed forces.) Their life experiences with openly LGBT people are limited as is their education. Their understanding is highly influenced by the "icky" thoughts of gay sex and not an understanding of sexuality.
And the first caller on C-SPAN demonstrated why a vote on this is a bad idea. He was an active duty soldier at Fort Drum. He didn't want his children serving with people who were "abnormal." I wonder if he knew our "abnormal" friend when he was serving at Fort Drum?
Watching this hearing reminded me that, no matter how well intentioned, Dan Choi and his friends chained themselves to the wrong fence when they chose the one surrounding the White House. The President has made his support of repealing DADT clear. It is the Senate that is unable to function democratically, that is using tricks of Parliamentary Procedure to block the opinion of a majority. Perhaps chaining themselves to the doors of the Senate chamber would have been more appropriate, if not more effective.
I have been frustrated with President Obama's ability to move things faster. I wish he would point out in this debate that the majority of the citizens of the United States of America voted for Barack Obama directly in opposition to John McCain.