Monday, June 08, 2009

President Obama says Bigotry in Military OK

"They're only soldiers, what can we expect from them? These are the low-lifes of society, the white trash. We can't expect enlightened behavior from this low class of people. The macho fools who join the army can't be expected to respect homosexuals as equals, so we shouldn't bother asking them to."

Perhaps this is how the Obama administration feels about the military. Is this why he insists "don't ask don't tell" can't be overturned? Has he forgotten Brown v. Board of Education - where it was decided that stereotypes can be overcome only through interaction with the other group? (Supreme Court grants an Obama administration request to maintain "don't ask, don't tell")


Anonymous said...

There are different standards required for different types of laws and regulations. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is an executive order, not a law created by Congress and signed by the President. This means one of two things, it is either related to the President's power over the military or is a political question. If it is related to the military power then the question is whether or not it was a lawful use of that power or out of the scope. Here the court ruled it was a reasonable use of the power considering the goals and atmosphere of the military. A court is not set up to run the military so deference was given to the President who is set up to run the military.

I also mentioned a political question argument. Perhaps the court decided that this was an issue of politics. The court does not decide such questions.

There was an instance where a nurse was fired as per the DADT policy and the military must show why her specific firing furthers the goals of the military in enforcing DADT.

It all comes down to the specific facts of the cases and what "law" has been broken, if any.

Jonathan Kraut said...

What is the problem that people have with gays in the military? Are they naked that often? Do they feel that the gay person will seduce the other soldiers in the field? It is my understanding that sexual conduct is prohibited under the military code anyways. Is the belief that the gays will break this code of conduct? Seems silly to me.

Teddy Douglas said...

Anon - I don't fault the Court for not being an activist law-changing body. Military service is not a constitutional right, nor was it ever meant to be; it is a duty,
albeit one which which we are no longer endutied. Therefore, there is little strength in the argument that the Constitution guarantees gays the right to serve. However, it would seem that a government should welcome its loyal citizens into its service, as this benefits all parties. Additionally, the GI grants and other education programs offered to soldiers ARE being unevenly withheld.

Besides for the Court's decision, however, my point was the administration's request. As you point out, there is nothing stopping the President from changing the order at any time.

JK - The military has a very complex, sordid relationship with sexuality, which I do not purport to understand. Historically, soldiers have been a very rich source of rape and all manner of sexual assault wherever they gather. Even up to today, the hidden photos of Abu Ghraib are said to contain evidence of sexual abuse, sodomy, and assault. So the whole idea of prohibiting soldiers from normal, consenting sexuality - something's wrong with it.

So as far as gays messing with military norms, those norms need to be reviewed. Are they naked? I don't know. Probably. Should it matter? Not really.