Thursday, September 20, 2012

Don't ask, don't tell Romney

SOUND JUDGMENT and sagacity distinguish our best presidents. Those traits in President Obama were certainly tested during the debate over "don't ask, don't tell." Writing for Slate, UCLA scholar Nathaniel Frank reminded us that DADT supporters essentially predicted armageddon if the policy was repealed. It would do "great damage" to the military, said Sen. John McCain. It could “cost Marines’ lives,” said the commandant of the Marine Corps in a revealing "You can't handle the truth!" moment. "We'd be risking "our lives, property and freedom,” said one think-tanker. Franks noted there were dire predictions that "one-quarter of the military, or 500,000 troops, might quit in protest." Obama judged the protestations to be much ado about nothing. He therefore stepped up to the plate and repealed DADT a year ago this week. Guess what? Crickets. Nothing happened. A UCLA study, co-authored by Franks, found “no negative impact on overall military readiness or its component parts: unit cohesion, recruitment, retention, assaults, harassment or morale.” Or as one straight solder put it: “It was a nonevent, like driving over a flat road. You don’t even notice a ripple.” Mitt Romney, to his credit, was not one of the DADT doomsayers. But he did say DADT was working and he would not change it. That means had he been president, the policy would still be place today. Let that sink in as you contemplate the notion of a Romney presidency.

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