[T]he most common last-ditch argument for preserving “don’t ask” heard last week, largely from Southern senators, is to protect “troop morale and cohesion.” Every known study says this argument is a canard, as do the real-life examples of the many armies with openly gay troops, including those of Canada, Britain and Israel. But the argument does carry a telling historical pedigree. When Harry Truman ordered the racial integration of the American military in 1948, Congressional opponents (then mainly Southern Democrats) embraced an antediluvian Army prediction from 1940 stating that such a change would threaten national defense by producing “situations destructive to morale.” History will sweep this bogus argument away now as it did then.
This from a carefully-balanced editorial called "Smoke the Bigots out of the Closet." See, in Rich's world, it's only bigotry that keeps us all from thrusting the entire U. S. military into a frenzy of fabulosity.
Now, personally, I think the whole issue is going to need to be dealt with soon, and the solution is not to keep gay people out of the service altogether. DADT was nothing more than a stopgap and I don't think anyone expected it to be. I'm glad to see that President Obama isn't trying to force the issue through himself. Frankly, I don't think he's got the chops with the military to pull it off, even as commander-in-chief. But if the push comes from senior officers who have earned respect, they may be able to work out an accommodation that doesn't alienate the vast majority of servicemen who are heterosexual.
But Rich will have none of that. He draws on his vast knowledge of military culture, gleaned from avoiding service in Vietnam, to show that John McCain actually knows nothing about the profession of arms. And clearly, Marine wife Cassandra is just ironing her sheet and soaking her cross in gasoline when she writes:
Unlike skin color, human sexuality - whether female or male, heterosexual or homosexual - is a fundamental and extremely powerful driver of human behavior. To elide past this basic truth requires an almost willful act of blindness.
My own opinions about both women and gays openly serving in the military have undergone a radical shift during the last thirty years. I began by seeing no reason why both women and gays shouldn't be able to serve anywhere they wished to. What changed my mind over the years, contrary to the bigoted assertions of close minded individuals who refuse to entertain ideas that challenge their world view, was not misogyny or fear of Teh Gay...
There are rational objections to allowing gays to serve openly and they aren't based on the assumption that homosexuals behave differently than heterosexuals. They are based on the assumption that gays are no different from you and me. How is that bigotry?
Well, to Frank Rich, "bigotry" actually translates to "ability to count to twenty-one with your fly zipped." Read the whole thing. That will put you light-years ahead of the washed-up ignoramus who edits the New York Times.
P.S.: Here's more