Hamilton – Legislate in haste: Repent in sorrow?
June 1, 2010
Fearful of losing their Democrat majorities this November, congressional leaders Sen. Harry Reid, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Barack Obama are fast-tracking a sweeping amnesty for illegal aliens, more environmental legislation and a drive toward inclusion of openly gay males and lesbians within our armed forces.
But, the Obamessiahs need not worry because conservatives have a habit of forming circular firing squads and snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Witness: In 1991, Ross Perot took 18.91 percent of the vote, resulting in the election of draft-dodger Bill Clinton over war hero George H.W. Bush. Third party candidates always end up electing their worst political nightmares.
Based on current polling data, Americans want secure borders followed by a workable guest-worker program. Americans want to keep American jobs here rather than shipping jobs overseas as a result of Obama’s proposed Cap and Tax environmental legislation.
On the other hand, most Americans have no experience living in military barracks or on Navy ships. Veterans comprise only 9 percent of our population. Only 20 percent of Congress members have prior military service. Ergo, the number of Americans who have actually lived in military barracks or on shipboard is relatively small. This may explain why civilians are currently divided on putting openly gay people into the military.
Mr. Obama’s desire to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell” faces formidable opposition. In a letter to the Commander in Chief, 1,156 retired generals and admirals expressed their opposition to gays in the military. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and the top officers in charge of the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force want to survey the troops on active duty and ask their opinion on the matter.
The Obamessiahs in Congress are not waiting for the results of the study commissioned by Secretary Gates and the four service chiefs. Army Chief of Staff George W. Casey, Jr. says, “Repealing the law before the completion of the review will be seen by the men and women in the Army as a reversal of our commitment to hear their views before moving forward.”
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Historically, the military has not permitted people who are sexually attracted to each other to live together in the barracks or in squad rooms. Therefore, males have their quarters and females have separate quarters.
If the Obamessiahs succeed in forcing the military services to accept gay males and lesbians, logic suggests gay males and lesbians would have to be afforded separate quarters.
The questions arise: Will American taxpayers want Congress to spend money for special gay and lesbian housing? What about same-sex marriages? Will taxpayers pay for soldiers of the same sex to live in married quarters? What about members of the Chaplain Corps, who might, for religious convictions, refuse to minister to gays and lesbians? Would they be drummed out of the service or court-martialed?
Despite Iraq and Afghanistan, the recruiting and retention goals of all services are being met. What impact would the inclusion of homosexuals in the military have on meeting those goals?
The key question may be the battlefield blood supply. All military personnel are required to wear ID necklaces showing their blood type. That’s because the largest and most readily-available supply of fresh, whole blood in combat is carried within the veins of the soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen themselves.
How should the military handle the blood of those whose sexual behavior puts them at the highest risk for HIV/AIDS? That question portends a raft of health-safety and discrimination lawsuits just waiting to happen. Moreover, according to Accuracy in Media, a conservative online watchdog group for balanced news reporting, the annual cost to treat a service member with AIDS ranges from $18,000 to $20,000 per year.
The Democrats rushing to legislate on immigration, the environment and gays in the military prior to the coming elections is unseemly, at best, and could be their Waterloo.
– Nationally syndicated columnist and retired Army infantry officer William Hamilton is a Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Naval War College and a former Research Fellow at the U.S. Army War College.
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