Chris Thomas is apparently unaware that most Americans and even our most recent veterans don’t have an issue with eliminating Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. For some reason–I guess it’s the ol’ Rove mojo–taking an action supported by more than 70% of Americans is a grave political risk, akin to a major military blunder.
The fact of the matter is that the majority of the country opposes what is essentially a hateful, senseless, and discriminatory practice. Thomas never suggests that Republicans will pay a price for being the mouthpieces of hatred (nor, to be fair, do many stories of this nature) or for being on the wrong side of history. Yet we know this happens. We have Senator George Allen’s infamous Macaca Moment, and the current surge in Hispanic support for Democrats in the Southwest in the wake of Arizona’s insanity. There was a reason that Bush II had to campaign as a “compassionate conservative,” and it wasn’t because he believed the hype. Voters by and large do not like the hateful face the far right enjoys showing; and make no mistake, the “family values” people are the farthest of the far. Somehow the flip side of “the liberal insistence on treating people fairly will doom them!” is never “the conservative insistence on treating not-white, not-rich, not-male citizens of this country (ed. note–that’s 2/3 of America!) unfairly will doom them!”
Thomas seems to be arguing that the media will grow bored and thus coverage will grow negative, and that Republicans will be allowed to claim, in the face of all evidence, that America opposes repealing DATA. Neither of these has ANYthing to do with the rightness of repeal, or indeed of the values behind the drive to do away with the policy. In other words, it’s more of an indictment of the media and the way politics get covered in this country than it is a “warning” to Democrats that they’re doing the wrong thing. Fixing the media is a separate issue from repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Repeal is the way to go. Let’s do it.