The Obama administration’s attempt to have it both ways with homosexuals in the military has failed, at least for the moment. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday stayed a reckless lower court order that attempted to overturn the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law prohibiting homosexuals from serving openly in the military.
U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips, a Clinton appointee, decided on her own authority that she would re-write the compromise enacted by Congress after years of contentious public debate that continues to this day. While Mr. Obama openly embraces what Judge Phillips tried to accomplish, as president he had little choice but to defend an act of Congress in court. Hence, while Assistant Attorney General Tony West urged the appellate panel to block the Phillips ruling temporarily, Mr. Obama was giving a wink to the Defense Department, which quickly came out in favor of recruiting homosexuals into the armed forces.
Judge Phillips issued her decree enjoining enforcement of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” on Oct. 12. Within less than a week, the Pentagon was ordering military recruiters to bring homosexuals into the armed forces - even though it was obvious to all observers that this high-profile case would end up being decided by the Supreme Court. When the defense establishment maneuvers more quickly than the judiciary, you know something’s up. This clearly was a plan to do this in advance.
Pentagon officials have been pretending that they have not already made up their minds on this issue. Generals have issued blanket denials that the conclusions for the forthcoming working group report on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” have already been decided. It appears that as the White House rams its radical homosexual agenda through the military, too many generals and admirals are willing to sell their brothers in arms down the river if it means they can keep a shiny set of stars on their epaulets.
The destructive force unleashed by the Pentagon’s collaboration with the leftist agenda is apparent from the circus created when homosexual activists like Dan Choi sashayed over to the Times Square recruiting center to make a political point in the short period in which the Phillips order was effective. Leftists are only interested in political points and symbolism here. Providing defense to the nation in the most effective way possible is the furthest thing from their mind. Treating military recruitment primarily as a diversity issue opens up a closet full of absurdities. On what basis, then, would the military discriminate against the elderly? Why can’t grandpa become a paratrooper? Should the military not reject someone merely because he is handicapped? Why not a wheelchair-bound infantryman?
The judiciary’s chieftains suffer no ill consequences when the unintended consequences of their decrees prove to be ruinous. That’s why answers to the thorny questions of public policy belong to the elected branches of government. Military leaders also need a reminder that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is still the law of the land, regardless of the personal desires of the commander in chief.