Please Ask, Do Tell

Democrats and their allies have a new symbol in their battle against America’s war on Muslim Jihadists: the rainbow flag of the gay movement.

The white flag of surrender apparently was not sufficient. So the Democrats have raised the rainbow flag and rolled out an assault on former President Bill Clinton’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for gays in the military.

San Francisco Bay Area Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher, a Democrat, last week announced to eager liberal constituents that she is the new point person to allow gays to serve openly in the military.

Tauscher’s announcement punctuated a coordinated battle by liberals to use gays in the military as a rallying point for their base in the presidential campaign. Its rollout came just as a new exhibit on gays in the military opened in San Francisco, and soon after debates in which a liberal moderator probed GOP and Democrat candidates on the issue.

Even as Tauscher announced her new push for gays in the military, the San Francisco Chronicle printed pictures of three veterans who are on a tour of the states by “veterans who were discharged or chose not to reenlist because of the military’s policy.”

Media are giving the issue plenty of play in conjunction with the Democrats’ shameful campaign. The Advocate, a gay magazine, has a gay Marine staff sergeant in dress blues on its cover for the July 3, 2007, issue.

“Eric Alva’s new battle: The gay marine staff sergeant lost a leg fighting one enemy. Now he’s taking on another — the U.S. military’s antigay policy,” a headline on the Advocate cover states.

The article talks about how Alva lost a leg in Iraq from a landmine, for which he received a Purple Heart and visits from then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush. Later, Alva announced he was gay on Good Morning America.

Reviving this issue during wartime is more evidence that the Democrats see the war as a political toy and not the critical defensive battle of our time. Tauscher is wrongly spinning it as an issue of defense.

“We want this to be a very broad coalition, if we can stay on the fact that this is about military readiness and equality . . .,” Tauscher said in the San Francisco Chronicle.

The first public signs that the Democrats would resuscitate the divisive issue was during televised New Hampshire debates in which the moderator asked GOP candidates whether “don’t ask, don’t tell” should end. The candidates said “no” Democrats disagreed during their debate, a sign that gay rights could serve as a wedge issue for Democrat primary voters who are now shepherded by leftist bloggers. Perhaps they could use the issue to bludgeon Republicans for their failure to see “don’t ask, don’t tell” as a military readiness issue.

Tauscher, who chairs a subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee, wants to hold hearings on “don’t ask, don’t tell,” and is searching for a Senator to sponsor the legislation. The bill, which Democrats slyly named “the Military Readiness Enhancement Act,” faces serious opposition. Even Tauscher admitted that she doesn’t have the votes to allow gays to serve openly in the military.

Former President Bill Clinton is one of the slickest politicians of modern history, yet he couldn’t solidify support for gay enlistment. And we weren’t in the middle of full-out war with radical Islamic Jihadists.

But the left will continue to drag the military through the mud on this, because they believe it’s a winner with their liberal voters. They can’t see that the issue is, at the very least, a dangerous distraction as the United States fights a lethal and determined enemy.

It is shameful for politicians to amplify the issue for political gain during wartime. Now is not the time for our warriors to sit through hearings on whether gays can openly serve the military without hurting this country’s defense. Our commanders have more important things to do, such as fight a war.

Imagine Gen. George Patton stopping on the battlefield so he could contemplate the intricacies of openly gay warriors under his command. That is what Tauscher is asking our generals to do.

Gays already serve in the military and aren’t discharged unless they openly parade their sexuality. Even then, commanders may ignore the facts. I know of a captain in the Air Force who told his commander he is gay, then ran pornographic pictures of himself on a gay website where he trolled for lovers. The captain also published pictures of himself in an Air Force flight suit on the gay site. The captain was allowed to complete his duty and retire with full military benefits. This happened at Travis Air Force Base, which is part of Tauscher’s district.

Clinton concocted the existing policy as a compromise after he promised during his campaign to allow gays to serve. Gay advocates argue that the military is dismissing troops who are needed in the war on terror. They also point to a Zogby poll taken last year that shows that 73% of troops are OK serving besides gays.

Advocates also argue that that Britain and Israel allow gays to openly serve. Just because our friends do it doesn’t mean we have to. Besides, the last time I checked we were the only Super Power left in the world and that isn’t because we follow our friends’ lead.
The bottom line is that wartime is the wrong time to play politics with gays in the military. Tauscher must lower the rainbow flag and put it away with the Democrats’ white flag.