In the wake of Obama's State of the Union pledge to end the Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT) policy which bans gay men and lesbians from openly serving in the military, conservative media figures including syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer, Weekly Standard columnist Stephen Hayes, Fox News analyst Margaret Hoover, and American Spectator columnist Phillip Klein have all come out in support of Obama's call to repeal the ban.
Conservative media figures say DADT is “discrimination” that “outlived its usefulness,” repeal a “no-brainer”
Krauthammer: DADT is a “form of discrimination,” repeal a “good idea.” On the February 2 edition of Special Report with Bret Baier, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer expressed support for repealing DADT, a policy he called “a form of discrimination that sort of outlived itself”:
BAIER: A hearing designated to talk the president's wish to repeal the Don't Ask, Don't Tell law -- essentially, that the military prevents gays from serving openly in the military. Will this happen? What will the timeframe be, and is it a good idea or not? We're back with the panel. Start with Charles.
KRAUTHAMMER: I think it is a good idea, and I think the administration's approach, which is a gradual approach, is the right one, which is to study how to do it over a year and then to implement it over years.
Remember when the armed forces were racially integrated in '48, it was over five years. Now, I don't think that these are equivalent entities, but in terms of adaptation, I think you're going to want a period of time. But look, the mores in the country have changed, certainly in the last 16 years, and certainly among the young. I think it's a form of discrimination that's sort of outlived itself.
The British and Australian and Canadians, who have serious armies, have already done this. I think we ought to study how it should be done in the most reasonable way, but I think it's a good idea to get it under way and get it started.
Hayes: DADT “is a policy that outlived its usefulness.” On the February 2 edition of Special Report with Bret Baier, Weekly Standard columnist Stephen Hayes remarked that DADT “is a policy that outlived its usefulness”:
HAYES: And I also think personally that this is a policy that's outlived its usefulness. I don't think there is a reason a proud, patriotic gay or lesbian American shouldn't be able to serve, shouldn't be able to choose to put his or her life at risk in order to defend the country.
American Spectator's Klein: “It's a no-brainer that sexual orientation shouldn't make a difference” when determining who can serve in the military. In a February 3 post at The American Spectator, Phillip Klein argued that “it's a no-brainer” that gays and lesbians should be allowed to openly serve in the military:
Part of the difficulty of debating the issue is that that for those opposed to allowing homosexuals to serve openly, it's self-evident why this would cause problems for the military, while for those who support open service (as I do), it's a no-brainer that sexual orientation shouldn't make a difference.
To me, it's hard to see what the fuss is about. This isn't about lowering the standards of the military, because everybody would still have to meet all of the physical and other requirements necessary for military service. And it isn't as if the military will, for the first time, be admitting gays. Homosexuals are already serving in the military. Straight soldiers already have to assume that anybody in their unit could be gay, and likely already have an idea of who is and isn't. So the only change we're talking about is whether we should continue to force those gay soldiers who are currently serving our nation honorably to continue to live a lie, and face ejection from the military not for anything having to do with their own service, but simply on the basis of whether they're attracted to boys or girls.
Hoover: “The one dearth we have is people who actually speak Arabic, and you're kicking out Arabic translators” because of their sexual orientation. Fox News analyst and former Bush appointee Margaret Hoover spoke against DADT, noting that several U.S. allies allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in their militaries and pointing out the harmful effect on the U.S. military of “kicking out Arabic translators” when “the one dearth we have is people who can actually speak Arabic.”
From the January 28 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
O'REILLY: Does anybody care about “don't ask, don't tell” anymore, do you think?
HOOVER: Wow. I'm so psyched you just phrased it that way. When you have Australia, the United Kingdom and Israel all allowing gays to serve openly in their military, I think you're right. I think that the issue has been acculturated so differently with folks in my generation as opposed to in 1960s when my dad enlisted in the Army.
CHERYL CASONE (Fox Business anchor): But these are people -- these are people that are willing to protect me, stop terrorists from coming into my backyard and coming after me. And you're going to kick them out because they say they're gay? Give me a break.
HOOVER: Yes. And translating Arabic, by the way. The one dearth we have is people who actually speak Arabic, and you're kicking out Arabic translators.[retrieved from the Nexis database]