said Wednesday that abruptly ending the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy as a federal judge has ordered would have enormous consequences.
Enormous Consequences. If an official makes a statement like this, shouldn't there be SOME requirement that he explain just WHAT those consequences might actually be? It just seems reasonable that this sort of doom-saying prognostication should be a little more specific. Especially if the person saying it actually, you know, believed it. Just as when a Teabagger splutters that Obama's policies are "taking away his freedom" he should have to stop, right there, and enumerate specifically what "freedoms" he is losing as a result of these policies. The net outcome of this requirement would be to reduce the level of bombastic, over-the-top rhetoric and cause people to explain what their actual, real-world concerns about a given policy might be. It would also serve a larger purpose, as a declaration that a given act of governance will end our way of life as we know it and lead to a desperate, dystopian future pretty effectively prevents any compromise on the issue. You can't, after all, be expected to negotiate with Hitler, right?
It sure seems to me that Gates is not only wrong, he's ridiculous. Nothing will change today. Soldiers will train, march, eat, fight and do all the other things they did yesterday and last week. They won't suddenly refuse to be soldiers because they want to watch Judy Garland films and have orgies of disgusting butt sex all over the parade ground. They will be in the same units, with the same peers and the same leadership, in the same roles. For that matter, as this is an injunction that can be overturned on appeal, it's very unlikely that gay soldiers, sailors and airmen will suddenly come out in large numbers. This might have significant negative consequences. Better to wait for a final resolution.
But that appeal makes me wonder about one other thing. The Obama administration has claimed to be 100% behind the elimination of Don't Ask, Don't Tell as a policy. Sure, they have also said that they prefer a legislative solution, but it's still awfully hard to understand why the Obama DoJ would appeal this ruling. The Judicial Branch has essentially agreed with the position of the Executive, and indeed, has found that the policy violated Constitutional guarantees. Why would the administration seek to reinstate a policy they claim to disagree with vehemently, and that courts have found unconstitutional. It would be so easy to simply issue a release saying that now that the courts have acted, it's time to move ahead with this unconscionable, counterproductive and illegal policy finally nothing but a sad historical footnote.