The debate is on. The polls are out. It is now time for all the candidates and potential Presidential candidates for 2012 to tell us clearly where they stand on the repeal of DADT (Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell).
Mike Huckabee was against the repeal in 2007, but did use the hedge word “now” in the quote below (I doubt if he has changed on the issue, however):
I believe this policy works, and I don’t think now is the time to change it, because our military commanders tell us it serves it’s purpose in preventing the disturbances that occur when it is not adhered to. No member of our armed forces is allowed to behave or display personal characteristics in a way that complicates or interferes with unit function and unity. If our commanders say that this policy improves overall force performance by minimizing disturbances at the unit level then we should not change it, especially not in the middle of a war.
Sarah Palin also thinks we should not repeal DADT “right now” and doesn’t think it should even be talked about. But it is being discussed and her voice is needed.
Mitt Romney during the 2007 campaign season said
“Don’t ask, don’t tell’ has worked well. We’re in the middle of a conflict. Now is not the time for a change in that regard, and I don’t have a policy posture as to allowing gays in the military to serve there openly”
UPDATED: However, this was a change from his earlier position stated here (contrary to his campaign’s claim that the only change he ever had was on a abortion):
He said that “don’t ask, don’t tell“ was the first in a number of steps that will ultimately lead to gays’ and lesbians’ being able to serve openly and honestly in our nation’s military.”
(HT: Ansel12 on Free Republic)
Tim Pawlenty has also taken a “not yet” approach:
It would be unwise for Congress to address this long-standing policy without the benefit of full hearings and the completion of the impact study being conducted by military leaders. I urge you to take no legislative action until the Department of Defense has completed its review and public hearings have been held to thoroughly discuss the findings.
The positions of Newt Gingrich, Haley Barbour, are unclear at this time.
Rick Santorum is likely against the repeal, if any of the anti-DADT blogs are to be believed.
But this is a time for leadership, not a wait and see attitude. Lead, don’t follow. Don’t ask what the polls are saying, just tell us where you stand. All of you!
David is currently an adjunct instructor of Composition and Speech at Marshalltown Community College in Iowa. His wife and he have also owned a business selling antique and collectible postcards on eBay since 1999. David was an activist with Operation Rescue in the early 1990s. He is a member of Trinity Presbyterian Reformed Church in Johnston, Iowa.