Archive for ‘Elaine Donnelly’

July 28, 2008

In defense of Elaine Donnelly

Last week, the Washington Post‘s Dana Milbank unleashed a 1,038-word sneer against Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness, who had testified in defense of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” ban on open homosexuality in the armed services.

A courageous knight — well, Robert Knight — gallantly comes to the defense of a great lady:

Milbank began his column by sarcastically introducing Mrs. Donnelly only as someone “who has been working for years to protect our fighting forces from the malign influence of women.”
Donnelly, who served on the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Armed Services and a presidential commission examining the role of women in the military, has worked for years promoting policies that support military families, and resisting the liberal campaign to lift the combat exemption for women. To Milbank, who apparently wants to shove our daughters into harm’s way as soon as possible, that’s “maligning” women.
Milbank goes on to describe Donnelly’s testimony and responses to questions as “an extraordinary exhibition of rage.” Anyone who has seen Mrs. Donnelly under fire knows that she does not do “rage.” What she does do is to demolish the other side’s arguments with logic and documented materials. . . . Every inch a lady, albeit a lady tough as nails, Mrs. Donnelly does not sink to the level of her opponents.

Milbank seems to be one of those “anointed” liberals who confuse policy disputes with opportunities to display their superior social morality. To oppose gays in the military or women in combat is to be a homophobe or a sexist and therefore inferior, and liberals feel obligated to pull out all the stops when targeting their inferiors.

Readers old enough to remember the original 1993 controversy over this issue will recall that homosexual activity within the U.S. military has been banned since time immemorial under the Universal Code of Military Justice. President Clinton, on his first day in office, signed an executive order rescinding that ban, infuriating the Pentagon and veterans’ groups. In a compromise measure worked out by Gen. Colin Powell and Sen. Sam Nunn (D-Ga.), the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy was instituted.

Conservative critics at that time recognized the compromise was fundamentally unworkable, but accepted it as preferable to the Clinton policy. No compromise with liberals is ever permanent, however, and so the flaws of “don’t ask, don’t tell” — which were evident from the moment the policy was announced — are used as arguments to adopt the Clinton policy that caused such a firestorm in 1993.

With the facts on her side, Mrs. Donnelly will not back down, although she may be steamrollered by a Democratic Congress as a gesture intended to placate the Democrats’ wealthy gay contributors. But don’t mistaken, last week’s hearing only a gesture.

The Democrats wouldn’t dare actually do anything about this issue by passing legislation that Bush could veto, thereby exposing the Democratic majority in Congress as the tool of radicalism it is. Until Nov. 4, the Democrats will pose as moderates concerned about bread-and-butter economic issues — “working families,” yadda, yadda, yadda — and will wait until after President Obama is elected to reveal their actual agenda.

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