This one comes from a blog that I linked (kind of half-heartedly, I'll admit) during the Blogger's Freestore Foodbank challenge at Thanksgiving. Mr. Bearman had agreed to donate $20 for any blogger who adds his site to their blogroll -- so I did, of course -- but I've come to enjoy his cartoons quite a bit. And, yea, he is a bit of a hack cartoonist (his words, not mine), but I enjoy his take.
He emailed me with this post:
The post references a decent Newsweek article that discuss the Joint Chief of Staff's (Admiral Mike Mullen) difficulty in overcoming the institution of the military while following his Obama's promise to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell:
In the next year, Mullen might have to ask troops to do something many will find even more uncomfortable: welcome openly gay men and women into their ranks. Such was the promise made by President-elect Obama in the 2008 campaign—gay-rights groups will hold him to it. To many civilians, the shift might seem natural. American attitudes toward homosexuality have evolved since 1993, the year Congress mandated that gays could serve so long as they hid their sexual orientation. The law, known as Don't Ask, Don't Tell, predates "Will & Grace," and for most Americans, even the Internet. A 2008 Washington Post–ABC News poll put public support for gays serving openly at 75 percent.It's additionally amusing, seeing as how the military is also lightening the physical requirements to join the military.
But the military has its own culture, more insular and more conservative than the broader population's. In a survey of active-duty service members released last week, 58 percent said they oppose any change in the military's policy toward gays. Up to 23 percent of troops might not re-enlist if the law is repealed, according to a Military Times poll. Mullen will have to act as kind of cultural mediator between his new boss and the old institution he has managed for more than a year. That will mean advising Obama on what changes the military can (and cannot) withstand and then obliging troops to accept them.
...While his predecessor, Marine Gen. Peter Pace, let out more than once his opinion that homosexuality is immoral, Mullen won't discuss his personal views. Democratic Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher has held long talks on gays and the military with Mullen and other members of the joint staff. She says they understand how times have changed. "They don't want to find themselves crosswise with the new commander in chief."
You know what's funny about all this? In no way shape or form do I want to join the armed forced ... unless it has some remote similarity to the Village People's In the Navy. And I really doubt it's like that.
Kind of like when I joined the YMCA. It was a disappointment, really.