Tuesday, May 12, 2009

On DADT

Elaine Donnelly from the Center for Military Readiness on George Stephanopoulos's suggestion that Obama should suspend enforcement of Don't Ask, Don't Tell:
Any presidential order or Defense Department directive disregarding the law, handed down for reasons of political expediency, would constitute a serious, perhaps irreparable breach of faith with men and women who volunteer to serve. An imperious presidential challenge to congressional authority on a matter as important as this would erode relationships and good will, and give rise to constitutional questions. History shows that in conflicts with Congress, presidents do not win...

If Obama issues an order suspending enforcement of the law, it would be perceived by the troops and the nation as an evasion of his oath to ‘faithfully execute the office of the President of the United States.' Having taken this oath, presidents do not get to pick and choose which laws to enforce and which to ignore. Congress is now on notice, and members are not likely to accept presidential circumvention of a law that protects our military, a statute that federal courts have upheld as constitutional several times...

If President Obama ignores the respectful recommendations of the retired flag officers and devotes more attention to civilian gay activists, he will inadvertently weaken bonds of trust that must exist between a Commander- in-Chief and the troops he leads. Military experts call this ‘vertical cohesion,' an essential element of military culture that is as important for morale as ‘horizontal cohesion,' the bonds of trust among military personnel who rely on each other for survival.
All this on the backs of deafening silence from Obama, a recent suggestion that he may be considering a repeal effort, and a statement from Barney Frank that they may not have the votes in Congress to repeal DADT.

What a strange world we live in.

1 comment:

Douglas said...

While she's an utter blowhard, she does raise one good point: Congress is the legislative body and must be treated as such. Anything else is a violation of the President's oath to uphold the Constitution. We have to go the long and proper route on DADT or not go through with it at all.