Bob Barr | Don't Ask, Don't Tell | Election 2008 | Military | News | Republican Party

Former Congressman Bob Barr Calls for End of Don't Ask, Don't Tell

In an op-ed published this morning in the Wall Street Journal, conservative former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr questions the position of every single Republican candidate for president on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and says that their response to a question on whether or not they would end the ban on gays in the military at last week's debate offered "some troubling insight into the thinking of leading GOP candidates." Barr says that DADT should go.

BobbarrAn excerpt:

"As a conservative Republican member of Congress from 1995 to 2003, I was hardly a card-carrying member of the gay-rights lobby. I opposed then, and continue to oppose, same-sex marriage, or the designation of gays as a constitutionally protected minority class. Service in the armed forces is another matter. The bottom line here is that, with nearly a decade and a half of the hybrid "don't ask, don't tell" policy to guide us, I have become deeply impressed with the growing weight of credible military opinion which concludes that allowing gays to serve openly in the military does not pose insurmountable problems for the good order and discipline of the services.

...Asked about reconsideration of the don't ask, don't tell policy in favor of a more open and honest approach, the simplistic responses by several Republican presidential candidates left me -- and I suspect many others -- questioning whether those candidates really even understood the issue, or were simply pandering to the perceived "conservative base." The fact is, equal treatment of gay and lesbian service members is about as conservative a position as one cares to articulate."

Barr, once a Republican and now a Libertarian, says that the unnecessary discharges hurt the military, "an institution conservatives claim to love." He also says the ban is a waste of money and that the invasions of privacy related to the ban are an infringement on conservative values.

Don't Ask, Who Cares [wall street journal]

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  1. "The flip side of this argument is the unpleasant thought that Bush and Co. are protecting gays FROM the Iraq war with DADT." -- ANON

    WHAAA? Honestly ANON, where do you get this stuff? That statement makes absolutely no sense. Now if you were to have said, "The flip side of this argument is the thought that Bush and Co. are unintentionally and inadvertently protecting gays FROM the Iraq war with DADT", that would have made some sense but your version is disjointed and leaves the reader wondering what you meant. Was that what you were intending to convey?

    As for "He's not perfect but not Dick Cheney either", that sounds a lot like those who say that Dick Cheney isn't perfect on gay issues but he's no George Bush. Why stop there? Bush isn't perfect but he's no Bob Dornan; Dornan's not perfect but he's no Jesse Helms; Helms isn't perfect but he's no Jaroslaw Kaczynski; Kaczynski's not perfect but he's no Robert Mugabe; Mugabe's not perfect but he's no Adolf Hitler; Hitler's not perfect but he's no Satan.

    So, cutting out all the middle men, the bottom line here is, as long as someone isn't as bad as Satan they are off limits for being criticized for their PUBLICLY STATED and ACTIVELY LEGISLATED anti-gay positions.

    When Barr states that he believes gay people deserve to GET rights and not just fight and die so that other people can get them, Hell, even if he would just say that he is for the repeal of DADT because it is a shameful and discriminatory policy, THEN I will concede that he has grown. Until then I see this as nothing more than a historic homophobe who see's the repeal of DADT as a win/win, "two birds with one stone", policy change. In one fell swoop he can fill the ranks of the military to maintain this immoral war and knock of a few hundred/thousand homos as gravy. Not exactly heroic in my book.

    Posted by: Zeke | Jun 14, 2007 10:02:51 AM

  2. Make that "knock off.."

    Posted by: Zeke | Jun 14, 2007 10:07:19 AM

  3. You guys are so serious. What's cuter than a little elephant wearing clothes and gold crown? (Bob Barr = Babar)

    Posted by: Christopher | Jun 15, 2007 3:17:41 AM

  4. As a Libertarian I must pointe out six things.

    1. Barr is our Party's Candidate for President this year.

    2. Barr is for the repeal of the first half of DOMA just not the latter.Because it has been abused by the Executive Branch in ways that were not intended by Congress at the time. He has admitted openly, that as originally passed into law, it was "the worst mistake of his career".

    3. While he personally, for religious reasons, he objects to same sex marriage; he is for letting the states decide, which is where the authorization belongs in the first place. The federal government (Executive Branch) has no business regulating contracts between local companies or persons straight or gay. It is a States Rights/Judicial Review issue. The Courts are the ones responsible for Contract Equality and Enforcement

    4. Libertarians are for the individual first not the group of people or collective. We believe that all "persons" are created equal and should be judged on individual merits and 'the content of their character'.

    5. Libertarians are also against hate crimes legislation because it will end up becoming thought policing or to infer that government/civil society can now control what you can think. There are other remedies already at the Courts disposal to issue punitive damages or add to a sentence based on aggravating circumstances, without classifying something by an different set of rules and penalties. I am not saying that steps should not be taken to assure protections towards the individual; but to cover a collective group with extended penalties is the issue at hand.

    For Example: Because Johnny was Black and Gay technically it becomes a double hate crime if his attacker was a member of the Arian Nation; but lets say Johnny attacked his ex boyfriend's boyfriend: who was White and Catholic, and Johnny was a Protestant; Johnny doesn't get charged with any hate crime. Quite possibly, the ex's current bf could be charged with racial insensitivity under certain hate crimes legislation just for kissing his bf in the presence of Johnny or another straight person.

    6. Hate crimes legislation, as proven in New Mexico and other Countries around the world, is a slippery slope that tramples on the foundation of our rights as individuals to be free! It should be about Human Rights as a whole. We hold these truths to be self evident: That all men are created equal."

    In my personal opinion, Barr is at least trying to meet US, the GLBTIQAS Community, halfway which is more than I can say for either of the other two *EDITED* running for the Office of President this year. Barr is not perfect but give him at least a chance and read/hear what he has to say/write, with an open mind. It is not the perfect answer, but it is a starting pointe to get there quicker.

    Sorry I am not normally this long winded.

    Posted by: MRev. Kenneth White, Jnr. | Jul 21, 2008 10:12:34 AM

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