Sunday, January 06, 2013

Because appointees always follow orders . . .

When people bring up solid objections to Chuck Hagel being nominated for Secretary of Defense over his attitude towards gays and lesbians or his opposition to women's reproductive rights, a lot of uneducated gas bags say it doesn't matter.

Let's listen in to two fools who undercut women's rights all the time with their weak-ass and spineless positions.  NARAL's Donna Crane insistes, "President Obama's views on this issue would prevail if Hagel were appointed." View would prevail?  Interesting.  Planned Parenthood's Dana Singiser insistead, "Any Secretary of Defense nominee should be expected to fully implement the law of the land and support the President's positions."

Good to know.  And thank goodness that political appointees always follow the law and always follow the wishes of a president, right?



Hey, look, it's Colin Powell in a White House photo taken by Moreen Ishnikawa on July 9, 2001.

Before he was Bush's Secretary of State, Powell had other appointed positions including, from October 1, 1989 to September 30, 1993, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  Powell would choose to step down from that position but not before doing a great deal of damage to gays and lesbians.

Bill Clinton explained it to Jann S. Wenner in his Rolling Stone exit interview following his two terms as President of the United States.

Jann S. Wenner:   One of the very first things you did in office was try to overturn the military's ban on gays. Why did this backfire, and what did you learn from that?

Bill Clinton:  I think it backfired partly because the people that were against it were clever enough to force it. I tried to slow it down, but the first week I was president, Senator Dole - who, I think, saw it as an opportunity - decided to push a vote in the Senate disapproving of the change in the policy. I tried to put it off for six months, and the Joint Chiefs came down and raised hell about it. I wanted to do it the way Harry Truman integrated the military. He issued an executive order and gave the military leaders a couple of years to figure out how best to do it. But a lot of the gay groups wanted it done right away and had no earthly idea what kind of reaction would come. They were shocked by the amount of congressional opposition.
A lot of people think I compromised with the military. That's not what happened. We knew that at least seventy-five percent of the House would vote against my policy. If I was going to be able to do anything, I had to have a veto-proof minority in either the House or the Senate. But the Senate voted sixty-eight to thirtytwo against my policy, which meant that I could not sustain my policy in either house.
And it was only then that I worked out with Colin Powell this dumb-ass "don't ask, don't tell" thing. I went to the Army War College and explained what the policy was going to be, based on the agreement we'd reached together. Then they wrote that into law, and then we had several years of problems, where it was not being implemented in any way consistent with the speech I gave at the War College - of which General Powell had agreed with every word.
 [Secretary of Defense] William Cohen has now changed the training and a lot of the other elements that contributed to the fact that this policy continued to have a lot of abuse in it, and I think it's better now. But I still don't think it's the right policy. I think the policy that I wanted to implement originally was the right policy.

In the fourth paragraph of his response, Bill is saying Cohen implemented the policy as planned but only after (third paragraph) Powell had been an obstacle.

But, hey, NARAL, Planned Parenthood, keep being useless.

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