Pawlenty Says He'd Reinstate Don't Ask Don't Tell

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If elected president, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty would bring back the ban on gays in the military, he told radio host Bryan Fischer Thursday. The repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell passed with several Republican votes, so a hypothetical President Pawlenty might have a tough time getting a repeal of a repeal through Congress, The Hill's Michael O'Brien reports.

"There's a lot of reasons for that," Pawlenty explained, " but if you look at how the combat commanders and the combat units feel about it, the results of those kinds of surveys were different than the ones that were mostly reported in the newspaper and that is something I think we need to pay attention to."

The governor's position is unexpected, given overwhelming public support for letting gay serve openly in the armed forces. Even Sen. John McCain, who fought hard to prevent the repeal of DADT, said last week he will now "do everything [he] can to make it work."

  • Curious Culture Warrior, Slate's Dave Weigel writes. "It was a whole month ago, so you may have forgotten, but repeal of DADT was supported by between 78 percent and 81 percent of voters. Kudos to Fischer for asking; Pawlenty becomes, I think, the first 2012er to take this stance on a wedge issue that is probably completely dead politically."
  • Could the Military Handle a Repeal of the Repeal?  Think Progress's Igor Volsky asks. "It’s also unclear how reinstating the policy would work operationally. Bringing back the policy would require gay servicemembers who come out after repeal is certified to suddenly go back into the closet or face discharge. Straight soldiers would also have to pretend they did not know about the sexual orientation of formerly-out gay members."
  • Clearly a Losing Fight  "Look, I know how much the right hates losing, and DADT had a long run," says The Washington Monthly's Steve Benen. " Last year, Republican almost beat back the effort to repeal the policy, but they came up short. The public wanted to see the change; military leaders wanted to see the change; and lawmakers in both parties approved the change. The moment President Obama held a celebration to sign the legislation, conservatives should have realized the game was up. There was a political fight, and they lost. Why keep pushing this?"
  • Who Is Pawlenty Trying to Impress?  Jack Stuef snickers at Wonkette. "We don't know how Pawlenty thinks he can win the presidency by criticizing Sarah Palin while positioning himself for her same constituency, as he is lame and never seems to talk about bears."
  • Over the Line, Outside the Beltway's Doug Mataconis says. "Okay Governor, if you were ever on my list of acceptable candidates. You are now off it."
  • Homophobia Is Still Powerful within the GOP, The Atlantic's Andrew Sullivan notes. "The power of the anti-gay animus in the current GOP is, at times, shocking."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.