he pressure is on President Obama, said Mark Thompson in Time, now that the Supreme Court has declined to hear a challenge to the "don't ask, don't tell" policy preventing gays and lesbians from serving in the military. The high court on Monday turned away a gay Ohio soldier's challenge "with the legal backing of none other than the Obama administration," even though Obama had pledged on the campaign trail that he would reverse the ban.
Obama dodged a bullet, said Jonathan Capehart in The Washington Post. If the Supreme Court had agreed to hear the challenge by James Pietrangelo II, a former Army infantryman and lawyer, the Obama administration would have had to defend this "nonsensical" policy. But Obama still has to keep his campaign promise, both to save face and to avoid losing "valuable gay troops"—like Arabic linguist Lt. Daniel Choi—who "are getting the heave-ho" because of who they are, just when their country needs them the most.
This is indeed a sensitive time, said Rod Dreher in Beliefnet, and that's precisely why it's the wrong time to get rid of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. There are no studies to refute the claim that letting gay soldiers serve openly would hurt military discipline and readiness. "Forcing a change in the rules amounts to social experimentation in an institution that, to me, ought not to be subject to such experimentation."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 7 ways to be the most interesting person in any room
- Colorado’s new ‘drive high, get a DUI’ commercials are actually pretty clever
- Why is American internet so slow?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- Who are the real gay marriage bigots?
- Ukraine's fraught relationship with Russia: A brief history
- 22 TV shows to watch in 2014
- This energy source could solve all of our problems — so why is no one talking about it?
- Sorry Belle Knox, porn still oppresses women
Subscribe to the Week