I don’t often have much praise for the junior Senator from Connecticut, but he deserves considerable acclaim for this:
Next week, the Connecticut senator will announce that he’s taking the lead on repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the 1993 law that prohibits gay people from serving openly in the armed forces. Since implementation of the statute nearly 20 years ago, the military has discharged some 14,000 qualified men and women, many of them serving in critical jobs like Arabic and Persian translation.
The reasons why Lieberman, who was asked by the White House and gay rights groups to sponsor the legislation, would choose this battle are not hard to divine. Indeed, they strike at the heart of the political tradition of which he is the lonely standard-bearer: Social progressivism married with foreign policy hawkishness.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily News, Lieberman told me that his commitment to repealing DADT is twofold. First, allowing gays to serve openly fulfills the bedrock American promise of providing citizens with “an equal opportunity to do whatever job their talents and sense of purpose and motivations lead them to want to do – including military service.” Second, and no less important for a lawmaker whose commitment to national security the Pentagon can’t doubt, is that “When you artificially limit the pool of people who can enlist then you are diminishing military effectiveness.”
While I still hope that the 113th Congress has no Senator Lieberman in it, if he continues like this then perhaps there is hope for him yet.