Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Substance of Barack Obama, Part I

You know, I am tired of Obama naysayers claiming that Obama is nothing more than an establishment politician who is not a true progressive on the issues and who lacks specific and concrete plans and policies for governing as a progressive liberal President in ways profoundly different than the ways of previous Presidents or than the ways proposed by his current Democratic opponents. So, to take up the challenge of showing just how wrong the naysayers are, and how their criticism of Obama is as insubstantial as they claim Obama's positions to be, I'm going to be featuring the concrete and specific plans and policies Obama has outlined that prove he is truly the candidate of progressive change on the substance of issues. So, without further ado, here's Part I of The Huck Upchuck's Substance of Barack Obama series:

Don't Ask, Don't Tell - That abomination of a policy, implemented during the Bill Clinton presidency, whose effect is to require gay soldiers either to live their lives in the closet, or to kick them out of the military simply for coming out. The progressive change position on this issue is simple: to end Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

Here's Barack Obama on Don't Ask, Don't Tell:

As president, I will work with Congress and place the weight of my administration behind enactment of the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, which will make nondiscrimination the official policy of the U.S. military. I will task the Defense Department and the senior command structure in every branch of the armed forces with developing an action plan for the implementation of a full repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. And I will direct my Secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security to develop procedures for taking re-accession requests from those qualified service members who were separated from the armed forces under Don't Ask, Don't Tell and still want to serve their country. The eradication of this policy will require more than just eliminating one statute. It will require the implementation of anti-harassment policies and protocols for dealing with abusive or discriminatory behavior as we transition our armed forces away from a policy of discrimination. The military must be our active partners in developing those policies and protocols. That work should have started long ago. It will start when I take office.

America is ready to get rid of the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. All that is required is leadership.
Not only is it specific and concrete in detailing how he will end this policy, but he even has a plan to bring openly gay soldiers back into the military.

Now, here's what Hillary has to say on Don't Ask, Don't Tell:
Hillary knows that courage, honor, patriotism and sacrifice – the traits that define our men and women in uniform – have nothing to do with sexual orientation. She's concerned that the military is discharging people with critical skills, including desperately needed Arabic language skills. Hillary believes that this is a matter of national security and as president, she will address it.
She'll "address it?" That's it?!? Nothing more need be said.

As for John Edwards, well he apparently supports ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell, but I couldn't find any mention of this policy on his Campaign website, much less a concrete plan for dealing with it. He has a lengthy section on the military, but doesn't even mention this issue. And, of course, we all know that Edwards is the only one of the Democratic frontrunners who personally opposes gay marriage on moral grounds, even though he says he is against the FMA.

In the end, who's not only the most progressive candidate among the three Democratic frontrunners on the issue of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, but also has the most concrete and specific plans for implementing his progressive policy?


1 comment:

jeffrey said...

This is much better! Obama clearly has the most serious and mature stance when it comes to this stupid and de-humanizing government policy.