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Paul Ryan: Reinstating ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ Would Be A Step In The Wrong Direction

Some encouraging words from the GOP’s Vice-Presidential nominee:

GOP vice-presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said that the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy should not be reinstated in an interview with West Palm Beach NBC affiliate WPTV that aired on Sunday.

Ryan voted in 2010 — along with most Republicans and several Democrats — against the repeal of the policy that prohibited gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.

“I talked to a lot of good friends of mine who are combat leaders in the theater, and they just didn’t think the timing of this was right to do this when our troops were in the middle of harm’s way in combat,” said Ryan. “Now that it’s done, we should not reverse it. I think that would be a step in the wrong direction because people have already disclosed themselves.”

“I think this issue is past us. It’s done. And I think we need to move on,” he said.

Romney in December 2011 articulated a similar position. “That’s already occurred. I’m not planning on reversing that at this stage,” he told the Des Moines Register editorial board. “I was not comfortable making the change during a period of conflict, due to the complicating features of a new program in the middle of two wars going on, but those wars are winding down, and moving in that direction at this stage no longer presents that problem.”

For the most part, this is a recognition of reality on the GOP’s part. The repeal of DADT was supported by a wide swath of the American public at the time, and we’re at the point now where the only people who seem to think it ought to reinstated are the hardcore anti-gay social conservatives in the GOP. Now that we’ve lived with repeal for a year, and it’s clear that, as predicted, there are no adverse consequences to letting gays and lesbians serve openly, it’s clear that the GOP wants to put this issue behind them and move on. Eventually, I predict, they’ll be doing the same thing with regard to same-sex marriage.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Herb says:

    “I talked to a lot of good friends of mine who are combat leaders in the theater, and they just didn’t think the timing of this was right to do this when our troops were in the middle of harm’s way in combat,

    It’s always a good time to do the right thing.

    Also…..Paul Ryan is fundamentally dishonest. Opposition was due to “the timing” about as plausibly as he’s been running three hour marathons.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0

  2. Markey says:

    Ryan talking like a RINO now? Golly..

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  3. mattb says:

    The gracious thing is to give the benefit of the doubt on the vote.

    Kudos to Ryan for saying this is a settled issue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

  4. Herb says:

    @mattb: No kudos.

    He voted FOR a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in 2004 and 2006. In 2010, when the House had a chance to vote against repealing DADT, Ryan voted No.

    Kudos goes to the guy with Ryan’s voting history who admits he was wrong. Not the weasel who blames it on the timing. “The timing was wrong? No, sir….YOU were wrong.”

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 0

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Herb:

    “I talked to a lot of good friends of mine who are combat leaders in the theater, and they just didn’t think the timing of this was right to do this when our troops were in the middle of harm’s way in combat,

    It’s always a good time to do the right thing.

    Also…..Paul Ryan is fundamentally dishonest. Opposition was due to “the timing” about as plausibly as he’s been running three hour marathons.

    Funny… What caught my eye for dishonesty was the “good friends of mine who are combat leaders” part. Something made me think the actual # was less than 3, he made their acquaintances after a congressional committee hearing, and their “combat experience” was limited to flying in and out of Bagram 3 or 4 times.

    Just sayin’….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  6. mantis says:

    @Herb:

    Kudos goes to the guy with Ryan’s voting history who admits he was wrong.

    We’ll just wait and see if one of those emerges. And wait…..and wait….and wait….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  7. Kent Brockman says:

    …this is a recognition of reality on the GOP’s part.

    Our lawmakers would do well to recognise reality on some other issues.
    Two that come to mind are immigration policy and the war on drugs.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  8. stonetools says:

    What Herb said, no kudos.

    And he can suck on his position on abortion too.

    Kudos should go to the people-the Democrats-who got it right all along, and risked political capital to do the right thing.
    When is Doug going to write a post praising Clinton for blazing this trial back in the 1990s when he caught hell from conservatives for it?
    When is he going to praise Obama for going for it in the lame deck session of 2010, when the Democrats were reeling from the 2010 defeats and the Republicans were holding the START treaty hostage over DADT repeal?

    Ryan can finally and grudgingly admit that just maybe , he could have been wrong about equal rights for gays in the military, when it doesn’t cost him anything poltically. That to me is another sign of how craven the Republican Party ‘s leaders are.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  9. C. Clavin says:

    Cue the “walk-back” in 3…2…1…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  10. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @stonetools: I wasn’t reading OTB at the end of 2010, so I don’t know what the position around here was on DADT repeal. However, I do recall Doug presenting an accurate assessment of Clinton’s role in preventing gay servicemembers from being automatically courtmartialed.

    There’s many topics (pretty much anything economic or where libertarian economic theory comes into contact with politics, most women’s issues) where he makes me pull my hair out, but Doug is generally a spot-on civil libertarian when it comes to GLBT issues.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  11. Herb says:

    In 2010, when the House had a chance to vote against repealing DADT, Ryan voted No.

    Just in case this isn’t clear…because it isn’t…Ryan voted FOR keeping DADT and AGAINST repealing it.

    Paul Ryan has a LONG history of saying “The timing isn’t right.”

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Something made me think the actual # was less than 3, he made their acquaintances after a congressional committee hearing, and their “combat experience” was limited to flying in and out of Bagram 3 or 4 times.

    My Dad used to say there are two people in this world you can’t trust: A liar and a thief.

    I think Ryan has earned your skepticism.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  12. legion says:

    @C. Clavin: I’m amazed the evangelicals haven’t already hit the roof about this…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  13. mattb says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Cue the “walk-back” in 3…2…1…

    If he walks it back, then to hell with him.

    As for the rest, like I said “gracious.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Herb:

    My Dad used to say there are two people in this world you can’t trust: A liar and a thief.

    A very wise man, your father….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  15. Herb says:

    @mattb:

    “As for the rest, like I said “gracious.””

    What’s so gracious about giving kudos to a dishonest man?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  16. mattb says:

    I give kudos to the degree that he’s announcing it’s something not to be revisited.

    No kudos for this vote. And I’m not suggesting that I trust him on same sex marriage issues.

    But to the degree that he was willing to go on record saying he wouldn’t repeal the overturn of DADT and that it shouldn’t be revisited, I say “kudos.” Its far better than either saying that the party should try and go backwards on the issue or simply remaining silent.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  17. An Interested Party says:

    …this is a recognition of reality on the GOP’s part.

    But when will the GOP recognise reality regarding evolution and global warming…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  18. Sirkowski says:

    And of course he’s not going to apologize. What a douche!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  19. Herb says:

    @mattb:

    “I give kudos to the degree that he’s announcing it’s something not to be revisited.”

    Fair enough. Although I think we all know the reason it’s not to be revisited is that they lost on this issue. Ryan even admits as much when he says, “I think this issue is past us. It’s done. And I think we need to move on.”

    DADT is gone. Gay marriage is more popular than ever, and even legal in several states. Kids are being raised by gay parents and an increasing number of people don’t even care.

    So yeah, Paul Ryan is giving up and “moving on.” Good for him. The door is that way.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  20. MarkedMan says:

    mattb:
    I think you are right on the merits. It’s a good thing that Ryan stated this publicly. But I’m probably not the only one who noticed the ‘talked to some of my good friends who are combat leaders’. Given Ryan’s proven tendency to lie, I have to say this struck me as probably BS. And whether I’m right or wrong in my feeling, it is not good for Ryan’s future career that even the most innocuous of statements in being evaluated based on his BS’ing past.

    And yes, I admit, the straw that really broke the camel’s back for me was the sub-3 hour marathon. And the 40+ 13K summits in Colorado.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  21. Laurence Bachmann says:

    @Herb:

    Well said Herb.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. al-Ameda says:

    “I talked to a lot of good friends of mine who are combat leaders in the theater, and they just didn’t think the timing of this was right to do this when our troops were in the middle of harm’s way in combat,” said Ryan. “Now that it’s done, we should not reverse it. I think that would be a step in the wrong direction because people have already disclosed themselves.”

    Fortunately the Romney-Ryan ticket probably will not be elected and we won’t have to find out if Ryan would backtrack on this issue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. J-Dub says:

    @Herb:

    My Dad used to say there are two people in this world you can’t trust: A liar and a thief.

    Not true at all. You can always trust them to be a liar and a thief.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0