Today President Obama signed the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell into law. It's an amazingly moving and exciting moment that has been hoped for since before DADT took effect in 1994. As President Obama said, "No longer will tens of thousands of Americans in uniform be asked to live a lie, or look over their shoulder in order to serve the country that they love."
Although this week will be remembered by many for this historic moment, there have been a number of idiotic, offensive or downright stupid moments as well. Here are a few highlights:
- On her "reality" show/campaign ad, Sarah Palin took a shot at First Lady Michelle Obama's anti-obesity efforts. While looking for ingredients to make s'mores, Palin said "Where are the s'mores ingredients? This is in honor of Michelle Obama, who said the other day we should not have dessert." (Palin believes what children eat in school should be determined by their parents, not schools or the government.)
- Mississippi Governor Haley Barbouroften mentioned as a possible 2012 presidential candidatemight have torpedoed his chances much as former Mississippi Senator Trent Lott did several years ago, making a flippant comment about race. He said that growing up in Yazoo City, MS, during the height of the civil rights movement, "wasn't that bad." The governor went on to credit the Citizens Council, a group that has been viewed as pro-segregationist, for helping to integrate his hometown more peacefully than other cities in the Deep South were integrated. He also discussed attending a Martin Luther King, Jr. rally, although he boasted he spent more time "watching the girls" than listening to the civil rights icon.
- Shortly after the Senate's vote to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell last weekend, Virginia Delegate Bob Marshall declared he would introduce a bill in the 2011 General Assembly which would make DADT the rule in the Virginia National Guard. As Marshall, who was the sponsor of the bill banning gay marriage in Virginia, sees it, "allowing openly gay people to serve in the military will weaken military recruitment and retention, and will increase pressure for a military draft." Fortunately, Governor Bob McDonnell, who didn't support repeal of DADT, accepts that the repeal is now law, and doesn't think Virginia should deviate from the standard set for U.S. military members.
What would I do without political foibles?