Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I Got Pawlenty of Nothing

I give former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty as much of a chance of being the GOP nominee, much less elected, president in 2012 as I would give Robert Mugagbe winning the Nobel Peace Prize, but Mr. Pawlenty is still out there trying to win over as many of the base of the GOP as he can, and he’s using gay-bashing as his particular weapon of choice.

In December, he told anti-gay radio host Bryan Fischer that he “would support reinstating” Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Yesterday, Pawlenty took the cause even further, telling ThinkProgress’ Igor Volsky that rescinding funds to implement the policy’s repeal would be “a reasonable step” that he would support.

He also refuses to say whether or not the military should allow gays and lesbians to serve at all.

I really would defer to the military leaders and military more broadly. We rely on these men and women to do extremely difficult things in extremely difficult circumstances, and I think the leadership of the military is genuinely trying to evaluate this issue on the impact of men and women in uniform, but as it relates to the combat units and combat leaders, they still have it seems a significant concern and I’m not comfortable just ignoring and pushing aside that concern.

This is despite the fact that the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the majority of the service personnel polled in the survey conducted on the matter last year overwhelmingly supported either repealing DADT or didn’t have a problem with openly gay service people. In a poll, 77% of Americans favored repeal. In other words, the battle is over, Gov. Pawlenty. You lost.

What I think is the more important question here is just what is it about gays and lesbians that makes him and the base he’s pandering to hate them so much that he would advocate wasting time and resources to reinstate a bad law?