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Belated Thoughts On The End Of Don't Ask, Don't Tell

I've been a bit remiss in commenting on the (ultimately successful) battle to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell. What I like to do is analyze and engage in argument, and there just wasn't much argument over this issue. The merits of allowing gays in the military are obvious and widely accepted, and opponents barely put up a fight. (Just about the only passion displayed by proponents of the ban on gays in the military came from John McCain, and his anger appears to be displaced rage at the 2008 presidential election.)

I suppose the lack of argument is itself the story. The progress of gay rights in the United States over the last generation has been intoxicatingly rapid. It's happening so fast that opponents, rather than fomenting a successful backlash, have mainly lost their desire to fight. In part this reflects changes in the Republican Party, which is now dominated almost entirely by defenders of the economic prerogatives of the rich and barely pretends to care about the Christian right's agenda any more. In part it's a wildly successful effort by Hollywood to normalize homosexuality.

In any case, it was only six years ago that Republicans used the bogeyman of gay marriage to help win a presidential election. Does anybody expect that to happen again? I don't.