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Old news: John Edwards on the repeal of DADT

I’m not sure why this is news, other than the Edwards camp was capitalizing on yesterday’s SLDN press conference about the re-introduction of the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, by Representative Marty Meehan (D-MA).

Edwards was publicly for the repeal in 2004 and gave a similar statement before (“As the recent discharge of Arabic language specialists demonstrates, the current policy does not serve our national interests and should be changed.”), he also restated his position quite definitively on Meet the Press just last month (Feb); I watched it and blogged on it:

MR. RUSSERT: Do you believe that openly gay men and women should be able to serve in the military.


MR. RUSSERT: And you would do that as president?

SEN. EDWARDS: Absolutely.

The fact that a good number of blogs picked up on yesterday’s Edwards statement (one example here) probably reflects a lack of attention paid to the issue, particularly by the straight blogosphere.

We’ve been talking about the candidates and their positions on DADT on the Blend for some time now; I last did a round up on the 2008 candidates back in January (read after the flip).From a post when Clinton re-announced her support for lifting the ban:

* Former Senator Mike Gravel (D-AK), a really dark horse who’s running for the Dem nom, called for DADT’s repeal on his web site, saying “The law flies in the face of common sense, and undermines our nation’s commitment to equal opportunity. As commander-in-chief, I will welcome every qualified American, regardless of sexual orientation, who wants to serve in our fighting forces.”

* Ohio Dem Congressman Dennis Kucinich, the only candidate in favor of full marriage equality, was on the record the last time around in support of of the right for openly gay and lesbian citizens to serve.

* Bill Richardson is for the right of gays and lesbians to serve.

* Rudy Giuliani supports lifting the ban.

* Who knows what flip-flopping, homo-loving/homo-hating Mitt Romney believes? It depends on which way the wind is blowing. If you look at the infamous 1994 letter to the Massachusetts Log Cabin chapter, he seems to be in favor of a repeal. “I believe that there will be change over time as the military establishment and the rank and file become more comfortable with the realities of sexual orientation in the military.” Since he’s trying to hop in bed with the fundies these days, he may have retreated on this. [Actually, I just found an article from the other day, and Mitt makes it clear that he now agrees with maintaining Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Mitt is still being dogged about his flip-flop positions on gay rights issues. At this point, since his handlers cannot find a way to reconcile his 1994 pro-gay posturing when he was battling Ted Kennedy in that Senate race with his newfound fundie ass-kissing anti-gay persona.  At this point, he’s simply avoiding questions on the matter.]

* Sam Brownback — we don’t have to guess on that one.

* The faux maverick Rethug Tool John McCain proudly supports the status quo, the bastard.

When asked by Edge reporter Peter Cassels his position on DADT, McCain replied, “All the senior members of the military say that it’s working.” When asked directly if he would vote for Massachusetts Congressman Marty Meehan’s bill (H.R. 1059) to repeal the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, McCain said, “No.”

Romney recently reiterated his support for the ban on gays and lesbians openly serving in the military.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding