Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Conservatives for Unity at CPAC
The annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), coinciding with the Centennial Celebration of Ronald Reagan’s 100th Birthday, started a re-examination of what it means to be conservative.
• CMR President Elaine Donnelly on Big Peace – Ronald Reagan: Political Confidence and Social Conservatism
The article above was similar to a special letter to the American Conservative Union and the ACU Foundation, signed by over twenty respected conservative leaders, which expressed concerns about the inclusion of the gay activist group GOProud as a "participating organization" at this year's CPAC conference. With the full support of Let Freedom Ring President Colin Hanna and others who shared our concerns, CMR took the lead in organizing this project, which we called "Conservatives for Unity." The persuasive letter that the influential group sent to the American Conservative Union and Foundation boards of directors is linked here:
• Conservatives for Unity Letter re CPAC
CMR did not seek media coverage for our letter, but as we thought might happen, someone leaked the letter and it appeared with a banner headline at the top of Wednesday’s Washington Times. (The reporter missed the constructive tone of our letter, but the coverage was helpful.)
• CPAC Fissure Over Gays Deepens; GOProud Called Incompatible
The letter, addressed to the ACU Foundation Board from "Conservatives for Unity" (hardly indicating a "fissure," as the Times headline read) noted that "[a]lthough it is unlikely that current controversies will be resolved at this time, we wish to lend support to leaders who might lay the groundwork for future success at CPAC by fostering unity among conservatives, not division."
The letter explained how allowing "GOProud to affiliate with CPAC is tantamount to tacitly removing the social conservative leg from the movement's metaphoric three-legged stool," and urged board members "to reconsider the decision to accept GOProud as a participating sponsor, or provide some assurance the board will seriously consider avoiding this sort of divisive dilemma at this time next year." The letter was well-received and had an immediate effect.
In this article, Erick Erickson of Red State nailed GOProud for its intemperate rhetoric and history of support for liberal causes-He was particularly alarmed by the personal slash attacks of GOProud Co-Founder and Chairman Chris Barron against Family Research Council President Tony Perkins and ACU Board member Cleta Mitchell:
• Erick Erickson: This is Too Much for Me
Al Cardenas, the new incoming chairman of ACU, correctly reacted to Barron's intemperate slash attacks against these respected conservative leaders, reiterating ACU's adoption of a resolution endorsing "traditional marriage between a man and a woman," and that supporters of gay marriage were not "Ronald Reagan" conservatives:
• Frum Report: New CPAC Head Distances Group From GOProud
Chris Barron of GOProud subsequently apologized for his personal attacks, but he cannot eat his words convincingly. Liberal media are eager to portray GOProud as "conservative," as in this Politico article: The Complex Legacy of David Keene. The article also begins the process of unfairly attacking Al Cardenas, which is disappointing but no surprise because that is what liberal media always does.
Here are some more commentaries and news articles of interest:
• Kevin McCullough: CPAC's Experiment Gone Wild
• Star Parker: 'Gay Conservative' Is an Oxymoron
• Sandy Rios: What Would Reagan Really Do?
• Floyd Brown: Gay 'Conservative' Group Tears Conservatism Apart
• American Principles Project: "An open Letter to CPAC attendees and presenters."
• The Hill: Conservative Group Wants Answers from Palin on Gay Rights
• Fishbowl DC: Breitbart's Big Gay CPAC Party
• WorldNetDaily: "Conservatives Begin to See the Light"
This article explains the significance of a move by the Young Americans for Freedom to remove Texas Congressman Ron Paul from their board of directors. For the second year in a row, the disproportionate numbers of young attendees following Pied Piper Ron Paul skewed the CPAC straw poll, rendering it worthless. Most have never heard that Ron Paul went back on his 2008 presidential campaign position and voted to impose LGBT laws and policies on our military, where "individual freedom" simply does not exist:
• William J. Upton, American Thinker: Conservatives and Libertarians
This video of Florida Republican Allen West demonstrates why CPAC is important:
• Video: Allen West at CPAC
Elaine Donnelly also participated in a panel titled "How Political Correctness Threatens Our Military," together with Iraq veteran and author Ilario Pantano, who plans to run again for Congress again in North Carolina’s 7th District.
CMR joins with many other conservatives in congratulating Mr. Al Cardenas upon his election as the new Chairman of the American Conservative Union. Having witnessed once again the sheer size and complexity of CPAC 2011, we were reminded once again that this is not an easy job that he has taken on. CPAC is being pulled by liberal forces in the wrong direction, but if what Allen West described as the “pillars” of conservatism unite behind sound principles and values, CPAC 2012 will be the first major event of a successful election year.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Pentagon Using "Spin" to Push Gays in Military Goal
Pentagon officials are stepping up a misleading perception management (PM) campaign, trying to rush Congress into passing legislation that would impose a new LGBT Law or policy on our military. Such a law would require full acceptance of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders in all branches and communities of the military, with "zero tolerance" of dissent.
Activists who want the military to operate under LGBT Law are basing their hopes on perceptions about the Pentagon's Comprehensive Review Working Group (CRWG) report, due for early release on November 30. The report is being carefully "spun" as a military endorsement of gays in the military even though, as this editorial reveals, the Department of Defense has allowed an erroneous story based on anonymous sources to be published without correction, calling into question the integrity of the entire CRWG process.
-Washington Times: Barack's Brokeback Barracks
Even before this incident, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) raised important questions about the workings and assumptions of the DoD Working Group with this September 28 letter.
-Letter from Sen. John McCain to CRWG
On October 25, Secretary Gates wrote what amounts to a "non-response" to Sen. McCain—most of it reads like a form-letter.
-Gates October 25 Letter to Sen. McCain re: CRWG
Secretary Gates cannot have it both ways-making statements that the intent was to "engage" the troops, while failing to mention that troops who support the current law were not given an equal opportunity to have their views respected and reported. It was not enough to ask for "solutions" to irresolvable problems, but that is what the CRWG surveys and focus groups have done.
Secretary Gates' disingenuous claims about the CRWG survey process, not its substance, are contradicted by the survey instruments themselves and by recent history with which I am personally familiar.
The most obvious flaw in the CRWG survey instruments is the conspicuous absence of the basic question of interest to Senator McCain and most members of Congress: should the 1993 law be retained or repealed? Such a question would not be inappropriate or unprecedented. In 1992, I served on the Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces, which commissioned professional survey of the troops that was designed by the Roper Company in consultation with the presidential commission and with the full cooperation of the Department of Defense.
Unlike the CRWG survey, which reflected the mistaken expectation that Congress would repeal the law, the 1992 Roper survey was not skewed by gratuitous statements suggesting that all laws and regulations regarding women in or near combat were "likely" to be repealed. All personnel were free to express their opinions without restriction, even though the law regarding combat aviation had already been repealed by Congress in 1991, in the aftermath of the Tailhook scandal.
During presidential commission focus groups at military bases nationwide, all personnel were encouraged to speak their opinions, on any side of the many issues the commissioners were reviewing. Just prior to our visit to the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy, the ship's commander prepared a special video encouraging all crewmembers to speak freely with commissioners, after thinking about the issue and preparing to express their rationale.
According to active-duty personnel who contacted CMR, instead of issuing guidance that encouraged all views to be heard and respected on an equal basis, CRWG focus group instructions discouraged, precluded, or did not record the opinions of personnel who support current law.
As I told CRWG leaders last spring, the Roper survey instrument was not designed in consultation with commissioners holding only one point of view. In accordance with our subcommittee structure, I was assigned to work on the project together with another commissioner whose views were quite different from mine. Together we worked hard to produce an instrument that was professional, fair, and acceptable to both of us and to the entire commission.
The Roper survey was not a "referendum," but it did not hesitate to ask candid questions and to compile the results according to relevant criteria, such as military and combat experience, military community, etc. The survey covered related issues throughout, such as training standards, sexual misconduct, family/child care concerns, etc. Results were very useful to the commission, but unlike the CRWG survey, it was not billed as the "definitive" voice of the military on the range of controversial issues before the commission.
CRWG leaders could have benefited from the Roper survey model, but they chose another course of action with the Westat company. Secretary Gates claims that numbers of surveys sent out and focus groups conducted make the survey "comprehensive." On the contrary, these are process matters-they do not satisfy concerns about the substance of the survey, including the omission of a long list of subjects that the Military Culture Coalition brought to the attention of the CRWG early in the process and again in September.
With so many "thorny issues" apparently left out, it is no surprise that gay activist groups are already hailing the CRWG survey as useful for their cause. The DoD's tolerance of unsupported, inaccurate leaks about the survey may already have distorted public perceptions. Congress will not be so easily fooled.
--- Elaine Donnelly
Friday, October 29, 2010
CMR Requests Investigation of Pentagon "Leak" on Gays-in-Military Survey
According to the AP and the Washington Post, an unnamed Pentagon source has claimed that the recent Defense Department survey of 400,000 active-duty and reserve troops found that a majority would not object if they are required to accept professed homosexuals in the military following repeal of the current law.
‘Don’t Ask’ Survey: Majority OK Serving With Openly Gay Troops, Sources Say
In response, CMR President Elaine Donnelly sent an email to Mr. Jeh Johnson, Co-Chair of the Pentagon's "Comprehensive Review Working Group" (CRWG), asking him to investigate the incident and to prevent it from happening again.
Donnelly noted that the CRWG survey instrument sent to 400,000 active-duty and reserve personnel had omitted the key question, Should the 1993 law be retained or repealed? "It is therefore irresponsible and wrong," she wrote, "to make deceptive, surreptitious statements to the media on the results of the missing question."
Sources have told CMR that opposition to repeal was consistently strong during focus groups conducted by CRWG officials, even though participants were not allowed to discuss the key question: Should the 1993 law be retained or repealed? They were only asked to come up with ways to "mitigate" problems expected to ensue.
Leaders of the Center for Military Readiness and other organizations affiliated with the Military Culture Coalition met with Mr. Johnson for the second time in the Pentagon on September 16.
This is Donnelly's message to Mr. Johnson, sent on the afternoon of Friday, October 29:
I read today’s Washington Post article reporting a "leak" about the DoD military survey. We have been predicting for some time that the administration would selectively release incomplete information in order to manage perceptions and to help President Obama to repeal the law. I was hoping to be wrong; apparently I was not.
I trust that you will investigate this incident and prevent it from happening again. It is wrong for any Pentagon official, knowing that the CRWG survey instrument omitted the key question, to make deceptive, surreptitious statements to the media on that same question, Should the 1993 law be retained or repealed?
That inquiry was not included in any of the survey instruments distributed and/or sponsored by the DoD and the CRWG. An irresponsible, unaccountable person nevertheless is claiming that military people answered the missing question with responses that support repeal of the 1993 law.
As we discussed weeks ago, my sources tell me that opposition to repeal was consistently strong during the focus group discussions, even though participants were not allowed to discuss the key question: Should the 1993 law be retained or repealed? They were only asked to come up with ways to “mitigate” problems expected to ensue.
I would appreciate it if you would inform all DoD and CRWG spokesmen (and women) that premature comments and unsupported speculation about the views of military people on retention or repeal of the 1993 law are not appropriate and will not be tolerated.
I look forward to your response.
Thursday, October 7, 2010
Senate Rejects Repeal of Law on Gays in the Military
Last month's vote in the United States Senate frustrated, for now, unremitting efforts of liberals and their LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) allies to impose a radical social experiment on the U. S. military. That men and women whose one and only priority rightly should be defense of the nation find themselves under such an assault should be an outrage, but unfortunately, most media have treated the issue as an afterthought.
Immediately after this year's State of the Union speech by President Obama in January, determined activists launched a relentless lobbying and media campaign, while the Obama Administration crafted a misleading "Repeal Deal" to overcome opposition in the House Armed Services Committee. In May the full House and the Senate Armed Services Committee disregarded the military service chiefs, rushing to repeal the 1993 law with "delayed implementation." Most media discussed repeal in fait accompli terms.
On September 21, 2010, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and 41 other national-security minded colleagues proved that conventional wisdom wrong. The Military Culture Coalition, the Flag & General Officers for the Military, and the Center for Military Readiness, applaud and congratulate these champions of the military for their principled stand against the triple threat that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) had embedded in the 2011 National Defense Authorization bill. Senator McCain successfully led a bipartisan vote to block a defense bill that would have repealed the current law making homosexuals ineligible for military service. A complete victory can only be assured, however, by stopping the back-door efforts of liberals to erode and eventually eliminate the law.
Following President Obama's State of the Union declaration that he intended to work with Congress to repeal the law, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen appeared before the Senate and outlined a plan to achieve the president's goal. Gates set up a "Comprehensive Review Working Group (CRWG)" to assess and study the impact on the military of repeal of the law. However, this review has not asked the obviously logical question of whether or not the law should be repealed; it has only examined how. By framing the review in this way, the Pentagon effectively barred servicemembers from expressing support for the law. What they didn't count on was Congress' rejection of the law's repeal through this transparently rigged process.
But despite last month's legislative defeat, the CRWG still has a mandate from Secretary Gates to report its findings on Dec. 1, even though the Senate has rejected what the review de facto contemplates: repeal of the law. Given its flawed objective in light of last week's vote, the CRWG's report should be taken with substantial skepticism.
Senator McCain has now come out swinging against this misguided venture. In his capacity as Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, he wrote Secretary Gates on September 28, calling for a re-examination of the Obama Administration's entire approach to this issue. In his letter, Senator McCain notes that DoD surveys that were supposed to "engage" the troops were skewed by the mistaken presumption that Congress would vote to repeal the 1993 law.
CMR has also received numerous reports that active-duty focus group participants were told that the only question of interest was how to implement repeal of the law-not if the law should be repealed. The Washington Times reported in an editorial just prior to the Senate vote, a case involving a CRWG participant and deputy chief of Army personnel, Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick. Drawing upon its own sources, the Times quoted the general speaking "before several hundred troops at the European Command headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany: 'Unfortunately, we have a minority of service members who are still racists and bigoted and you will never be able to get rid of all of them,' Lt. Gen. Bostick said. But these people opposing this new policy will need to get with the program, and if they can't, they need to get out. No matter how much training and education of those in opposition, you're always going to have those that oppose this on moral and religious grounds just like you still have racists today.'" In a follow-up editorial, the Times cited two confirming sources, a civilian whose account was published in the paper as a letter to the editor, and a report on the general's remarks received by U. S. Senator James Inhofe (R-OK). CMR remains concerned that regardless of what troops may actually be expressing, the administration will spin the Pentagon report as a call for repeal of the 1993 law.
Last week the Military Culture Coalition sent to the CRWG a lengthy list of issues that should be addressed by the panel’s report that is due on December 1. This presentation, following up an initial meeting with the working group in March, demolishes the notion that implementation of a new LGBT law or policy for the military would be "easy" or desirable in terms of military necessity.
This latest presentation to the CRWG included an expanded selection of easily-accessible policy analyses, reports, and articles that highlight many controversies that troops in the field apparently were not encouraged or allowed to discuss for the record. These documents, which CMR will make available to the public, will provide the public a better understanding of the most difficult issues, which LGBT activists want to ignore.
By slowing the headlong race to approve legislation in the defense authorization bill to repeal Section 654, Title 10, U.S.C., Senator McCain, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, and their colleagues have created an opportunity for a more responsible and thorough consideration of this important issue. Together with the many groups working with the Military Culture Coalition, CMR will continue to work against any lame-duck Congress or Obama Administration efforts to attempt repeal again or further weaken the current law.
Friday, October 1, 2010
Alliance Defense Fund Weighs in with Pentagon Repeal Panel
The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) has released submissions it has made to the Pentagon Comprehensive Review Working Group (CRWG), the ad hoc panel charged by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to assess the impact of repeal of the law on gays in the military on the armed forces. The submissions include a letter from ADF following up its meeting (in which it was joined by CMR and other organizations concerned about this issue) of September 16, 2010 with the CRWG, as well as two anonymous articles from currently serving military officers (one a USAF JAG officer, and the other a senior active-duty chaplain). Links to the articles are provided below:
ADF Letter to CRWG
Article by USAF JAG officer in opposition to repeal of Section 654, Title 10, U. S. C., the law making homosexuals ineligible for military service
The Impact of Repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell on the Chaplain Corps: A senior active-duty chaplain weighs in
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Military Culture Coalition Poll “Changes Game” in Gays in Military Debate
With the release of a new poll commissioned by the Military Culture Coalition, largely undiscussed issues and perspectives in the debate over the attempt to repeal the law on gays in the military have emerged. Contrary to past polls that gauged respondents' "feelings" about gays in the military, the MCC poll finds that Americans support keeping the current law. These findings and others have been reported in several stories since the poll’s release:
-WorldNet Daily: New Poll Finds Most Oppose DADT Repeal
-CNS News: Half of Democrats Favor Punishing Soldiers Who Oppose Homosexuality, Survey Finds
-Military.com: America says Obama playing politics with soldiers
-Baptist Press: "Likely Voters Support 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'"
Friday, August 6, 2010
Libertarians Should Leave the Military Alone
John Stossel, a Fox News personality and self-proclaimed libertarian, recently wrote a column for Human Events announcing his belief that the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) policy is "dumb" and that the United States should "repeal" it.
Stossel's article and similar comments on "The O'Reilly Factor" were misinformed and inappropriate in their assumption that the military is comparable to the civilian world. As stated in current law, it is not. Stossel and others are free to be libertarians, but that is a poor excuse for imposing on the military extremes of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) agenda.
A new LGBT law or policy for the military would not be "leaving people alone"-due to mandatory "zero tolerance" policies it would be just the opposite. Personal actions in the military, whether disciplined or undisciplined, affect everyone else, for better or worse. Ultimately, national security is the primary consideration-individual rights do not apply in the same way.
As usual in media discussions of this issue, Stossel confused the facts, starting with the suggestion that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is a law. It is not. The actual statute, Section 654, Title 10, United States Code, states that homosexuals are ineligible for military service. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is an administrative policy suggesting that homosexuals can serve in the military as long as they don't say they are gay. Congress never voted for DADT because it correctly saw it as unworkable. The actual law makes no mention of the concept, but Bill Clinton imposed it on the military anyway, in the form of expendable administrative regulations that are not consistent with the law.
Gay activists constantly exploit the confusion caused by DADT with human interest stories about discharged homosexuals who should have been told they were not eligible to serve in the military. Those stories are far less important than the consequences of Congress repealing the current law, which are summarized in these ten points:
Ten Reasons to Oppose the LGBT Law or Policy for the Military
In his column John Stossel disavowed the "conservative" label, but several other prominent figures thought to be conservative have recently associated themselves with gay rights advocates. Grover Norquist, noted anti-tax champion and head of Americans for Tax Reform, along with Bill O'Reilly’s "culture warrior" Margaret Hoover, recently joined the board of GOProud, a gay activist group that claims to be Republican. GOProud is an offshoot of the Log Cabin "Republicans," which currently is in a California court waging legal war against our military. With high-handed litigation that disrespects constitutional principles as well as our uniformed men and women, the Log Cabiners' are trying to get a federal judge to nullify the 1993 law, Section 654, Title 10.
The Republican National Platform has stated unequivocal support for that law in every presidential election since 2000. Given this fact, why did Senator John Cornyn of Texas, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, recently announce his intention to attend a Log Cabin Republican fundraiser?
Association with these groups by Stossel, Norquist, Cornyn and Hoover represents a trend of "libertarianizing" conservatism, which is most disturbing where national security is concerned. The near-exclusive focus of libertarians on individual rights and freedoms seems to have clouded their perspective on national defense issues.
They should know that in the military, individualism is circumscribed and in some respects prohibited outright. Servicemembers don't get to "express themselves" with attire or accessories that differ from uniforms worn by everyone else. Nor do they enjoy individual comforts common in the civilian world-much less the freedom to use marijuana and other pursuits favored by some libertarians.
Without consistent standards of conduct and procedures, imposed by necessity at the expense of individual rights, the military cannot accomplish its missions. This is why the current law, passed in 1993 by veto-proof, bipartisan majorities in both houses, elevates concepts such as unit cohesion, discipline and morale above individual rights, and applies those restrictions on a 24/7 basis, on- or off-base. In addition to listing ways that the institution differs from the civilian world, the law clearly states that there is no constitutional right to serve in the military.
It is possible that Stossel, Norquist, Hoover, and others are misguided by personal associations with gay friends, which most of us have, but civilian friendships are not relevant to this discussion. All should reexamine the so-called "civil rights" arguments of gay activists who seek to use the military as a laboratory for social engineering experiments that military people would not be free to avoid.
Rather than simply "allowing" homosexuals to serve, the forced acceptance of open lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in the military would result in the imposition of corollary "zero tolerance" policies that punish anyone who disagrees with homosexuality for any reason. Repeal would cause many personnel with irreplaceable experience to leave, short of a full career, and would discourage others from joining in the first place.
"Libertarian" conservatives and Republicans are free to promote that philosophy all day long, but they should stop trying to impose the LGBT agenda on men and women in uniform. To be consistent with their own "leave us alone" mantra, libertarians need to draw the line at the military's door. Unlike the civilian world, the All-Volunteer Force restricts individual freedom within itself to protect that same freedom for the rest of us.