Leaks indicate DADT Troop survey finds gays are OK

NBC’s Richard Engel on Rachel disclosed what he’s learned about the study:

Color me one of the first gay veteran surprised that the leaked survey’s findings were positive. I do NOT mind and am actually excited about being wrong on this one. The indirect pressure that I thought would have been placed on troops to answer questions in the negative was an overestimation. Especially dismaying was the way the questions were worded and the use of the term “homosexual” to describe gay troops. Well, according to anonymous sources, the results of the survey are in our favor!

An internal Pentagon study has found that most U.S. troops and their families don’t care whether gays are allowed to serve openly and think the policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell” could be done away with, according to officials familiar with its findings.

The survey results were expected to be used by gay rights advocates to bolster their argument that the 1993 law on gays could be repealed immediately with little harm done to the military. But the survey also was expected to reveal challenges the services could face in overturning the long-held policy, including overcoming fierce opposition in some parts of the military even if they represent a minority…

…The officials who disclosed the survey’s findings spoke on condition of anonymity because the results had not been released. NBC News first reported the findings Thursday.

It is also important to note, as reported by Toweleroad back in August, that the response or return rate for the mailed out surveys was a dismal 27.5% which might emphasize our argument that troops and their families are concerned about a lot more important things than the sexual orientations of their fellow troops.

I might add I am quite sure I was not the only one to be wrong about the results of this survey, and the conventional wisdom was the results would be negative. With the poll coming in positive it adds new weight to our criticism that the Obama Administration over learned the lessons of the Clinton years, and had not factored in twenty years of social evolution. Although wrong about the survey, I still think Obama will pay a measurable cost, and stand by some of my previous analysis, over his passivity on our civil rights and the results of this survey portends a bad omen for his administration’s legacy on gay civil rights issues.

The Obama Administration has woefully underperformed regarding movement on civil rights issues like DADT, ENDA and gay marriage. Passively waiting for tentative civil rights change for our LGBT community is not what we voted for two years ago. Anyone, in the Obama Administration, who thinks we are satisfied with the passive glacial pace and political triangulating is underestimating us. Our capacity to question the validity of claims made by the Obama Administration that they have made progress on specific promises to us proves they have made the miscalculation under performing on our issues will prevent a measurable cost. The strategists in the White House have not taken into consideration many in our community evolved from our LGBT civil rights politics of the past twenty years, as well, and our patience is not limited. It isn’t just about them and what they supposedly learned from the Clinton years. It is absolutely about us, gay American citizens, and whether we are willing to wait another twenty years for those who exaggerated, or outright lied, they were our “Fierce Advocates” to get our vote and support.

It shouldn’t have taken a $4.5 million dollar survey to get Obama to tell the conservative military leadership and Republican Senators he was going to boldly move forward with or without their buy in. Especially when Republicans and conservatives are all about the absolute need to cut wasteful spending. The results of this survey hammer home just how important it should have been for Obama to have threatened Republican Senators who didn’t support the Defense Authorization bill and crystallizes just why he is experiencing an enthusiasm gap among his base. I’m quite sure we would have had another Democratic Presidential candidate had he campaigned on the slogan he shared with Jon Stewart, “Yes, we can… but its not going to happen overnight.” President Obama, yes, we could have… had we had a proper gay civil rights “Fierce Advocate” in the White House.

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