Sometimes You Have to Go Slow to Get It Right

I understand the sentiments and share the frustrations that inform posts like these, but I still come down on the side of Mark Kleiman, who writes:

Francesco Guicciardini answered that question almost 400 years ago:

Whenver His Catholic Majesty Ferdinand of Aragon, most powerful and wise prince, was about to embark on some new enterprise, or make a decision of great importance, he went about it in such a way that, before his intentions were known, the whole court and the people were already insisting and exclaiming that the king must do such and so. Then he would announce his decision, just when all hoped and clamored for it.

I’ve said much the same thing before. It’s great that Powell and other retired generals are coming out in support of a repeal of DADT, but they’re retired generals. The military is among the most old school and conservative institutions in this country. The current brass seems to be waffling on what it plans to do, while Congress tries to pressure the White House into suspending and repealing the policy. Critics of Obama say that he should issue an executive order to stop gay servicemembers from being discharged while also drawing up a legislative plan for Congress to follow.

The logic behind the executive order stay/legislative action plan seems solid and public sentiment is behind ending the policy, so the question still remains: why is Obama dragging his feet?

My simple answer, which will satisfy no one, is that Obama is being overly cautious and that he doesn’t want to be seen as forcing this change. The time seems right, given the prevailing attitudes, but let’s kick back to Kleiman one more time:

If you attempt certain things at the right time, they are easy to accomplish: in fact, they almost get done by themselves. If you undertake them before the time is right, not only will they fail, but they will often become impossible to accomplish even when the time would have been right.

If by waiting an extra year Obama can make this come from the Pentagon brass hats rather than having to force it down their throats, it will be worth it, not just from his viewpoint but from the viewpoint of gay servicemembers.

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~ by uvasig on July 8, 2009.

One Response to “Sometimes You Have to Go Slow to Get It Right”

  1. Rightsaid!

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