The debate around DADT has been going on since it was first put into place as a legislative compromise in 1993.
However, passing an identical bill in the Senate is now the last major obstacle.
While I'd love it if everyone agreed with me and encouraged their senators to repeal the ban before the session ends, I'm more interested in seeing you engage in analysis of the arguments on both sides.
As such, here's what I'm going to do:
I'll dissect a couple of flawed arguments against repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell made by Senator John McCain, one of its most prominent advocates.
Then, I'd like to see you all, in the comments, point out flaws in the arguments of those favoring the repeal. Of course, you can also point out flaws in the arguments of those against repeal.
Why might you want to put yourself in the other side's shoes? Playing devil's advocate can help you to find weaknesses in your argument, leading you to ultimately improve its strength.
Anyway, here are a couple of flaws:
Moving the Goalposts
* In October 2006, Senator McCain said, "The day that the leadership of the military comes to me and says, 'Senator, we ought to change the policy,' then I think we ought to consider seriously changing it." (Wikipedia).
* In January 2010, when Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mike Mullen came out in favor of changing the policy (repealing DADT), McCain suggested that they weren't really relevant because in their current posts, they don't directly lead troops (NYTimes).
In other words, McCain shifted the type of leadership position that he considered relevant. When a sufficient condition for him to consider changing the policy was met, he imposed new requirements (such as "further study").
Failure to Acknowledge Opposing Evidence
McCain said the support of Secretary Gates, Admiral Mullen, and other leaders wasn't enough - a study of DADT repeal's impact was necessary. A 10-month study Pentagon study basically found that DADT repeal wouldn't be so bad. However, it seems that because McCain didn't like the study's results, he refused to accept its validity. While we know from the LSAT that studies and surveys are often flawed or poorly-conducted, McCain's particular criticisms don't seem to carry much weight (Huffington Post / Daily Show).
Examples of the same flaw in actual LSAT questions:
PrepTest 30 (December 1999 LSAT), S2, Q2 (p54)
PrepTest 34 (June 2001 LSAT), S2, Q24 (p201)
There's a lot more I could say, but I'd really like to turn this discussion over to you.
What are some other flaws being committed on either side of the debate?
-Appeal to Emotion?
-Appeal to Popular Opinion?
-Straw Man (Misrepresenting the Argument)?
If so, what kinds of arguments contain them?
I look forward to reading your responses!
Scott Brown And Lisa Murkowski Back Standalone DADT Repeal Bill [TPM]
House Votes to Repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ [NYTimes]
Rep. Louie Gohmert: Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Threatens American 'Existence' (Video) [HuffPost]
Repeal Of DADT Paves Way For Gay Sex Right On Battlefield, Opponents Fantasize [The Onion]