This space has been very critical of Barack Obama, and for reasons that have continued to hold up – with one important exception.  His insistence that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell be ended legislatively meant that the process took far longer, but at the same time it meant that once it happened the process was about as permanent as anything ca be in politics.  It meant a few more young men and women lost their place in the military for no good reason, but it also cemented the equal standing of straight and gay citizens on an important issue in a way no quicker result could have accomplished.

If Americans are exposed over time to an issue from both sides, and forced to think about it over time so that they get some distance from the first emotional reaction, I think they will generally tend towards the wiser approach.  The oligarchy prevents this from happening in many areas, where no clear alternative is ever presented.  But on the issue of gays and the military the banks and such had no strong position, the issue was kept in the public eye, and ultimately Americans’ better sides won out.  

On this issue I think Obama’s approach was a wise one.
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