The “serious party” goes Gaga for Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell 

Of all the facile political narratives offered in the last few years, the idea that the Democratic party was the “serious party” — in contrast to frivolous Republicans — was arguably the most ridiculous. But after Democrats’ “Don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal went down to an ignominious defeat yesterday, I have to ask who’s serious now?

“Don’t ask, don’t tell” is certainly a controversial policy and I suspect it’s on the way out regardless of yesterday’s defeat in the Senate. One thing I’m fairly confident of, however, is that when looking to decide what’s best for unit cohesion in our armed forces, that last person you should listen to is Lady Gaga.

That Democrats let a woman  most famous for doing a warmed over late-80s Madonna impression and dressing like someone gave the costume designer on Barbarella amphetamines suddenly became the face of the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” debate in the last week is telling. Oh sure, I confess that Ms. Gaga is preternaturally talented, but please can anyone think of a reason why Gaga should have a say in this debate? And yet, Sentor Kirsten Gillibarand, D-N.Y., was falling all over herself to have the Long Island diva associated with the Senate Debate on the issue. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid even elevated her profile by discussing the issue with her on Twitter.

Thus empowered, somebody had the bright idea of sending her up to Maine on Monday this week to hold a rally aimed at persuading the GOP's perpetual fence-sitters, Senators Snowe and Collins, to support the DADT repeal. Gaga showed up at the rally in Portland wrapped in the American flag and, in what passes for sartorial seriousness in her world, dressed for the occasion like a cross between Urkel and that creepy dancing octogenarian from the Six-Flags commercials. With her characteristic humility she stepped up to the podium and declared, “I am here to be a voice for my generation.”

The next day the DADT repeal was stopped cold. Senator Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, voted against the bill, specifically rejecting Democrats’ procedural tactic of trying to tie a bunch of controversial legislation to a defense bill while at the same time limiting the number of amendments that could be offered.

Well-played, Democrats. You could have a made gay veterans men who served with distinction the focal point of debate against the policy, but instead you went with the pop star from Neptune. Best of luck in the minority.

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Mark Hemingway

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