Obama nominee for Army secretary is openly gay: The questions it raises

Obama nominee for Army secretary is openly gay: The questions it raises
Eric Fanning (credit: Military.com)

Barack Obama promised in 2008 to fundamentally transform the United State of America. It’s hard to argue that he hasn’t made good on that promise, though the question of whether the country is better off as a result of those efforts is wide open to debate.

Arguments abound for the proposition that Obama’s meddling has made the nation less safe. Just ask jihadists in Syria, who joke that the U.S. has downgraded itself from the once-feared “Great Satan” to the “Lesser Satan.”

The questions that attend Obama’s latest move — his nomination of the first openly gay Secretary of the Army — include whether this will make the military a weaker fighting force.

The Washington Post reports that the man he tapped, Eric Fanning, is “a specialist on national security issues … and has played a key role overseeing some of the Pentagon’s biggest shipbuilding and fighter jet programs.” The military branch that he will oversee if he wins Senate confirmation “has been battered by the longest stretch of continuous combat in U.S. history and is facing potentially severe budget cuts.”

The article goes on to note that just four years ago, openly gay troops were barred from serving in the military. It stops short of mentioning that Fanning was a prime mover in bringing about the repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law, along with Patrick Murphy, who Obama nominated for the post of Under Secretary of the Army. (In a separate but related story, Obama has gone for a trifecta, nominating Janine Davidson, an advocate for women serving in combat roles, for Under Secretary of the Navy.)

The problem with the choice of Fanning is not his preparedness for the job but his gay rights advocacy. Once again, Obama is thrusting a segment of society — in this case the Army — into the position of liking or lumping the product of one of his transformative initiatives. Although the armed services have come a long way toward accepting gays into their ranks, service members continue to disapprove strongly of Obama’s handling of his job as commander in chief:

obama approval

Obama will remain commander in chief for another 15 months. The world is too dangerous a place for the president to risk lowering morale among service members to score political “legacy” points.

This choice of Fanning can of course be overridden by the Senate, which leads to yet another question: Will they?

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.


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