There are still plenty of congressional Republicans who want to see the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy brought back, but it appears Paul Ryan, the GOP’s vice presidential nominee, isn’t one of them.
The congressman told the NBC affiliate in Miami that President Obama’s policy ending the discrimination is “done,” adding, “I think we need to move on.”
If I were being picky, I might note that Social Security, Medicare, and the Affordable Care Act are also “done,” and Paul Ryan nevertheless wants to dismantle all of them, but it’s nevertheless heartening that the far-right lawmaker is content to leave Obama’s policy in place going forward.
But there’s a catch. In fact, there are two.
First, when BuzzFeed asked the Republican presidential campaign whether Mitt Romney agrees with Ryan’s comments, they didn’t want to talk about it, and officials “wouldn’t say whether he agrees with his running mate that the issue of repeal is ‘done.’” It would appear that even at this stage, Romney is terrified of upsetting the GOP’s right-wing base, even after his running mate endorsed a position that enjoys broad, bipartisan support.
Second, the Romney/Ryan 2012 platform, shaped in large part by the Romney campaign, seems to suggest DADT should be brought back – the Republican document decries “social experimentation” in the military and condemns efforts to “undermine military priorities and mission readiness,” which sounds like a position in support of the old policy.
So, to recap, Paul Ryan is comfortable with Obama’s policy; the Republican platform is not; and Mitt Romney is too fearful to answer the question before the election. It’s quite a campaign team.