Harvard’s disingenuous Solomon Amendment statement.
With the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell almost certain now to be passed into law*, there has been some discussion of one thing that conservatives and Republicans will absolutely require to have happen: to wit, the ending of the Ivy League’s continuing campaign against the military by forbidding ROTC programs on their campuses. Said campaign absolutely flaunts the intent of Congress (as per the ‘Solomon Amendment’), but has been generally tacitly tolerated by the government while the larger issue of gays serving openly in the military was still an open question. Which, again, it no longer is.
But, – various articles to the contrary – the Ivy League’s response to news that the Senate has voted to repeal is not in fact acceptable. For example, Harvard President Drew Faust responded with “I look forward to pursuing discussions with military officials and others to achieve Harvard’s full and formal recognition of ROTC.” To which the only reply can be: no, that’s the wrong answer. The correct answer would have been “Upon formal signing of this law into place, Harvard University will immediately cease and desist all aspects of its civil disobedience campaign and put itself in full compliance with 10 U.S.C. § 983 (the Solomon Amendment).” That is not negotiable, and I would remind President Faust – and the rest of the Ivy League – of the following facts:
- Starting in January of 2011, the House of Representatives will be controlled by the Republican party.
- The House of Representatives controls the purse strings. Particularly since the Democrats abandoned their Constitutional responsibility to pass a budget this year.
- While there is in fact a good deal of internal debate within the Republican party over whether gays should openly serve in the military (*ahem*), there is effectively none over whether the Ivy Leagues should be allowed to flout the law with impunity.
- Lastly: quite a few people take the position that it’s the Ivy League contingent in our government who got the country into its current fiscal mess in the first place. Note that I am not personally making the threat, here; simply noting that a threat can be made, and probably will be made if the Ivy League does not embrace objective reality quickly.
Also: it has been long-suspected among the Right that the Ivy League just doesn’t want the military on its campuses because said campuses being run by people who still remember fondly the conquest of South Vietnam by North Vietnam, and who resent being reminded that this was, in fact, a bad thing that only evil people wanted to have happen. So, coming up with another excuse to keep military recruiters and ROTC off of their campuses would be… contraindicated.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*It’s more or less waiting on the President’s signature at this point – and it beggars belief that he would not sign it, or even take advantage of a pocket veto. Of course, given the generally slapdash way that the executive branch is being run these days, it’s entirely possible that he might accidentally pocket veto the legislation.