answer fail

Does Dan Choi Really Not Understand the Political Landscape of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell?

Why aren’t Republicans stealing Democrats’ territory by supporting the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell? Lt. Dan Choi doesn’t know. And he doesn’t care. Uhhhh.

Appearing on Hardball, Choi had no answer for Chris Matthews’ very valid — and often asked — question about why Republican politicians like Sen. John McCain don’t see any political upside to supporting open service. That’s a major problem.

Choi presents himself as a leading advocate for DADT repeal. And yet tonight he revealed himself to be filled with broad talking points, but few to no tangibles. Unable to offer a substantive explanation about the GOP’s refusal to support repeal (they could say it’s about reducing big government, or protecting our country, or anything else to shove it to Democrats), Choi can be seen going off on a maniacal tangent: “In my analysis, I don’t need to understand why a certain politician votes a certain way. I just need to know that currently under the law I’m not allowed to tell the truth. And I’m not an equal citizen. I come back from war in Iraq and I’m a second-class citizen. People take polls about whether I’m popular or not. I think that’s an insult and that’s what I’m focused on.”

That’s fine to be “focused on.” It’s also a ridiculous strategy to help enact repeal.

That Servicemembers United’s chief Alexander Nicholson was seated beside him, Choi’s glaring omission is even more notable, given Nicholson’s expertise on the political strategy behind repeal.

“It’s a matter of doing the right thing,” says Choi. “It doesn’t matter [what elected officials] say to me.” It does. And it should. Choi just made clear his passion for repeal is not the same thing as knowing how to get it done.

This whole thing was embarrassing.