DADT is Endless Comedy Fodder

Hail to everyone’s favorite administrative back-and-forth. The White House, Justice Department and Defense Department’s policy du jour on the service of openly gay military service members has gone beyond the theater of the absurd. It has become accepted fodder for America’s comedy circuit.

Saturday on National Public Radio’s “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me,” panelists had the audience roaring when it good naturedly poked fun at “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Host Peter Sagal read a quote from former senator Fred Thompson. Sagal said the policy was now called “Mother, May I?” or “Can I Enlist? I’m Gay.” (It’s better on radio.)

He determined if gay, one could enlist on Tuesday, but not on Thursday, given the frequent changes in the policy. Panelists noted the Army (it could have been any service) might be bisexual and playing hard to get with the gay community. It compared the Army to a confused college sophomore. You’d have to hear it. It was funny and not offensive.

The point – the cast of characters honchoing this issue have pushed this into abstraction. Debate has become pointless, so why not just laugh at what has become government slapstick.

NPR piqued my curiosity about other comedic appearances of the dreaded DADT. I found a few and predict more will present themselves in coming weeks. (Reenlisting guys you kicked out because they were tossed for being gay? That is strange no matter your view on the topic.)

The Daily Show Forum had a piece labeled, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” but the policy itself was not mentioned. Just the title is enough to evoke a chuckle. It can be applied to other absurdities. Comedians can be a crafty bunch.

On The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert decided to make DADT mean something else. In his world, it is about privacy and free speech, not the military He’s over DADT, as are so many; but not over poking fun at other similar themes we will not name.

In brief, DADT has shifted from a political hot button to an issue of ridicule.

Stay tuned for post-election action of the 111th or the following 112th Congress.

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