Robert Knight

Elaine Donnelly reported for duty Wednesday. She went to a battlefield where most men who agree with her were AWOL.

Like her mentor, Phyllis Schlafly, she did not let others’ cowardice or indifference interfere with what she needed to do. Mrs. Donnelly, President of the Center for Military Readiness, told the truth at risk of ridicule or worse, keeping the faith that telling the truth matters no matter what.

Donnelly was one of two witnesses testifying before a House subcommittee in support of the military’s ban on homosexuality. The other three witnesses were pro-gay, as were most of the questions from the lawmakers.

Surrounded by hostile faces in the gallery, hostile faces of the liberal congressmen who dominated the “hearing,” and the skeptical faces of reporters from liberal media, Mrs. Donnelly listened stoically while other witnesses trashed her personally during their testimony.  Because of the rules, she was not able to respond until called late in the proceedings for her own testimony.

When she got her turn, Mrs. Donnelly carefully laid out the case for the law that Congress passed in 1993 and which has been upheld by multiple courts. She explained that Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is not actually the law, but a watered-down policy dreamed up by Bill Clinton’s Pentagon staff, something the media continue to get wrong. She also explained why allowing open homosexuality in the military would have a multitude of effects, up to and including a probable increase in sexual harassment and sexual assaults, and a profoundly detrimental effect on the morale of service people who hold traditional values.

Amid the scribbling scribes was Dana Milbank, a Washington Post columnist who specializes in character assassination of conservatives and even Democrats who get in the way of his preferred political figures. (Ask Hillary.)

In the July 23 edition, he used his entire Page A-3 column, “Sorry We Asked, Sorry You Told,” to paint Mrs. Donnelly as a clownish figure who “amused” lawmakers.  He wrote, “It was tempting to think that Donnelly had been chosen by Democrats to sabotage the case against open military service for homosexuals. But Republicans had consented to the witness panel….”  He might also have mentioned that Donnelly has a sterling reputation earned over years of public service, but that would have conflicted with his purpose:  to discredit political adversaries through ridicule.


Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.