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Trans Ban? Tammy Duckworth's Robot Feet Kick Trump's Draft-Dodging Ass. Again.
Here's someone who knows a thing or two about service, Mr. Trump
The White House is expected to send the Pentagon official instructions on Donald Trump's "plan" to ban transgender service members from the military, following up on July's policy-by-Twitter announcement. The memo reportedly instructs the military to stop admitting any new trans people to the service, and to cease paying for any medical services related to gender reassignment. Defense Secretary James Mattis would then decide, on a case-by-case basis, whether already-serving trans service members should be kicked out of the military, based on their "readiness" to deploy. The Pentagon would be expected to put the policy in place within six months.
The news was broken by the Wall Street Journal Wednesday, and it's not clear whether the version of the memo WSJ saw was the finalized policy. The Pentagon has previously said it would take no action on Trump's tweets until it received formal orders, because the military isn't really into taking action based on some asshole popping off in a fit of pique. In contrast to Trump's impulsive reversal, the Obama administration developed the existing policy on trans service members over the course of a year, in consultation with the military.
In response to the anticipated formalization of Trump's trans ban, which serves no useful purpose beyond making some of his fundamentalist supporters happy, Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth, who lost both legs when her helicopter was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade in Iraq, tweeted the following statement emphasizing that the only criterion for serving in the military should be whether you can do the damn job:
This isn't the first time Duckworth has subtly reminded Trump that while he's all too willing to send other people's kids to die and be maimed in combat, he really doesn't know anything about military service, no matter how much he thinks going to a military high school was exactly the same. Last August, while campaigning, Trump caused more than a bit of a stir when a veteran gave Trump a replica of a Purple Heart medal, because Trump made so many good noises about bombing the shit out of ISIS. As Trump said at the time,
You know something very nice just happened to me. A man came up to me and he handed me his Purple Heart. Now, I said to him, “Is that like the real one, or is that a copy?” He said, "that’s my real Purple Heart. I have such confidence in you.” And I said, “Man, that’s like big stuff. I’ve always wanted to get the Purple Heart.” This was much easier. But I tell you, this was such an honor.
The veteran had in fact told NBC News the medal was actually a replica of the real thing. Trump hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest, mmm-hmm.
Then-candidate (and Congresswoman) Duckworth, who like everyone else knows Trump spent the '60s avoiding the draft and that he'd described his struggles to avoid STDs while dating as his "personal Vietnam," wasn't about to let Donald Trump go around showing everyone he had an unearned Purple Heart on:
Duckworth's latest tweet, arguing that people who want to serve should be judged solely on their fitness to do the job, may actually help rally some support from members of Congress to resist the reversal of policy. But it's unlikely to have any effect on Republicans, since they've already rejected that criterion for the Commander In Chief.