Nancy Goldstein

Nancy Goldstein's work has appeared in venues including the Guardian, The Nation, NPR, Politico, Raw Story, Salon, Slate, and the Washington Post, where she was an Editor's Pick and the winner of the blogging round during their Next Great Pundit Contest. You can follow her on Twitter at @nancygoldstein.

Recent Articles

The DADT Awards.

During two days of hearings that were sometimes so frustrating I began to refer to them as “don’t ask, don’t yell (at C-SPAN),” some players stood out for their clarity, integrity, leadership, and sheer toughness. For these bracing displays of intelligence and spine, I hereby grant the following awards: The Straight Shooter goes to Adm. Mike Mullen , chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his vice chairman, Gen. James Cartwright . The former for making no bones about the fact that LGBT people have always and will always serve in the military, citing his own experience from 1968 onward. And for smacking down the first wave of the our-combat-troops-feel-funny-about-this arguments with admirable cool, saying, “There is no gray area here. We treat each other with respect, or we find another place to work. Period. Leadership matters most.” Cartwright, a Marine, kept opponents on the defensive by continually reminding them of the vast statistical gap between combat troops who didn’t...

Hypocrisy and Illusions That Just Won't Quit.

The most important distinction made in this morning’s hearings by supporters of repealing "don't ask, don't tell" is about the difference between perception and experience, believing and knowing. First, the gap between the perception of service members who don’t understand they’ve been serving alongside LGBT people all along, and those who do. A full 92 percent of the latter are just fine with that -- and that includes high percentages of OK-ness among active combat troops. Second, there’s the experience of the Netherlands, Britain, etc., all of whom have reported that there was plenty of fussing by straight troops before the open inclusion of LGBT service members, and virtually none afterward. You’d think the Service Chiefs of Steel, particularly Generals Amos (Marines) and Casey (Army), who are the most openly opposed to repeal, might be embarrassed to be spending so much time being squishy about the perceptions of their troops when faced with what history and experience show: That...

Our Touch-y Feel-y Troops.

There was never any question that Republicans, led by John McCain , would kick up a fuss during today’s Senate hearings on whether to repeal "don't ask, don't tell." The only question had been what their strategy would be -- what to do in light of the recently released report by the Department of Defense Working Group, which concluded that DADT should be repealed, particularly since 70 percent of the troops surveyed couldn’t care less. Basically, Republicans complained that the military and Congress "need more time" before going ahead with repealing DADT – and that the decision to repeal DADT, unlike any other policy that applies to the troops, should be made via a referendum in which every solider has a chance to express his or her feelings. McCain, the guy who picked his 2008 running mate in 15 minutes and made no big fuss about the importance of counting every vote in 2000, said that he wants more time to read the report -- and more reports after that. Along with three other...

A McCain Thanksgiving

The battle over "don't ask, don't tell" comes to a head -- and highlights generational and gender divides.

Cindy McCain, who is speaking out against the ban on gays serving openly in the military even as her husband is working to maintain it. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
'Twas the night 'fore Thanksgiving, and all through the house The McCain clan's divided -- dad, daughter, and spouse. Thanksgiving is going to be a little tense over at the McCains' this year, where "don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) is putting a strain on the family. Sen. McCain has emerged as the lead opponent to allowing LGBT people to serve openly in the military; his daughter and wife have both publicly stated their support for the law's repeal. If this were a typical year, the McCains could, like most families, stick to the standard challenges: the difficulty of bringing children from two sets of marriages and their families to the same table; the impossibility of having every dish come out at the same time yet still be hot. But this November is different for this family of politicos. The Pentagon's official DADT report -- commissioned to see how integrating the military would affect troop morale and military readiness -- is due out Nov. 30, and the portions already leaked suggest...

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