Right, so late Wednesday, we learned that Donald Trump is moving ahead with his much-maligned and largely inexplicable decision to ban transgender service members.
As WSJ reported yesterday evening:
The White House is expected to send guidance to the Pentagon in coming days on how to implement a new administration ban on transgender people in the military, issuing a policy that will allow Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to consider a service member’s ability to deploy in deciding whether to kick them out of the military.
The White House memo also directs the Pentagon to deny admittance to transgender individuals and to stop spending on medical treatment regimens for those currently serving, according to U.S. officials familiar with the document.
The 2½-page memo gives Mr. Mattis six months to prepare to fully implement the new ban, according to these officials.
And here’s a bit more via The New York Times:
President Trump is preparing to give the Defense Department formal authority to expel transgender people from the military in an upcoming order, barring the Pentagon from recruiting transgender troops and cutting off payment for sexual reassignment surgery and other medical treatments for those already serving.
A White House memo that is expected to be sent to the Pentagon in coming days gives Jim Mattis, the secretary of defense, six months to enforce the transgender ban that Mr. Trump announced abruptly last month in a series of tweets.
Yes, “announced abruptly last month in a series of tweets.”
A series of tweets that just happened to come on the very same morning (and, it seems likely, at the very same time) as FBI agents were raiding the home of Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Imagine that.
Well, one person who is most assuredly not fucking amused with Trump and the transgender ban is U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth.
Now you might be asking yourself: “who is Tammy Duckworth to weigh in on a reality TV show host’s decisions about the military?“
Here is your answer:
U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth is an Iraq War Veteran, Purple Heart recipient and former Assistant Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
She was among the first Army women to fly combat missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Duckworth served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years before retiring from military service in 2014 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. She was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2016 after representing Illinois’s Eighth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives for two terms.
Duckworth attended college at the University of Hawaii and earned a Master of Arts in International Affairs from the George Washington University. Following graduation, Duckworth, who is fluent in Thai and Indonesian, moved to Illinois and began pursuing a Ph.D. in Political Science at Northern Illinois University. She also worked at NIU’s School of Nursing researching public health and environmental causes of cancer. Later, Duckworth worked for Rotary International as a manager for administration of Rotary clubs in the Asia Pacific Region.
In 2004, Duckworth was deployed to Iraq as a Black Hawk helicopter pilot for the Illinois Army National Guard. On November 12, 2004, her helicopter was hit by an RPG and Duckworth lost her legs and partial use of her right arm.
Yeah. That’s who Tammy is.
So with that as the context, here is what Tammy thinks of the transgender ban: