Griffin was Awesome. Dan Choi Stole the Show
The official news: Kathy Griffin led the call for the immediate repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell at a rally in downtown DC. She was a crowd-pleaser for about 1,000 people. Surely the gorgeous weather the nation’s capital is enjoying helped. It was a cool experience and I for one am grateful to have her on our side.
The big news, though and surely much to the chagrin of HRC, was the arrest of Lt. Dan Choi, which followed a last-minute request to HRC President Joel Solmonese to deliver remarks.
From Choi’s statement:
You have been told that the President has a plan. But Congressman Barney Frank confirmed to us this week that the President still is not fully committed to repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell this year. And if we don’t seize this moment it may not happen for a very long time. Some may tell you that I am one of the lucky ones. I have been welcomed back by my unit with open arms. And it would be easy for me to stay quiet and hope that change will happen.
But what I was taught at West Point and learned in war is — hope is not a strategy. As officers, James and I both find it a dereliction of our moral duty to remain silent while thousands of our brothers and sister are not allowed to serve openly and honestly.
HRC explained the situation on its blog:
There’s been some confusion about Lt. Dan Choi’s role in the rally. As Joe Solmonese was walking to the stage, Lt. Choi asked Joe if he could have a speaking role. Joe explained that it wasn’t his sole decision to make on the spot given that there was already an established program that included Kathy Griffin, other organization and veterans. After Choi then spoke with Kathy Griffin, she agreed to bring him up on stage and speak to the crowd during her remarks.
It was in an interesting cap to the event and Kathy’s performance was awesome. I’m glad I was there to see her, if nothing else because it was fabulous to see Kathy’s reaction to Cher’s text right before she was about to wrap up. “That’s why I love you, bitch.” That’s why WE ALL love you, Kathy.
Choi’s move was a dramatic one for a Lieutenant whose discharge is under review. After seeing him arrested I can’t help but wonder if Lt. Choi knows of an impending discharge coming down the pike. Did this action mark his last stand as a currently serving member of the Marine Corps? A final stand in defense of human rights and for a change in a policy ensconced in hate?
I sure hope not.