Rick Perry says he is in total support of Donald John Trump’s decision to bar transgender Americans from serving in the armed forces.
Of course he is. He’s part of the Trump team now. The president forgave Perry for labeling Trump a “cancer on conservativism.” His reward was to appoint him secretary of energy.
Perry, though, weighed in on the president’s tweet that became a major policy reversal. Trump declared: “After consultation with my generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States government will not accept or allow … transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. military,” Trump tweeted. “Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming … victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption.”
The president, though, didn’t talk to all of the generals. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford declared that all personnel would be treated with “respect,” and that no policy changes would be enacted until the order came from the defense secretary. It’s that thing called “chain of command” that has given Gen. Dunford pause.
As for Perry’s support of Trump’s decision, he said the government shouldn’t have to pay for surgeries in which personnel change their sexual identity. Reporters reminded him that studies showed the cost of such procedures amounts to about 10 percent of the money the government pays to provide medicine that cures erectile dysfunction.
Perry’s response? “I don’t check out the cost of Viagra.” Yuk, yuk …
Neither the president or his energy secretary, though, have yet to produce any evidence that transgender military personnel are less capable than any other of their comrades in arms. Nor have they have provided proof that they are less patriotic, less loyal or that they don’t love their country as much as anyone.
The president has used Twitter to make a policy pronouncement without considering for a moment what it means. I would have expected better from the secretary of energy — himself an Air Force veteran — if not the know-nothing commander in chief.