By Lucas Grindley
Originally published on Advocate.com May 22 2013 7:01 PM ET
Although former Defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld argues that repealing "don't ask, don't tell" made sense, he has some slippery-slope reasoning on why marriage equality in the military or elsewhere is a mistake.
Rumsfeld did not preside over repeal of DADT on his watch, even while facing shortages of Arabic translators, and the Log Cabin Republicans ultimately sued him to repeal the policy. But Rumsfeld said during an interview online with Larry King that we've known gays and lesbians have been in the military for a long time, so open service seemed a logical next step — just one taken after he left.
"It was an idea that it's time had arrived, I think that implementing it is probably going to be easier in the Air Force and the Navy, I think the ground forces and the unit cohesion have got to be very careful about how they implement it so that they don't weaken the unit cohesion. I don't think we've arrived yet."
On marriage equality, the famously noncommittal leader (at least whenever responding to a question in public) conceded, "The Rumsfeld rule here is, I don't know." That's some sort of allusion to his new book, Rumsfeld Rules. But he simultaneously offered a slippery-slope argument against marriage equality, suggesting it might lead to polygamy.
During this book tour, Rumsfeld has admitted he's gotten a lot of things wrong over the course of his career. "Well, my goodness, you know, as Napoleon said, 'I've been mistaken so many times I don't even blush for it anymore,'" he told American Public Media about whether he'd apologize for some of them.
Watch video of the interview below.