This Time, It’s Personnel: The Nomination of Eric Fanning

Barb Wire

Eight years of President Obama will be more than enough for most Americans. But unfortunately, the administration’s radicalism won’t end when his term does.

Hundreds of political appointees are already making life difficult for their successors. Nowhere is that more obvious than the U.S. military, where the next president will inherit a mess of morale, readiness, political correctness, and social confusion.

What the White House didn’t destroy with budget cuts, it devastated with sexual experimentation. Now, with the Army desperately struggling to meet recruitment goals, President Obama is nominating an activist who will drive people farther away: Eric Fanning.

The former Air Force Secretary has been the White House’s pick to take over for Army Secretary John McHugh, who stepped down last fall. But after months of serving as the acting leader, Fanning continued to hold the job without the Senate’s vetting — exasperating Republicans like John McCain (R-Ariz.). “You don’t put people in jobs until they are confirmed by the Senate,” he said last week. “That’s pretty straightforward.”

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Sensing Fanning might face some opposition (he’s been a gay activist for almost two decades), the administration bypassed the rules for government vacancies. With his time expired, Fanning agreed to step down until his confirmation hearing — the first of which took place in the Senate Armed Services Committee today.

Members had plenty of fodder for the discussion since Fanning has been open about his LGBT advocacy. Before rising to one of the highest civilian positions in the military, Fanning served on the board of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, where he caught a vision he hoped to push in the ranks. In an interview with theWashington Blade in 2013, Fanning made his agenda clear: he wants to use his influence to push open transgenderism in the ranks. “I think that the military is stronger, institutions are stronger, and society is stronger the more inclusive that we are,” Fanning said. “So, wherever we can root out discrimination, I think it’s a positive thing.”

With our servicemen stretched to the max, America needs a secretary whose priority is military readiness — not political correctness. The Pentagon has already wasted valuable time on sensitivity training, EEO instruction, and tolerance sessions at the expense of combat skills. Now, the Senate is considering the appointment of a man who wants to unleash gender confusion and “non-discrimination” policies on an Army struggling to meet wartime demands. As both Governor Mike Huckabee (R-Ark.) and Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) have pointed out, our commander-in-chief is “more interested in promoting homosexuality in the military than he is in defeating our enemy.” So why would the Senate give the president a chance to exacerbate the problem?

Confirmations like Fanning’s are only setting in place moral and cultural landmines that are sure to detonate when Obama leaves. At the very least, Americans deserve honest answers about what Fanning plans to do to protect the rights of every soldier. What kind of policy guidance would he give so that commanders don’t discriminate against men and women of faith?

When Fanning worked for the Air Force, a branch with one of the worst records on religious liberty, FRC directly appealed to him to stop the Christian persecution of servicemen like Master Sergeant Phillip Monk. Instead of intervening, Fanning brushed off the concerns of more than 56,000 petition signers and did nothing to help.

With ISIS torching its way across the Middle East, our military is torn between its role securing America and securing this president’s radical social agenda. The Senate needs to decide: does it want an army of political operatives or a force defending America? Because the latest crises prove that our military can’t — and shouldn’t have to — do both.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Tony Perkins
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law. (Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)

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