That sleight-of-hand military policy known as “don’t ask, don’t tell” is finally getting a full-on public airing. But like the origins of the rule that sort of addressed the issue of gays in the military—officially banned, unofficially tolerated—the outcome may be anything but clear and direct. Democrats in Congress are intent on repealing the prohibition of gays serving openly as soon as possible, fearing the loss of power in November. Much of the current top brass agrees with the principle, but a Pentagon review of the potential impact is not expected until December. So the compromise in play is to vote conditionally on a repeal—pending the report and certification by top officials that the move would not harm recruitment, retention, and combat readiness. It sounds a little like signing the health reform bill before amending it. Does this make sense? Is this the best way to change a controversial policy? Is it a procedural fig leaf that creates more problems than it solves? Or is it the policy itself that was pointless and should be scrapped? Give me your thoughts on the issue at firstname.lastname@example.org.