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Obama: Finally Repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

Jim Burroway

January 27th, 2010

The President’s State of the Union address, I thought, was one of the finest addresses ever given. He chastised the largest majority in recent history for its failure to get substantial work done, and he challenged the minority to live up to its responsibility to offer solutions if it is going to insist that a 60-vote super-majority will be required to get anything done in the Senate. This is a fighting spirit that has been missing from the White House over the past year. I frankly hope the President recognizes that change requires leadership from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, leadership which won’t come from the mob on Capital Hill.

But hope and reality are two different things. And given what we’ve seen over the past year, it’s  hard to get too excited over this particular part of the President’s address:

My Administration has a Civil Rights Division that is once again prosecuting civil rights violations and employment discrimination. We finally strengthened our laws to protect against crimes driven by hate. This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are.

The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network calls for a sense of urgency:

We applaud the President tonight for his call to Congress to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” this year. We very much need a sense of urgency to get this done in 2010. We call on the President to repeal the archaic 1993 law in his defense budget currently now being drafted, that is probably the only and best moving bill where DADT can be killed this year. As Rep. Patrick Murphy and Sen. Gillibrand have made clear, this is the year to repeal the law. What is also needed is more attention and leadership to win repeal. The American public, including conservatives, is overwhelmingly with the commander in chief on this one.

Comments

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Patrick
January 27th, 2010 | LINK

How nice, he’ll work with congress on doing something he doesn’t need congress to do – he can do it all by himself. But he hasn’t and is now passing the buck. What a friend we have!

Burr
January 27th, 2010 | LINK

While it’d be nice if he did a stop loss order, he’d still need Congress to make it permanent. That’s not passing the buck, that’s reality. Acting alone won’t solve it once and for all.

That said I ain’t holding my breath.

Jim Burroway
January 27th, 2010 | LINK

Actually, he cannot repeal a law all by himself. What he can do is temporarily halt investigations under DADT, but all that would do is relieve the pressure off of Congress from doing anything. Then when Obama is gone, a future president can just as easily rescind the order.

While I know a lot of people are pushing for Obama to issue an executive order, I think it would actually hinder DADT’s repeal rather than hasten it.

Timothy Kincaid
January 27th, 2010 | LINK

Hmmm… his first step in working with Congress was apparently asking Congress not to hold hearings until he could announce that he was working with Congress.

Kristie
January 27th, 2010 | LINK

While it’s true that he could not repeal DADT on his own, he could have issued the stop loss order last year & used his bully pulpit to put the pressure on Congress to do the work of repealing it for good. Since a repeal is something supported by the majority of Americans (including a majority of conservatives) it shouldn’t have been hard to get it done. Instead he did nothing, paid a little lip service and then trotted this DADT repeal schpiel out again when he knows he needs to regain some lost support of LGBT voters. I’ll believe it when I see it.

Trevor
January 27th, 2010 | LINK

Ready…set…PUNT to the do-nothing Congress which can’t pass a bill with a super majority. If you thought the Republicans would filibuster a healthcare bill just to score political points what do you think they’ll do now that you’re handing them a “culture war” issue? Its a no-brainer: they’ll filibuster it and use it to whip their tea-bagger base into an angry, stupid frenzy.

andrew
January 28th, 2010 | LINK

I’ll repeat what my household has been telling the increasingly desperate Democratic party every time they’ve called us for donations in the past month: I be taken for granted, and pretty words won’t cut it. You’ll get my cash when I see some action, and not a penny until then.

andrew
January 28th, 2010 | LINK

Ummm… no patois intended… that should have said “won’t be”… taken for granted.

I may, however, be taken for illiterate.

Matt
January 28th, 2010 | LINK

To quote the intelligence community, “Trust but verify”

Dan
January 28th, 2010 | LINK

After a year, Obama is still doling out bits and pieces. In the campaign, he promised a lot of things: an inclusive ENDA, a repeal of DOMA and DADT, the list went on. Now, it’s just DADT. We don’t need a crumb here and there. We need the same rights that other citizens take for granted!

Timothy Kincaid
January 28th, 2010 | LINK

I got an email “from President Barack Obama” asking for donations within an hour of the speech.

oakland753
January 28th, 2010 | LINK

This president fixated on one thing and one thing only. He wants health care reform. He will live and die politically on this one thing. After the Massachusetts defeat, he has tried to appear as if moving more to the center, but make no mistake, he is STILL ONLY interested in this screwed up health care reform.
Democrats need to learn from we independents. Just because he is a democrat does not mean he is on “your side.” Obama is FOR gays when they VOTE for him…after elected, his actions speak the truth about Obama. He is a typical politician and NOTHING more.

Ray
January 28th, 2010 | LINK

The only appropriate response to appeals for donations is “When we can marry, when we can serve in the military, when our jobs are secure, when DADT and DOMA are history, THEN ask me for a donation.”

Lt. Choi’s post speech arrived in email this morning. He said DADT is “immoral” and that he was disappointed with the lack of substance in the President’s remarks and called his words “unacceptable.”

Ditto for me, too.

CLS
January 28th, 2010 | LINK

Talk is cheap in Obamatown, very cheap. Obama prides himself on his ability to sway people with rhetoric. I prefer reality myself. So when the reality comes we’ll see but in the meantime shouldn’t we all be happy that we got a nice, shiny ambassador and a few other token appointments?

Audrey the Liberal
January 28th, 2010 | LINK

I’m a fan of your blog CLS, so it’s really nice to see you posting here on Box Turtle Bulletin. Have you thought of becoming a regular contributor?

Mark F.
January 28th, 2010 | LINK

Prediction: no repeal of DADT anytime before 2013. $100 bet anyone?

Mark F.
January 28th, 2010 | LINK

And here’s some insight about Obama’s character: he’s ordering the murder of *suspected* terrorists. No trial, no nothing. Just like the Nazis and Communists used to do. but hey, continue to pretend he’s a good, well meaning guy.

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2010/01/27/yemen/index.html

AlexH
January 28th, 2010 | LINK

I would rather see some action on getting rid of DOMA (Defense Of Marriage Act) and giving couples Federal benefits.

Right now, we keep fighting over the “word” marriage and while I agree we should be able to have the term etc., it still doesn’t give same-sex couples true Federal rights even if they are allowed to marry in their state.

DADT would be great and should be repealed so I hope it is done this year. And when it is, it should be retroactive so that all those who were bounced out of the military just for being gay get their full honors and stuff.

Our armed forces are stretched so thin that you’d think that they would welcome anyone who wants to enlist and maybe they wouldn’t have to go on these 3-4-5 tours of duty.

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