Gates calls for lame duck DADT repeal

Timothy Kincaid

November 7th, 2010

The AP

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Congress should act quickly, before new members take their seats, to repeal the military’s ban on gays serving openly in the military.

He, however, did not sound optimistic that the current Congress would use a brief postelection session to get rid of the law known as “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

“I would like to see the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” but I’m not sure what the prospects for that are,” Gates said Saturday, as he traveled to defense and diplomatic meetings in Australia.

I appreciate the support of the Secretary of Defense on this issue. His voice is important to the debate.

But I can’t help but get the sense that he is not really clued into the President’s pledged campaign to repeal DADT during the lame duck session. It feels as though they aren’t on the same page. And that makes me concerned about the level of commitment that the Administration has for making this happen.

David Roberts

November 7th, 2010

You are expecting competence from this administration on this issue now? Good luck.

Lindoro Almaviva

November 7th, 2010

Just as I said not long ago, the only reason why the homophobes in the upper tears of the Military command were ragging their feet is because they knew the Republican’ts would get into power and allow them to continue their homophobic rants unchecked.

The issue is not whether the administration will pass the repeal or not, the issue is the fact that the administration is STILL latching on the hopes of passing a repeal while at the same time discarding the one card the courts gave them to stop the law dead on its tracks.

Stefan

November 7th, 2010

Well if they don’t repeal it during the lame duck session, then the Defense Authorization Bill doesn’t get passed either, so I say too bad.

L. Junius Brutus

November 7th, 2010

Are you kidding? Obama won’t do a thing. He likes to waste his political capital and energy on nonsense issues. It would tar his record if he actually got something done.

John

November 7th, 2010

He’s lying. Gates is doing nothing more than trying to give his boss and the Pentagon some cover. You know the game, “Gee, we’d love to support repeal but those dastardly Republicans are blocking our efforts”. What do the Dems do when they are in charge? Not a damned thing.

Gates recommended the new USMC commandant, you know another one who is publically calling for the maintenance of DADT. The Advocate is also already reporting that DADT repeal is already talked about being removed from the 2011 Defense Authorization Bill.

http://advocate.com/News/Daily_News/2010/11/07/DADT_Signs_of_Hope_Doom/

Obama is a liar and so is Gates.

Tim Stewart

November 7th, 2010

Obama’s steadfast adherence to the “rule of law” and to “bipartisanship” will mean this will only be accomplished in the Courts. But that’s not the only reason this is so.

One important thing to remember is that the President does not preside over either chamber of the Congress. He can stump, do press conferences and speeches, but he has rather little influence over them in the current lame-duck situation. Everybody’s regrouping, and revising strategy. He knew that the voter turnout of 2008 would not repeat itself in the mid term, and knew that the mid term was very likely to produce a Republican majority in one or both chambers. So he focused on larger issues, issues which would deliver results to the broadest cross section of Americans possible.

I don’t fault him for this. Unlike Bush, he didn’t wait to spend the political capital he had. They all have accomplished some extraordinary things.

DADT, or DOMA for that matter, are not priorities for the Administration, nor for Congress. They weren’t before the election, and they aren’t now. But the thing is, the work that has been done by DoD, this study and ultimately the report they deliver to the President and Secretary of Defense, is likely to be a powerful document, when entered into evidence in Log Cabin Republicans v United States.

Greg

November 7th, 2010

Kerry Eleveld reported that the Senate is planning on taking out “controversial amendments” from the Defense Authorization Bill and passing it quickly.

No DADT repeal (which isn’t the same as Open Service, which is what we should have been asking for).

John

November 8th, 2010

Tim, you can try and excuse the man all you like but the blame for failure in repeal falls upon mainly Obama. Leadership is the primary responsibility of the presidency. Leadership of the nation and of his party. Obama failed at both. He is not a leader and never has been. He couldn’t even be bothered to call Senators when they voted last September, but sure as hell had time to call a basketball team. Repealing DADT would not have cost a lot of political capital as a majority of American voters do not support it even if the GOP does. His party had an overwhelming majority in both Houses. Both Houses. What damn excuse are they now going to use to woo us to vote for them next time? Give us a majority and we promise this time to repeal DADT? Give me a break. I voted Democrat for Senate and Congress last time to help get that majority, a mistake I won’t make again. I’m not a so-called progressive and never have been. If this Republic has degenerated into nothing more than every man for himself, fine. I’ll vote my wallet and to hell with everything and everyone else.

Ryan

November 8th, 2010

Tim, that’s ridiculous. The meaningless “study” wouldn’t be needed as evidence if Obama would just refuse to defend the judge’s ruling. But instead, he’s vigorously doing the opposite. And obviously, the Republicans would rather cut out their own eyes than vote pro-gay, so Congressional repeal won’t happen either. (Special thanks to the one-third(!) of gays who voted with those who look down on them). The worst part is, I’ll never know for sure if Obama and Reid deliberately sandbagged appeal as many have speculated, or if Obama is so hopelessly naïve that he thought the “study” would actually influence the republican vote.

customartist

November 8th, 2010

I thought that the Log Cabin case had already been to court, and when there are appeals, the duty of the Appellate Court(s) is to re-examine the EXISTING evidence, not New evidence.

Am I wrong?

Ryan

November 8th, 2010

You’re right. Doesn’t matter anyway. Washington Post is reporting today that repeal is being taken out of the defense bill. It’s over. Bigotry reigns supreme, and the “study” that Obama wanted everyone to wait for before voting on is completely irrelevant, of course. The GOP may be our enemy (and “f*ck you”, one-third of gays who voted for them) but the Dems sure ain’t our friends.

Priya Lynn

November 8th, 2010

John said “Leadership of the nation and of his party. Obama failed at both. He is not a leader and never has been.”

He’s a failure at LGBT issues, but his passing of the health care bill proves he’s quite an exceptional leader.

John said “If this Republic has degenerated into nothing more than every man for himself, fine. I’ll vote my wallet and to hell with everything and everyone else.”

My, what a shining example of goodness you are. You’re a real role model for children everywhere.

John

November 8th, 2010

Priya: He’s a failure at LGBT issues, but his passing of the health care bill proves he’s quite an exceptional leader.

He’s not just a failure, Priya, but he outright betrayed us and lied time and time again about it. Even the bill he rammed through Congress isn’t what a majority wanted regardless of their political views.

My, what a shining example of goodness you are. You’re a real role model for children everywhere.

There comes a time when children learn the cold, harsh reality about how the world actually operates. If anyone has presented a terrible role model to children it’s Obama and your beloved party, Priya. When I think of the “It Gets Better” video Obama made knowing full well that he wasn’t going to do squat to make the lives of these kids any better… that only infuriates me even more.

John

November 8th, 2010

Ryan: (Special thanks to the one-third(!) of gays who voted with those who look down on them).

Expect that number to go even higher in 2012. If the Democrats are not going to give folks a reason to vote for them and will continually lie to them and betray them, what do you think is going to happen? Not everyone who is gay is also liberal, something that gets forgotten too often. I voted Independent myself this time around but I’m damned tempted to vote Republican in 2012 to ensure that this POS Judas is booted out of office. I dunno yet, I’ll think about it more later when I cool off. One thing I can guarantee you though, I will not be voting Democrat in 2012. They have done nothing for us and therefore will not get my vote.

Priya Lynn

November 8th, 2010

John, leadership is about taking people where the majority don’t want to go. Its ironic that you castigate Obama for not being a leader and then when presented with the proof that he is a great leader castigate him for not being a follower by doing what the majority wants.

And I really admire your “I did’t get what I want so I’m going to screw over everyone I come across” attitude – real mature, talk about childish adults.

Ryan

November 8th, 2010

Hold on John, it’s fine to be angry at Obama and Reid (I certainly am) but let’s not forget who’s truly to blame here. The ultimate reason why DADT wasn’t repealed is because EVERY SINGLE republican voted against it. Every single one. I’m angry at Obama for capitulating to these creeps. You’re “angry” at Obama so much you’re…voting for the very people who hold you in such low regard? How does that work, exactly? From a psychological perspective. I’m genuinely curious.

Timothy Kincaid

November 8th, 2010

Ryan,

There were Republican senators who were lined up to vote for the DADT repeal. They voted against taking up the bill not because of DADT, but because Reid was not going to allow any discussion or amendments on issues of importance to them in the defense appropriation.

Please recall: the vote not to take up the bill WAS NOT a vote on DADT.

Servicemembers United is laying blame for that vote not on the Republicans, but on Reid. It is totally his fault for DADT not being repealed, in their analysis.

And thank God for that. For too long our community has been either foolish or blind about the way the Democratic Party has offered lip service but no follow through. Maybe if that unqualified support ends (and it will with folks like Servicemembers United are unwilling to carry water), they will have to step up.

John

November 8th, 2010

Priya: John, leadership is about taking people where the majority don’t want to go. Its ironic that you castigate Obama for not being a leader and then when presented with the proof that he is a great leader castigate him for not being a follower by doing what the majority wants.

As I said before I’m not a progressive and never have been. I didn’t support Obamacare and would love to see it repealed. Whatever “leadership” you think Obama has shown on this issue even amongst many of those who do support a liberal approach to healthcare see this as a failure.

And I really admire your “I did’t get what I want so I’m going to screw over everyone I come across” attitude – real mature, talk about childish adults.

You want altruism? Join a monastery or nunnery and be my guest. Civil elections are all about “what’s in it for me?” as well as “what’s best for the country?”. As far as I’m concerned he has failed miserably on both, a view I can definitely say the majority of all American voters share with me.

John

November 8th, 2010

Ryan: Hold on John, it’s fine to be angry at Obama and Reid (I certainly am) but let’s not forget who’s truly to blame here. The ultimate reason why DADT wasn’t repealed is because EVERY SINGLE republican voted against it. Every single one. I’m angry at Obama for capitulating to these creeps.

Your anger at Obama is for the wrong reason. Obama deliberately set up what transpired, knowing full well a majority of the GOP would oppose repeal. Did he act as a leader and start repeal in 2009? No. Did he have the “study” taken care of in 2009 or at least be due by Spring 2010? No. Instead he deliberately fought efforts for repeal in Congress, as well as the courts, until so much outrage happened that his hand was forced. He made no effort to lobby Senators for repeal, nor did his staff. Instead he let a vote happen to appease the base, knowing it would fail. Who the hell holds a vote like this right before a midterm election? Who the hell schedules a study to be due long after the midterms are over – knowing full well the opposition party has a good chance of taking one or both Houses? No, however you wish to spin this the fault lies on Obama. I expected the overwhelming majority of the GOP to oppose this. I did not expect the whole effort to be sabotaged by Obama.

You’re “angry” at Obama so much you’re…voting for the very people who hold you in such low regard? How does that work, exactly? From a psychological perspective. I’m genuinely curious.

Actually I voted Independent this last time. I haven’t decided about 2012 yet but I’m damn tempted to vote Republican at the moment. While you are seeking to satisfy your curiosity from a psychological perspective about why I would vote for “the very people who hold you in such low regard”, you may wish to look in the mirror to start with. Obama and the Democrat leadership has shown us this past 2 years that they hold us in even lower regard by lying about supporting us only to stab us in the back. I despise that far more than I do open and honest “low regard” expressed to my face.

Ryan

November 8th, 2010

Timothy, so why is there not going to be a vote now? It seems quite clear that Reid is caving because he knows no DADT repeal would ever clear filibuster. As far as I know, Susan Collins is the only Republican senator who has stated that she supports repeal. Do you honestly think a vote that was simply for repeal of DADT and nothing else, the votes would be there? Three were two Dems who voted along with 41 Republicans to filibuster repeal. That means we would need three republicans to vote to end the filibuster. Collins is one. Where are the other two? It’s merely your interpretation that more GOP senators would have voted for repeal if Reid had allowed them their amendments. We have no way of knowing if that’s true, and indeed, past behavior indicates it is severly unlikely.

Timothy Kincaid

November 8th, 2010

Ryan,

Servicemembers United lobbied on this issue and they said that their vote count would have repealed DADT had Reid not played games.

Unless you have better information, I’ll go with what they have said.

Ryan

November 8th, 2010

I’m sorry, but if they can’t name names, then their statement is meaningless. And again, why no straight up or down vote right now? With Kirk winning the special Illinois election, four republican votes are now required. Who are the four? If Servicemembers United has four votes, who are they? Why can’t they name names? I want very much to believe that Obama didn’t deliberately kill repeal. I think his past actions on the health care bill and the stimulus indicate someone who desperately pathologically wants bipartisan approval. I think he really thought the “study” would convine republicans to go against their nature and vote for repeal. That seems laughably naïve, but it’s keeping in line with his past behavior. I could be wrong, maybe he’s just as bigoted as McCain. But I think so.

Ryan

November 8th, 2010

Sorry, I mean I •dont• think so. Ultimately though, none of us know, including Servicemembers United.

cd

November 8th, 2010

Obama and the Democrat leadership has shown us this past 2 years that they hold us in even lower regard by lying about supporting us only to stab us in the back. I despise that far more than I do open and honest “low regard” expressed to my face.

The conservative Democrats have long been a perfidious and obstructionist third party for twenty years as far as I am concerned, invariably sabotaging the moderate/liberal party. Obama has given them extraordinary, grotesquely undue, deference. They did help him win the nomination in 2008, though, because they feared Hillary Clinton on the general election ticket would lead to what we saw this election.

The conservative Democrats have- finally- been nearly annihilated in the U.S. House this election and lost a Senator too. The 2012 election likely will finish off the survivors in the House and take out most of the ones remaining in the U.S. Senate. (The Presidential year elections tend to reinforce what the previous midterms wrought.)

Grassroots partisan activists like me hated losing what political initiative Democrats had left on Tuesday. But frankly the voters did comprehensively vote out the crowd that was adamantly unwilling to go beyond the status quo. You don’t know what a relief is to us that the voters finally jettisoned them, and jettisoned them wholesale. For Democrats it’s a dumping of lots of loaded Trojan Horses over the castle walls. It’s the destruction of the Fifth Column the Republicans so enjoyed and exploited, and the voters so frustratingly and quite intentionally kept alive in the Democratic Party for so long.

It will be a while until the Party has become persuaded of the new reality. And some will cling to the old reality until the next elections intensify it.

Depending on where you are, voting Republican in ’12 might work to help kill off the obsolete and dying part of the Democrats. Or it might be a punishing of the wrong candidates for the sins of some other ones mostly already voted out.

Timothy Kincaid

November 8th, 2010

Ryan,

Okie dokie. You don’t have to believe that Servicemembers United is telling the truth. That’s your prerogative.

But, just for accuracy’s sake, Kirk actually did vote for the authorization bill with DADT included.

Ryan

November 8th, 2010

Mark Kirk is all over the map on DADT. He won’t say how he’d vote if it came to it. Logic says, he’ll do his party’s bidding. And Servicemembers United might not be lying, they might have been lied to. You think that Reid never really wanted repeal, and purposefully set it up so the Republicans would vote against it. Isn’t it equally possible that Collins and the mystery other pro-repeal Republicans just used Reid’s actions as the excuse they needed to vote against repeal? We’ll never know, without a straight up or down vote, and that ain’t happening, because the cowardly Democrats are capitulating once again.

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