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WSJ: DADT repeal is all but dead

Timothy Kincaid

November 8th, 2010

Laura Meckler at the Wall Street Journal is reporting on the imminent death of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

Advocates on both sides believed the issue had a chance of coming up in this month’s post-election session of Congress. Now that looks unlikely.

Sens. Carl Levin of Michigan and John McCain of Arizona, the top Democrat and Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, are in talks on stripping the proposed repeal and other controversial provisions from a broader defense bill, leaving the repeal with no legislative vehicle to carry it.

I’m not certain how she had determined that Levin and McCain’s efforts to remove the provision will be more effective now than their opposition when it was included. But it would seem to me that any effort to strip the repeal would require a vote on the floor and, unless those Senators who have committed to repeal renege on their promise, the votes are not with Levin and McCain. But perhaps there are peculiar rules which would allow such a move.

She also notes that the Administration is less than encouraging about the effort.

The Obama administration isn’t raising expectations that the issue will be considered this year. “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,” Defense Secretary Robert Gates told reporters traveling with him in Australia over the weekend.

Asked what the White House priorities are for the coming congressional session, press secretary Robert Gibbs named four issues—tax cuts, a nuclear-arms treaty with Russia, a child nutrition bill and confirmation of Jack Lew as White House budget director. Asked why he wouldn’t put gays in the military on the list, Mr. Gibbs said it looked like Republicans would block action.

Supporters of the current policy gained high-profile backing over the weekend when the new commandant of the Marine Corps said he was concerned about unit cohesion and combat readiness if the policy was overturned. “There’s risk involved,” Gen. James Amos said. “This is not a social thing. This is combat effectiveness.”

Frankly, many of us are doubtful of the Administration’s commitment to gay issues. But surely President Obama is not so foolish as to call for repeal in the lame duck session and not follow through. Surely he will not actually show more commitment to defending DADT in court than he does in opposing it on the Hill. Surely he is aware that if he does so, he will lose the support and respect of those members of our community that still hold him in high regard.

Surely.

Comments

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Everett
November 8th, 2010 | LINK

If I’m not mistaken, the Dream Act (which would give citizenship status to undocumented residents in college) was MORE controversial than the DADT repeal language. I could understand stripping the Dream Act out of the defense bill but the DADT repeal???

I always figured the democrats (including Obama) would leave us gays and lesbians behind when it was politically expedient. They did it with the health care bill (the senate version that became law lacked tax-exemptions for domestic partners’ health plans). They did it with ENDA, which could have passed this year if the democrats had made it a priority. And now they’re doing it with DADT. What a shame. I’m done voting for democrats until they grow up and take us GLBT folks seriously.

Andrew
November 8th, 2010 | LINK

There are members of the community who still hold him in high regard? I’m so out of touch apparently.

Ryan
November 8th, 2010 | LINK

I’m sure Reid will go along with McCain and Levin’s efforts to strip the language out of the. Defense bill because no republican would ever vote for it otherwise, and obviously the Defense Bill needs to be passed. I would LOVE for a straight up or down bill on DADT repeal to be passed, so we can see if these magic mystery pro-repeal Republicans actually exist, though I think we all know the answer to that. Instead, the pathetic Democrats capitulated to the scumbag Republicans, leaving me with no one to vote for.

John
November 8th, 2010 | LINK

Surely he is aware that if he does so, he will lose the support and respect of those members of our community that still hold him in high regard.

I seriously doubt that, Timothy. You watch, as we get closer to 2012 the liberal blogs will be screaming about how we HAVE to vote for Obama because the Republican guy is just so damned scarey! It’ll be the typical end-of-the-world stuff that most gays fall for time after time after time and Obama knows this. I wager most of the readers of this blog end up voting for Obama in 2012, no matter what he does.

Freddy
November 8th, 2010 | LINK

John, as someone that has been in the military for 23+ yrs, the only reason that I voted for him was that I thought there was hope that he would repeal DADT and because I hate McPain, if the GOP comes up with a worthy candidate, I would definitely consider voting for them vs. obummer, at the same time, I voted for Levin and would consider a different choice if he strips this from the bill just to get it passed, we have support from Sen. Snow and others who said they support repealing DADT after they see the report on 1 Dec. They need to have their vote courted so we can end this unjust law.

John in the Bay Area
November 8th, 2010 | LINK

I won’t be voting for Obama if Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is still on the books come 2012. It is pretty much inconcievable that I would vote for whoever wins the Republican nomination, but that doesn’t mean that I will hold my nose and vote for Obama.

Don’t Ask Don’t Tell could be ended today by Obama if he directed his Justice Department to drop their appeal. If he drops the appeal or manages to get it kind of sort of repealed in this lame duck, I might consider voting for him. However, if the only way it gets repealed is Log Cabin wins while his Justice Department goes down swinging, he can forget it.

There won’t be a credible challenge to Obama in the primaries. No Democrat is going to win the White House without African American support. Whoever knocks the first African American President off in the primaries won’t get enough African American support to win in the general election. It would be a tremendous waste of time, energy and money for anyone who tried.

At this point (and of coures things could change), Obama is looking like a one term President. That could mean a Democrat with the leadership qualities that could make them a good president might be able to win in 2016.

KZ
November 8th, 2010 | LINK

It is truly sad that the military still fires and turns away qualified service members solely because they are homosexual. This is 2010.

Repealing DADT is like removing a bandaid. I wish Congress would use some common sense and JUST RIP THE DAMN THING OFF!

johnathan
November 8th, 2010 | LINK

There is no way I will vote for Obama for 2012, but there is no way in hell I would vote Republican. I am too socially progressive on many issues, so that would NOT happen. There are more options than the Democratic or Republican presidential votes. Besides, the “gay” vote doesn’t matter in the Democratic Party anyhow, so …

volpi
November 9th, 2010 | LINK

we could put a certain pressure on the democratic leadership creating a facebook group ” we pledge of not voting for the re-electuion of president obama unless the house and the senate have a vote for the repeal of dadt during the lame- duck congress”. harry reid can not control 60 votes to end the filibuster but can make a vote to end the filibuster happen. After the first of december

volpi
November 9th, 2010 | LINK

a vote for dadt could be very dangerous in 2012 for massachusset senator Scott brown and for one of the republican senator from maine.

volpi
November 9th, 2010 | LINK

if some very famous lgbt activist entered such a group the information could spread very fast.

Loki
November 9th, 2010 | LINK

At this point (and of coures things could change), Obama is looking like a one term President.

Actually it is looking like Obama wants to be a one term president. Just like it seemed as if the Dems wanted to loose massively this past election. Neither of them will fight for their ideals, all they do is cowardly acquiesce.

But the Republican Party is too fractured to put up someone to offer real challenge to Obama in 2012. The civil war for control of the Republican Party began during the primaries with Fox News, Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, and the Koch Brothers on one side, and the Republican establishment on the other.

Ryan
November 9th, 2010 | LINK

The only way Obama wins is if Palin or some equally vapid Tea Party candidate wins the nomination. I think that perhaps the GOP learned their lesson after the embarrassing debacles of Angle, O’Donnell, Paladino, Miller, and Buck. Though I hope not.

Matt
November 9th, 2010 | LINK

He is, he won’t, and he isn’t.

And stop calling us Shirley.

($2 to Airplane)

andrew
November 10th, 2010 | LINK

Can’t wait for 2012 Primaries. Mitch McConnell isn’t the only one eager to see Obama as a 1-term president. I’m just not eager to change parties quite yet.

andrew
November 10th, 2010 | LINK

By the way — exit polling suggested that 36% of gay voters went GOP in 2010… I’m just saying..

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