In the wake of the growing discontent among the president’s erstwhile gay supporters over the Democrat’s failure to fulfill his campaign promises, the folks at Pajamas Media asked me to write a piece for them on that very issue. Here are the first few paragraphs; you can find the rest on their home page:
Perhaps the easiest thing about being a gay conservative is that we expect less from our elected leaders than do our left-of-center counterparts. Republicans politicians don’t promise us the moon and stars in their campaigns, so we’re not disappointed when they don’t bestow such lofty gifts on our community once elected.
For gay Democrats, however, it’s a different story. They are repeatedly disappointed when their politicians do not follow through on the campaign pledges they make to our community.
In 1992, then-Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton promised to repeal the ban on gays in the military, but just a year later, he backpedaled on that promise. After he clumsily tried to act on that promise in the first few days of his Administration, that Democrat realized he might suffer politically should he sign an Executive Order repealing the ban. At the time, the President’s signature was all that was required to allow gay men and lesbians to serve openly in the military.
Facing a firestorm of opposition from the military and Congress, the Democratic President relented and signed a supposedly compromise policy, the legislation which became known as Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell (DADT). Gays could now serve, provided they just didn’t self-identify as gay. Now, the ban on open service is codified, requiring an act of Congress to be repealed.
This would not be the last time Clinton would sign legislation upsetting gay people who so enthusiastically backed him in 1992.