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Obama to address DADT Repeal in SOTU?

ABC News Z. Byron Wolf reports that Senator Carl Levin, Chairman of the Armed Services Committee

. . . told reporters today that he has delayed plans to hold Senate hearings to examine the current “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy at the request of administration officials. Why would they want him to hold off? The officials Levin talked to said they expect the President will address the issue of homosexuals serving in the military during the State  of the Union Address.

Let’s hope he’s right. By using the bully pulpit, Obama could set things in motion for speedy repeal.  But, if he is to address tis tomorrow night, then, let’s also hope that he has already laid the groundwork for repeal by avoiding the mistakes Bill Clinton made 17 years ago, having first consulted with the military brass before making his move.

Such a move would not only be good for our national security as it would increase the pool of available recruits.  (Nor would our armed forces have to divert resources to rooting out homosexuals.)  This would also help Obama protect his left flank.  Indeed, Allahpundit wonders “if the big reason Obama has held back on this until now (and, maybe, on gay marriage) is precisely because he’s thinking strategically and wants to be able to toss it out there when he most needs a boost from his base. This ought to do it.

Not just that, most polls shows that Americans favor repealing DADT, with even a substantial majority of conservatives favoring allowing openly gay men and lesbian to serve in the armed forces.

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26 Comments

  1. I’d be happy to see it go, from what I’ve read, the UCMJ is sufficient to handle most problems.

    Comment by The_Livewire — January 26, 2010 @ 7:47 am - January 26, 2010

  2. This would be a tone deaf, dumb political move. I doubt the tea party movement would put DA/DT anywhere on a list of the top 100 priorities for moving the nation forward. It will not create or save one job, it will not send anyone shopping, it will not improve national security, it will not have any effect on curbing entitlements. It will have no effect on mending the economy or managing entitlements or facing the deficit or anything else that is eating the public trust.

    I am not speaking out against changing the policy, although I could. I am saying that of all the things Obama must address, if he chooses this, he merely reenforces his image of being disconnected and arrogant. The call of the tea party movement is for fiscal discipline and budget austerity and so The Won answers with something like this?

    He can end DA/DT yesterday. It is a minor zit among a crop of carbuncles this good man has to power to purge.

    It may play well to the ultra left and the gay voters, but to the population that has turned sour on this guy, it will be like taking your car in for a tire that won’t stay inflated for more than a day and they put a sticker on your bumper and send you away.

    However, if The Won is tripling down and going “in your face” ultra progressive, then why not start with DA/DT and move to amnesty for illegal aliens and a national salary cap and welfare recipients fly first class for free?

    I dislike seeing DA/DT being used as a political plaything. I hope Obambi does not include it in the State of the Union.

    Comment by heliotrope — January 26, 2010 @ 9:27 am - January 26, 2010

  3. Other groups have also shifted in favor of repealing DADT.

    73% of US combat troops surveyed are “personally comfortable in the presence of gay and lesbian comrades” (Zogby):
    http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.cfm?ID=1222

    50% of military families think DADT should be repealed, and 56% of them reject the argument
    that allowing openly gay men and women to serve would be divisive (Quinnipiac)*:
    http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x1295.xml?ReleaseID=1292

    * (Support for non-discrimination is highest among those who think gays are “born” gay,
    and declines among those who think people “choose” to be gay).

    104 retired officers, lead by former Joint Chiefs Chairman General John Shalikashvili, and the
    former Superintendent of the US Naval Academy, have urged repeal of DADT, calling it harmful to the military’s mission.
    http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/11/17/dont.ask.dont.tell/index.html

    Comment by WesternCiv — January 26, 2010 @ 9:50 am - January 26, 2010

  4. As someone else has pointed out, it’s hard to write about this subject without saying things like “protecting his left flank.” :)

    Comment by Ashpenaz — January 26, 2010 @ 10:09 am - January 26, 2010

  5. Why the gay and lesbian Democrats contiunue to cling to this hollow figurehead is puzzling. And if the White House had purposefully-delayed acting for “strategic reasons” over 12-months in the face of several very-public DADT discharges…then are the G/L Democrats going to hold the Administration accountable for the collateral damage to many fine officers’ and enlisted’s careers? “Oops, sorry…”

    Personally, I had hopes that a Pres. McCain might overturn DADT through executive action using the moral authority of his own painful service and the current service of his two sons.

    Comment by Ted B. (Charging Rhino) — January 26, 2010 @ 10:19 am - January 26, 2010

  6. heliotrope.

    I think it’s part placating the base, part arrogance. He wants to inject tighten firm up um, bolster, his left flank, thus throwing a bone, and is relying on the press to highlight the folks on the right who oppose it, while ignoring those on the left who do for their own reasons.

    I also think he honestly believes that EVERYONE on the right will have this rabid knee jerk reaction, but most will be ‘that’s nice, now what about unemployment?’

    Comment by The_Livewire — January 26, 2010 @ 10:55 am - January 26, 2010

  7. I’m inclined to agree with heliotrope on this one… Obama’s biggest problem right now – from left, right, and center – is that he’s let the economy and the job situation go to Hell while he fiddled with Obamacare and Stimulus 1 (i.e. the Big Vote Buy). I’m not sure how I see this as a good move in that context.

    “I’ve heard you. You think we’re wasting time on Healthcare while jobs get flushed, deficits soar into the stratosphere, and the economy crumbles,” says Obama. “And you’re right. Let’s talk about gays in the military!”

    Comment by DoDoGuRu — January 26, 2010 @ 11:29 am - January 26, 2010

  8. Fair points, heliotrope et al. Where he was bone-headed on this is that he strove so hard to avoid being Clinton, he forgot how much the consensus has shifted on gays in the military that he could have pushed this through earlier in his term when he had more political capital and would then have retained the support of the more principled gays as well as the support of the lickspittle gays which he will enjoy as long as that (D) appears after his name.l

    I just want to see DADT repealed. It may be a political ploy, but it’s the right thing to do. Despite the popular support for repeal, this will blow up in his face if he has not already laid the groundwork with the military brass.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — January 26, 2010 @ 12:45 pm - January 26, 2010

  9. And the best thing is–all those military guys on RealJock will finally be able to show their faces! :)

    Comment by Ashpenaz — January 26, 2010 @ 1:12 pm - January 26, 2010

  10. Dan,

    Your arguments sound incredibly strained – you seem to be working very hard to ignore the obvious, even though you are aware of it – so that you can maintain your anti-Obama attitude.

    “Despite the popular support for repeal, this will blow up in his face if he has not already laid the groundwork with the military brass.”

    That is exactly what he has spent the past year doing – as has been oft discussed, including, I do believe, by me on this site, several times already. The societal consensus has shifted in the last 16 years, but not so much that the move would be non-controversial. And lets be honest here. the lesson from the Clinton effort is simple – to the extent there remains any resistance within the military, or amongst conservatives in general, the Republican party will do everything it can to exploit that opposition, based as it would be on fear, in order to strike another blow against Obama’s standing.

    It is nauseating to watch conservative gays try to criticize Obama for taking time to move on this issue, when we all know that the he needs to move slowly, getting all his ducks in a row, precisely because of conservative and Republican opposition and potential exploitation of this issue.

    Comment by Tano — January 26, 2010 @ 1:23 pm - January 26, 2010

  11. And what, pray tell, do you find as “fair” in the points that Heliotrope was making, Dan? The comparison of allowing gays to serve openly in the military to welfare recipients flying free? The claim that ending DADT is equal to triple down ultra progressivism? That the only possible reason why a President might end DADT is political? Or that Obama should not be doing this because the Tea Party doesn’t give a damn about the issue?

    Comment by Tano — January 26, 2010 @ 1:31 pm - January 26, 2010

  12. Tano, your arguments sound incredibly strained – you seem to be working very hard to ignore the obvious, even though you are aware of it – so that you can maintain your Obama worship attitude.

    Obama has completed one year as a rather abject failure. His “stimulus” plan did nothing but drive up debt, drive up unemployment, and put money in the pockets of Obama Party donors and cronies with tax and criminal problems. His soft-on-terrorism approach has resulted in sham trials, dismissal of charges, and the inability to interrogate people who have tried to kill entire airliners’ worth of Americans. His health plan does nothing but drive up costs and reduce access. And now, because his poll numbers are falling dramatically, he is playing politics with the military.

    You have repeatedly insisted that, when the “stimulus” was proposed, when the “coddle terrorists” was proposed, when the “health plan” was proposed, Obama “had a plan” and was working on a “strategy” that none of us could understand and that would pay out in the end.

    Game over. Obama has failed. Unfortunately, Tano, your ideology blinds you to that fact. It is understandable, since you are paid by the Obama administration to propagandize for them, but at the same time, it demonstrates that you have neither the grasp of the issues at hand or the native intelligence to comment upon them.

    Finally, you have demanded that others who blatantly lie, according to you, be banned. You have been demonstrated on multiple occasions to be a blatant liar. State immediately why you should not be banned.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 26, 2010 @ 1:40 pm - January 26, 2010

  13. And what, pray tell, do you find as “fair” in the points that Heliotrope was making, Dan? The comparison of allowing gays to serve openly in the military to welfare recipients flying free? The claim that ending DADT is equal to triple down ultra progressivism? That the only possible reason why a President might end DADT is political? Or that Obama should not be doing this because the Tea Party doesn’t give a damn about the issue?

    I find them all to be fair.

    Do not try to play the “you are in the same minority, so you must be equally offended” game, Tano. That merely demonstrates the degree of bigotry and prejudice you and your Obama Party hold towards gay and lesbian people by claiming that they are “all the same” and “must think and act the same way”.

    Furthermore, heliotrope has demonstrated intelligence, clarity of thought, and an ability to contribute to the conversation. You have demonstrated none of these, and in fact have a long and established track record of lying, insulting other commenters, and outright hypocrisy, such as your insistence that others apologize to you for what you deem “lies” while refusing to apologize and be held accountable for your own blatant lies.

    You and your fellow minority shills prevent the best argument possible for keeping DADT, Tano. You have repeatedly demonstrated that you do not feel that you have to follow the same rules or meet the same standards as others because of your sexual orientation, and you have screamed that doing such to you is “homophobic”. Since you cannot follow the rules, you do not belong in the military. When you are willing to function as a productive member of society and accept the responsibility for your actions instead of using your sexual orientation as a demand for special treatment, then you may have an argument.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 26, 2010 @ 1:48 pm - January 26, 2010

  14. NDT,

    Whew! I don’t think you left anything out, except maybe the mule he rode in on.

    Comment by heliotrope — January 26, 2010 @ 2:08 pm - January 26, 2010

  15. Well it will be interesting to see how easy DADT gets repealed, since the economy is a major issue and is sucking the oxygen out of any other legislation. I would hope it would go easy and pass through, but I have feeling it might get bogged down. I would just get annoyed if people who are against Gays serving in the Military will hide behind “We have to focus on the Economy now” mantra. Congress is always in session and they are all the time, they should be able to focus on more than one thing. They should able to work on Economic proposals and also deal with DADT.

    I think it is a legitimate reason for holding it back for a few months but I am worried some will use it as a cover because they really just don’t want gays to be able to serve in the military.

    Comment by Darkeyedresolve — January 26, 2010 @ 2:18 pm - January 26, 2010

  16. Tano, apparently, you’re just here to insult. Amazing. I praise Obama and you decide you just have to attack. I made a point about working with the military brass because when I penned this post, I could find no evidence that he had. Now, I did write this in the middle of the night when my mind wasn’t as sharp as it is, so maybe that’s why my google searches weren’t as successful as they might otherwise have been.

    So, if you can provide evidence with a link that he has done so, you could help answer the concerns I expressed above.

    Give your nasty attitude a rest, Tano, give it a rest. While accusing me of maintaining an “anti-Obama” attitude when I’m offering him some (albeit conditional praise), you go an bash Republicans for Clinton’s failures. Once again, wow, just wow. At the time DADT was enacted, Clinton was president and Democrats were a majority in the House and Senate. And you blame Republicans.

    No wonder you fault me for my supposed need to maintain an “anti-Obama” attitude. It’s your way of projecting the mirror image of your prejudiced world view onto others.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — January 26, 2010 @ 2:32 pm - January 26, 2010

  17. you go an bash Republicans for Clinton’s failures. Once again, wow, just “wow”

    Wow just wow is right Dan. Are you trying to deny that the GOP was mounting the charge against Clinton’s efforts to allow gays to serve in the military? That they exploited the issue mercilessly in order to damage him politically?

    Yeah, perhaps it would be even more accurate to name the offending category as “conservatives” – since there were some conservative Democrats as part of the opposition. But since most folks around here are more proud of their conservatism than their republicanism, it seems like a minor quibble.

    As for Obama’s efforts with the military – you yourself reported last October, in a post entitled “Another Sign of Forward Motion on DADT Repeal?” about an Under Secretary appointment that was promising, and you included a quote:
    “There were indications of seriousness of purpose on DADT repeal today by this White House with its intent to nominate an Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. Dr. Stanley is likely to be the President’s key Pentagon player in the DADT debate and will be critical for the President in getting military uniform buy-in.”

    As to my general tone, I have reread your post, and several others from you archives, and am willing to concede that my response to you, specifically, was unfair. I apologize for that. I read a lot of the comments left by others, and over time that tends to form a general impression of what the predominate mood at this site is. So then when I read a specific post of yours, I may tend to fill in blanks and assume it is more of that same attitude. I’ll try to be more careful about that.

    Comment by Tano — January 26, 2010 @ 3:00 pm - January 26, 2010

  18. Thank you, Tano, for taking the time to review my post–and to apologize. Apology accepted

    Please note that although I’m offering conditional praise now, I have made clear what the conditional is. Should the president show that he has consulted with the military brass on repealing DADT, I will praise him.

    Comment by B. Daniel Blatt — January 26, 2010 @ 3:15 pm - January 26, 2010

  19. Are you trying to deny that the GOP was mounting the charge against Clinton’s efforts to allow gays to serve in the military? That they exploited the issue mercilessly in order to damage him politically?

    Tano, your arguments sound incredibly strained – you seem to be working very hard to ignore the obvious, even though you are aware of it – so that you can maintain your Obama worship attitude.

    When DADT was passed, it was through an Obama Party-controlled Congress, with an Obama Party President. Had a majority of Obama Party members not supported it, it would have been stopped in its tracks.

    Your refusal to recognize that fact is understandable; again, you are paid by the Obama Party to propagandize for them. Furthermore, your ideology prevents you from criticizing your Obama Party, or holding them in any way accountable for their actions. Your blind obedience and belief that all gays and lesbians must support and endorse the Obama Party at all times prevents you from honestly commenting or evaluating the situation.

    Furthermore, it provides an excellent argument for DADT. Clearly, gays and lesbians such as yourself are not capable of thinking intelligently or clearly, nor can you make decisions without your sexual orientation and political views swaying the outcome. How on earth could any soldier who did not share your political views or your sexual orientation feel comfortable with you in command, knowing that you would not treat them in the same fashion as you would others?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 26, 2010 @ 3:45 pm - January 26, 2010

  20. I fully support repeal of the ban and if Obama can do it that would be great. Is this a sop to his base? Yes. Do I believe he is serious and will not fold at the slightest bit of resistance? No. Everything he has shown us is that the man has no core convictions, which Bill Clinton didn’t either but at least he was politically saavy. Obama isn’t. He talks a good game (as long as TOTUS is around) but that’s it. So let him talk about DADT all he wants tomorrow night. I don’t believe he is serious. Besides, while I would welcome a repeal of the ban it will do nothing to stem the anger from his mishandling of fiscal policy nor should it.

    Comment by John — January 26, 2010 @ 4:14 pm - January 26, 2010

  21. It is nauseating to watch conservative gays try to criticize Obama for taking time to move on this issue,

    What’s nauseating is watching gay liberals getting pissed off at their leaders only to shut up when thrown a meaningless tidbit from the table. Chairman Obama will pay lip service, the gay left will spooge themselves and shut up for a year, after declaring him the first gay president, and nothing will be done about it.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 26, 2010 @ 4:56 pm - January 26, 2010

  22. With helio on this.

    Repeal of DADT is desirable (and the right thing to do). But now is not the time. There are too many bigger issues.

    Clinton had the political capital to do it (just not the backbone).

    Obama has no political capital to waste (overdrawn, more like it). The left (see op-eds in the WaPo, NYT, HuffPo, etc) is slamming Obama (some of it makes Rush sound like a softy). He can’t afford to stir the pot anymore.

    If Obama wants to save his presidency, he needs recognize the economic crisis, embrace real solutions, and “focus like a laser”. The economy and a war are more than enough to deal with.

    Comment by SoCalRobert — January 26, 2010 @ 11:24 pm - January 26, 2010

  23. I can deal with the “gay marriage” because that doesn’t affect national security. But as someone who actually served in the military, being openly gay in the military probably won’t fly with the straight troops. The military is a very violent place with very violent type A personalities many of which are paranoid. Most of the “gay” people in the military were in the admint side of the jobs, which they handle quite well. Even before there was “don’t ask don’t tell” gays where serving in the military, as long as they didn’t bother anyone, no one bother them. I don’t understand why they would want everyone to know they are gay in that type of environment.
    As far as actual combat situations, you don’t want someone that is going to throw down there weapon without firing a shot and surrender (aka like some women do).
    Do the american people want 100,000 “perez hiltons or barney franks or liberace” defending or fighting in the frontlines?
    If this “don’t ask don’t tell is repeal” the US military will be the laughingstock of the world. Everyone in the US military will be consider to be gay. When people refer to America, they will always mention that it has the largest gay military in the world. Currently it is consider the greatest military in the world. Our enemies of course are all in favor of “gaying” us down.
    Even if repealed how many gay people are going to signup to go into combat and get shot at, if they are still going to only want to do the admint type duties what is the victory in repealing it?

    Comment by jonyjoe101 — January 26, 2010 @ 11:47 pm - January 26, 2010

  24. Interesting, jonyjoe. You managed to trash the military, then gays then praise the military in the same comment. Are you serious?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 27, 2010 @ 1:45 am - January 27, 2010

  25. I served my country in the 1980′s as a meteorologist in the US Navy and was kicked out for being gay after less than 2 years. I agree that the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy should be repealed. The government should not be involved in what is going on in your bedroom. I lost all veteran’s benefits when I was kicked out of the US Navy. The military’s policy on homosexuality needs to be changed now. There are too many good men and women out there who would be a great benefit to the military who are gay.

    Comment by GayMeteorologist — January 28, 2010 @ 9:13 am - January 28, 2010

  26. [...] have been from checking our archives where I praised Obama here, here, here, here, here, here and here for the way he was going about repealing Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell [...]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » The Prejudices of Our Critics — April 19, 2010 @ 7:36 pm - April 19, 2010

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