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Pessimistic on DADT Repeal

Over the past few weeks, I have become increasingly pessimistic about the prospects for DADT repeal in the coming year.  Earlier in the year, seeing the Administration taking the necessary first steps toward repeal, I had thought they were developing a strategy, first to get the military brass on board, then to push repeal through Congress.

Seemed things were moving in the right direction.

Right now, however, DADT repeal just doesn’t seem it’s a priority for this president.   Part of the problem is that his team wants to use the time his party has such big majorities to push forward their big government initiatives, expanding the power of the state while they have the chance.  DADT repeal doesn’t further that end.  Indeed, it actually limits the power of the state rather than increases it.

Not just that, the president’s party has nothing to gain politically by repeal.  

Democrats know they won’t lose the gay vote if they betray this promise to the gay community.  Joe Solmonese won’t be any less enthusiastic in his support for the Democratic Party or any less obsequious in his obeisance to and admiration of Obama if his fellow partisan continues to offer only lip service and make token gestures (including extending White House invitations to) the gay community.

In her piece on gay conservatives for the Washington Blade, new GOProud board member Jessica Lee pretty much sums it up:

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is the most dramatic and disappointing example of the Democrats’ failure. Despite overwhelming public support for repeal, Congress is at an impasse on the issue and the administration of our “fierce advocate,” despite his promise to repeal, is now urging Congress not to vote for repeal this year.

It is clear the gay community is taken for granted by the Democratic Party. No matter how much money we give them or how many doors we knock on for their candidates our issues are never a priority. And not until we make Democrats compete for our money and our votes will they be.

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26 Comments

  1. Nobody should be conservative, but gay people ESPECIALLY shouldn’t be conservative. What on earth is wrong with you? Why do you hate yourself enough to take your entire country down with you?

    Comment by Matthew — May 22, 2010 @ 1:49 am - May 22, 2010

  2. It is clear the gay community is taken for granted by the Democratic Party. No matter how much money we give them or how many doors we knock on for their candidates our issues are never a priority. And not until we make Democrats compete for our money and our votes will they be.

    I’ve had similar thoughts, but replacing ‘Democrats’ with ‘Republicans’ and ‘gay community’ with ‘libertarians’.

    On that note, the solution here seems to be different than with the Republicans when they screw up on economics. The solution there, which I’m sure you’ll agree with, is to get involved with the primaries and lend your support to the candidates most committed to doing what needs to be done.

    I’d say the solution here is the same, unless you think the Republicans are going to repeal DADT.

    Comment by Serenity — May 22, 2010 @ 2:01 am - May 22, 2010

  3. The Wheels on the bus go round and round, and the gays have been thrown under the wheels again, but like Serenity, or is that Senilaty, she just keeps coming back for more and more.

    Comment by John in Dublin CA — May 22, 2010 @ 2:38 am - May 22, 2010

  4. I had thought they were developing a strategy, first to get the military brass on board, then to push repeal through Congress.

    The “strategy” was to dangle a carrot from a stick so those gay liberals, who were starting to bitch, would shut up.

    the solution here seems to be different than with the Republicans when they screw up on economics.

    Damn those Republicans like Franklin Raines, Barney Frank, Chris “Countrywide” Dodd, ACORN, SEIU etc.!

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — May 22, 2010 @ 5:39 am - May 22, 2010

  5. get involved with the primaries and lend your support to the candidates most committed to doing what needs to be done.

    And a great big DUH!!! to you too! Also, brush your teeth, wash your hands, be wary of Greeks bearing gifts and don’t let the bed bugs bite.

    I am especially bowled over by this jewel of classic “insight” and specificity:

    most committed to doing what needs to be done.

    And should you not be sure “what needs to be done” you can just ask Serenity.

    Comment by heliotrope — May 22, 2010 @ 7:48 am - May 22, 2010

  6. Right now, however, DADT repeal just doesn’t seem it’s a priority for this president.

    Finally! Obama is doing something right!

    It shouldnt be a priority for ANYONE. the economy is in the toilet, and getting worse, not better. real unemployment is pushing 20%. Democrats and Obama are passing policy and pushing regulations that will prevent real recovery for decades. they are seizing control of everything they can get their hands on….

    Show me anyone for whom DADT repeal is a priority right now, and I’ll show you a person whose priorities are deeply bleeped up.

    Comment by American Elephant — May 22, 2010 @ 9:05 am - May 22, 2010

  7. Serenity: there is a lot of policy overlap between conservatives and libertarians but the GOP doesn’t spend a lot of time courting the “libertarian vote”. (And GOP != conservative.)

    Come election time, though, there is a lot of pandering by the Dems to gay voters who, like blacks and other victim groups, tend to vote Democrat regardless. Once the election is over, the pols (of both parties, unfortunately) can return to business as usual: enriching themselves and their cronies at the expense of the nation.

    Comment by SoCalRobert — May 22, 2010 @ 10:21 am - May 22, 2010

  8. The solution there, which I’m sure you’ll agree with, is to get involved with the primaries and lend your support to the candidates most committed to doing what needs to be done.

    Wasn’t this already tried? It turns out that the “fierce advocate” we were promised isn’t quite so fierce after all. I could have told you that in 2008. So what did we get for these empty promises and lies? Oh yeah, a whole lot of nothing not just on gay rights but the economy, health care, etc. Why should I vote for someone who tells me they are for gay rights but sucks on everything else I care about and most likely won’t do squat on gay rights – just like Obama and the Dems in Congress? I’m not trading empty promises for entrenched socialism.

    Comment by John — May 22, 2010 @ 10:21 am - May 22, 2010

  9. Show me anyone for whom DADT repeal is a priority right now, and I’ll show you a person whose priorities are deeply bleeped up.

    Weak, very weak. If politicians of both parties are unable to multi-task instead of spouting out the usual list of priorities in order to avoid any action at all, they have no business being in office. This is nothing more than an excuse and the issue being ignored really doesn’t matter.

    Comment by John — May 22, 2010 @ 10:24 am - May 22, 2010

  10. Why should I vote for someone who tells me they are for gay rights but sucks on everything else I care about and most likely won’t do squat on gay rights?

    C’mon, the Dramacrats have been playing the same game with the Blacks for fifty years. A few tokens who raise enough money for Dramacrats will get cushy do-nothing jobs, but they have to keep the rest of you down because if your grievances ever got resolved, you might start caring about all their corruption and the fiscally irresponsible sh-t they do.

    The Dramacrat game isn’t to do anything for you, it’s to convince you that they’re going to screw over other people worse than you. Hope and Change, baby!

    Comment by V the K — May 22, 2010 @ 10:26 am - May 22, 2010

  11. Well, we could help other oppressed groups try to get their unjust laws repealed and maybe start building coalitions–you know, we march in the street with you, you march in the street with us. But that would mean the gay community would have to admit that they aren’t the most victimized group ever, ever, ever.

    I suspect that the Hispanic community feels the same way about the AZ law that we do about DADT–why don’t we all work together to repeal unjust laws?

    Comment by Ashpenaz — May 22, 2010 @ 12:45 pm - May 22, 2010

  12. C’mon, the Dramacrats have been playing the same game with the Blacks for fifty years. A few tokens who raise enough money for Dramacrats will get cushy do-nothing jobs, but they have to keep the rest of you down because if your grievances ever got resolved, you might start caring about all their corruption and the fiscally irresponsible sh-t they do.

    Exactly, which is why I hold the Democrat Party in contempt. I’m hardly thrilled with the GOP but say what you like about them, with Republicans you generally know where they stand and how they will vote once in power. There are noticeable exceptions of course, but for the most it’s true. Now if only we could get rid of all of them…

    Comment by John — May 22, 2010 @ 12:57 pm - May 22, 2010

  13. Well Pelosi does want to pass the repeal this year, she has stated it in interviews. If it was up to her, it would be done. Obama is less likely to move on it and Reid doesn’t have to votes to pass it. Ben Nelson is a no for now, that guy pisses me off. He doesn’t even know how or what an ATM is, really just leave…you are done.

    Comment by darkeyedresolve — May 22, 2010 @ 1:20 pm - May 22, 2010

  14. They have the majority, many of the opposition is with them on repeal, and they can’t seem to get it off the ground?
    It isn’t like they need to buy off votes to force an unpopular health care ruination on an unwilling populace.
    this is one of those things that could be done like a resolution on making it National Say Hello to a Stranger Day or something.

    It aint getting done because they don’t care at all.

    Hell, I’d wish for them to “waste” a ton of time debating this and eat valuable days they could otherwise be spending ruining the economy even more. Aint like they are gonna fix it with their plans. Anything that keeps them from moving the agenda forward is welcomed.
    This is not some huge issue they would have a fight bigger than Obamacare over.
    It would also point out that a Dem congress and a Dem President were the ones who passed DADT in the first place. I think they keep forgetting that not repealing points it out as well.

    Comment by JP — May 22, 2010 @ 2:03 pm - May 22, 2010

  15. Yes, Democrats are more than happy to throw us under the bus. The problem is that bus is driven by Republicans. Democrats are scared of being to much in support of gay rights in an election year. Mostly because of the fiasco that led to DADT in the first place.

    Gay Democrats have every reason to protest loudly on this. But Gay Repubicans? If McCain had won DADT repeal wouldn’t even be a possibility. That’s not to let Obama off the hook. We are going to have to stay on the Democrats to get anything accomplished but at least that’s doable rather than impossible.

    So why not carry some water on your own, gaypatriots. If you could get even 25% of Republicans on board for repealing DADT this would sail right through.

    Comment by Houndentenor — May 22, 2010 @ 2:30 pm - May 22, 2010

  16. Weak, very weak. If politicians of both parties are unable to multi-task instead of spouting out the usual list of priorities in order to avoid any action at all, they have no business being in office.

    Not at all. Controversial issues cost political capital as President Bush showed when he tried to tackle Social Security. It’s not a simple matter of being able to walk and chew gum at the same time — politicians have a FINITE amount of political capital and they have to pick and choose what they spend it on. Once they run out, as President Bush did, they run out, and it harms or completely destroys their ability to get other more important things done.

    Comment by American Elephant — May 22, 2010 @ 6:10 pm - May 22, 2010

  17. :15.Yes, Democrats are more than happy to throw us under the bus. The problem is that bus is driven by Republicans. ”

    Yes, because with their super majorities what was the Democrats’ reaction?

    “Um, we’ll get to it.”

    Please, even the Republicans who support DADT, at least they’re honest where they stand. You know where they stand.

    The Democrats tell their followers, “We’re right behind you buddy.” and they are. Better to slide the knife in.

    Comment by The_Livewire — May 22, 2010 @ 9:56 pm - May 22, 2010

  18. Yes, Democrats are more than happy to throw us under the bus. The problem is that bus is driven by Republicans.

    Funny, I remember a Democratic Congress passing DADT.

    Comment by NY_Ally — May 22, 2010 @ 10:01 pm - May 22, 2010

  19. “It is clear the gay community is taken for granted by the Democratic Party. No matter how much money we give them or how many doors we knock on for their candidates our issues are never a priority. And not until we make Democrats compete for our money and our votes will they be.”
    =======================================

    Only because they were stupid enough to allow themselves to be taken for granted. May I suggest AL-ANON ..but would definitely recommend going to the straight meetings! Palm to Forehead moment.

    Comment by Left Leaning Lesbian — May 23, 2010 @ 1:33 am - May 23, 2010

  20. I suspect that the Hispanic community feels the same way about the AZ law that we do about DADT–why don’t we all work together to repeal unjust laws?

    Maybe because one is and one isn’t. Ever think maybe the “Hispanic community” feels the same way because we have so many lying assholes popping off on matters they don’t know dick about?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — May 23, 2010 @ 4:02 am - May 23, 2010

  21. ASS, instead of farting your stupidity at us, could you please go through and highlight everything that’s unjust for us, please?

    http://azleg.gov/alispdfs/council/SB1070-HB2162.PDF

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — May 23, 2010 @ 5:10 am - May 23, 2010

  22. Yes, Democrats are more than happy to throw us under the bus. The problem is that bus is driven by Republicans. Democrats are scared of being to much in support of gay rights in an election year. Mostly because of the fiasco that led to DADT in the first place.

    Republicans are indeed driving the bus but the Democrats are acting as their “co-pilot” and have been for years, even though they claim otherwise. I know what to expect from the GOP on this, as a party Republicans still, and for the foreseeable future, oppose lifting the ban. What about the Democrats? Oh yeah, I hear them tell me they want to lift the ban, use it rile up folks and to make political hay against the Republicans, take people’s money after lying to them and then promptly do absolutely nothing. They’ve given themselves quite the political cover so that even folks in their ranks who support DADT are ignored because of the bad ol’ GOP. Give me a break, Americans are not that stupid and though it may take awhile can see through the games these a-holes are playing.

    So why not carry some water on your own, gaypatriots. If you could get even 25% of Republicans on board for repealing DADT this would sail right through.

    It ain’t gonna happen. Period. The GOP will be dragged kicking and screaming on repeal and will only come to terms with it once it is a fait accompli, unless it happens about 20 years from now. I know that. You know that. We ALL know that. Yet the siren song of the DNC on this and other matters, all while asking us to check out brains at the door on every other issue that we hold important, will undoubtedly go on as they continue to play Lucy to we Charlie Browns. Sorry, I’m not buying. The Democrat Party has zero credibility and getting all huffy-puffy about it ain’t gonna change the situation.

    Comment by John — May 23, 2010 @ 9:57 am - May 23, 2010

  23. Not at all. Controversial issues cost political capital as President Bush showed when he tried to tackle Social Security. It’s not a simple matter of being able to walk and chew gum at the same time — politicians have a FINITE amount of political capital and they have to pick and choose what they spend it on. Once they run out, as President Bush did, they run out, and it harms or completely destroys their ability to get other more important things done.

    I forget the popular support for Bush’s SS proposal, but I don’t believe it was anything close to what it is for DADT repeal. His biggest mistake was waiting until his second term to tackle the problem. Second term presidencies are notorious for the deathknell of meaningful change. The opposition has recovered from their loss, the president has made enemies during Term 1, his political capital is fading repaidly as he becomes a “lame duck” with each passing day and the sheen is removed from the president as the public’s skepticism has grown. He could had seen movement had he done this in his first term, especially after 9/11, but he didn’t. Obama could have started his “study” on DADT early last year and successfully passed repeal this year. The public doesn’t oppose repeal, polls show large support for this though I would argue such support doesn’t translate into getting that worked up about it. So that leaves the small percentages on both sides that do get worked up about it. A real leader could have handled this issue, gotten repeal over and done with without spending much political capital. Obama is not a leader of course, instead a “community organizer”, and I’d argue had no real intention of repealing DADT. He lied plain and simple for temporary political gain. No surprise to me.

    Comment by John — May 23, 2010 @ 10:07 am - May 23, 2010

  24. John,

    While everything you say is true, it doesn’t change what I said about political capital and priorities.

    its not how the issue plays out with the electorate as a whole that matters, it is how the issue plays out with the groups Democrats need in order to win that matters. I just explained why I think Democrats are not moving on this issue here. Basically it boils down to the fact that Democrats need to win HUGE majorities among blacks and hispanics to even think of winning office, and they need to carry at least some of the evangelical vote. These are probably also the groups that are most unsupportive of the homo agenda.

    Also, Obama only won because he carried the Catholic vote. While I believe I read that a majority of Catholics support repeal, it isnt a big majority, and Democrats have already hurt themselves big time with America’s Catholics.

    Lastly, as far as political capitol, you are correct about second terms, but lets not forget that Bill Clinton shot himself in the foot with this exact issue right out of the starting gate — a blunder he NEVER recovered from. His popularity tanked, he lost congress, and had to tack hard right.

    There is a reason Clinton is known for impeachment… because he never accomplished SQUAT in office…because he squandered his political capital right off the bat and never got it back.

    Comment by American Elephant — May 24, 2010 @ 4:46 am - May 24, 2010

  25. I’m still wondering why congress got involved in a military personnel issue in the first place.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — May 24, 2010 @ 6:06 am - May 24, 2010

  26. Democrats are more than happy to throw us under the bus.

    And you are more than happy to give them money and votes.

    Makes you look kind of stupid, actually.

    Comment by V the K — May 24, 2010 @ 8:31 am - May 24, 2010

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