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Strange course toward DADT Repeal

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 9:00 am - May 31, 2010.
Filed under: DADT (Don't Ask, Don't Tell)

In the course of my cross country travels and conversations with friends, I found time to respond to AOL’s request to opine on the sudden, swift forward motion on repeal of DADT.

Let me whet your appetite with the first few paragraphs:

Some day, perhaps, when someone writes about the legislative record of the Obama administration, they might better be able to understand the bizarre manner in which the president’s team moved forward on repealing Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell (DADT).

Unlike the previous Democrat to occupy the Oval Office, President Obama didn’t rush to act on gays in the military in the first days of his administration. President Clinton’s clumsy attempt to repeal the ban on gay service in the military led to DADT, codifying the ban in law, whereas previously it had been an executive order that the president could repeal at his discretion. 

This time, the current president acted with greater deliberation, sometimes indeed it seemed excessive deliberation. While Obama had promised in his campaign to repeal DADT, his team didn’t give any indication of forward motion until last October, when administration officials asked Sen. Joe Lieberman to spearhead legislative efforts to reverse the ban. Well-respected in military circles, the Connecticut Independent who caucuses with the Democrats often sides with Republicans on matters of national security. 

You can read the rest here.



  1. While I am pleased with this compromise — finding it very close to the type of bill I would have written had I been in Congress — I am concerned at the swift (and sudden) introduction and passage of the legislation. It is never a good idea for a legislature in a republic to move so quickly on any bill no matter how beneficial.

    Ordinarily yes, but consider the point about waiting. The idea behind having legislation depated and voted on multiple times is because, generally, as soon as it is voted on for the final time and signed, it goes into effect. The delay of debate ensures that people have enough time to prepare themselves and give their input to how legislation should be enforced. In this case, I’m not so sure that being swift is all that much of a concern – the only stakeholders as it were [the military] will have plenty of time to discuss the legislation and its effects. This occurs after the report comes out and only after the various leaders agree it is a good idea. Don’t think that the swift action means there’s no discussion around the bill – there will be. Just not in the normal place that it usually does.

    Comment by SOTE — May 31, 2010 @ 9:38 am - May 31, 2010

  2. Follow the money.

    There’ll be nary a dry pair of panties as the GayLeftBorg cries “He loves us again!”.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — May 31, 2010 @ 10:33 am - May 31, 2010

  3. Color me cynical, but I think Obambi needed this right now, since his polling is so crappy. He treats the gay community like an abuser treats his abusee, in my opinion. And they let him get away with it, as abusees generally do.

    If he was really that interested in changing this, he’d have done it right off the get go. He’s been saving it for a moment like this, though I doubt he thought the moment would come this quickly in his Presidency. My thought was that he’d have played this card to ensure his re-election.

    Comment by MissTammy — May 31, 2010 @ 2:09 pm - May 31, 2010

  4. […] a one-two punch of articles this week that get at the heart of a discussion I had with Dan Blatt (GayPatriotWest) this past weekend about discrimination, Rand Paul and libertarianism. Dan noted that, while he […]

    Pingback by More post-racial America: blacks still barred from juries, KY segregated clubs live on — June 2, 2010 @ 4:37 pm - June 2, 2010

  5. Now that folks are of the perception that DADT is in effect repealed, money and volunteers will start flooding the DNC’s coffers and phonebanks just in time for the summer campaign season. What a coincidence!

    Comment by DaveOnotinSF — June 2, 2010 @ 10:24 pm - June 2, 2010

  6. I find it so amusing that any Obama-led advance on gay rights, this blog will, in the most ridiculously tortured fashion, still find a way to complain about. You can dislike Obama on the economy (even though the economy is already starting to fare far better under Obama than under eight years of fiscally and economically ruinous Bush policies which left our economy on the verge of total collapse … how many more months of job gains will it take for the GOP to acknowledge that: I’ll make a prediction, infinity), or whatever else, but you can’t really complain about his gay rights record. Your man Bush was an enemy of any and all progress on gay rights for EIGHT YEARS. In just a year and a half, Obama has made more progress on gay rights than in the entire history of the U.S. Presidency. Here is just the latest:

    Yet will this blog give credit where credit is due? No f’ing way. It will just ignore, or more likely find a way to bash, in yet another convoluted, tortured, twisted fashion, this undeniable move forward, that NEVER would have happened under a GOP President. And this is the problem with the right wing — they would rather see Obama fail, in fact they actively root for it, than acknowledge his successes. Why should, in that case, he ever listen to anything you say, let alone take it seriously? Even a blog from a gay conservative perspective will find a way to attack a man who in a very short time has reversed a slew of anti-gay policies of his predecessor, and pushed gay rights forward in unprecedented fashion. Again, you have a right to continue to embrace the failed conservative philosophy of governance rather than anything Obama proposes. But you can’t ever credibly claim that the GOP is equal, let alone better, on gay issues. Obama is worlds better than the GOP alternative — is there any doubt that if is he is not reelected, the cause of gay rights will move backwards? Yes, he is moving incrementally, but he is moving FORWARD in an intelligent, measured, fashion, not sidewise or backwards like a GOP’er inevitably would. This is really my biggest complaint about Obama, as democrat — he has tried way too hard to reach out the right, even though it has repeatedly proven to be an utterly pointless exercise. Drilling is the perfect example … he NEVER should have tried to compromise there, but rather should have ignored the drill baby drill cries of Palin et. al. Fortunately, he is starting to learn. No one will ultimately care if he succeeds in reaching out to the right. He was elected to enact an agenda, and enact it he should. If it doesn’t work, fine, vote him out, but you guys had eight years, and now it’s our turn to try something different. Watering down policies to appease a non-appeasable right wing, that will deride Obama even when he does exactly what you ask him to do, is pointless.

    Comment by jeff — June 2, 2010 @ 11:42 pm - June 2, 2010

  7. I know this is kind of an old thread now, but I have a question….wouldn’t the correct method of repealing DADT be to just completely repeal the Clinton-era law? Just a word for word repeal with no additional text. This would put the question of gays in the military back where it belongs-in the Executive Branch. Obama could then either lift the ban, or keep the current DADT “policy” in place until the best policy is determined. This would remove Congress from the whole process, as a big part of the DADT problem is the usurpation of executive power by the Congress.

    Comment by john — June 7, 2010 @ 5:08 pm - June 7, 2010

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