If Democrats accomplish one thing in the lame-duck session of Congress, it should be a repeal of Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell (DADT). Indeed, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, initially appointed to the post by then-President George W. Bush in 2006, said as much:
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Congress should act quickly, before new members take their seats, to repeal the military’s ban on gays serving openly in the military.
He, however, did not sound optimistic that the current Congress would use a brief postelection session to get rid of the law known as “don’t ask, don’t tell.”
“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,” Gates said Saturday, as he traveled to defense and diplomatic meetings in Australia.
One of the reasons there’s no chance of a Republican Congress repealing the ban is that the various gay groups in Washington have spent little time reaching out to the incoming House majority. And Republicans have nothing to gain politically by voting for the ban. (Perhaps that may change now that they realize gay voters aren’t beholden to the Democrats.)
Now, to be sure, with the proper efforts, these groups could change Republicans minds, but that takes time. GOProud which could be instrumental in this process is only now getting off the ground. So, it’s up to Senate Democrats to act swiftly on repeal. No more procedural shenanigans, Mr. Reid, just a simple up or down vote on repeal.
If outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi could get it through the House, the reelected Majority Leader should be able to get it through the Senate.