In early November 2008, when gay activists were mounting a fundraising boycott of the Democratic National Committee, Barney Frank announced that a provision repealing the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy would be attached to the defense appropriations bill to be voted on in the spring or summer of 2010. DNC Boycott over.
I said, doubtful:
“Next year” is one of the lamest dodges in existence, but it’s all Democrats are willing to give right now. And considering that “next year” is an election year in which Republicans are ascending and Democrats are in full-blown defensive mode, “next year” may just have to wait, again
It is looking like next year has become “several years.” How could that be, you ask, since Barack Obama in his State of the Union speech last week promised to repeal DADT this year. Read the words very, very carefully:
This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are.
Obama did not say DADT would be repealed this year. He said that “this year” he would “work with Congress and our military ….” The professor-in-chief sure knows how to pen a sentence.
Just days after the SOTU speech, it became clear that “this year” likely means “several years” of review before DADT would be repealed:
The Defense Department starts the clock next week on what is expected to be a several-year process in lifting its ban on gays from serving openly in the military….
While the review is likely to take the better part of this year to complete, and even more time to implement, its initiation will advance President Barack Obama’s goal of repealing the ban and bring a divisive issue for the military back to the fore.
So “work with””this year” doesn’t necessarily mean “repeal””this year” to the amazement of some:
I read today that the Pentagon’s timetable for repeal of DADT is “several years” long. If this is true then their timetable does not live up to what the President promised in the State of the Union Address…. THIS YEAR he said. If repeal takes until 2012 to implement then it isn’t happening THIS YEAR and the Pentagon is making a liar out of the President.
Do not call my President a liar, please. He meant what he said, and he said what he meant. You just weren’t listening carefully enough.
The Democratic Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee understood Obama quite clearly:
Rep. Ike Skelton — chairman of the House Armed Services Committee — repeated his opposition today to repealing the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for gays and lesbians serving in the armed services.
“We’re in the middle of two wars,” Skelton told reporters. “And I don’t want anything that is disturbing or upsetting to the troops.”…
Skelton said the Military Personnel Subcommittee would hold hearings on the issue, although none appear to be scheduled so far.
I wonder if those hearings will be on C-Span.
Don Surber points out that DADT was a Democratic law passed by a Democratic Congress and signed into law by a Democratic President with the support of Democrat Ted Kennedy, and ends with this astute observation: “Why gay activists trust teh Democrats is beyond me.”
Cynthia Yockey sees Obama’s strategery:
Obama does not play games he hasn’t rigged…. So I think Obama has rigged a crushing defeat for any attempt to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell,” and his homosexual patsies on the Left — I’m talking to YOU, Human Rights Campaign! — don’t see this betrayal coming…. I also think Obama is counting on an outcry from the Right in favor of “don’t ask, don’t tell” to give cover to the bigotry of the Left.
Please check your in-boxes, there are e-mails from the DNC and Organizing for America seeking donations “this year.”
And for donations, the DNC and OFA really mean this year, as in 2010, as in give them your credit card number right now to make sure they get your money this year. What do you not understand about this year?
Now I leave open the possibility I am wrong, and that Obama will bring to bear all of his political resources to get DADT repealed this year. But I wouldn’t bet on it. Because whether DADT is repealed this year or not, Obama will have kept his word.
Update: Yup, “this year” means several years, if ever. The man sure can pen a sentence.