Barack Obama

Obama Vows to End "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

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At a Human Rights Watch dinner in DC on Saturday, President Barack Obama reiterated his campaign pledge to end the discriminatory "don't ask, don't tell" policy that prevents gays and lesbians from serving openly in the all-volunteer military.

We should not be punishing patriotic Americans who have stepped forward to serve the country… We should be celebrating their willingness to step forward and show such courage.

Who knows? When he finally gets elected and has strong, even unassailable majorities in Congress, maybe his dream will become a reality. And maybe he'll also take on the Constitution-bending Defense of Marriage Act, which essentially undercuts federalism by undercutting the impact of state-level experimentation with the issue of gay marriage (another great progressive Clinton-era legacy).

More here. More on yesterday's gay rights march here.

Reason on one of the dumbest policies ever created.

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  1. I’ll repeat this quote from one of the HRC people that I posted on Jesse’s morning thread:

    “He repeated his promises that he’s made to us before, but he did not indicate when he would accomplish these goals and we’ve been waiting for a while now.”

    I think the difference between “talk” and “walk” is starting to sink in with some people…

    1. They know his promises are as good as the real thing. Just as the Nobel committee!

  2. I had no idea that there were so many homosexual racists!

    1. Did you really think the pageantry of the Klan was coincidental?

      The catchy show tunes from “Birth of a Nation” should have been a dead giveaway.

    2. Someone hasn’t studied the preferred theater of the Nazis…

    3. HEAD A-SPLODE

  3. When he finally gets elected and has strong, even unassailable majorities in Congress, maybe his dream will become a reality.

    I don’t think Congress will go with him on this one. He can’t do unilaterally, can he?

    1. I think the Congress has to change the laws governing the military.

      Not sure of the president as commander can legally order the services to ignore a law.

      1. Truman integrated the military with an executive order, Obama could probably find a way to the same here. Congress has only stated that homosexual conduct is incompatible with military service; an executive order could prevent commanders from investigating cases of homosexual behavior. So then the only cases that would lead to discharge would be those where someone walked in on two people actively engaged in such acts. It wouldn’t be perfect, but it would be a huge step in the right direction.

        1. Truman was able to do what he did because Congress didn’t say one way or the other ‘thou shalt shalt not’ integrate the armed forces.

          In contrast, the DADT policy is covered by statute and so can only be altered/repealed by statute.

          The executive order the good Captain proposes is not in fact too much different than the current state of play, and so would be a miniscule change on the margin.

          1. Basically Obama is making promises he has no constitutional power to fulfill. At best he can urge Congress to repeal the law, and then, if he finds it is politically expedient, sign the repeal law.

            Note the significant caveat about “politically expedient”, of course, because if Congress and Obama really, really wanted this, they would have already done it, like they did with the minimum wage.

  4. Obama wants me to say that he’ll repeal don’t ask, don’t tell when Barney Frank goes on a diet of asparagus and Diet Tab.

  5. His dream will prove you an ass.

  6. The vowed-tos are really kicking the dids’s asses so far.

  7. At a Human Rights Watch dinner in DC on Saturday[…]

    The dinner was for the Human Rights Campaign, not HRW (or, for that matter, Human Rights First, the Human Rights Foundation, et al.).

  8. There was a huge GLB rally in DC on Sunday.

  9. So “don’t ask – dont tell” is a law? not a policy? Where? USC ciotation please.

    1. Learn to use Google. This took me all of 10 seconds:
      http://www.cmrlink.org/HMilitary.asp?docID=336
      with links to the actual statutes as well as other info.

  10. Just more Obamaspeak.

    He vows to end it, but conveniently leaves off when. It’s an open-ended promise that he can never be called on.

    1. If you’re not willing to walk away from the negotiating table, and your adversary knows it, you will get screwed over.

      That’s what’s happened to gays — a solidly reliable voting bloc, 90 – 95% Democratic, so they tend to get ignored on this issue, as Democratic politicians in swing districts pursue socially conservative nominal Democrats who might vote for a Republican.

  11. Can’t the gays take a lesson from the Nobel Committee and give me credit for saying the right things instead of being such hard asses and insisting I actually do something?

  12. Is there anyone left who still believes a word Obama says? Smart money says he’ll end DADT the week after he stops torture.

    1. And right before he gets us out of Iraq and closes Gitmo. Come on guys, don’t be so demanding, The Obama is a busy man, what with Olympic bids to push and Nobel prizes to accept.

  13. Obama has a lot on his plate right now and the country is polarized over it. He may be waiting for a more opportune time to work on DADT and other issues.

    I support DADT because I believe it protects gays in the military.

    Think about it. If you come out in the military and there are no rules to prevent reprisal by bigots (of whom there are far too many), wouldn’t that result in a bloodbath?

    By having DADT, gays have to keep silent about their sexual orientation, so no one really knows if they are gay or not. In fact, bigots will guess a straight person is gay often over spotting a real gay person.

    But if gays can come out and there is no protection from attack by bigots, they are placing themselves at terrible risk.

    People can “fall down the stairs mysteriously” and other “accidents” can happen. I saw plenty of this when I was in the military, and there is no “law” or “justice” in the barracks. Military life is in many ways similar to life in prison.

    Remember, the men in barracks are taught to fight and kill the enemy. If “gay” is the enemy in their minds, what do you think they will do?

    I was in the military, I am gay, and I kept my mouth shut about it long before DADT was implemented. I HAD to in order to survive.

    Also, you have to remember the religious element is very strong in the Military. “There are no atheists in foxholes” and the religions know it, so they are very active in the military, especially in areas of conflict.

    Religion makes a great excuse for gay bashing. It has always done this. So there is even more danger if gays are open in the military.

    And remember, you don’t have to DO anything gay to be hated. The fact that you ARE gay, or LOOK gay or ACT gay is enough to set some folks off. And that applies even if you are straight!

    Unless you have lived in the barracks, you have NO idea the bigotry and hate that can go on there, or the danger. Being openly gay in such an environment is asking for trouble.

    Hate is very real in the military, and it is amplified by the readiness to fight and die for what you believe in, that is part of the military mentality. Mix that with bigotry and you have trouble.

    One wants to live openly, and free. But to be open and free without protection of laws is going to cause a lot of pain and suffering for many. Unless you want to be a martyr.

    1. That is some long-winded trolling and/or absurdly illogical.

      Nobody is proposing replacing DADT with MAMT (must ask-must tell). Anyone who wants to keep silent, for their own safety or otherwise, could still do so just as easily. Saying you support a policy that kicks gays out because it’s for their own safety is just condescending paternalistic bullshit.

  14. The ghost of Harry Truman is still telling lyrically vulgar jokes about what pussy these modern Presidents are.

  15. You just don’t get it! We already have gays in our military. However, what we don’t need is to label them as gay soldiers and gay marines. If your gay and you enlist you’re just a soldier or you’re just a marine. Good order and discipline is the key factor in having a strong military. It’s not about being white, black or gay… it’s about being an American and having the willingness to voluntarily defend our Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. If your gay or lesbian and you want to enlist and serve your country then go see a recruiter. And when the question comes up if your gay or intend to engage in homosexual acts, just say no. But please do not join our military to make a civil rights statement.

  16. I’d like to see a gay strong enough to hold a gun. Pffft.

  17. His political clout is running out fast. He better act fast. I’m betting he thinks the climate will get better. It won’t. He needs to act now.

  18. zak – you are falling for old stereotypes. You need to grow and mature and then call us back.

  19. Zak – they already are holding guns and have been since time eternal. Grow up.

  20. To Edward. Yes we do have some idea of the people that are in the military. We know that educated gays have been kicked out and the standards for entry were dramatically lowered during the Bush years to allow all kinds of questionable people with misdemeanor and felony records. The lunacy and fallacy of this is just coming to light. This lowering of standards has made gay and straights in the military upset with their superiors, because they have been on the receiving ends of the violence these low hanging fruit have perpetrated.

  21. Edward – Sounds like you were a witness to some crimes. Did you report them? The military you described sounds more like a prison in Venezuela. The military offers incredible opportunities for those less fortunate to take advantage of universities. These advantages are only available to a select few of Americans. This is institutionalized discrimination and the United States military should be the last place where this is allowed to occur. We can not nation build during Republican administrations when we are carrying this smelly albatross around our heterosexual necks.

  22. Of course now they want gay and Les community to join the military . recuritment is down.

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