Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What's going on with Don't Ask, Don't Tell?

It seemed like a slam-dunk.  The country is overwhelmning in favor of its repeal and President Obama said that LGBT people would be welcomed into the military by the end of the year.

But no one is doing a thing to make it happen.  And if the November elections swing toward the Republican party, it never will.  In fact, some folks seem to be backtracking on the promise to repeal the policy.  Barney Frank recently said that White House message on DADT has been "muddled."

Kerry Eleveld of The Advocate has written at length about the cold feet that seems t have swept Washington.  Writes Eleveld:
Press Secretary Robert Gibbs reiterated that “the president is strongly in support” of repeal, and added that there’s “a process that’s underway,” but dutifully avoided saying whether President Obama had any sense of urgency about passing repeal this year.

Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan has been actively promoting the idea of passing legislation that would impose a moratorium on discharges under the policy—a concept that doesn't interest LGBT advocacy groups. The thinking goes that if full repeal isn’t locked in this year, the policy will be kept in place for the foreseeable future since Democrats may well lose control of one or both chambers in the 2010.
However, he (Levin)  also holds enormous power as chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and if he concludes that a moratorium is the most he can get through his committee, then that’s likely what he’ll include the Defense authorization bill he presents to his committee. And whatever passes through committee—be it a moratorium or full repeal—stands the best chance of being signed into law.
We should remember that the first President Bush enacted a moratorium during the Gulf War.  That's right.  About two decades ago, a Republican administration did what a Democratic administration may decide is the only thing it can pass.

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