Obama won’t use executive power to end gay discharges — despite request from 77 members of Congress

Via Kerry Eleveld from The Advocate, the White House once again made it very clear that the President will continue to refuse to put an immediate stop the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell discharges via a stop-loss order – he will only consider a legislative solution, meaning, let someone else take the blame:

The White House has responded to an inquiry from The Advocate about a letter sent from 77 House members Monday urging President Barack Obama to take immediate action to stop the investigations of “don’t ask, don’t tell” violations.

“President Obama remains committed to a legislative repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, which he believes will provide a durable and lasting solution to this issue. He welcomes the commitment of these members to seeing Congress take action,” read the statement.

There’s no explanation why the President won’t use his executive authority to stop gays and lesbians from being kicked out of the military pending the legislative repeal. Apparently, we don’t warrant an in-depth explanation as to why the president refuses to intervene. Interestingly, as John reported earlier today, the Obama administration is intervening to stop enforcement of an immigration law, requiring the deportation of foreign-born spouses when their husband or wife dies before they get citizenship, pending the legislative fix some time in the future.

(NOTE FROM JOHN: So the notion of Obama not wanting to intervene in contravention of US law pending legislative fixes has now been shown to be absolutely bogus. Also bogus is the notion, presented earlier by the White House, and formerly gay Congressman Barney Frank, that were the president to oppose DOMA in court, that would somehow fly in the face of US law, and good Democratic presidents always enforce US law – ALWAYS – lest they be like George Bush and Atilla the Hun, who didn’t enforce US law. Except, of course, now the Obama administration has refused to enforce US law as it applies to foreigners. And I love foreigners. But wouldn’t it be neat if they had it in themselves to help Americans too? )

What’s most bizarre about the behavior of the White House is that this is not even a controversial issue:

The finding that majorities of weekly churchgoers (60%), conservatives (58%), and Republicans (58%) now favor what essentially equates to repealing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy implemented under President Clinton in 1993 is noteworthy for several reasons. First, the data show that these traditionally conservative groups are shifting on this issue, supporting it to a far greater extent than they support legalized gay marriage. Second, it suggests the political playing field may be softer on this issue, and President Barack Obama will be well-positioned to forge ahead with his campaign promise to end the military ban on openly gay service members with some support from more conservative segments of the population. To date, it is estimated that more than 12,500 servicemen and servicewomen have been discharged under the policy, including more than 200 since Obama took office.

SLDN estimates that the number discharged under Obama is now at 262. Those are the people Obama should be inviting to the White House next week, not the rich, well-connected “A-list” gays and lesbians. These discharged members have had their lives ruined by the policy, but they want to serve their nation and Obama, who has the power to stop it, won’t let them. The President should look those men and women in the face and explain why. Now, that would be in keeping with the spirit of Stonewall.

We keep coming back to the question: What is motivating the White House on gay issues? It looks more and more like the kind of cynical politics we were promised wouldn’t be part of the Obama White House. But, what else could we expect when he staffed the West Wing with craven politicos. We really get the sense that some people over there don’t mind having the gays upset with the White House.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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