Apparently, General Jones would have us believe that President Obama wasn’t aware that we were fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan when he promised to lift the gay ban during the campaign in exchange for our votes. So, Jones tells us today, Obama can’t get to that particular promise right now because he’s busy fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Uh huh.
So when exactly are both of those wars going to be over? I’m guessing some time after Obama leaves office. And that of course assumes that we don’t have more wars to “distract” the president.
Jones just set us back. Again. He just gave the Republicans, and conservative Dems, the perfect talking point. Should anyone – members of Congress or the administration – move to lift the ban any time before these wars are over, our opponents will simply quote General Jones saying that to lift the ban during war time would be too distracting.
What could Jones have said? How about, there’s a new analysis from a Department of Defense-related publication that says the ban can be lifted without hurting morale and cohesion. Or how about saying that the President just wrote to Senator Reid, agreeing to work together to lift the ban?
Nope. None of that. All we got was another reason why the president may never be able to keep his promise. The Obama administration is doing next to nothing – and perhaps nothing altogether – to move the ball forward on repealing DADT. This isn’t the kind of policy you just wake up one morning and say “ah, today is the day to lift the ban.” Bill Clinton found that out the hard way. It takes months, if not years, of preparation. Working the PR angles, the media, the grassroots, the public at large, the Pentagon. While we have no idea what if anything Obama is doing to work the Pentagon – though Jones’ repeated unhelpful remarks suggest that whatever the president is doing, it isn’t working – we certainly do know what he’s doing on the Hill. Zippo. Harry Reid had to write Obama a letter last week begging him help. And in terms of lobbying the public, we get unhelpful statements like what Jones did, again, today.
In the end, don’t think that Jones is simply freelancing. There is no way a senior administration official goes on TV and keeps screwing up like this. At first it’s a screw up. After this many times, it’s part of the plan. And the plan is to move the goal posts again and again and again until Obama can pass his gay rights promises to the next president, assuming we get a Democrat elected again this century.