And don’t for a minute think that Barney didn’t say this to try to help the White House out of a tight spot because of the DNC boycott. He clearly did. Which means they’re worried. And that’s good. But it’s not enough, and here’s why.
Nowhere in the story does the White House say the same thing about a possible repeal coming next spring.
We’ve always known that there was talk for a while now about Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal coming up next spring. But it’s never been nailed down, it’s simply been “talk.” And even Barney Frank’s new statement uses the word “likely,” and a Washington Blade story is even less definitive, saying simply “may.” (And I “may” strike it rich next year, stay tuned.) That means the White House still hasn’t decided. Which has been our point all along – the White House has no firm plan, no firm strategy, for moving ahead on the President’s promises, as they haven’t even decided yet whether they plan to do it at all.
Now, what would make a difference, what would be significant movement? Having a senior White House spokesman, by name, say that the White House intends to push for the repeal of DADT next spring. Not Barney Frank, but someone in the White House. After all, the President has said that he’s not going to lift a finger to repeal DADT until the military commanders are on board. And, Senator Durbin, the number two Democrat in the Senate, with very close ties to President Obama, said only a few weeks ago that he wasn’t sure we’d get to DADT next year because it’s “controversial,” and we all know how Democrats, and especially this White House, fear controversy. It’s difficult to imagine Congress getting to the repeal of DADT in a congressional election year.
So, it matters little what Barney Frank says, we need the President military, and the President, on board first. As we’ve seen with health care reform, when the President refuses to get engaged, things on the Hill become a mess. It will take strong leadership from the White House to get DADT repealed. So while we appreciate that Barney Frank is simply reiterating the same talking point that’s been thrown around town for months, that DADT may come next spring, let’s hear from an on-the-record White House spokesman that it IS coming next spring. Then we’ll talk.
But again, this shows that the only thing that works with this White House, with this Democratic party, is pressure. That’s why it’s important that thousands of you have already signed the pledge not to give to the party until they follow through on their promises to the gay community. I hope you’ll take the pledge too.