From the DADT hearing, an impressive Admiral Mullen and a heightened need to repeal the law

The big takeaway from the Senate Armed Services Committee’s hearing was Admiral Mullen’s stunning testimony. He was very impressive and very personal:

“It is my personal belief that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly would be the right thing to do,” Mullen said at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.

“We have in place a policy which forces young men and women to lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens. For me, personally, it comes down to integrity – theirs as individuals, and ours as institutions,” Mullen added.

And, he reiterated what he said after the hearing via his Twitter account:

Stand by what I said: Allowing homosexuals to serve openly is the right thing to do. Comes down to integrity.

Mullen showed a lot of integrity today. And, Secretary Gates did a good job, too.

Now, I just wish they’d all push for a vote to repeal DADT. They made the case. The year-long review doesn’t seem necessary. Enough studies have been done already — over a dozen according to SLDN. Gates said he wants to keep politics out of the year-long review, but that’s impossible. The opponents of the repeal, pushed by the homophobes on the right, will play politics and use every tired scare tactic they’ve got.

Just watching CNN today, the anti-gay talking points were spewed by Tony Perkins and Michael O’Hanlon from the Brookings Institute — and it seemed like every CNN anchor was trying to come up with a more egregious question invoking some warped gay stereotype. We don’t need a year of that. O’Hanlon’s homophobic comments were eviscerated by Glenn Greenwald.

The President wants the law repealed. It sure feels like there’s momentum. The Senate can and should include repeal language in the Defense Authorization legislation. And, do it this year. Our side shouldn’t have to overcome a Senate filibuster. Let’s make use of the power the Democrats have. Make the other side scramble to get the 60 votes to take out the repeal in the Senate.

Democrats have the capacity to compromise with themselves while allowing our opponents more time to mobilize. Repeal the law this year. And, let the Pentagon take the next three months to figure out how to implement it.


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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