(Quick Note: Joe and I will be hosting another live chat at noon, so we can all watch the DADT Senate hearing together on C-Span 3, and chat at the same time. It will be on this blog, so come back at noon.)
So regardless of this study – which is pretty much just a repeat of what they promised us 9 months ago – where is the White House on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal? Are they going to put it into the final Pentagon budget that goes up to the Hill in a few months or not? Are they going to push for a full repeal in the Defense Authorization bill or not? Are they going to push for a full repeal this year or not?
No one suggested we do a study of health care reform before we tried to pass the bill. There is no reason we can keep the President’s promise, and repeal DADT this year, and stay the implementation until next year, pending this absurd study.
But what happens if we lose the Senate or the House in the November elections? What happens if we hold our majorities but lose significant numbers of members in each body? What happens if the Presidential election season starts next year, which it will? What happens if we don’t finish working on this until 2012, another congressional election year? What happens if we’re still not out of Iraq and Afghanistan next year and the military says “too soon to lift DADT”? What happens if we’re then at war with Iran?
And so on and so on and so on.
This thing got dragged out in 1993, and it destroyed us. I was there, volunteering for Senator Kennedy’s office, working with his staffer on DADT repeal. The Pentagon has the same game plan today that they had then. Delay, study, and all the while sow misinformation, scare the public, rile up the right-wing. The longer this gets drawn out, the harder it will get to win. It’s health care reform all over again. A weak, hands-off president endorses a long drawn out process run by his political enemies. And he thinks that this time they won’t run circles around him and make a fool of him, again.
So, I’d like to know which of our gay groups – HRC, Servicemembers United, SLDN – are on board with this “year-long study” delay bs?