Joe and I have had reports that the Pentagon’s less than enthusiastic support for the President’s DADT proposal may now be harming the proposal’s chance of passage.
The White House and Secretary Gates have both been putting out statements of “support” for the compromise that start with a key phrase suggesting they’d rather members vote NO. Here’s the White House’s version:
“While ideally the Department of Defense Comprehensive Review of the Implementation of Repeal of 10 U.S.C. 654 would be completed before the Congress takes any legislative action…”
And here is Gates, via Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell:
“Secretary Gates continues to believe that ideally the DOD review should be completed before there is any legislation to repeal the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell law.
What the White House doesn’t seem to realize, but the Pentagon most surely does, is that this isn’t a message of support. It’s a message that tells members of Congress that you’d rather they vote NO. And we hear that some members have gotten the message.
This is the President’s compromise. If it passes, he’ll get credit. If it doesn’t, he’ll get the blame. Along those lines, it’s important to note another thing Joe and I have heard. Apparently the White House isn’t actively engaged in getting us the votes we need to pass the Senate. This is the President’s compromise. It’s his campaign promise. It’s what he told us he was going to do in the State of the Union. So let’s see some follow through from the President. Statements are not enough. This isn’t the campaign. You’re the President of the United States. Put some muscle into it, and get the damn thing passed.