SU’s Jarrod Chlapowski on what’s next for DADT

Servicemember United’s Jarrod Chlapowski posted this at Pam’s House Blend and Bilerico. It’s good and it’s important, so I’m reposting, too:

Yesterday a ruling was finally issued on the years-old LCR vs. USA case declaring DADT to be unconstitutional and placing an injunction on discharges. dontask.jpg I still remember the day – after a meeting with Sen. John Warner – Alex was asked to be lead plaintiff on this case. Both legislative and judicial repeal were a long shot at that point, so the attitude then was “Why not?” Always good to have a backup plan.

Over the next day or so there will be many analyses of what the ruling means that will be much more clever than my non law school-trained mind could produce. So I won’t. Ultimately what the analyses will say is that this doesn’t stop discharges, yet, and the appeals process is very long.

So what does this mean going forward into, say, next week when Congress gets back into session? It means we use this to push, push, push for a September vote.

Now is not the time to show off your political prowess with flabergasted side-eyed sentiments like, “Ok, this is a good step forward, but it’s Log Cabin, so…I just don’t get them and their self-hating self-hatred. Here’s my diatribe as to why.” This lawsuit is a good thing, and a positive product many accuse Log Cabin of not producing. If you claim your opinion of Log Cabin is based on rational logic, then rationally you have to give them kudos for this lawsuit. No, you do. Seriously, cut the crap.

Now is the time, however, to use the hell out of this lawsuit. How? Three ways:

a.) Talk, talk, talk about it. Use this as an example of how the courts are stronger than our advocates in Congress. State that the only way to claim otherwise is to vote on NDAA in September. Show that if the Dems want to claim any association with repeal of DADT, they had better push Congressional repeal this year. Write a blog about how a sure way to de-motivate a base is to not jump on repealing DADT now. There are many possible angles to talk about this, so do. Keep this in the public psyche going into next week, as this will be key in determining how Congress goes forward with its September schedule.

b.) Call/write/whatever your Senator and talk, talk, talk about it. Let them know that you fully expect them to take on this issue this year and not let them be outdone by the courts, and that not pushing for legislative repeal, now, would be very disappointing.

c.) Identify upcoming DADT repeal events and participate where you can. I can tell you on SU’s end we have our Final Assault lobby day in DC next Thursday (September 16), which is a great opportunity to demonstrate that we, as a community, are taking repeal this year very seriously, and that we know that no vote in September is very bad for repeal prospects.

Bottom line – the momentum for repeal has kicked up again at a very opportune time. Let’s not screw it up over petty in-fighting.

Let’s do this.

Yes. Let’s do this once and for all.


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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