This is huge.
You want to know how to vote in three weeks? Just watch what President Obama does in response to today’s order by a federal judge to immediately cease all “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” discharges immediately.
Note specifically what the judge’s order says.
ORDERS Defendants United States of America and the Secretary of Defense immediately to suspend and discontinue any investigation, or discharge, separation, or other proceeding, that may have been commenced under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Act, or pursuant to 10 U.S.C. § 654 or its implementing regulations, on or prior to the date of this Judgment.
What’s interesting about that is that the Prop 8 judge did not make his ruling overturning Prop 8 effective immediately. He gave the bad guys time to appeal. In this case, the judge heard the government’s arguments, and said no, I’m going to make this decision apply effective immediately. It’s a big rebuke to the government’s position.
The President, who is himself a constitutional scholar, has been handed the golden opportunity to end DADT once and for all. A federal judge has now ruled that the gay ban is unconstitutional, and she has ordered the federal government to stop the discharges immediately. The President now has the power – given to him by a federal judge – to do the right thing, to do what he promised, to side with the civil rights community. All he has to do is not appeal, and DADT is over.
It’s a no-brainer. Even for this administration that is loathe to do anything bold, loathe to be seen as responsible for anything even slightly “controversial.” Well, now they have their out. It’s the judge’s fault. President Obama can simply choose not to appeal the case, to respect the judge’s decision, and DADT is over. It’s history.
Or the President can direct his Department of Justice to oppose the judge’s order, to appeal the case, and to defend DADT – to defend bigotry, to go down in history on the same side as those who chose to defend discrimination against another class of Americans earlier in the 20th century. It’s no longer up to Congress, it’s no longer “out of the President’s hands.” It’s in Barack Obama’s hands. Will America’s first African-American president side with the bigots, or will he side with civil rights. Will he act boldly, or will he choose the way of the coward?
President Obama’s decision will tell you all you need to know about whether the Democratic party is on your side, or whether they are simply using you for your vote and your money. It’s time for the party and the President to put up or shut up.
Expect a decision today from the White House.
Here is the judge’s decision.
Judge’s Judgment and Permanent Injunction of DADT http://d1.scribdassets.com/ScribdViewer.swf