It’s been almost 48 hours since a federal judge threw out DADT. It is no longer the law of the land. The judge specifically ordered the Obama administration to stop investigating, discharging and turning away gay service members.
In response, what did the Obama administration do when a gay vet went to a recruiting station to re-enlist? They turned him away because he’s gay.
That is a direct violation of a judge’s order. It’s breaking the law.
Why does this matter? Because up until now the President has been telling us that he can’t stop the discharges without congressional action because then he wouldn’t be upholding the law, and he must uphold the law, regardless how onerous, lest he be as bad as George Bush who broke lots of laws. (Mind you, Obama has frequently refused to uphold the law on other non-gay matters – it’s only on gay ones that he suddenly finds Jesus and won’t bend. And, mind you, issuing a stop-loss order on DADT isn’t breaking the law, it’s enforcing the stop-loss law.)
But Barack Obama didn’t uphold the law of the land yesterday. He broke it. (And his Defense Department made clear that, in any case, they have no intent to follow the judge’s order.)
So, to be clear, the President upholds the law of the land on DADT when it hurts gays, and he violates the law of the land on DADT when it helps gays. The only thing consistent in the President’s actions is that he always seems to take the position that’s anti-gay.
So much for the President’s holier-than-Bush justification.
But it’s actually worse for the President, far worse. The latest administration talking point for why they continue to appeal our DADT and DOMA victories in court is that if they don’t, a future Republican president might not appeal a case striking down health care reform or hate crimes.
First, the talking point is absurd, as I explained in the post linked to above. But back to the matter at hand, Obama has just outright ignored a court order. Under the administration’s logic, that gives future Republican presidents the right to ignore court orders telling future Republican presidents to abide by the health care reform law or to abide by the hate crimes act. But funny how none of that mattered when the administration had the chance to take another swipe at the gays.
Don’t let another Obama administration official or apologist – DNC Treasurer Andy Tobias comes to mind – lecture you about how they’re being anti-gay in order to uphold the rule of law and be better than Bush, or to save health care reform and the hate crimes law. Those arguments went out the window yesterday when the Obama administration disobeyed a direct order from a federal judge.
Not that we didn’t already know this, but President Obama’s moral authority is gone.