Obama rewrites a wee bit of history on DADT repeal

President Obama just said in his press conference, referring to DADT repeal, that people get all upset and think something isn’t happening if it doesn’t happen immediately.

Sorry, but that bird isn’t gonna fly.

DADT repeal was dead in the water. The President’s plan to wait until 2011, endorsed by HRC, was scotched by the GOP takeover of the House – something a lot of us predicted, or at least fretted about, a good year ago. The President and HRC decided to have the Pentagon do a study, due in December, a month after the 2010 elections, thinking they could handle repeal in 2011. They were wrong.

Repeal didn’t take a long time because that was part of the plan. The legislation passed because we got lucky. As you’ll recall, it was dead, having been filibustered repeatedly by the GOP. The only reason it came back up, at the very last minute, was because the GOP filibustered the continuing resolution and Harry Reid had had it, pulled the CR, and suddenly there was one last final chance for DADT repeal (or something short of repeal) to pass.

You’ll recall that HRC sent out an email in December basically calling repeal dead for the year. Was that part of the secret plan too? Here’s HRC’s email, dated December 9, 4:52pm, sent out at literally the same moment that Lieberman, Udall and Collins were announced a last minute effort to get a stand-alone bill passed. HRC had no idea the stand-alone bill was even coming. They thought DADT repeal was dead in the Congress. So with all due respect, the “plan” failed.

HRC seems to have forgotten its own email of two months ago. Today, in their magazine, HRC is now claiming that DADT repeal was all part of a well-oiled plan. Uh huh. That’s why HRC announced that repeal was dead just as the legislation, that was ultimately to pass, was being announced. Here’s their magazine today:


What’s crucial to note, says HRC’s Smith, is that the gears to repeal started rolling intensively in November 2009. That’s when Solmonese, along with Smith, met with Jim Messina, one of President Obama’s deputy chiefs of staff, in his White House office. Solmonese stressed to Messina that HRC was ready to mount a massive campaign to get “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repealed in 2010. It was after this meeting that things began to move, said Smith.

Yeah right. Good try, though.

So, please, stop the “it was all part of our plan” stuff. It wasn’t. If it weren’t for GetEqual, Dan Choi, the gay blogs, our straight blog allies, groups like SLDN, .SU and Palm Center, and lots of current and former gay servicemembers, DADT repeal would not still be on the table.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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