Thursday, November 11, 2010

DADT: Repubs Lose Greatest Defense, But The White House Is The Real Lame Duck

Republicans just lost out on their grand excuse for repealing the discriminatory DADT policy—but the White House is the real lame duck here. Its priority: passing a child nutrition bill!

Republicans squawking that repeal of the homophobic Don't Ask Don't Tell military policy would have to wait until a Pentagon report was released revealing potential risks to current war efforts have lost their flimsy excuse to avoid extending equality to all troops.

The Washington Post revealed yesterday that the long-awaited report vows there is "only minimal and isolated incidents of risk." Oops. Sorry, John McCain, that's not what you were hoping for, huh?

According to the Post, "More than 70% of respondents to a survey sent to active-duty and reserve troops said the effect of repealing (DADT) would be positive, mixed or nonexistent." The 370-page report is scheduled to reach Obama's desk Dec. 1 and while the President has repeatedly vowed to repeal DADT—and a federal judge ruling the policy unconstitutional—with Republicans regaining control of Congress in January, obviously it faces impossible odds... that is, if Obama even stands by his campaign promise.

Press secretary Robert Gibbs, asked about White House priorities, said that gays in the military wasn't on the list. Instead, a child nutrition bill is among its essential missives(!!!!), along with tax cuts, a Russian nuclear arms treaty and budget director confirmation.

Even U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has stated that Congress should act before new Republicans take office, but the current Democratic-controlled Congress has done nothing to eliminate the ban—even while two in three Americans say the policy is discriminatory and 57% believe openly gay service members should be allowed to serve.

Once again, this all begs the question: Who are our elected officials serving? In a word: themselves.

American Prospect blogger Adam Serwer notes, "If Democrats can't repeal a policy more than two-thirds of the American people, including a majority of conservatives want gone, then they can't expect people to vote for them. Preserving DADT is rank absurdity."