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If appealing the court ruling that would have ended it sooner (and pressing that case to begin with) isn't "wavering"

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Rachel Maddow builds Obama a statue for his plan not to veto the repeal of DADT:

I think that politically, though, the thing to not lose touch of, to not lose touch with here, this is the President's victory. The President took a lot of criticism, a lot of abuse, a lot of skepticism from his otherwise most loyal supporters on this. But this is an issue on which the President did not waver.
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Submitted by lambert on

It's the victory of hundreds of thousands of people over a quarter century [head desk].

Jeff W's picture
Submitted by Jeff W on

was adopting and reiterating all the phony, baseless, homophobic arguments that were used to put the policy in place in the first place:

The immediate implementation of the injunction would disrupt this review and frustrate the Secretary's ability to recommend and implement policies that would ensure that any repeal of DADT does not irreparably harm the government's critical interests in military readiness, combat effectiveness, unit cohesion, morale, good order, discipline, and recruiting and retention of the Armed Force.

And it was arguing, at least implicitly, that DADT is constitutional. "Irreparable harm" is only one part of the requirements in seeking an injunction: the other is showing (a) some likelihood of success on the merits or (b) a sufficiently serious question going to the merits at the litigation and the balance of hardships tipping decidedly in plaintiff's favor. In other words, the DOJ was arguing that it would likely win on the issue of constitutionality of DADT or that there was at least a "serious question" about its constitutionality.

That's not "wavering"—that's a position that adopts homophobic fear-mongering and "infringes the fundamental rights of United States servicemembers and prospective servicemembers," as District Judge Virginia Philips wrote. The repeal of the odious DADT policy does not vitiate the discriminatory position that the DOJ took on appeal; it just eliminates the circumstances giving rise to the appeal.

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Submitted by mass on

He had basically nothing to do with this. He was ready to punt on DADT, not that he ever lifted a finger to pass it, to get his START treaty. What really made this happen was the work of very disciplined activists and the tireless work of Joe Lieberman who simply didn't quit. Oh, and of course, the long time work of activists, and the electorate that had come to strongly favor repeal. Gawd, I really don't like Maddow. She has to be the single biggest Obama sycophant of all times.

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Submitted by Jeff W on

This interesting little "side note on reality" from a commenter in the navy over at John Aravosis's site:

I was sitting on the mess decks today, trying to eat my breakfast, and everyone on my ship in my duty section kept walking up to me shaking my hand and saying congratulations. I'm in Japan so during my 5 hour midnight watch, the senate repealed don't ask don't tell, and I went to bed last night breathing a little easier.

That's pretty heartwarming (and shows, in so many ways, the complete absurdity of the DADT policy).

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Submitted by mass on

It's been the complete absurdity of the long standing policy of not allowing gays to serve in the military.

A very touching example of what the end of this policy means.

Jeff W's picture
Submitted by Jeff W on

It's been the complete absurdity of the long standing policy of not allowing gays to serve in the military.

Yes, very true—although I had in mind the specific fictions of the policy which rested on "no one knowing" (apparently everyone on this guy's ship knows) and people flipping out if they knew (not only did these people not flip out, they were tacitly supportive, probably all along).

The truly perverse part of DADT was that even the stated justifications had nothing to do with gay men and women serving in the military and everything to do with the reactions of straight people to homosexuality and gay people—or, maybe even further removed, with the projection of those making the policy about those reactions. (The longstanding policy of not allowing gays to serve in the military was similar but I'd guess at least part of the rationale was that homosexuality itself was "incompatible" in some way with serving.)

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Submitted by mass on

It's truly absurd. On both counts, the not telling and the incompatibly.

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Submitted by Fredster on

Just when I think that Maddow *gets it* with Obama (the tax deal with the Rethugs) and has opened her eyes then she comes out with this nonsense.

No Rachel, this is no victory for teh One. It is a victory despite him. Despite him and his Justice Department.

Obama is supposed to sign the thing next week. However, it then still has to go to the military branches to see how they are going to implement it. That's probably going to take awhile.

This info is on the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network:

On Saturday, December 18, 2010, the Senate voted to authorize the repeal of DADT, which the House of Representatives voted to support on December 15, 2010. There are still, however, many more steps in this process before the law can be fully repealed. Until that time, DADT remains the law and it is unsafe to come out. Even after the successful votes in Congress and even after the President signs the bill, the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff must certify that the Defense Department is prepared to implement repeal. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” will still be the law until 60 days after the President, Secretary of Defense, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs certify repeal can happen. Continue to visit www.sldn.org/stillatrisk for the latest updates on the status of the law.

I wonder how long this will be dragged out?

jjmtacoma's picture
Submitted by jjmtacoma on

"Make me do it", "Hold his feet to the fire" moment? All it takes is overwhelming public opinion, agreement throught courts and Congress to make obama do the right thing.

Submitted by lambert on

... the last thing that happened, and then look at previous events using the latest event as a context?

Like the "anchoring effect" (though that's not it).

So, cue the "See? He really is a progressive!" posts at Big Orange and elsewhere. And somebody posted a link to Obama's announcement, which frames the whole thing as a victory for militarism.

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

Many a signficant advance in civil rights has been watered down to little in bureaucratic aftermath.

And if Obama has to do something...well, we've seen how that plays out.

Jeff W's picture
Submitted by Jeff W on

This commenter, again at Aravosis's site, says:

What we're left with is an absence of direction from Congress, just like it was back in the summer of '93, when the Executive and the Pentagon were more or less free to craft whatever regulations they liked.

They are free to allow open service. They are free to ban gays and lesbians from serving in certain jobs and assignments. They can impose separate housing if they want. They can bar gays and lesbians for filing claims of discrimination or harassment based on sexual orientation.

Most damning: The President and his military leaders CAN ban gays and lesbians from serving altogether, and create sanctions and punishments for those discovered to be gay or lesbian while serving. There is nothing in the law just passed to prevent this. If not this president, then the next one, or the one after that. The law in no way obligates the president or his military to allow open service, it only unties their hands to let them do so if they want to, unbound by the previous 1993 law.

This is why we still need the court cases to continue. Absent a law mandating non-discrimination, a case ruling is the only way we'll get it.

I haven't read all the applicable law tut that assessment strikes me as correct. I doubt President Obama or the military will do some of that (such as imposing separate housing or disallowing certain jobs)—or, if they did, that those actions would be constitutional (if such things matter at this point)—but the point remains. The almost-Victorian-sounding Article 125—giving "unnatural carnal copulation" as grounds for "sodomy"—remains also.

Submitted by jawbone on

fail due to Obama -- or in spite of his actions? Lack of actions?

He did not, as far as I know, make any big statements pushing for passage recently, especially in this lame duck session. Since it failed due to 5 ConservaDem senators refusing to vote for it, it appears Obama has little clout with that group. And he self-identifies as a Blue Dog Dem. Considering how closely Obama worked with Baucus to get the Health Insurance Profit Protection Act passed, Baucus might have been amenable to doing something for Obama on the Dream Act....

But, no.

Now, I can't know what Obama really thinks about this in his heart or his mind -- or what he did behind closed doors, which seems to be his favored manner of negotiating. Perhaps he just failed with these senators, and that says what about his leadership? I can only judge his and these Democrats' actions.

Baucus (MT) NO
Hagan (NC) NO
Nelson (NE) NO
Pryor (AR) NO
Tester (MT) NO
Manchin (WV) Did not vote

Perhaps they could deal with only so much social justice and basic fairness in one session, and this time it was DADT and justice for gays which ate up their allotted portion of milk of human kindness. Or maybe these senators have corporatist masters who tell them what to do? Who knows.

All we can judge is their actions. In the end, that's all that can be judged.

Thanks to lambert for posting about the Social Justice Sorry Six.

It's going to be tough for Reid to sell the idea that it failed because of Republicans. Good luck with that, Dem Party. Six Dem senators made this "bipartisan."