Yesterday our “fierce advocate” President Barak Obama fielded questions at an MTV Town Hall meeting, including this one about the clusterfuck that has become the removal of DADT.
QUESTION: I voted for you in the last elections based on your alleged commitment to equality for all Americans, gay and straight, and I wanted to know where you stood on “don’t ask, don’t tell.” I know that you’ve mentioned that you want the Senate to repeal it before you do it yourself. My question is you as the President can sort of have an executive order that ends it once and for all, as Harry — as Truman did for the integration of the military in ‘48. So I wonder why don’t you do that if this is a policy that you’re committed to ending.
THE PRESIDENT: First of all, I haven’t “mentioned” that I’m against “don’t ask, don’t ask” — I have said very clearly, including in a State of the Union address, that I’m against “don’t ask, don’t tell” and that we’re going to end this policy. That’s point number one.
Point number two, the difference between my position right now and Harry Truman’s was that Congress explicitly passed a law that took away the power of the executive branch to end this policy unilaterally. So this is not a situation in which with a stroke of a pen I can simply end the policy.
Now, having said that, what I have been able to do is for the first time get the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mike Mullen, to say he thinks the policy should end. The Secretary of Defense has said he recognizes that the policy needs to change. And we, I believe, have enough votes in the Senate to go ahead and remove this constraint on me, as the House has already done, so that I can go ahead and end it.
Now, we recently had a Supreme Court — a district court case that said, “don’t ask, don’t tell” is unconstitutional. I agree with the basic principle that anybody who wants to serve in our armed forces and make sacrifices on our behalf, on behalf of our national security, anybody should be able to serve. And they shouldn’t have to lie about who they are in order to serve.
And so we are moving in the direction of ending this policy. It has to be done in a way that is orderly, because we are involved in a war right now. But this is not a question of whether the policy will end. This policy will end and it will end on my watch. But I do have an obligation to make sure that I am following some of the rules. I can’t simply ignore laws that are out there. I’ve got to work to make sure that they are changed
Okay just some quick points here:
1. The Senate HAS voted on a repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell less than a month ago. And it failed, with Democrats Lincoln and Pryor joining with the Republicans in a filibuster. So, clearly, they don’t have the votes. Any thought that they will have the votes after the midterm, especially if the Democrats lose control is just asinine.
2. Steve Hildebrand, former deputy manager of the Obama campaign.was on a panel with Jane Hamsher of Fire Dog lake last night said that “The White House applied no pressure on the Senate to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
3. Now about the part about his “inability” to issue an executive order, If you believe you are bound by the literal meaning of passed legislation and cannot ignore portions you believe to be an unconstitutional infringement on executive powers, then there is not purpose served by such statements. But Obama DOES continue to sign OTHER Executive Orders for the same reasons.
As for the DOJ appealing the the findings of DADT and DOMA unconstitutional Not only does Obama have the choice not to enforce and defend laws he finds unconstitutional, there have been many cases of past Presidents doing it. The brilliant John Aravosis of AmericaBlogGay has pointed this out often and has even gone so far as to send PROOF of it to The White House.
I’ve just been sent a White House transcript from 1996 showing the Clinton administration, explaining in detail, how it was not going to defend in court any cases kicking HIV+ service members out of the military because it believed the law requiring such discharges to be unconstitutional
.President Clinton) did exactly what The President Obama refuses to do today.For no other reason then to pass the buck to Congress.
After the MTV Town Hall Obama had the sheeraudacity to Tweet about DADT.
Not that he will end it. But it will end on his watch which most probably be by 2012 the way things are going. But again. there are just MORE WORDS and no action from a President that made so many promises to get our votes but then does not have the balls to be an actual President and deliver.