Rumor: Obama about to end “don’t ask, don’t tell”?

posted at 8:03 pm on January 25, 2010 by Allahpundit

Carl Levin dropped a hint earlier today about something being up on the DADT front and how the issue might pop up in the state of the union. Are we in store for a surprise announcement tomorrow? The White House would probably want to get out in front of it a day early so that news coverage the day after the speech is dominated by jobs talk instead of a minor hot-button issue:

Levin told reporters today that he has delayed plans to hold Senate hearings to examine the current “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy at the request of administration officials. Why would they want him to hold off? The officials Levin talked to said they expect the President will address the issue of homosexuals serving in the military during the State of the Union Address.

“I don’t know if it was the White House, but somebody representing them from the Pentagon said that the President was expected, they thought, to state that policy in the State of the Union and they thought it made more sense for him to state the policy and for us to have a hearing right before the policy with the people who will be defending that policy. They don’t know what it is,” said Levin, who added that he hopes any new policy is well-thought-out and that senior military leaders are on board.

Not sure if the timing’s coincidental or not, but this Journal op-ed last night by former Clinton gay rights advisor Richard Socarides ripping The One for dragging his feet on DADT was brutal. (Quote: “Many wonder when their president will show the same kind of concern for the constitutional rights of gay American service members as he has for enemy combatants held at Guantanamo Bay.”) Also maybe coincidental: This Politico piece talking up how seriously Obama takes his duties as commander-in-chief, right down to taking lessons on how to properly deliver a military salute, which might have been fed to them by White House aides eager to blunt some of the criticism he’ll take for being “anti-military” or whatever if in fact he’s about to make this move.

The politics of it are a no-brainer. He desperately needs to throw the left a bone, especially if Reid and Pelosi are about to choke on ObamaCare, and this is one of the easiest he could throw them. Not only did he order the surge in Afghanistan, bolstering his hawkish credentials, but DADT actually polls badly among the public. A WaPo/ABC survey taken two years ago showed three-quarters of the public support letting gays serve; a Quinnipiac poll taken last year had narrower numbers but still a heavy majority in favor of repealing the policy — 56/37, including 50/43 among voters with family in the military. He’s got plenty of political cover, in other words. In fact, I wonder if the big reason Obama has held back on this until now (and, maybe, on gay marriage) is precisely because he’s thinking strategically and wants to be able to toss it out there when he most needs a boost from his base. This ought to do it.


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Ed- what happen to my post, am I using words that are rejected automatically? These are medical terms not hate speech.

Ed Laskie on January 26, 2010 at 6:33 AM

OMG…The One is losing his gay constituency? Screw what the military leadership advises, full speed ahead on gay pandering!

Obama, if you’re going to pander, why not pander to the 18-to-25 year old herterosexual males in the military and make all the field latrine showers same-sex?

olesparkie on January 26, 2010 at 6:49 AM

After the Messiah finishes pandering to homosexuals, will he then address the plight of transexuals and transvestites? Hell yes!

It’ll take years to re-write regulations on how to wear uniforms.

olesparkie on January 26, 2010 at 6:51 AM

olesparkie on January 26, 2010 at 6:51 AM

A real-life Clinger? Good grief!

OldEnglish on January 26, 2010 at 7:55 AM

The problem I see with this is that the gay activists won’t stop with just this. From what I’ve seen they will push for the military supporting gay marriage and any other of their objectives and will cause a lot of problems for a military that has more important things to worry about.

sdan on January 26, 2010 at 8:00 AM

This is I’ve got to have a win to show people before SOTU! Give me something! Anything!

Like grabbing any available weapon to fend off an intruder.

massrighty on January 25, 2010 at 8:29 PM

He rummages desperately in the kitchen drawer and pulls out –
A Turkey Baster!

PaddyJ on January 26, 2010 at 9:12 AM

Here’s my question: what’s wrong with “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”? Keep it to yourself and we won’t have any problems. I care not to know the sex lives of any of my Soldiers, gay or straight.

Send_Me on January 25, 2010 at 10:45 PM

That is how I feel also. For those that use the argument that gay military are restricted from telling anyone, anywhere about their sexual orientation I have to ask – If that were actually true – how is it that so many people already know gay soldiers/sailors/airmen?

Seems like the issue is not gays serving but being blatent about it. People can pretend that repealing the DADT rule will make it all go away but it won’t. Those who feel that being gay is a sin/ abnormal, wrong, whatever will still feel that way.

I’m curious as to how many military are actually dismissed from the service strictly for being gay. I wonder if it is more likely those dismissed for being gay had other issues and homosexuality was used as an excuse to get rid of them.

katiejane on January 26, 2010 at 9:36 AM

That’s just what the military needs. More gays.

Gays make everything better. Marriage, military, thermonuclear war. Everything!

We need more social engineering in our critical services. It’s just that important for men that do guys to feel proud of themselves for doing guys. Society as a whole should accept that it is a positive moral good for a man to suck another man’s wang. Just think of the children!

spmat on January 26, 2010 at 10:05 AM

Wrong. That behavior has been observed in high order primates such as the Bonobo.

Holger on January 26, 2010 at 12:55 AM

Oh, I’m sorry, I guess if the “bonobo” say it’s ok, it must be normal. Well have at it then.

royzer on January 26, 2010 at 10:42 AM

Seems like the issue is not gays serving but being blatent about it.

Blatant? You have some gall. What gives you the authority to decide how “gay” someone is acting? Do you do the same thing for other minorities? Races? Religions?

Hmmm. I have a really loud paisley shirt, is my shirt too gay? I had fried-chicken last night, is that too black?

The Race Card on January 26, 2010 at 10:44 AM

I’m curious as to how many military are actually dismissed from the service strictly for being gay. I wonder if it is more likely those dismissed for being gay had other issues and homosexuality was used as an excuse to get rid of them.

katiejane on January 26, 2010 at 9:36 AM

It’s not easy to discharge someone for being gay. We are always told you have to meet the SAM criteria. S=Statements, A=Acts, M=Marriage. These are the criteria that must be met to even begin an investigation. Drinking a Zima with a pinky finger in the air while waxing your chest in assless chaps just isn’t enough.

thomashton on January 26, 2010 at 11:05 AM

Drinking a Zima with a pinky finger in the air while waxing your chest in assless chaps just isn’t enough.

thomashton on January 26, 2010 at 11:05 AM

You must hang out in some interesting places.

The Race Card on January 26, 2010 at 11:11 AM

Fat, offended, and stupidid no way to go through life.
-Dean Wormer

daesleeper on January 26, 2010 at 11:36 AM

From The Survey…

Among evangelical Protestants, for instance, 62 percent support service by openly gay members of the military and 69 percent support service by gays who remain silent. Fifty-nine percent of conservative Republicans support service by gays who go public, as do 64 percent of all conservatives and all Republicans alike.

Bullshit.

rcl on January 26, 2010 at 12:03 PM

Rumor: Obama about to end “don’t ask, don’t tell”?

Ack! AP pleeeease don’t start doing that Morrissey thing where you put question marks at the end of headlines. There’s no question about this. It IS a rumor. Don’t get all hedgy and wimpy on us now.

I like Ed’s reporting, but it’s so annoying when he puts a question mark at the end of his headlines that I don’t even bother to read those articles. And that means that I don’t read about 50% of his articles. Please don’t follow in his footsteps in this department.

Thanks in advance!

Kevin M on January 26, 2010 at 1:50 PM

Well it’s about time ObaMao comes out of the closet!

MCGIRV on January 26, 2010 at 2:56 PM

Until our society can handle coed locker rooms with maturity we won’t be ready to have openly gay service members.

The problem that I see with getting rid of DADT, is that some people will interpret “openly gay” as an excuse to be loud and proud, which may be even more irritating that a nerd that just got his first girlfriend and has to tell EVERYONE.

caldfyr on January 26, 2010 at 3:49 PM

Yes. DADT is the hot military issue. Letting guys like Hassan promote to Major, not so much.

Sultry Beauty on January 26, 2010 at 4:10 PM

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