January 09, 2009
'Yes' to getting rid of DADT
Posted by: Andoni
UPDATE AT END
Future White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs today answered some of the questions posed to president elect Barack Obama on his official website change.gov after round two of questions. In a video clip on Obama's web site Gibbs answers about five questions, with the one on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" being the last, at around the 4 minute 18 second mark. Here's what he said, as transcribed by me.
Gibbs (showing the question): Thaddeus from Lansing, Michigan asked, "Is the new administration going to get rid of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy?"
Gibbs (answer): That is Thaddeus, you don't hear a politician give a one word answer much, but it's "Yes."
Not that this is anything new. Obama has promised this from the beginning. But it certainly is refreshing to hear it again, after the election and from his official future White House spokesperson.
I don't know why they decided to answer this question. It wasn't one of the over-all top vote getters. It wasn't even one of the top gay question vote getters. Maybe its because there had been rumors circulating that they were going to delay repealing DADT and they wanted to squelch the rumors. But then again, "yes" doesn't exactly say when, does it?
UPDATE: Today's New York Times also notes that when Gibbs answered this question he did not say when the repeal would occur and suggested that repealing DADT is one of the items on Obama's agenda that might have to be postponed because of all the effort that is going to have to be made to fix the economy.
Although I understand all this, this situation it is very frustrating. Now for the first time in 16 years we have the opportunity to pass major reforms that are long overdue. However, because the Bush Administration so trashed the economy (and country), the public demands that the economy be fixed first, so we are in a familiar quandary. If for any reason, the public turns on Obama and the Democrats (the economy doesn't get fixed, there is an internal attack, the overseas wars spiral out of control, etc), we will be left with another change of power (back to the Republicans), and another lost opportunity.
We cannot allow that to happen. If necessary, we should insist that if Dems are significantly diminished or turned out of power, that they must return for a lame duck session to pass all those promised pieces of legislation before they bid their final good-byes to Washington.
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