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    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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    Comments

    1. Chuck on Jan 9, 2009 9:46:30 PM:

      You caught that too, eh Chris?

      I will continue to hope that the President-Elect is an honorable man who will keep his campaign promises snd within a reasonable time frame.

    1. dimitri on Jan 9, 2009 10:45:45 PM:

      Oh please. This is just a little something to throw to the gays to shut them up for awhile. So many people are behind the repeal of DADT that it is only a matter of time. Like you mentioned, no timetable was given. Lets not be blindsided by these little diversion tactics.

    1. InExile on Jan 10, 2009 10:16:34 AM:

      DADT, is probably the safest question to answer, people don't care much if gays go to war just like they don't care if non-citizen people join our military to get green cards. We need to hear some concrete stuff like the items listed on President-elect Obama's website. I also am hoping he is a man of his word and will honor his promises to the LGBT community. I would like to see something substantial in his first 100 days in office. March on Washington for equal rights is when?

    1. JP on Jan 10, 2009 1:56:22 PM:

      They decided to answer this question because it is much easier to say that they will repeal DADT than to say that they are going to repeal DOMA. And of course there is no mention on time frame. I realize that Obama has a lot on his plate, but to be honest I'm totally underwhelmed by him. The only way this congress and this president will do anything for the LGBT community is if we truly force them to. WE have to write our representatives, WE have to keep the pressure on, WE have to make sure our voices are heard again and again and again and again. Obama isn't going to go out on a limb for us unless we really force him to, so let's do just that, force him to.

    1. James on Jan 11, 2009 9:55:32 PM:

      HA. Several translators of Arabic were discharged in the past year or so. And, the DOD (and Obama)is going to need fresh fodder for the surge of troops that will be sent to Afghanistan. The military has been offering bonuses of up to $40,000 for new enlistees. I suspect it will be done fairly soon as a sop to the GLBT community. It's an easy one, and I guarantee you the repeal of DOMA will be put on the back burner. The non-discrimination legislation will pass, but do not get up your hopes on the DOMA issue. After all, Obama believes that marriage is between a man and a woman. How many times has he said that. I agree, feet to the fire, and a million GLBT march on Washington. It will have to be activists, however, HRC would not want their image sullied.

    1. James on Jan 11, 2009 9:57:20 PM:

      HA. Several translators of Arabic were discharged in the past year or so. And, the DOD (and Obama)is going to need fresh fodder for the surge of troops that will be sent to Afghanistan. The military has been offering bonuses of up to $40,000 for new enlistees. I suspect it will be done fairly soon as a sop to the GLBT community. It's an easy one, and I guarantee you the repeal of DOMA will be put on the back burner. The non-discrimination legislation will pass, but do not get up your hopes on the DOMA issue. After all, Obama believes that marriage is between a man and a woman. How many times has he said that. I agree, feet to the fire, and a million GLBT march on Washington. It will have to be activists, however, HRC would not want their image sullied.

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