January 26, 2010
Is 'our moment' coming in the SOTU?
Posted by: Chris
Word is that President Obama will specifically address repealing the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy on gays in the military in his State of the Union speech tomorrow night:
The Obama administration has asked the Senate Armed Services Committee to delay hearings on the fate of the military’s controversial “con’t ask, don’t tell” policy, because the president expects to discuss it in Wednesday’s address to Congress, the committee chairman said today.
Senator Carl Levin, the Michigan Democrat and chairman of the committee, told reporters that senior Pentagon officials asked him to postpone the hearings, because they do not want to be put in the position of discussing or defending a policy that the White House might abandon.
While there are way too many qualifiers packed into those two short paragraphs, if true this could mean (another qualifier) that the president is finally read to stake some political capital on gay civil rights, something so many of us expected long before now.
Let's be clear about a few things, however, the DNC and gay groups pressed for pink money waaay back in 2006 on the premise that a Democratic-controlled Congress would move on hate crimes, employment non-discrimination and repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell. So passage (not hearings, not votes in one house but not the other, but passage) of the remaining two of three of these low-hanging fruit is the absolute minimum we should expect from Obama and a Congress controlled by a super-majority of Dems.
There's something painfully ironic about the administration telling Congress to go-slow on DADT repeal, even if only for a day or two, considering that our "allies" on the Hill has moved in microscopic ministeps toward any meaningful form of gay rights legislation. (No, I don't count the almost entirely symbolic hate crime bill.)
We await our president to reawaken our faith that our trust in him (in the primaries and general election) was not misplaced.
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