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    January 28, 2010

    Let's hear the plan, Mr. President

    Posted by: Chris

    UPDATE: At the end of this post.

    President obama tampa gay rights dont ask dont tell
    You knew Barack Obama's townhall meeting today in Tampa might not go well when he started off by giving a shoutout to that "model individual" Tony Dungy, the former Indianapolis Colts coach who made headlines in 2007 when he inserted himself into whether Indiana should pass a state constitutional amendment banning gays from marriage, even accepting an award from an anti-gay group for his efforts.

    It went a bit downhill from there, when the president pretty thoroughly sidestepped a question for a college student about how he plans to follow through on his pledge in last night's State of the Union address:

    As someone who has repeatedly defended the president against criticism that he, rather than Congress, is to blame for the lack of progress on DADT repeal and other gay rights advances, I thought the question was completely fair and Obama should have given more than a general answer that pretty much avoided the question entirely.

    What is the plan, Mr. President? Do you support including Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal in the Defense Department appropriations bill, just as DADT was when President Clinton signed it into law in 1993? If not, what is the strategy for bypassing intransigent opposition by House Armed Services Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) and getting this thing done?

    UPDATE: Some good news, albeit vague, reported by the AP:

    The Pentagon said Thursday it will work to carry out the president’s wishes [concerning the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell]. Top military leaders are working on a plan for how repeal of the law would be implemented in the Defense Department, said Navy Capt. John Kirby, spokesman for Adm. Mike Mullen. chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

    “The chairman and the (service) chiefs understand perfectly the president’s intent, and they look forward to being able to provide their best military advice about the implementation of repeal,” Kirby said of Obama’s statement.

    Mullen and Defense Secretary Robert Gates were expected to address the topic in congressional budget hearings next week.



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    1. Ben Gardent on Jan 28, 2010 4:13:04 PM:

      I watched President Obama's response to the question about gay rights and was equally unimpressed. It has become quite clear that his plan for gay rights is to do nothing. He is playing us for fools and the rest of the do-nothing Democratic Congress is just as bad. I never thought the Democrats could piss me off as much as the Republicans did.....

      It will be sad to watch the Democratic majorities slip away in November knowing that we will have to wait years to have another chance to enact gay-rights legislation that MATTERS to us.

    1. Lucrece on Jan 29, 2010 12:03:12 AM:

      Mullen has already been quoted as desiring a stall on the repeal.

      I don't know how he made such an abrupt turn of opinions and decided to adopt his president's mandate.

      My suspicion is that their plant to implement DADT will basically consist of more useless "panels" and "testimonies" and "studies" that have been conducted by far more competent researchers years ago. Basically, delay as much as you can.

    1. Chris on Jan 29, 2010 12:55:58 PM:

      I'm more optimistic than both of you, in part because Obama raised the issue in the SOTU, something he did not have to do, and because of the update to this post, about how Gates and Mullen are expected to make a "big announcement" about DADT repeal during testimony next week before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

      More than that, I continue to believe that the congressional Democrats (and intransigent, hyper-partisan Republicans) are the reason for gay rights delays, not the Obama White House.

    1. cheap ugg boots on Nov 21, 2010 10:39:01 PM:

      Please, he is done playing moderate Republican now that he lost the elections. He can go back to pandering for the primaries and getting carried in Arizona.

      I can't avoid but laugh at the campaign depictions of him as a maverick, how trite!

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