New Administration policy: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Lead

by on October 15, 2010  •  In Military

What a day this has been..

The Justice Department sought a stay of Judge Phillips' injunction against enforcement of Don't Ask Don't Tell, after a somewhat puzzling two days of delay, during which the status of the policy seemed strangely in limbo. The Defense Department first said that local commanders are in charge, but then sent an email communique telling them not to proceed with any discharges.  This was a good move, since a general in Afghanistan told the press that no one there had heard about the injunction, implying that they weren't too worried about disobeying it. This is not what lawyers want their client to say. Meanwhile, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs revealed that the President was "very involved" in the discussions about what the next litigation moves should be.

Run that by me again…

Does this muddle mean that the Administration was actually seriously considering the possibility of not seeking a stay of the injunction? That's hard to believe, but the Associated Press says it's true. Is that why they made such a hash of the situation, alienating pretty much everyone on any side of the issue? If POTUS was personally engaged with this, why was it so bungled? Or was the Oval Office engagement the reason why this deer-in-the-headlights moment happened?

And just to polish off the messaging debacle, the Senate leadership said today that they aren't so sure that there will be a vote on DADT repeal in the lame duck session after all. The promise of this vote has been the Administration's primary offering of a strategy that would enable the President to make good on his promise that DADT will end "on my watch."

Do we laugh or cry?


2 Responses to New Administration policy: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Lead

  1. Jay October 16, 2010 at 11:36 AM

    I think we both laugh and cry. We laugh at the ineptness of this administration and we cry at their indifference (and possible hostility) to gay citizens. The only explanation for this debacle is that Gates must have ordered Obama to appeal immediately. And we all know that when Gates says “Jump!,” Obama asks “How high?”

    Even if the Justice Department argued that it was bound to appeal (and it is not clear that they really are), they could have waited 60 days. That period would have demonstrated that there were in fact no catastrophic results of not enforcing the DADT policy, and during that period Obama could have attempted to get the repeal passed in the Senate.

    Indeed, even if they had file an intent to appeal, they did not have to ask for the injunction to be lifted.

  2. RWG October 17, 2010 at 10:26 PM

    Actually, at the State of the Union in January he said it would be repealed by the end of 2010. So he’s moved the goal posts once again with “the end of my watch”. The president needs to either 1) own his homophobia or 2) inform Sec. Gates exactly who the Commander in Chief is, that is, if Barack Obama knows himself. He seems to be confused on that point. There’s entirely too much weak tea coming out of the Oval Office. He’ll be a one-termer (we can only hope!)

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