Guest Blogger

Jim Crow? Really?

Filed By Guest Blogger | May 25, 2010 3:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics, The Movement
Tags: Aaron Belkin, Don't Ask Don't Tell, gay rights, gay soldiers, gays in the military, Obama Administration

Editors' Note: Guest blogger Aaron Belkin is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Palm Center at UCSB.

Aaron-Belkin.jpgI am so glad that I was wrong.

For two years, I have been predicting that Congress would not have what it takes to pass "don't ask, don't tell" repeal legislation. Yesterday, however, the Obama administration threw its weight behind a compromise that will, over the next six months or so, lead to the dismantling of the policy. This was leadership on a historic scale by the administration as well as Speaker Pelosi, Senator Levin, and Congressmen Frank and Murphy.

Within hours, skeptical members of the gay community began accusing the Obama administration and the Democratic party of selling out. Why can't we have full repeal, and why can't we have it now? Why do we have to compromise? Some even went so far as to compare the compromise to Jim Crow, the racist, post-Civil War social order in the American south.

Members of the community are understandably concerned about some of the key provisions in the compromise. Most significantly, and contrary to our highest hopes, Congress is poised to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" law, but probably will not instruct the Pentagon to adopt a non-discrimination policy. This means that, in theory, the military could continue to discriminate against gays and lesbians. Or, even if the Pentagon starts to treat gays and lesbians on an equal basis with everyone else, a future administration could undo progress. The community fears a return to the pre-Clinton days when the gay ban was a military regulation, not a law, and the Pentagon had free license to discriminate.

Here's why that scenario shouldn't scare us. 2010 is not 1993. The Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff and the Republican Secretary of Defense have called for open gay service. The public supports open service overwhelmingly, and that includes a majority of Republicans. Within the ranks, people just don't care. Sure, there are some die-opponents in uniform. But their numbers are small and dwindling. Polls show that the number of service members who feel strongly about the issue is trivial, somewhere around 5 or 10 percent depending on the survey.

I'm sure that future Republican administrations will try to force gay troops back into the closet. And it would be much better to have a legal promise of nondiscrimination than an executive order or Pentagon regulation. That said, the regulatory path will be durable. Ex-president George Bush tried to undo a Clinton-era executive order mandating non-discrimination among non-military federal employees, and he couldn't get away with it. As Ana Marie Cox has pointed out, racial integration was wildly unpopular when President Truman implemented it via executive order, and that policy has persisted for more than six decades.

The bottom line is this. The main obstacle to equality is the "don't ask, don't tell" law. The Obama administration has bravely pursued the only politically viable path to getting rid of that law. Equal treatment will take a little longer to achieve. But, assuming that Congress adopts the compromise proposed yesterday, the administration's achievement will be damn good, even historic. That's what counts.


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As far as I can ascertain the constitution only grants Congress one military authority and that is the sole authority to declare war. They seem to have abrogated that but I have always thought the Clinton era DADT was not within the scope of their authority anyway. I would prefer it be ruled unconstitutional but at least its repeal puts the commander in chief back in charge of the military.

US Constitution, Article 1, Section 8 (on the powers of Congress): "... To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;"

Oh darn. You are right. I just read up on the UCMJ. I wonder why the whole problem wasn't covered in that but was part of a funding bill?

"Skeptical members of the gay community began accusing the Obama administration and the Democratic party of selling out."

You forgot to mention Gay Inc., which included The Palm Center. It's clear you're ALL trying to suggest this lipsticked pig is progress. It isn't.

This is a charade. It is intended to create the appearance that we are repealing DADT. It is simply an effort to look good going into the mid-terms. Not only politicians (seeking money) but LGBT Advocacy groups (seeking money).

This "compromise" is DOA in the US Congress.

Do you guys have any more bright ideas?

it's an interesting commentary on how things have really changed that making an effort to repeal dadt is what someone does to look good at election time.

it was only a couple of years ago that things were quite different in congress, and that's a pretty good bit of progress in a relatively short time.

I can't say I'm particularly happy with it, but it's a step forward. A small step, a step I think it pitiful. But, it's a step. That's what I care about, improvement. I would have loved for there to be more, but at the same time, I'll take what I can get.

Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com | May 25, 2010 5:31 PM

With respect, you were right before, Mr. Belkin, when you and Nathaniel Frank were speaking more truths than any other high profile person...over the dissent of even some of your colleagues in repeal advocacy groups. You were a hero to me.

It's now you're wrong, and, shockingly disingenuous.

>>>>"...over the next six months or so, [will] lead to the dismantling of the policy."

Uh, it COULD. But based on the homophobic history and flim flam of Robert Gates and the historic COWARDICE of Barack Obama, there is absolutely NO reason to believe it WILL.

>>>>"Congress is poised to repeal the 'don't ask, don't tell' law, but probably will not instruct the Pentagon to adopt a non-discrimination policy."

Uh, have you read the amendment, Mr. Belkin? The simple but explicit nondiscrimination section of the five-year old House bill has been erased, leaving not so much as a "Pretty please, don't keep being the bigots you have been forever."

>>>>"In theory, the military could continue to discriminate against gays and lesbians."

Uh, please, no begging the question with "in theory." IN FACT, they can, and, as noted, there is no reason to believe they won't. Just one indicator, of many, they will: Obama's refusal to use those executive powers you admirably urged [against the "political calculation" of some of your freinds] him to use to stop the discharges he's declared himself are not only unjust but weaken national security.

You know as well as anyone that he's ALWAYS had that power. If he didn't use it before, why should he insist Gates stop discharges post repeal of 654...IF it even actually comes about of which there is NO certainty even if this inside-out bill passes?

As you know, even after Palm's spelling out Gates' powers in May 2009 to apply DADT any way he wants, he pretended until March 25, 2010, that he had no such leeway.

>>>>"Here's why that scenario shouldn't scare us. 2010 is not 1993. The Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff and the Republican Secretary of Defense have called for open gay service."

Well, if it's not, then why all the hubbub, Bub? Why is BOTH the White House and Gates STILL saying today that they prefer NO legislation, even this totally toothless version, before December?

Why is the 1993 part of Bill Clinton being played, today, by Barack Obama?

Why is the part of Colin Powell being played by Robert Gates.

If this were Broadway, it could get a Tony for "Best Revival of a Farce."

If Gates and Mullen are genuinely "for open service" then why have they fought, fang and nail, the existing bills that would have created that EVEN WITH "delayed implementation"....in the House bill, as you know, six months...two months longer than ANY other country took as YOUR own people documented.

>>>>"I'm sure that future Republican administrations will try to force gay troops back into the closet."

Uh, please call us when this Democratic administration let's them OUT of the closet!

>>>>"Ex-president George Bush tried to undo a Clinton-era executive order mandating non-discrimination among non-military federal employees, and he couldn't get away with it."

True but irrelevant because there is NO SIGHT OF any executive order coming from Obama stopping discharges.

It actually saddened me to read this:

>>>>"racial integration was wildly unpopular when President Truman implemented it via executive order, and that policy has persisted for more than six decades."

Again, true, but irrelevant because we have no executive order integrating gays, but the big hurt is in your choosing to ignore, as your former colleague Nathaniel Frank might say, "the real lesson" which is critical to understanding the Obama-Gates charade because Gates has rewritten that history a bit himself.

Specifically, he's implied that out gay integration of the military would have to take years because racial integration took years. [Showing he doesn't deserve his history degrees any more than he deserves credibility re the ban, he didn't even get the number of years right.]

The "rewrite" is in not acknowledging the fact that it only took as long as it did because it was ALLOWED to take that long. Translation: unless FORCED into a deadline, just like Truman FORCED the military to at least START integration, Gates, and any similarly homophobic successor, is likely to delay ending discharges FOR YEARS.

>>>"The main obstacle to equality is the 'don't ask, don't tell' law."

No, the main obstacle to equality is the absence of any MANDATE for nondiscrimination by Congress or the President.

>>>>"The Obama administration has bravely pursued the only politically viable path to getting rid of that law."

But, wait, you just built the 1993 vs. 2010/brass wants open service/public wants it/including a majority of Republicans/only "trivial" 5-10% of troops oppose case for political smooth sailing of a REAL end to discharges.

Now 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 = 0? WHERE's the "bravery" in Obama doing exactly what he criticized 1993 Dems [read: his main opponent's husband] during the primaries: "rather than embracing
leadership and principle [they] bowed to fear and
prejudice."

And Obama is bowing to nothing like the huge coalition Clinton faced: the vast majority of Congress of both parties, a much larger, more rabid "Christian" Antigay Industry, a public terrorized in five months of homohating debate going from supporting lifting the ban to opposing it, and the virtually mutinous Joint Chiefs of Staff led by a war hero with a 10% approval rating higher than the "draft dodger" President.

The ONLY real oppositon Obama had to keeping his promise to personally fight for repeal the moment he took office is a few brass homophobes. If he had ordered them to salute REAL, even immediate, repeal, they, just like even Powell said he would in 1993, would have saluted back and given the fence sitters in Congress reason to support actually ending discharges rather than this shameless charade.

>>>> the administration's achievement will be damn good, even historic."

Well, I'd keep the "damn," and it IS historic: triagulation of such historic proportions that somewhere Bill Clinton choked on his cigar.

He's for ending the ban, but working against its end.
He "didn't do this," Congress is.
When enough people finally get around to noticing discharges haven't stopped, he can say, "But they're working on it."
And when everyone finally gets that that's a dodge, he can blame the Pentagon.

HERE's "what counts":

BEFORE DADT: out/outed gays were discharged whenever DOD wanted.
AFTER DADT/BEFORE THIS BILL: out/outed gays are discharged whenever DOD wants.
AFTER THIS BILL: out/outed gays will be discharged as long as DOD wants.

Circa 600 since Obama was sworn in....and STILL counting.

Well said, Michael.

This is just a group of people and organizations "living off our struggle" trying to look good enough to raise money.

Chris Daley | May 25, 2010 11:28 PM

Michael -

I've seen a couple of places today where you've referred to Obama as a coward. I understand that emotions are running particularly high on DADT repeal/ending the discharges and discrimination and that you've been working towards this goal for decades.

But, I'd urge you to really think about this term in future posts. You're writing this about a man who puts his personal safety and the safety of his family at unprecedented risk in order to offer his vision for this country.

We live in a country where people who irrationally hate and fear African-Americans have nearly unfettered access to guns. According to a 2008 NYT article, "Obama has had Secret Service agents surrounding him since May 3, [2007] the earliest a candidate has ever been provided protection" because of identified threats of violence. Yet on the vast majority of days for more than three years, this man has waded into crowds, made public appearances, and generally exposed himself to unpredictible risk simply because he thinks he has something to offer as a public servant.

We obviously disagree on some/many of the decisions he has made since taking office. However, we do agree that it is important to voice our opinions about those decisions (and those of other elected officials and community leaders). Can we also agree that whatever else you think about the man, that he cannot, by any stretch or twist of the word, be considered a coward?

Best,
Chris

Too bad. Obama put his family and himself in that position. No one made him run for or get elected to office. His lack of leadership can be seen as cowardice, afraid to stand up for what he campaigned for and gave speeches for while in office.


Main Entry: cow·ard·ice
Pronunciation: \?kau?(-?)r-d?s, dial -(?)d?s\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English cowardise, from Anglo-French coardise, from cuard
Date: 14th century
: lack of courage or resolution


Chris Daley | May 26, 2010 9:43 AM

Mykelb -

I hope that for your sake, at some point in the future, you come to understand just how racist your post is.

Chris

I'm sorry to say it, but I too feel this is a political charade that's been put out as a way to appease the LGBT community in advance of the mid-term elections. Apparently, the Dems think we are all cretins.

Already, I have had some inside sources indicate that they believe the Pentagon may be trying to sabatoge the "study" so that it will show that repeal will be disruptive, etc. Bottom line, I have zero faith that this will ever lead to a true repeal and end of discharges.

We've been had yet again by our faux "allies." My Congressman is dreaming if he thinks I will be happy with this bogus repeal stunt.

Can't you see Aaron Belkin and Joe Solmonese (and all the others living off our struggle) saying "we need to look like we've accomplished something and then creating this charade? This "compromise" put the fate of DADT in the hands of the Pentagon and their predictable "study."

They will use this non-progress to suggest:

"We're trying. We're really, really trying. PLEASE send money."

Jose Cazares | May 25, 2010 7:55 PM

Mr. Belkin, your comments are absurd precisely because you misrepresent both the nature of the relationship between the President and Congress with respect to the military, and worse, you completely neglect to follow through on your historical analogy with the end of segregation. Yes, integration was widely unpopular (even in the North) in the late 1940s, and Truman did have a lot to consider, but the point is, he unilaterally ended segregation in the military, as well as with employment policies within the Federal government by simply signing executive orders. When challenged, especially by many military commanders as well as their Congressional supporters, he asserted his role as Commander in Chief, and that is why his action stood! Do you really think that Congress has either the Constitutional power to assert sovereignty over the military (especially during wartime) or the popular backing of the press, the people, and especially the rank and file of the military to reverse a Presidential executive order issued as Commander in Chief? All you've done is exposed that the fact you are woefully ignorant of how REAL historical, as well as Constitutional politics have worked in relation to the expansion of Civil Rights in this country.

Why don't you 'fess up to what is really going on here. The President is scheduled to visit the Bay Area of Northern California (where I live, by the way) this weekend - ostensibly to help out with California's Democratic Primary efforts, but in reality to RAISE MONEY for the party. Everyone knows that along with declining social service support for the poor and unemployed here, growing resentment over the war in Afghanistan, and the environmental catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico, the President's handlers within the Party could ill afford either a refusal by wealthy Gay and Lesbian donors to continue to fund the Democratic Party, or worse, very visible and vocal demonstrations against this administration's record on Gay and Lesbian rights.

Cut the crap, and secure a SPECIFIC DATE from the White House for an end to DADT -- anything less than that is worthless.

I already said my piece so I won't get involved here, but I will say that if people are calling this "Jim Crow" out there they should stop because that's just stupid.

Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com | May 25, 2010 8:52 PM

No, Alex, it has legitimate historical precedent.

In the early days of WWII, blacks, led by A. Phillip Randolph [gay black civil rights icon Bayard Rustin's great mentor...himself MLK's mentor... who with Randolph force Roosevelt to integrate civilian "war industries"] protested what they called "the Jim Crow draft," referring to the fact that blacks were drafted into the military but kept in segregated units and jobs.

Just as they were treated unequally by the military, gays of ALL colors are treated unequal to nongays of all colors by the military. Creating segregated assignments for gays was floated in 1993 and again last year and this year, along with separate barracks...just as existed years ago for blacks.

In fact, just like the current Marine Commandant who suggested separate barracks for gays, his predecessor in the 40s attacked the idea of racially integrating the Marines because they were then too small a force to "afford" to build separate white and black barracks.

Further, gay women of color are discharged at a much higher rate than gay white women, gay men, or gay black men.

Did you notice who will be giving input to the Pentagon report? Servicepeople. Families of servicepeople. Groups who support Families.

Groups such as the Traditional Families Coalition. Yes, that's right, it's like giving the KKK an input to a report on the impact of providing civil rights to blacks. No, I'm not kidding, you'll see the results later in the year.

Notice something else in the legislation?

Section 654 of title 10, United States Code, shall remain in effect until such time that all of the requirements and certifications required by subsection (b) are met. If these requirements and certifications are not met, section 654 6 of title 10, United States Code, shall remain in effect.
In other words, NOT REPEALED.

I repeat, for the hard of thinking: This says that DADT cannot be repealed until the report is in. After that, it requires presidential approval, AND both SecDef and CJCS to certify that ALL the regulations to implement repeal are in place, AND that there'll be no effect on recruitment or retention.

Then, and only then, will DADT be repealed. Not before.

If, say, there are a significant number of senior officers - say 100 - who threaten resignation, no CJCS or SecDef can certify that it definitely will have no effect.

From CNN:

In the Senate Armed Services Committee, however, a source involved in vote counting told CNN that Democratic leaders currently only have 13 firm "yes" votes. Fifteen are required for passage. The source identified West Virginia's Robert Byrd, Nebraska's Ben Nelson and Indiana's Evan Bayh as Democratic holdouts.

One prominent GOP moderate on the committee, Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, issued a statement Tuesday indicating his opposition to the Democratic plan.

Nelson and Byrd are "NO" votes. Nayh is supposed to make a statement in the morning. The votes aren't there. EVEN with this stupid compromise.

Equality is NOT negotiable. This charade has been an attempt to ensure that Gay Inc. (Primarily HRC) and the Democratss get donations before the mid-terms. It isn't going to work.

For once I think you're right. I think they may have shot themselves in the foot.

The question is, will Obama be able to continue to present the facade to Gays that he's doing all he can for GLBT people, while making sure the Fundies know that he's managed to sabotage them at every juncture.

I think with this he may have pulled it off. Look at the conflicting interpretations of his actions - BlueDogs saying he's against the compromise, others saying he's for.

It is unfortunate that Obama doesn't have the courage to simply make simple "repeal" the only issue. Negotiating is defeat.

Pragmatists always disappoint.

Andrew you have forgotten who appoints and dismisses both the Secretary of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff.

I don't think it is about what "eventually" happens to DADT. I think it's really about Obama losing control of the issue simply for the sake of "looking good," instead of doing good.

This bit of "gee whiz everybody we're really trying" can't even get enough votes to survive Congress." It is about the Democrats and the "Gay Rights Industry" looking good and being able to raise money. The defeat we are about to suffer will help them raise money. We shouldn't fall for it.

I think this is a weak compromise. The conditions for repeal are rather high. Even if it is repealed I see no assurance of non discrimination in the future.

I'm a pretty cautious sort I demand that something is actually put into a law before I believe people will do it. I think that relying on the good will of people for your defense is a fools errand. Until I see an actual law states that the military cannot discriminate against gblt people I will find this to be a poor compromise and poor policy.

That being said I wonder as does Zoe what happens if the pentagon report states that gblt people shouldn't be integrated? If we are waiting on the report I assume it has some sort of authority.

Oh yea of little faith. Or, as Patton said .....
"Rommel, you magnificent bastard! I read your book!"

Senator Jim Webb - A DEMOCRAT - just said NO to the compromise. It will not pass. The "compromise" was insulting and insincere.

I am curious Aaron Belkin, as this charade unravels and more people understand this was an attempt to mislead the LGBT Community, will YOU tell us who asked you to write this endorsement? Was it your idea? Which bandwagon did you get on, and why?

Do you have the courage (or for the sake of "progress") to tell us the rest of the story? The truth?

Tell us. Please.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | May 26, 2010 2:47 AM

SNAFU... again and again and again

It's obvious by now that Obama is in way over his head. He and his team pretty much failed on every major question they attempted to solve.

They gave trillions to the looter rich who continue to operate as if the economy isn't collapsing. The financial reform bill is a sham. Obama is a tool of Goldman Sachs, who 'donated' $994,795.00 to his campaign. Their health 'reform' was a giveaway to insurance companies and Big Pharma. People are going to continue to die needlessly. They absolutely reject single-payer or socialized medicine.

Obama promised to escalate in Pakistan and adopted the same policy of 'defended hamlets' and winning the 'hearts and minds' that failed in Iraq, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Not only is Obama a military and diplomatic idiot but lots of GIs are going to be killed and maimed because of it. "The US and Nato commander in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, who was boasting of military progress only three months ago, confessed last week that "nobody is winning". FUBAR

He ran as a 'friend of labor' and busted the UAW.

He ran as our 'fierce defender' and so far all he's defended are Bill Clintons ugly bigoted DADT and DOMA using language that southern baptists like Rick Warren, Der Papenfuehrer and the LDS Quorum of the Twelve Apostles would be proud of. DADT is not repealed and military discrimination and violence against women and GLBT folks won't end. It's just won't be codified in law.

He ran as an environmentalist whose administration called for more, not less, offshore drilling. His administration violated federal law and allowed unchecked expansion of drilling in the Gulf which caused the BP disaster. The northern reaches of the Gulf are a sewer and the graveyard of entire species because of Obama's ineptitude and lax regulatory efforts. TARFU

If elections weren't rigged, if this wasn't the biggest Banana Republic of them all, he'd be impeached. But ten to one he'll be reelected while Obots and Democrats applaud thinking they've been saved from rightwingers like Palin, Romney, Jindal, or Huckabee. The only thing wrong with that kind of thinking is that Obama is that kind of rightwinger. And not very bright in the bargain. BOHICA (Not in the good way.)

The looter rich much prefer working with Democrats like Obama and the Clintons - they're greedier, they fool more people and they're able to get away with a lot more than Republicans.

Don't enlist. Don't fight. Don't translate.

BEST ADVICE EVER:
Don't enlist. Don't fight. Don't translate.

please read this:

http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/50577


a comprehensive examination of the bill to "repeal" DADT. in reality, it is no repeal at all. we all need to conact our senators and ask them to vote AGAINST this legislation, and get REAL repeal in the works.

Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com | May 26, 2010 4:23 AM

@ Chris Daley.

I recognize the personal courage still required of any person of color...or any LGBT person...to run for office. But cowardice comes in many forms, and Obama is a "moral coward" by his own measure.

"Equality is a moral imperative. ...And as president, I will place the weight of my administration behind a fully inclusive Employment Non Discrimination Act to outlaw workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. ...As your President, I will use the bully pulpit to urge states to treat same-sex couples with full equality in their family and adoption laws. ...I will never compromise on my commitment to equal rights for all LGBT Americans. ... Americans are yearning for leadership that can empower us to reach for what we know is possible. I believe that we can achieve the goal of full equality for the millions of LGBT people in this country. To do that, we need leadership that can appeal to the best parts of the human spirit. Join with me, and I will provide that leadership.” – Barack Obama, Job Application, February 28, 2008.

And by the measure of others besides me:

"President Obama appears to have absorbed an unfortunate -- and incorrect -- lesson from the Democrats' alienation from the military since Vietnam: that to earn the trust of the brass, the president must plead with the uniforms for a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Yes, Dems must win over the military; no, that is not done by having the president ask permission to act like Commander-in-Chief; it's done by showing the world that the president knows how to lead. Sometimes moral and political leadership really are one and the same. Ending the needless firing of gay troops is one of those times." - Nathaniel Frank, author of "Unfriendly Fire."

Chris Daley | May 26, 2010 9:34 AM

Micheal -

thanks for the reply. Two quick things and then I'll let this go:

1. I think you, likely unintentionally, undervalue the rare risks that Obama has faced for the last 3+ years when you write, "I recognize the personal courage still required of any person of color...or any LGBT person...to run for office." As far as I know, Obama did not face security threats when he was running for his Senate office (and I don't know of widespread security risks faced by candidates who are of color and/or lgbt running for other offices, though it likely happens in some specific instances).

The office of the President holds a unique place in Amerian life and lumping the courage Obama demonstrates by running for and holding that office in with every other kind of political race, in my opinion, diminishes his sacrifice.

2. I think your quotes are more about failures (perceived or real) of strategy or priority than courage. In fact, another Frank quote (albeit one from an earlier article than the one you quote) actually holds the opposite view: "President Obama is a brave man."

www.sldn.org/blog/archives/stand-by-your-word-mr-president-end-dont-ask-dont-tell/

Best,

Chris

The two things that bother me most about the compromise is that:

1) It doesn't stop the discharges while we wait for the report to finish.

2) It doesn't include a non-discrimination policy.

First off, the Jim Crow comparison was stupid - especially from folks who should have learned by now that GAY is not the new Black, and even though comparing gay rights to civil rights was balls on accurate in my opinion, the "messengers" were badly thought out. Nuff said on that.


I don't think there can be a President who won't piss off half of the people most of the time. But two things about this thread jump out at me the most.

1) The Obama loathers will go on and on about how cowardly he is and how awful everything he's done is and how our troops are in more danger because of him. They're as predicable as Glenn Beck.

2) Any Obama supporters who hold onto hope that his pragmatic approach will work in the end are presumed to be deluded and suckling the teet of Gay, Inc. And in all honesty, in some cases, there's an inkling of truth in that.


Two things I know for sure:

1) Time will reveal who's right and who's wrong.

2) Racial discrimination never ended after the Civil Rights Act, neither will homo-hatred when DADT slips into ignominious history (which it surely will, very soon).

In many endeavors and certainly politics timing is critical. This is exactly what it was billed as which is a compromise. But let's examine it. 3 people have to agree but one of those 3 has the power to dismiss and reappoint the other 2. Therefore only 1 has the real power. Secondarily this compromise provides flexibility to the President. Nothing in it restricts him from ceasing discharges at any moment. But, the first step is to get this passed which may not even happen especially if those wanting repeal scream loudly that this compromise is a disaster.

Lots of people pressed, demonstrated, lobbied, wrote articles, had meetings, chained themselves up and took many more active steps to repeal DADT. Just which part of a step 1 compromise can't you swallow? Would you rather just move forward to the Kagan confirmation hearings and skip this whole compromise?

This non-compromise, non-repeal Amendment will be filibustered away. We only have 54 votes in the US Senate - we can't beat the filibuster.

Sound familiar?

polargirl360 | May 27, 2010 9:47 AM

A fillibuster can be beat with a budget reconciliation move. DADT and ENDA have nothing with budgets so such a move would be denounced as an extreme abuse of power.

Making a moral or ethical complaint about power being abused against people to prevent them from discriminating is publicly laughable hypocrisy.