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Don’t Ask Obama, He Won’t Tell You

October 17th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

For someone who claims to be strongly against the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, Barack Obama sure knows how to keep it in place. As the commander-in-chief, he could have issued an executive order from Day 1 telling the military to stop enforcing the policy until legislative action could be taken. And now that a federal judge has ruled that the policy is unconstitutional, he could simply tell the Justice Department not to appeal that decision.

He hasn’t done either of these things, because he still claims that the only way the policy can be repealed is through the senate. He insists that the policy will be removed and it will be removed “on his watch” but does anyone honestly expect the current U.S. Senate in which everything gets obstructed including previous efforts to repeal DADT to actually get the 60 votes necessary to overcome the filibuster? Trusting the senate to get it done is like trusting private health insurance companies to cover sick people out of the goodness of their hearts.

Obama clearly hates this issue. Just take a look at the first minute of this clip from this past week’s MTV town hall in which somebody asked him why he doesn’t use his executive power to end the policy. Pay attention to the first thing he says in response to her:

Obama: “First of all, I haven’t mentioned that I’m against Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, I’ve said very clearly including in a State of the Union Address that I’m against Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and we’re gonna end this policy.”

You can hear the annoyance in his voice see it in his facial expression. It’s like he’s thinking “What more do you people want from me? Don’t you realize it’s two weeks before an election?”

And that’s really what’s going on here. Obama is a part of the machine and the machine believes that gay rights issues are bad electoral politics. Even though the majority of Americans consistently support the repeal, he’s somehow still afraid of the uproar from the right-wing noise machine that would result from a decision on his part to stop the implementation of the policy. As though the Tea Party crowd isn’t already clamoring to get to the polls and vote against him.

Obama, those guys are energized enough. Forget what your establishment-insider friends are telling you—what you need to do is energize the liberals. Give them a reason to get out and vote. And what better gift can you hand them but one of the most significant advancements of Civil Rights this country has seen in a generation? That’s change we would believe in.

But Obama isn’t about change. He’s about playing by the rules of a crooked system and treading ever-so-softly on every single issue in a pathetic attempt to ruffle as few feathers as possible.

Obama, you have an opportunity to just let the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy die by not appealing the court’s decision to strike it down. But you are appealing the decision, you are forcing gay soldiers to continue to live in fear of being discovered and booted out of the military, and you are putting their fate in the hands of a legislative body so broken and corrupt that the repeal of the policy could conceivably be blocked for years. If you want this done as you so forcefully insist you do, you have to do it yourself.

You’re the goddamn president, Barack. You are supposedly the leader of this country. So quit making excuses and fucking lead already.

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