Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal in peril


The Palm Center’s Nathanial Frank says President Obama’s habit of deferring to Congress on important legislation is putting a DADT repeal at risk.

Everyone knows that 2010 is the year to act — following the 2010 midterm elections, Democrats will be skittish, and the 2012 presidential campaign will be heating up — but Frank says DADT repeal will go the way of health care reform if the President does not take the lead by promoting repeal legislation and including it in his “must-pass” defense budget proposal.

The Human Rights Campaign seems to agree, although likely for different reasons. If the fight is going to be in Congress, that gives the HRC several more years where they can use DADT as a fundraising issue.

If President Obama is serious about lifting the ban in his first term, he should put repeal into the 2011 Defense Authorization bill. If the military brass can call for an end to the ban, and if Republicans Dick Cheney and Colin Powell can join them in supporting this step, surely Democrats and gay groups should be on the frontlines of pressing for real action.

And as AmericaBlog points out, most of the voters opposed to a DADT repeal are not likely to vote for Democrats in the upcoming mid-term elections, anyway.