Another Casualty of War

Governing is not a clean. neat business. Nowhere is that more clear than in the various moves and counter-moves surrounding the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

Many people wonder, “Does President Obama want to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell or not?” The confusion is understandable.

He says “yes,” but then does not issue an executive order doing so. He says its the job of Congress to overturn the law it passed in 1993. That is probably right.

But, then, when the House votes to do it, he lets the Defense Department ask for a delay while consultants engage in a prolonged study to see how to deal with repeal. Now, that a federal judge threw out the policy in its entirety, he lets the Justice Department request, and temporarily at least, win a stay on the judge’s decision.

Ouch. This all hurts. A lot. It creates great anger. I surely feel it. When will our leaders learn that “we” are just as good at serving as everyone else? Its plain civil rights.

I don’t think that President Obama is playing for votes–he is alienating a key base, namely LGBT folks and he certainly is not winning any conservatives. Instead, he made a deal with Defense Secretary Robert Gates to do this a certain way and he is sticking to that. He needs Gates–and other military leaders who are more conservative–too much in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This is not the first time when war trumps justice.