Barack Obama | Don't Ask, Don't Tell | John Boehner | Military | News

Boehner: Now is Not the Time to Debate 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'


On today's Meet the Press, David Gregory asks Rep. John Boehner whether he thinks "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" will be a Republican campaign issue. Boehner replies that now is not the time to deal with it.

Says Boehner:  "I don't think it will be a campaign issue.  But in the middle of two wars, and, and in the middle of this giant security threat, why would we want to get into this debate?  While, at a time when Americans are asking, 'Where are the jobs?' why do we want to get in this debate?  While we're fighting over health care and trying to find some way to come to some common ground, why do we want to get into a divisive debate that will do nothing more than distract the, the real debate that should occur here about helping get our economy going again and getting the American people back to work."


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  1. When it comes to something that can accomplished through executive order as Commander in Chief, debate is not even needed.

    Posted by: jimmy | Jan 31, 2010 4:21:42 PM

  2. But the reality is that it will never be a time to "debate" (there's only debate with bigots) DADT for congressional republicans. This is as noteworthy coming from boehner as if he had said he likes coffee with waffles. Rep. No of the No to anything democrats propose party, is not the person you need to talk to to get a sane read on the issue.

    The time is now. RIGHT NOW.

    Posted by: TANK | Jan 31, 2010 4:22:27 PM

  3. These are words that can only be spoken by someone who has never had to face prejudice, has never been treated unfairly, has no clue what it's like to have to struggle and disguise oneself just to reach the same level of accomplishment as others.

    It's never a good time to grant civil rights to others if you're prejudiced and entitled. NOW is the best time for DADT to be repealed. THIS VERY MINUTE.

    Posted by: E. | Jan 31, 2010 4:26:51 PM

  4. At this point, after 16-years, what's left to debate?

    One either supports job creation (gays working in the military) and national security (not firing specialized individuals for personal characteristics) or one doesn't.

    Posted by: Eric | Jan 31, 2010 4:34:11 PM

  5. Rarely is the public given such an opportunity to actually hear a reasoned argument for abolishing Don't Ask Don't Tell. David Gregory was given such an opportunity when Boehner asked him why the country should take on this issue while conducting two wars. Gregory said nothing in response! Yes, it was a rhetorical question, but it gave him an opportunity to discuss true patriotism and honoring Constitutional guarantees, come wars or not! What a wasted opportunity for going beyond a soundbite.
    David Gregory either has no guts or is a poor excuse for a journalist to let that slide.

    Posted by: John Tillery | Jan 31, 2010 4:34:20 PM

  6. Does anyone else think John Boehner looks like a drunk? Something about that face screams "I had 12 vodka drinks last night."

    Posted by: peterparker | Jan 31, 2010 4:45:09 PM

  7. Why are we even discussing whether ANY republican will vote for DADT demise, DOMA, ENDA-any issues concerning gay people. The party of NO will never vote for full legal rights for gay people-ever!-and woe to any member of the Theocratic party to dare even think about it. It is a waste of space to even contemplate the question. They have no use for gay people. We are the last group they can openly discriminate against.

    Posted by: Nick | Jan 31, 2010 4:49:04 PM

  8. In addition to only taking about a time frame ["this year"] for working with Congress toward repal and not a timeline for REPEAL, the downside of the President's admirable annoucement to Congress and the nation that he supports repeal was that he's clearly getting bad advice.

    Once again, he reverted to framing the case for repeal SOLELY on "fairness" while opponents like Trog. pardon me Cong. Boehner replay the Big Lie that EVEN TALKING about out gay servicemembers hurts the fight against "this giant security threat." Transparent scumbag that he is to our eyes, such fear mongering works with the average American unless challenged.

    As disappointed as I was that his speech to LGBTs at the White House in June was still JUST talk, at least he twice framed ending DADT in the only way that is going to get American voters [regardless of what they tell pollsters] to ENGAGE in the fight for repeal and crush asshats like Boehner and the Commandant of the Marines and the Antigay Industry generally [emphasis mine]:

    "I believe don't ask, don't tell doesn't contribute to our national security. In fact, I believe preventing patriotic Americans from serving their country WEAKENS OUR NATIONAL SECURITY. ...

    ... men and women who continue to be discharged under this policy—patriots who often possess critical language skills and years of training and who've served this country well. But what I hope is that these cases underscore the URGENCY of reversing this policy not just because it's the right thing to do, but because IT IS ESSENTIAL FOR OUR NATIONAL SECURITY."

    Servicemembers United has been saying this for a long time and the President AND our other advocacy groups must start shooting down those supporters of DADT who don't give a flying fuck about what's fair anymore today than they did in 1992/93 an all the way back to the discharge of Leonard Matlovich THIRTY-FIVE YEARS AGO!

    We're talking what can sound like the lollipops and roses of what's "right" while our enemies are still talking about life and death threats to the vast majority of Americans who are not gay.

    We MUST change our strategy or lose the best opportunity we've ever had to end the ban.

    Posted by: Michael @ | Jan 31, 2010 4:58:57 PM

  9. Why should we "debate" this? Well, if Mr. Bonehead is too dense to understand why America should be defending, let alone permitting, the free speech and basic human rights of its own citizens, then how about the fact that the cost in money and, potentially, lives, to both the military and the country.

    How about the fact that well over 11,000 members of the military have lost their jobs for no good reason because of this policy?

    How about the fact that just before the 9/11 tragedy, warning of what was about to happen had been received in Arabic, but nobody who read it knew what it said, after dozens of experts in Arabic translation had lost their jobs because of rumors and innuendo about the irrelvant matter of who they may have had loving and waiting for them back home?

    If any of this has to be explained, this guy is either not paying attention or doesn't want to. And I agree with John's comment: shame on David Gregory for not offering one of many obvious answers to the rhetorical question.

    Posted by: GregV | Jan 31, 2010 5:10:29 PM

  10. ". But in the middle of two wars, and, and in the middle of this giant security threat, why would we want to get into this debate?"

    And that folks, is going to be what you'll be hearing everytime a Republican opens their mouths for the next few weeks. Know the talking point and be prepared to fight back Mr. Obama.

    It's time to draw a line in the sand.

    Posted by: DEREK WASHINGTON | Jan 31, 2010 5:32:15 PM

  11. @John Tillery: Spot on. The MSM has become nothing more than a forum for anyone with a soundbite or talking point. There is no attempt to challenge, illuminate or create context. And David Gregory calls himself a journalist.

    Posted by: Tim | Jan 31, 2010 6:21:53 PM

  12. But I thought the Republicans and the Dems were the same on gay rights?

    Posted by: Kevinvt | Jan 31, 2010 6:33:14 PM

  13. Does this bitch realize that people are LOSING jobs from DADT? He says people are wondering about jobs - Fuck yea I am: Why are perfectly good men and women being kicked out of our military? Fuck off bonehead!

    Posted by: KFLO | Jan 31, 2010 6:36:53 PM

  14. Gay constituents in his state need to raise hell with him. Are they doing that? Do they call his office? Do they write him? I'm beginning to think Gay Americans are sort of dozing through life.

    If a few hundred TEA bagger people can destroy health care for ALL Americans, why can't a few hundred Gay Americans have DADT lifted. What am I missing?

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Jan 31, 2010 7:28:56 PM

  15. The time for repealing anti-gay laws is never, ever right for the Republicans.

    Posted by: homer | Jan 31, 2010 7:45:28 PM

  16. when would be the right time to debate this
    issue. now is the perfect time the miltary bounced hundreds of well trained people who were serving with honor to include trained pilots, translators and just every day dedicated serviceman did boehner ever serve his country except as aloud mouth congressman it is also should be noted than most former chiefs of staff have come out for repeal of DADT i know i had to stay closeted while i served in vietnam and it lead to more stress.

    Posted by: walter | Jan 31, 2010 10:23:33 PM

  17. This is the part where I say that it wouldn't be an issue if there weren't so many narrow-minded people in the government.
    You don't want to deal with us through these wars then give us what we want and that'll be the end of it. Why do people make things so complicated?

    Posted by: E.C | Jan 31, 2010 11:02:28 PM

  18. so don't debate and accomplish this by executive order and do it now. we'd still have slavery if it had been left to congressional debate. get rid of gays in the military as issue by policy and you'ver removed one of the three pillers of republican fundraising gays, god and guns

    Posted by: boris | Feb 1, 2010 12:24:19 AM

  19. "Why would we want to eliminate a policy that reduces the effectiveness of our military in the middle of two wars and mass paranoia?"

    Gee, I dunno.

    Posted by: Bryan | Feb 1, 2010 12:25:10 AM

  20. gregory said nothing because wasn't on his telepromter. he is nothing but a news reader asking the harmless questions he is given dont want to upset the guest they may not come back or give nbc a quote

    Posted by: walter | Feb 1, 2010 1:26:03 AM

  21. Boner is pretending to be a moron. Even most conservatives want DADT to go. He's just trying to score points for bashing Dems on other issues. If it comes to a vote, it will pass with Democrats alone, or perhaps one or two blue-state Republicans. Bottom line, he wants DADT repeal to pass so most people will be happy, and so he can vote no against it to pick up the remaining crazies who aren't.

    Posted by: Randy | Feb 1, 2010 2:01:29 AM

  22. issue with this is that there are people losing their jobs...and these people could have helped win the so-called "war on terror", but because they sleep with someone of the same sex, somehow people think that affects their brain. assholes!!
    take a cue from other countries, like um Isreal where gays serve openly and they have a strong military. duh

    Posted by: Paul | Feb 1, 2010 1:42:52 PM

  23. "I don't think it will be a campaign issue. But in the middle of two wars, and, and in the middle of this giant security threat, why would we want to get into this debate?"

    The question, it answers itself.

    Posted by: AG | Feb 1, 2010 1:56:03 PM

  24. Gee, John, why would we want to stop discharging talented military personnel in a time of war, and send these same highly and specifically trained folks directly to the unemployment line? The orange representative is PANDERING to the jesus goblins and throwing the rest of us under the bus.

    {banging head against keyboard}

    Posted by: Flying Spaghetti Monster | Feb 1, 2010 4:06:13 PM

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