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Obama Repeats Promise to Repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'



Here's the portion of Obama's State of the Union speech that mentions "Don't Ask, Don't Tell":

"My Administration has a Civil Rights Division that is once again prosecuting civil rights violations and employment discrimination. We finally strengthened our laws to protect against crimes driven by hate. This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are. It's the right thing to do."

No real specifics. We better get some soon. Considering that the Defense Dept. asked Levin to delay this week's hearings because of the President's speech, I expected him to have some sort of an announcement that might have offered a reason for the delay, but in his speech Obama just seemed to repeat the status quo. If they had allowed the hearings to proceed this week, Obama could have said, "Hearings are underway to repeal this discriminatory policy," which, with his intentions, would have made a much stronger statement imho.

John McCain came out almost immediately after the speech with a statement against the repeal of DADT. Here's what he said:

“In his State of the Union address, President Obama asked Congress to repeal the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy. I am immensely proud of, and thankful for, every American who wears the uniform of our country, especially at a time of war, and I believe it would be a mistake to repeal the policy. This successful policy has been in effect for over fifteen years, and it is well understood and predominantly supported by our military at all levels. We have the best trained, best equipped, and most professional force in the history of our country, and the men and women in uniform are performing heroically in two wars. At a time when our Armed Forces are fighting and sacrificing on the battlefield, now is not the time to abandon the policy.”

Full prepared remarks here.

What did you think of the speech as a whole? Watch it all, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. "This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law"

    Sounds specific to me. An 11 month deadline.

    Posted by: Aaron Rowland | Jan 27, 2010 10:01:44 PM

  2. Excellent orator. Persuasive. Cool poise. This new year, I only hope President Obama's backbone will be as strong as the tone & tenor of his words tonight. The ship has sailed on DADT.
    Meanwhile, HD makes the dull & the dead in the chamber look human. The First Lady never looked more beautiful than she did tonight.

    Posted by: Marcito | Jan 27, 2010 10:04:50 PM

  3. The speech as a whole sounds more like something that would be given at a Shriner's convention or similar event.

    I agree with @marcito, Mrs. Obama looks beautiful tonight.

    Posted by: chad | Jan 27, 2010 10:11:16 PM

  4. In my administration, 'Change' would mean no fucking applause in the SOTU. Why waste the time..?!

    Posted by: Jeff | Jan 27, 2010 10:17:25 PM

  5. For the first time in years I simply couldn't bring myself to watch it. I am too sick and tired of talk that is not supported by action. I'll rely on ya'll to let me know if I missed anything.

    Posted by: Boxerdad | Jan 27, 2010 10:17:36 PM

  6. So.

    When Obama brought up the whole 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' bit, was there actually a shot of Tim Geithner applauding enthusiastically in support? If I didn't imagine that, then that was certainly the most interesting aspect to the whole speech.

    Posted by: Litterbury | Jan 27, 2010 10:24:02 PM

  7. Great speech!

    Cue Bedwell....

    Posted by: DEREK WASHINGTON | Jan 27, 2010 10:24:13 PM

  8. Gosh...Old queens...keep your faith on change...he can't do your job so get out and help him. I'm sure when the 1st GAY pride parade in NY after Stonewall happened...Change didn't come right took time, it was organic...look at us now..a few set backs but we are still going strong and WE WILL BE EQUAL UNDER THE CONSTITUTION.

    I just volunteer at my local LGBT center and i plan to see where else i can help.

    *I thought his speech was very inspiring. He reminded me why I voted and why I'm on this ride...I won't give my faith up.

    Posted by: Bosie | Jan 27, 2010 10:27:36 PM

  9. So tired of hate.

    Posted by: David | Jan 27, 2010 10:28:23 PM

  10. Great speech. Very well played President Obama.

    Posted by: zeddy | Jan 27, 2010 10:29:24 PM

  11. I'm kinda getting sick of Obama. I told the bitches to vote Clinton!

    Posted by: Cricket | Jan 27, 2010 10:29:53 PM

  12. I was hoping for a Stop-Loss order while the President and Congress moved to eliminate DADT and open service to all.

    Posted by: Rodney | Jan 27, 2010 10:30:24 PM

  13. Lip service is right IMHO. More like throwing us a bone (no pun intended). How is it we are worthy enough to fight in wars in foreign lands but not worthy enough to marry the ones we love?

    Posted by: Michael | Jan 27, 2010 10:31:11 PM

  14. "I will WORK to repeal" not " I WILL". two very different statements. i will wait and see. I will not let up until i see progress and final repeal.

    Posted by: The Realist | Jan 27, 2010 10:31:54 PM

  15. Lip service is a site that dismisses the most important LGBT announcement of the past 10 years.

    This is our moment as well as the President's.

    I challenge you, Andy Towle, to do your part to ensure the Pres. abides by his promise rather than merely dismissing it with cynicism.

    Our REAL enemies will be hard at work to take this proposition down. Please do not enable them.

    Posted by: David Kaufman | Jan 27, 2010 10:32:00 PM

  16. That's the first State of the Union that I could watch from beginning to end.

    Posted by: Matt | Jan 27, 2010 10:32:16 PM

  17. He is an amazing orator but I kind of felt like I was listening to a campaign speach again. He could have stated loud and clear that he was issuing an executive order to immediately stay DADT till they had killed it democratically as it is the "right thing to do". I want to trust him i really really do and he is the best option out there but I just feel like he really is not doing all he can. He is, after all, a politician.

    Posted by: thedevlin | Jan 27, 2010 10:33:28 PM

  18. I was hoping for a Stop-Loss order while the President and Congress moved to eliminate DADT and open service to all.

    Posted by: Rodney | Jan 27, 2010 10:33:36 PM

  19. That was one for the history books; it was sober and - frankly - wise. Tonally, at times it was unprecedented; it was refreshingly high on specifics too. I'm very satisfied with his aims.

    Re: us. He needs to act decisively and soon.

    It must be said though, the man's brilliant and far sighted. That's not just rhetoric, he is showing leadership.

    Posted by: elcamino | Jan 27, 2010 10:33:42 PM

  20. He delivered the speech well, but the content won't win over many people. As for DADT, way too little, too late.

    Posted by: Sooverhim | Jan 27, 2010 10:33:47 PM

  21. Some of Obama's toughest critics use the argument that his lack of verbal support for certain issues is a huge problem. Re DADT specifically, I've heard it said time and again that his lack of direction on it, his silence, has been part of the problem. So when he forcefully states he wants it repealed this year, that should be considered good news and a correction of the kind of MIA status they were criticizing.

    "It's only words," too many people say. Words do matter, and choosing to utter those words during his SOTU matters a lot.

    That said, WE have to use this to keep momentum going and bug Congress about it.

    Other aspects: I found the derisive laughter over climate change so reminded me of the people on the upside-down Poseidon scoffing at trying to escape the ballroom. I had to groan when Reid yawned early on. I had wanted more of a specific directive on health care, but I liked that he said he wasn't running away.

    Overall, Indies should love this speech.

    I thought it dragged at times, but it really ended powerfully. "We don't quit. I DON'T QUIT."

    Then I had to listen to the immediate reactions on NBC analyzing how many BlackBerries they saw or didn't see...

    Posted by: Matthew Rettenmund | Jan 27, 2010 10:35:29 PM

  22. Guess my comment didn't go through. Anyway, the speech didn't win me over. So tired of promises that aren't kept.

    Posted by: DonewithO | Jan 27, 2010 10:36:50 PM

  23. "i will WORK to repeal..." not "I WILL repeal". Two very different things.

    Posted by: The Realist | Jan 27, 2010 10:37:36 PM

  24. Why was that interesting, LITTERBURY? LOL! Obama talked tonight of increasing transparency between lobbyists and businessmen alike and his administration and members of congress. Timmy's basically a glorified lobbyist for the banking industry. If he wanted real transparency and regulatory reform that isn't the joke he alluded to that passed the house, he needs to clean up his administration by telling timmy to take a walk. And larry and the rest of the rubinite apparatchiks responsible for the era of deregulation that realized its ascendancy during the Clinton presidency. Not to mention several other administration insiders/douchebags like Rahm Emanuel.

    DADT repeal is as good as dead, and the usual queers that are too busy singing his praise to comprehend it are eating up the rhetoric like catnip, as per usual.

    Posted by: TANK | Jan 27, 2010 10:39:45 PM

  25. Stop complaining that he won't issue an executive order ending or suspending DADT.

    It's blatantly unconstitutional. Do your research. We elect presidents, not emperors.

    Posted by: Aaron Rowland | Jan 27, 2010 10:40:25 PM

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