Barack Obama | Don't Ask, Don't Tell | Military | News | Robert Gibbs

Watch: Robert Gibbs Won't Say Whether Obama Believes 'DADT' is Unconstitutional, Says it Should End in Congress


White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs appeared on Meet the Press yesterday, defending the Obama administration's baffling strategy on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" which consists of insisting the law must go but then defending it in court at every turn.

MR. GREGORY: And yet, on that very day the president's Justice Department filed an appeal to halt a judge's ruling that would have struck down "don't ask, don't tell." So, if the president wants the law to go away, if he wants the ban to go away, why is he still supporting the law in the courts?

MR. GIBBS: Well, let's be clear, the president believes the law is discriminatory, unjust and, quite frankly, you have men and women who are willing to lay down their life for this country. They--those people ought to be able to serve. The law that was struck down that the president opposes, we, we've got a process. One, the House has passed repeal, and we hope the Senate takes up that repeal quickly. They didn't.

MR. GREGORY: But what if the Senate does? Is there faith in the Senate that's misplaced? What does the president do if the Senate doesn't act?

MR. GIBBS: Well, we have a process in place right now to work with the Pentagon for an orderly and disciplined transition from the law that we have now to an era that "don't ask, don't tell" doesn't exist. And I will say this, David, "don't ask, don't tell" will end under this president. The courts have decided, the legislature has, has--is beginning to decide, and the president is firmly in the place of removing "don't ask, don't tell."

And Gibbs dodges a question about whether the President believes DADT is unconstitutional:

MR. GREGORY: But does he believe it's unconstitutional?

MR. GIBBS: You know, David, he thinks it's discriminatory and it's unjust and most of all it harms our national security. It's...

MR. GREGORY: We know his position, though. But if you keep defending...

MR. GIBBS:'s time for the law...

MR. GREGORY: in the courts, how does it end? You can pronounce it dead, but how does it end if you keep backing it in the courts?

MR. GIBBS: Yeah, well, it ends with a vote in Congress. It's a law, and the most durable solution is to repeal that law. That's what the president asked the House to do and they did, that's what the president--I think there's enough votes to do it in the Senate. But, again, we have to get through Republican filibuster. It harms our national security. It's discriminatory, it's time for it to end. And I will say this, David, again, this president will end "don't ask, don't tell," and I think the courts--you're seeing from the courts that their deciding that "don't ask, don't tell," quite frankly, is--has--it's time for it to end, and that time is coming very soon.

Watch the clip, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. I think we are seeing some carefully honed politcal strategy being played out in which gay military personnel are merely pawns serving to defend the "king" in a game of chess.

    They don't really count, they are just collateral damage incurred while fortifying the palace.

    It is a real pity to see so many individuals hurt so badly because they are gay in the military.

    Posted by: Your Move | Oct 18, 2010 7:52:28 AM

  2. There was a article which outlined Obama's strategy on this... basically they were scared to death of going down the same road as Clinton. The one thing they didn't remember was that it is SIXTEEN YEARS LATER. The vast majority of the country now agrees this policy is wrong. Obama miscalculated and (as in many oft repeated cases, gay rights, health care, etc.) instead of being seen as cautious they are being seen as weak and indecisive - and this is why the democrats are in the situation they are now. Obama has allowed the Republicans to paint him in a corner, in fact he has voluntarily walked over to the corner.

    Posted by: Mike | Oct 18, 2010 7:55:41 AM

  3. Gibbs is a lying sack of shit, just like his boss. DADT is dead and the world hasn't ended. The most durable way to maintain that is to not appeal the judges ruling. The fact that no one in the press, including hack reporter kerry eleveld, won't call gibbs or Obama out on the lie that the most durable repeal is legislative is proof of the sorry state of journalism in this country. We will only move forward once Obama and his goons like Gibbs are out of washington.

    Posted by: gaylib | Oct 18, 2010 8:02:03 AM

  4. It's perfectly obvious that our fierce advocate does not believe DADT is unconstitutional. Why even ask?

    When it comes to civil rights for non-heterosexuals, Obama just doesn't give a shit. He conned us.

    Posted by: justiceontherocks | Oct 18, 2010 8:02:06 AM

  5. Let US be clear. DADT is NOT dead.

    It will remain in perpetuity. Anyone who thinks otherwise has indeed been conned.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Oct 18, 2010 8:07:47 AM

  6. Mr Gibbs sounds completely unconvincing. He failed to answer the questions he was asked. Both he and his boss are insincere idiots who are trashing the Democratic Party brand.

    Posted by: jason | Oct 18, 2010 8:17:53 AM

  7. This is simply disgraceful. Fierce advocate my ass.

    Posted by: Bojangles | Oct 18, 2010 8:44:55 AM

  8. If the process matters more than the result, then the people it affects are an experiement and are of little consequence other than collateral damage. Take it from there and vote accordingly.

    Posted by: Bart | Oct 18, 2010 8:56:26 AM

  9. I will not be voting for Obama to be re-elected.

    He's a homophobic pig.

    Posted by: Martin Murray | Oct 18, 2010 9:13:23 AM

  10. Why is it the President's job to make proclamations left and right? Why aren't we putting pressure on our senators and representatives to make them do their job?

    Certainly I've been disappointed with things lately, but I still see merit in the idea of legislative repeal through the legislative body. Make them do their jobs, no?

    Posted by: C | Oct 18, 2010 10:00:19 AM

  11. BARACK OBAMA is also the LEADER of the DEMOCRATIC Party.
    Yes we need to put pressure on Congress but we who still identify as DEMOCRATS must also DEMAND that the LEADER of the DEMOCRATIC Party use his influence and leadership hell HIS WHIP if he has to in order to get the agenda DONE.

    As President he needs to hear ALL of our voices and held accountable for continuing this UNCONSTITUTIONAL and DISCRIMINATORY policy. If Gibbs or Obama won't recognize this as unconstitutional--guess what---the JUDICIARY already has...

    And there is now talk of Gibbs becoming chair of the DNC. If I didn't live in NYC there is no reason to register as a Democrat at this time.

    Posted by: mcNnyc | Oct 18, 2010 10:19:08 AM

  12. Whether Obama conned us or not is irrelevant at this point. Whether we're planning to vote for him in 2012 is also irrelevant to the passage of DADT repeal. The fact is we have the Obama administration at least until 2012, and if we don't have the Obama administration in 2012, we will have a more homophobic Republican administration that won't even promise to repeal DADT. So we can throw in the towel and whine about how homophobic Obama is and wait until 2016 to even think about our civil rights, or we can pressure those who are on our side or have promised us our rights. When politicians make promises, you demand that they fulfill them.

    My senators will vote for DADT repeal, will yours? If not, twist their arms. Because if the DOJ successfully halts the ruling (which is wrong, no question about that) we need the Senate votes, and we're not going to get them from Republicans. Gibbs needs to be asked over and over again how the President plans to get DADT repeal through the Senate and what the timeline for full repeal is. The tea party people don't let politicians throw them under the bus; neither should we.

    Posted by: Ernie | Oct 18, 2010 11:45:24 AM

  13. It sounds to me like Mr. Obama wants my rights voted on. Mr. Obama wants the senate to decide if I am equal or not. Not the courts. But it was the Supreme Court that upheld the FACT that our black brothers are equal in all ways to us. It was the Supreme Court that uphelp the right of two people of different races to marry. It was not something that was left to legislative branch because that is way to political, as we can see. Equality is written into the Constitution and the Amendments. It is the Courts that make sure the laws are applied.
    Mr. Obama is a politician. Full-stop. We should stop expecting him to act in any other way. Don't blame him, don't villify him, just stop expecting him to take the high-road.
    As far as the mid-term elections --- hold your nose and vote democrat... enough said.

    Posted by: Daya | Oct 18, 2010 12:43:02 PM

  14. We need to remind our Senators that if they don't repeal this UNCONSTITUTIONAL and DISCRIMINATORY law and Judge Phillips ruling is upheld, every discharged service member (est. 14,000) will have just cause to sue for back pay and benefits. They need to get off their asses and stop bankrupting our country.

    Posted by: Jack | Oct 18, 2010 12:45:52 PM

  15. "those people"?

    Posted by: Rodney Wollam | Oct 18, 2010 1:56:20 PM

  16. We are screwed any way you look at it. Obama has shown he's a hypocrite by tossing it to the Congress, knowing that DADT will never get repealed, especially after the Nov. 2nd elections. If it goes to the Supreme Court, it will be a 5-4 decision in favor of upholding DADT. In fact, it is an open door for the reactionaries of the Roberts Court to start the draw-down of our equality before the law. All of this has me as disgusted as I have ever been about the Democrats and about our country. It's time to get the hell out of America. It's obvious the LGBT community will NEVER have equality in this country. Never.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Oct 18, 2010 3:13:16 PM

  17. "If it goes to the Supreme Court, it will be a 5-4 decision in favor of upholding DADT."

    Exactly. That is why it MUST be repealed by Congress.

    Posted by: BobN | Oct 18, 2010 4:24:11 PM

  18. How did all those other countries that allow openly gay men and women "transition" from str8 only? Should the government take a page from their books? God, I'm tired of this excremental battle.


    Posted by: kodiak | Oct 18, 2010 8:14:57 PM

  19. Why does anyone even bother talking to this guy? All he's ever going to do is parrot the official lines he's given over and over again

    Posted by: ravewulf | Oct 19, 2010 1:19:38 AM

  20. This guy is a SLUG who should have the decency to be ashamed of himself.

    Posted by: grego | Nov 23, 2010 1:28:42 AM

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