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

Obama Stops in to Meeting with Gay Leaders on DADT

President Obama stopped by a meeting held today at the White House with representatives of the Center for American Progress, the Human Rights Campaign, Servicemembers United, the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, the University of California Santa Barbara's Palm Center, Stonewall Democrats and the Log Cabin Republicans, the Washington Post reports:

Obama "The president stopped by the meeting 'to directly convey to the participants his personal commitment on this issue,' a senior official said, speaking on condition of anonymity."

There was discussion of DADT elsewhere Tuesday at the White House as well:

The WaPo adds:

White House senior adviser David Axelrod defended the administration's decision to appeal the case during an online video chat Tuesday. 'It is the custom of the U.S. government to appeal laws of Congress that were challenged in lower courts,' Axelrod said during the chat, arranged by the White House. 'It should be by no means read as an abandonment of a commitment, and we intend to keep it.'"

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs also addressed the issue at today's press briefing, reaffirming the President's desire to see the Senate vote on the measure.

When asked if Obama had reached out to individual Senators in order to change "no" votes to "yes", Gibbs replied:

"To my knowledge, it hasn’t taken place yet.  But, look, the only way we’re going to get something through the Senate is to change the vote count and to move past -- look, you got to get -- you’re going to have to get past a promised filibuster and -- in moving to the bill.  And certainly the only way we can move to that bill is to change some of those votes."

Gibbs also declined to say whether the President would issue a stop-loss order should the legislation fail to pass:

"I think that -- look, you’ve seen steps that have been taken over the past several days at the Pentagon involving service secretaries.  You have for -- you have a sitting chair of the Joint Chiefs that believes it’s time for this law to end; the President working closely with the Secretary to make that happen. And our efforts in the short term will be focused on the durable repeal of a law that the President thinks is unjust, and that’s where our focus will be."

Press briefing clip, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Well, let's see. The newly elected senators from Delaware, West Virginia and Illinois are all elegible to be sworn in on November 3. That would be Joe Biden's former seat, Robert Byrd's former seat and Barack Obama's former seat.

    Only the Delaware seat is safe for the Democrats. Illinois is leaning Republican and West Virginia is leaning Democratic; however, in West Virginia, Democrat Joe Manchin has said that he would not vote to repeal DADT until after he had a chance to hear from all of the "commanders in the field" and the chiefs of the various branches of the military that repealing DADT would not impact morale or troop readiness.

    Tell me again how the administration expects to have more votes in the lame duck than they had the last time?

    Posted by: Ninong | Oct 26, 2010 10:04:30 PM

  2. Because "NIMONG" in the lame duck, hence lame duck, the "former" senators are still in the congress. The newly elected ones don't come until January. Some senators when not in an election fight will vote in favor of DADT repeal. That's the way it is, politics.

    Should we have a minimum govt and political knowledge test before you're allowed to vote?

    Posted by: Brian in Texas | Oct 26, 2010 10:22:28 PM

  3. Nimong is correct-whoever is elected from WV, Illinois and Delaware will be seated before anyone else.

    Those three seats all have appointees currently occupying those seats.

    Posted by: Grover Underwood | Oct 26, 2010 10:30:44 PM

  4. Actually, this meeting enrages me even more than I was before. Words, words, words. Empty words. I hesitate to say 'lies.' but certainly misdirection. I will send a message to Obama and the Democrats... when I vote next week....

    Posted by: James | Oct 26, 2010 10:33:22 PM

  5. All three of those senators will be seated just as soon after the November 2nd election as they can get to Washington and get Joe Biden to swear them in.

    And "Brain" in Texas, it's Ninong, not "NIMONG."

    Are you even old enough to vote yet?

    Posted by: Ninong | Oct 26, 2010 10:39:57 PM

  6. When asked if Obama had reached out to individual Senators in order to change "no" votes to "yes", Gibbs replied: "To my knowledge, it hasn’t taken place yet."

    Doesn't that tell us all we need to know about Obama in regards to his "fierce advocacy" for gay civil rights? He can't even be bothered to pick up the effing phone and make a few calls to put a little presidential pressure where it might help.

    I'm done with him.

    I hate that the dems are going to lose the presidency in 2012, but I don't see Obama as anything other than a one-term failed presidency.

    Posted by: Bucky | Oct 26, 2010 10:43:42 PM

  7. I am sick of talk talk talk talk talk. That's all he ever does. I have had it! I am totally disenfranchised with Mr Obama.

    Posted by: androjai | Oct 26, 2010 10:44:33 PM

  8. There were 43 votes against cloture the last time: all 41 Republicans plus both senators from Arkansas, Pryor and Lincoln. Only Lincoln will be a lame duck. She has absolutely no chance to win re-election.

    So where are the votes for cloture coming from in the lame duck? Maybe from Lincoln because she owes Obama for supporting her in the primary over the much more progressive lieutenant governor. Maybe she will switch and vote for cloture in the lame duck but I don't see how they can get Pryor to switch.

    Even if they do manage to get both Pryor and Lincoln to switch, they would still need at least one Republican. And they would need to get Manchin to vote for cloture. He could still vote against it on the floor when it came up for final passage but they would need his vote for cloture.

    So they will need a Republican, both senators from Arkansas, and Manchin. Then they have to hope Gianoulias wins in Illinois, otherwise they will need two Republicans. Maybe both senators from Maine?

    So it's certainly possible but I wouldn't put money on it. The president seems to think he has the votes but that's what he thought before the last vote, too.

    Posted by: Ninong | Oct 26, 2010 10:58:58 PM

  9. I just can't believe that Americans are stupid enough to put the Republicans back into power. Gingrich, Bush, McConnell. Seriously, where do all these assholes come from? Why is the human species so damn rotten?

    Posted by: Gregory | Oct 26, 2010 11:00:29 PM

  10. Well, he bought off HRC again by inviting them to the White House. They will be even more silent than usual.

    Keep going back for more empty promises, meaningless words, and inaction and then be outraged when the Democrats deliver nothing.

    Obama is the biggest phoney that has occupied the White House.

    Posted by: LincolnLounger | Oct 26, 2010 11:06:57 PM

  11. Finally! Too bad this comes only days before election time. And a series of highly publicized suicides. Gah.

    Look, it's clear that equality still isn't the Administration's priority right now. So how do we respond? That's my main problem.

    Frankly I have so much anger in me that I want everybody to fight, fight, fight, no matter how the elections turn out. Too many people in power have walked all over gay people for way too long, and this has to end now.

    Posted by: X | Oct 26, 2010 11:08:15 PM

  12. Empty words from an empty suit. The failure of his leadership is epic given the opportunities afforded him in 2008.

    It is offensive to hear any democrat, especially this President whine about how the minority party prevents them from advancing legislation they claim to support.

    Is it better to have a foe whom you know to be a foe or a foe who claims to be your friend? Ultimately it means the same result - nothing advances for the GLBT community regardless of the party in power.

    Posted by: Threedwill | Oct 26, 2010 11:08:52 PM

  13. I'm a "fierce advocate" of the Dems ... if they appear on my ballot, I will probably vote for them (aka if it comes to my desk I'll sign it). But don't ask me to lift a finger to help one get elected unless they have put themselves out on a limb for us. They're all party friends -- they smile and say hi, but don't ask them to bring you soup when you're sick.

    Posted by: Garrett in SF | Oct 26, 2010 11:10:09 PM

  14. I'm gonna say it. I told you he was inexperienced to be a real leader.

    Posted by: Name: | Oct 26, 2010 11:16:17 PM

  15. all I know is that I will support nearly anyone who runs against Obama in 2012 in the primaries and if the republican nominee isn't completely repugnant, I might vote for that person.

    I think that we need to send a message to Obama that we're tired of him not being the fierce advocate he promised he would be.

    Posted by: Grover Underwood | Oct 26, 2010 11:18:01 PM

  16. I voted for Obama because he was such a great talker. Looks like I got what I voted for: A lot of talk.

    Posted by: johnny | Oct 26, 2010 11:22:22 PM

  17. Mr Obama never gets anything done

    Posted by: military boots | Oct 26, 2010 11:37:04 PM

  18. Obama wants Congress to repeal DADT and DOMA so he can get credit. The problem is Congress will never repeal them whichever party is in control. At this point to many members are in the age group that believe gays shouldn't have any rights and belong in the closet. That's not going to change for another 10-20 years minimum. Legal challenges in the courts are our best bet of getting laws declared unconstitutional and getting some rights.

    Posted by: TomG | Oct 26, 2010 11:43:04 PM

  19. Did Obama have another STFU party for "the gays"? With Champagne and Caviar of course?

    Anyone who still believes this LIAR of a President who betrayed us all after we gave him money, time and our votes is living in FantasyLand. Words, words, words ... that is all what that FRAUD offers.

    Meanwhile, I am enjoying this Election Time ever so beautifully:
    - No phone calls to make
    - No princinct work for the Democrats
    - No walking the neighborhoods for GOTV
    - No $$ MONEY $ to give

    What a great Fall! DON'T ASK ... DON'T GIVE. gaytm has been closed for quiet some time!

    Posted by: FunMe | Oct 27, 2010 12:09:08 AM

  20. Letting the Republicans win will only make it worse. Much, much worse.

    @FUNME: spend some of your time supporting progressive gay rights candidates—they're out there. And for goodness sake, call the DNC and tell them how you feel. Doing nothing positive is abdicating responsibility.

    I'm very unhappy with Obama too, but bailing won't help at all. And the man is trying to set a very different tone from the constitution-destroying Bush presidency.

    Posted by: David R. | Oct 27, 2010 12:34:49 AM

  21. Fuck this guy!

    Posted by: MoJo | Oct 27, 2010 12:36:40 AM

  22. David R. No he isn't. He's shredding the Constitution even more. Expanding the power to search and snoop even more, wiretap even more, etc. etc.

    Posted by: Mike | Oct 27, 2010 12:44:56 AM

  23. Any gay person in the United States that votes against this president or the Democratic party for that matter is ultimately voting against his or her own interest.

    Though, it is not uncommon for Americans to vote against their own interest - especially when they arrive at the voting booth already biased and then tricked based on that bias that they are voting the "right" way or the best way.

    The Obama administration is working to create a PERMANENT solution to DADT by doing everything - even things that seem like a betrayal - like the DOJ appealing the is only because Congress hasn't voted yet and the Pentagon "study" is not complete.

    The administration is making the best choice so that when DADT is finally repealed it can't be overturned on some 'technicality' that the legal and political naive are unaware of.

    You whiny assholes are just like toddlers that want what they want now regardless of the consequences.

    Consider that many people wish gay people did not exist. We have enemies like Ken Melhman who think it is okay as a relatively wealth and powerful gay man just six years ago to simply come out as gay and then apologize for helping to destroy the lives of countless people across the country by actively working to make anti-gay hate and discrimination the law based on the constitutions of many of the States.

    The Obama administration has done more for gay Americans in two years than ALL administrations have done for gays in the history of this country. Is it perfect - NO. Is it better than the alternative? Absolutely. It took 143 years for the USA to go from denying a person of color basic human rights to a person of color reaching the pinnacle of USA power (if not global). Gay human rights are moving at an exponential pace in comparison. We will see the end of DADT before 2012. I think if Obama is re-elected we will see full human rights for gay Americans by the end of 2016.

    If however, gay whiny assholes have their way...and that pendulum swings's gonna knock them down and the hateful right is going to literally put a foot on their head and neck to keep them down.

    Posted by: Ross | Oct 27, 2010 1:26:09 AM

  24. @MIKE: you may well be right on snooping—I haven't heard enough about the latest proposals to be sure, but definitely concerned.

    That said, he is sticking by the rule of law.

    Posted by: David R. | Oct 27, 2010 1:27:14 AM

  25. Robert Gibbs is saying "gee, we really wish these Senators would change their minds," but I'm not sure how he then hopes this will happen: maybe either wishing really, really hard or osmosis? It sure doesn't sound like Obama picking up the telephone.

    When Gibbs talks about how the administration wishes Senators would change their votes, but Obama hasn't tried to convince a single one of 'em "to my knowledge" would read like something out of a funny dark comedy, like "Dr. Strangelove" or maybe a movie like "Network," if it weren't our rights at stake.

    Posted by: bobbyjoe | Oct 27, 2010 2:10:20 AM

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