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White House Tells 'DADT' Meeting Participants: No Discussion of Court Cases or the Meeting is Over

The Advocate's Kerry Eleveld follows up on her report about today's White House meeting on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'. I posted a quick update to my earlier post, but there's more.

WhitehouseParticipants of the meeting include:

"Allison Herwitt and Joe Solmonese of the Human Rights Campaign; Shane Larson of the Stonewall Democrats; Winnie Stachelberg of the Center for American Progress; Aubrey Sarvis of the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network; R. Clarke Cooper of the Log Cabin Republicans; Alex Nicholson and Jarrod Chlapowski of Servicemembers United; Nathaniel Frank, DADT expert formerly of the Palm Center; Jim Kessler of the Third Way."

Also, there have been strict instructions issued, according to the text of an email obtained by Eleveld, in which Bond writes:

"Obviously this meeting has gotten out. We are expecting the content of the conversation today to be off the record and to help us figure out how to move forward with the lame duck session. Also as previously mentioned, there can be no discussion of current court cases or legal strategy or Counsel’s Office will end the meeting. The focus is repeal and the lame duck session. This is also a non-partisan meeting where we want everyone’s help."

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  1. If you cross the line and talk about real issues that the white house can influence right now, YOU'RE OUT!!!!!!!!!

    Posted by: joe | Oct 26, 2010 12:14:42 PM

  2. " This is also a non-partisan meeting where we want everyone’s help."

    Cuz this has worked so well for this administration in the past. In other words, we want to talk and strategize and plan, but not come to any real decisions - then have absolutely no intention of doing anything further.


    Posted by: MikeInSanJose | Oct 26, 2010 12:18:54 PM

  3. Is the Obama White House really nuts about what NOT to discuss at this DADT meeting or is it only the appearance of being nutty that's making my head spin? After all, what's the point of wasting these participants time if ALL options can't be reviewed?? When is this administration's pussy-footing around GLBT rights issues coming to an end???

    Posted by: Rob | Oct 26, 2010 12:21:22 PM

  4. Ah, the old "we can't discuss an ongoing court case" line, that shuts down any uncomfortable discussion.

    Anybody else immediately reminded of the Bush administration?

    The "or the meeting will end immediately" part is new. I don't even think the Bush people took it to that extreme, they just refused to answer.

    Ah, change we can believe in.

    Posted by: bobbyjoe | Oct 26, 2010 12:26:57 PM

  5. Bi-partison meeting....Really Preisdent Obama..? REALLY? ..cause we ALL Know how cooperative the republicans have been......WHEN WILL OBAMA LEARN??? they weant him to fail!

    Posted by: Disgusted American | Oct 26, 2010 12:28:25 PM

  6. The most telling part of that is the reference to the "lame duck session". I take that to mean that they are conceding a Republican majority on one or both houses.

    Posted by: Mark | Oct 26, 2010 12:29:52 PM

  7. Well not surprising that the White House wouldn't discuss an ongoing federal court case with the press. Duh.

    The democrats will need a few republicans to pass DADT in the lame duck session. Republicans like Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Scott Brown, and George Voinovich are moderate and cross the isle often to work with Democrats.

    Lets not demagogue the meeting before it's taken place.

    Posted by: Brian in Texas | Oct 26, 2010 12:31:08 PM

  8. Dog & pony show....this meeting means nothing...this is only for appearances before the elections next week....

    Posted by: ceebee | Oct 26, 2010 12:32:00 PM

  9. Ridiculous. Come talk with us, but only about what we want to talk about. Another slap in the face to those in the minority from those controlling power and access. They truly don't get it. Nail in the coffin for support from me. I'm voting, but feeling super unmotivated. Good for them that I give a damn about education, a woman's right to bodily integrity, the arts, and more. But I'm not making calls, talking to friends about it, giving $. They are standing on my neck.

    Posted by: Mrs. SIppi | Oct 26, 2010 12:44:30 PM

  10. 'We're going to only talk about tonight's Glee Rocky Horror tribute.'

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Oct 26, 2010 12:47:46 PM

  11. The White House should just drop the bullshit right now. DADT repeal isn't going to happen. It's just lip service to get us to the polls next week.

    I mean, seriously, what kind of heavy handed crap is this.."no comment of court rulings or the meeting will be terminated". They're going to appeal these court rulings again and again and again.

    McCain is vowing to filibuster DADT repeal in the lame duck session. Hell, they may be even fewer Democrats in the Senate in the lame duck session. If Mark Kirk wins the Senate race here in Illinois next week, he'll be sworn in right away...we're voting for senator for the remainder of the term until January, plus the full 6 year term in January. Any person with a functioning brain stem can see that DADT repeal won't be passed in any lame duck session of the Senate.

    Posted by: Terry | Oct 26, 2010 12:48:47 PM

  12. Sounds an awful lot to me like taking your ball and going home... the Dems and Obama seem to know a lot about that..

    Posted by: Tollendyr | Oct 26, 2010 12:52:43 PM

  13. Forbidden topics. Some meeting!

    Posted by: John | Oct 26, 2010 12:55:40 PM

  14. THIS will be the litmus test for whether any of these players are REAL advocates for ending the ban or still easily fooled/intimidated by Obama, Inc. The fact that they've already agreed to not discuss, even while SWORN TO SECRECY, the arena in which the REAL action is happening...the court case...which one group attending filed and two others have filed amicus brief challenging the Administration's fighting it is not a good sign.

    Nor is that former HRCer Stachelberg and Kessler are present because they were behind-closed-doors traitor-collaborationists in creation of the "compromise amendment" forced on our allies in May that killed the MREA and ripped away ANY guarantee discharges will EVER end.

    For anyone not clear, THAT's the legislation being discussed today - NOT an end to the ban, not even a guaranteed end to the law. All the current amendment would do is keep the Pentagon TOTALLY in charge of whether or not to continue discharges which Gates made clear in February he wants TO continue for "AT LEAST A YEAR" after the law is off the books.

    If these people come away with nothing but more pie-in-the-sky promises...that IF the bill passes and IF "The Study" shows it's OK, that SOMEDAY the WH and Pentagon will agree to SOME KIND of open service but with NO deadline THEY WILL HAVE UNEQUIVOCALLY FAILED THE COMMUNITY THEY CLAIM TO REPRESENT.

    Posted by: Michael @ | Oct 26, 2010 1:02:15 PM

  15. Really Michael? THAT will be the the telling event?

    You and I both know better.

    Posted by: Jubal Harshaw | Oct 26, 2010 1:10:44 PM

  16. Collins and Snowe and Brown are not moderates: if the Republican party tells them to toe the line on DADT repeal (as they did to Collins in the previous Senate vote), they will!

    Posted by: allan | Oct 26, 2010 1:10:56 PM

  17. @ Mark: the Lame Duck Session is the time between next week's elections and the end of current terms on January 3.

    Posted by: Jeff Kurtti | Oct 26, 2010 1:11:37 PM

  18. Focusing the meeting on repealing DADT in the lame duck session seems like perfectly reasonable ground rules. I wish all the participants well. This is a very important meeting for our community and I am very glad that the commenters here will not be in the room.

    Posted by: JimSur212 | Oct 26, 2010 1:13:47 PM

  19. After the Democrats lose, set your clocks back 20 years on all gay rights issues.

    Posted by: JONNY NYNY2FLFL | Oct 26, 2010 1:24:34 PM

  20. @Jeff Kurtti You misunderstood Mark. He said this is telling that they expect losses (and thus not being able to make any progress) after the election, so they are concentrating on the lame duck session.

    They should still be discussing the court cases as a secondary option regardless of the situation, but especially because repeal in congress seems to be so unlikely at this point

    Posted by: ravewulf | Oct 26, 2010 1:26:55 PM

  21. In the interest of full disclosure, they were only invited over to help michelle pick out a dress for her next gala event.

    Posted by: TANK | Oct 26, 2010 1:31:40 PM

  22. @ JIMSUR212: TRY to pay attention! The bill they're discussing does NOT repeal only gives Obama/Gates/Mullen [READ: Gates] the OPTION of okaying repeal SOMEDAY. And with that, "repeal" no longer equals an end to discharges. Nothing in it requires the ever to. They could choose to, but they'll remain free not to....or, as more and more hints from the DoD suggest, create some kind of segregation of out gays in the military.

    And reading the fine print of House Faggot Brian Bond's note more closely, I see we alreadly have answer of whether the attendees can still be fooled/intimidated by Obama, Inc.

    And, Christ of the Andes, what a mutually beneficial bargain with the Devil!

    Since "the content of the conversation today [is] off the record" we'll have no way of evaluating what either side agreed to or not, no way of holding anyone accountable!

    But the White House can now CLAIM they're finally SERIOUS about even this lame legislation...and Gay, Inc., can walk away claiming they accomplished something they can provide no proof of.

    Obama and Gay, Inc. - 10. Gay servicemembers - 0.

    Posted by: Michael @ | Oct 26, 2010 1:34:43 PM

  23. Democrats are going to get justifiably smacked down in next Tuesday's election.

    This meeting won't help. We have two years of betrayal by Obama and four years of betrayal by Democrats in Congress to use as a evaluation tool to decide who NOT to vote for.

    Democrats and the Republicans don't deserve our votes.

    Posted by: Harmodius | Oct 26, 2010 1:51:31 PM

  24. I laughed out loud : a meeting where you don't ask, don't tell about the Don't Ask Don't Tell case !!!!!

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Oct 26, 2010 1:55:19 PM

  25. Historically all President's lose a majority in one of the houses save for FDR and Bush in 2002. The white house would much prefer to lose the house handily (which they will), than hold a slim majority. There's no point in having the majority if you can't get any of your programs passed. Politically its better for their 2012 re-election.

    Posted by: Brian in Texas | Oct 26, 2010 2:04:02 PM

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