WSJ: ‘DADT Repeal’ to Be Stripped from Defense Bill, Die Alone

The WSJ reports that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal is "all but lost for the foreseeable future".

Levin_mccain Sens. Carl Levin of Michigan and John McCain of Arizona, the top Democrat and Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, are in talks on stripping the proposed repeal and other controversial provisions from a broader defense bill, leaving the repeal with no legislative vehicle to carry it. With a repeal attached, and amid Republican complaints over the terms of the debate, the defense bill had failed to win the 60 votes needed to overcome a procedural hurdle in the Senate in September.

A spokeswoman for Mr. McCain, who opposes the repeal, confirmed he is in talks with Mr. Levin on how to proceed on the defense bill but didn't provide details.

The measure is not among the four priorities listed for the coming Comgressional session by WH Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. Those include "tax cuts, a nuclear-arms treaty with Russia, a child nutrition bill and confirmation of Jack Lew as White House budget director." DADT was not named because they expect heavy Republican opposition to the measure.

Others are weighing in

Tommy Sears, executive director of the Center for Military Readiness, which opposes a repeal, rated the chance of action "extremely low." Richard Socarides, an activist and former adviser on gay rights to President Bill Clinton, said it was "extremely unrealistic'' that Congress would take it up this year.

Earlier this weekend, Defense Secretary Robert Gates expressed similar concerns about Republican opposition to the DADT repeal measure: "I would like to see the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" but I'm not sure what the prospects for that are."

SLDN Executive Director Aubrey Sarvis expressed his concerns in a statement released on Sunday:

"We welcome Secretary Gates call for the Senate to act on repeal in the lame duck session. Indeed, the Senate should call up the defense bill reported out of committee and pass it before it goes home for the year. If the President, Majority Leader Reid, Secretary Gates, and a handful of Republican senators are committed to passing the comprehensive defense bill, there is ample time to do so. Any talk about a watered down defense bill, whereby the 'Don't Ask' revisions would be stripped out, is unacceptable and offensive to the gay and lesbian service members who risk their lives every day."

So, back in February when activists and bloggers were complaining that 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' was not going to happen and appealed to the nation's largest LGBT lobbying organization, HRC, to exert its touted influence over the White House, the group insisted that we shouldn't worry, that there was a clear path to repeal. So what now?

Drive to Repeal 'Don't Ask' Policy All but Lost for Now' [wsj]

Previously – Feb 10
Situation Normal on DADT: All F-ed Up [tr]
Barney Frank Says White House 'Muddled on DADT; HRC Insists Road to Repeal is Clear [tr]


  1. jason says

    Dear Tragic Gays,

    You’ve been dudded by the Democrats yet again. You’ve been water-boarded, had your eyes poked out, and your teeth pulled out with a bottle opener. Surely you can’t still be sending your hard-earned dollars to your Democrat-torturers?!?

    It’s time you grew up and stop being so damned gullible. You give new meaning to the word “tragic”. How much more of Obama’s lies and set-ups are you going to take? You’ve been the victims of a classic dog-and-pony show courtesy of Obama, the Democrats and the Pentagon.

  2. justiceontherocks says

    There are two clear paths to the repeal of DADT.

    1) The federal courts
    2) A chief executive who gives a damn about repealing it.

    I wonder if this colossal failure by HRC will be enough to make people realize they aren’t worth keeping afloat.

  3. Rory says

    My reaction to this is pretty strong.

    1) I’m one of the people that kept saying that HRC will get it done. They have influence. Gone. I’m over HRC. My support will be for smaller organizations.

    2) The Dems are shit but at least they are more likely to support gay issues. Some of them very strong. Others need to be worked on hard. But big thanks to all the LGBT folk who votes these Republicans in…they killed this really quick.

    3) I honestly don’t care at this moment what happens to Obama in the political field. It would seem that outside the courts our issues are dead. So, maybe I should start concentration on my wallet and enviromental issues.

  4. Tigerama says

    For turning his back on men and women who are over there fighting his war, that could be killed by enemies – and then bounced out because of who they are – my support for Obama is ended. Fierce advocate, my ass.

  5. ichabod says

    A tragic day for civil rights. Made doubly so because this administration fell all over itself to fuck everything up.

    Want to make it right, Barry? Have the DOJ withdraw your appeal of the court’s ruling that DADT is unconstitutional. Oh wait, that would take a pair of balls…

  6. terry says

    If we call DADT a tax cut it will pass easily, and to gain the support of certain school administrators in Arkansas we can point out that if we allow gays to serve in the military they might become casualities. Also we need to point out that Obama seems to be supporting DADT and if it stays in place then he wins.

  7. Mike says

    I’ve come to the conclusion that Obama and his administration is terribly naive. He continues to try to compromise with the Republicans, but fails to understand that they want him out of office. Obama alienates his liberal base while the Republicans enthusiastically court theirs. He fumbles the public option, finally gets some type of health case passed and then allows the Republicans to mislead the public about the options. He had a perfect out with DADT which was to not appeal – he fumbles that. The Republicans are bullies, and the only way to defeat a bully is to fight them, not capitulate. I sincerely hope he gets a clue, and he needs to get it within the next month or so, or he and the rest of the country go down the tubes along with Gay Rights, Health Care, Social Security, Environmental Protections, the list goes on and on. Mr. President, please learn to “Just Say No” to the Republicans.

  8. TampaZeke says

    And anyone who thinks that this wasn’t Obama’s and Gates and the JCSs plan all along when they ordered the “study” to be completed in early December, just AFTER the mid-term elections, is a fucking fool.

    This is why none of the Democrats or Republicans who weren’t FULLY supportive of my rights, and the rights of my family, got my vote. We may be stuck with the disastrous Republicans, but so is everyone else. The only way Americans and Democrats will learn to respect us is if we can cause them to suffer as much as we do.

  9. says

    “I’ve come to the conclusion that Obama and his administration is terribly naive”

    The only one who is naive is you. Obama is a bigoted homophobe. HE DOESN’T LIKE YOU BECAUSE YOU FUCK MEN. how much clearer does it have to get? He is an enemy of our community just like ever other christian extremist. Anyone who supports him at this point is an enemy to our community and our civil rights. That inclueds any of you brain dead queens with your lips still attached to his ass.

  10. princely54 says

    Pull your money from the DNC candidates and HRC RIGHT NOW! Don’t do it silently, write a letter/email to both organizations telling them why.

    DO NOT vote for Republicans in lieu of Democrats, but either start supporting a viable third party (which one? Hell if I know) OR find NEW, more lefty Democratic candidates to support. We need to get legislators into office that will SPECIFICALLY fight for us.

    So sick to say it, but it’s time to start treating Obama with benign neglect. I won’t go out of my way to badmouth him, tear him down or whine about his lack of support, but I will no longer consider supporting him or the Dems when they need help. Fuck ’em.

    I know the reality is that our issue isn’t the most important issue on the entire nation’s list; I get that. But to have someone who says ‘I want to help you, trust and believe in me’ lie to your face and turn their back can’t be forgotten. It’s time to start taking to the streets and making noise. Obama is asking for MORE protests from ‘his left flank’ at his events. See how testy he got when people jeered him about AIDS funding this past month?? That should be child’s play compared to what will happen now.

  11. princely54 says

    I guess it sounds contradictory to say I won’t badmouth him or tear him down but at the same time I support protesting him. What I mean is, I wont waste time talking shit about him in a one on one situation: that’s ineffective. I think our complaints need to be delivered LOUDLY and with NUMBERS.

  12. Rob says

    Obama Administration + Democractic Congress + HRC compliance = screw the GLBT civil rights agenda. Who would have thought this would be the result back on that euphoric November 2008 election night? I admit that I was taken in. However, burn me once, shame on you…burn me twice, shame on me. I detest being burned and being shamed…so…no more playing nice with any of the inside-the-Beltway crowd.

  13. says

    You angry people seem to be missing the fact that it’s the Republicans who won’t vote for cloture. A majority of the Democratic senators will vote for it, it’s the Republicans who put up a unified opposition. Newsflash: Obama doesn’t control the Republicans. Blaming him for Republican action is ludicrous.

    Or are you blaming Obama for not acting like a dictator and issuing an executive order to override congressional law? Respect for the rule of the Constitution is a bit more important than your pet cause, and indeed, it’s the same Constitution that will strike down DADT in the courts.

    Ignoring facts and law, then getting angry about it is classic tea party behavior. Just because they won big in the recent election doesn’t mean you all have to start adopting their mindset.

  14. says

    Wow. I just read through all the comments and I continue to be surprised at the degree of passion that the repeal of DADT inspires.

    Here’s an idea: let’s all get this excited about an issue that actually matters, like the repeal of DOMA?

    And by the way, forgive a little generalization that I’d like to suggest for your consideration… Democrats=failed to quickly accomplish something that you want that is not even a civil rights issue, yet are still generally supportive in spite of a stupid American majority; Republicans=hates you, calls you vile names, wishes they could lock you up and throw away the key, and actively works against your civil rights with the support of the stupid American majority.

    Thanks for sending a message to the Democrats. That’ll really be helpful!

  15. Charlie-o says

    We need to run someone against Obama in the Democratic primary – maybe someone like Jim Hormel. At least it would send a message that these voters are very disgruntled and you can’t count on them – no matter how many cocktail parties you throw for the Quisling so-called “gay leadership.”

    We may end up holding our noses and voting for the lesser of two evil candidates in the 2012 general for president, but we don’t have to face that dilemma in the primary. Since neither Obama nor his eventual Republican nominee believe in full equality for us, we can diligently count crumbs.

  16. Paul says

    Here’s an idea: let’s all get this excited about an issue that actually matters, like the repeal of DOMA.

    Totally agree.

  17. niles says

    Okay, here are the facts. The game is over. We have lost. The country is beingo taken over by a band of crazies with a forty year plan to indoctrinate the masses into their philosophy (which includes your permanent second-class citizenship or perhaps worse, much worse). The next two years will just be a prelude to their supreme domination. The Constitution will be amended to suit their own viewpoints. Gay marriage will be outlawed as well as civil unions. The time for criticizing Democrats is over. They have no real power anymore.

  18. says

    @Niles, When you say that “we have lost” is a fact, you will lose. The “band of crazies” are taking over the country because they believe they will win. They don’t pout and give up. The administration’s mishandling of DADT is infuriating, and they should be held accountable. Every one of us needs to let our representatives know this is unacceptable. When it becomes politically detrimental to support discrimination, they will stop.

    The fact is, history will tilt our way. It’s a matter of how long it will take, and that depends on how smartly we play our cards in the courts and the legislatures. I live in the state where I am a fully equal citizen. No one will be able to change that. That is the future, but it’s going to be a long, nasty struggle.

  19. walter says

    obama is a one term president who has managed to accomplish nothing. his weak leadership has lead to this situation, the dems and their lapdogs hrc took money and volunteers and delivered nothing. how does hrc explain this failure. they said it would take time and that obama would come through . pass another champaigne cocktail.

  20. Lukas says

    “Here’s an idea: let’s all get this excited about an issue that actually matters, like the repeal of DOMA?”

    These issues, both DOMA and DADT, need to be addressed if we are to become truly equal citizens, we neglect either one at our own peril.

    DOMA certainly matters but we have nowhere near the needed popular support to achieve a legislative repeal. It seemed at least possible that we might achieve a legislative repeal of DADT. It seems very unlikely that it will happen at this stage of the game.

    Our only realistic recourse, in both of these matters, would seem to be the courts, is any one genuinely surprised by this?

  21. says

    again the hrc dropped the ball, what they do best is solicit funds to use for who knows what purpose. it is time to cut them off from all donations. remember that they are the group that rated target and best buy as 100% gay supporting and look where those companies donations went and then were used against the glbt community. the hrc has become irrelevant or maybe they have always been and i have just figured that out..

  22. mcNnyc says

    I guess Gaga Failed.
    The sad part is this that repeal of DADT is really low hanging fruit…sorry…like Hate crimes legislation…popular with the people and even republicans and NOTHING…thanks Democrats and HARRY REID!
    We should have been focusing on ENDA but NO we shifted all our focus on the military and insisited our national orgs divert our resources to DADT cause then we’d have one in the win column well guess what…we got PLAYED.
    Thank you Andy and Joe Jervis and everyone else who thought the best thing we could do for the LGT community is let them keep a job in the military industrial complex.

  23. ChimChim says

    Ahahahahaha. Told you so. It wouldn’t happen without Democrats helping out. Maybe now you’ll start voting for another party.

  24. says

    The far left has done it to us again. First they voted for Nader and put Bush in office. Then they forced Obama on us over the more knowledgeable Hillary.
    He has fumbled everything. He waited months to pass healthcare when he could have done it in ten minutes with reconciliation. Instead of fiscally responsible, targetted Clintonomics to get the economy going, he passed a 60 year old, Keynsian, and horribly wasteful stimulus, threw away a ton of political capital, and let the recession drag on, maybe for years.
    Now this.
    But there is something we can still do. Our freinds in Hollywood could start producing video of gay soldiers who fight and die, or get fired; of suburban gay couples with dog, RV, and topiary; and of regular gay folk, working hard on the job, volunteering for charity, and sprucing up the neighborhood.
    And we can put our focus on ENDA, which is where it should have been all along.