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Watch: Sen. Carl Levin Laments Obama's Lack of 'Willingness to Fight Hard' on 'DADT', Other Issues

Levin

Senator Carl Levin says he's willing to stay in session if necessary to pass 'DADT' and other measures but laments that he doesn't see that kind of motivation from the President:

"The way I think the President needs to fight is to say that he is going to use all of the power he has of a bully pulpit and urge the Senate to stay in, right up to New Years….that’s the problem that I don’t see that kind of a willingness to fight that hard, where he will take that kind of a position and that’s what’s necessary. The Senate and the House, these are tests of wills."

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. Listen, While I fully support anyone to voice legitimate criticisms with any leader when they are not doing their job, What is this accomplishing?

    I keep yelling about perspective but here is a situation where it is sorely needed.

    This whole decision is not cut and dry, Obama is not secretly trying to derail DADT, he does not think gays are "icky" and tries to rail against them. So what does a democratic senator gain by hurting the credibility of the president?

    LOTS, This is the new political landscape, Conjecture and rumors. Saying you feel that someone is failing now resonates deeper than saying you know someone is failing. Fox news succeeded in making politics and news something you feel, and that lets in a bunch of windbag obstacles.

    Every time you criticize the president in a public forum you strengthen the right/Republicans/Conservatives. If you want to do so without playing into the oppositions plans, you will need to do so with creativity and cunning.

    There are a lot more stupid, stupid people in politics today and you can't just ignore them anymore, you need to DEAL with them, something our President doesn't get, if he did he would try to get the dems to walk in step with them.

    We need to stop reacting to problems and start attacking people that block success.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Dec 13, 2010 1:47:14 PM


  2. @Fenrox

    Just. Please.

    To be fair, particularly when it was very clear that the Bush Administration was a failure, Republicans criticized Bush (and McCain for that matter).

    Why does Obama get some sort of immunity card as far as those in his party criticizing him.

    Granted, I disagree with the form that the criticism takes on many occasions, but to say that a public official s/b above criticism for whatever reason is ludicrous.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Dec 13, 2010 2:21:22 PM


  3. Perspective???? Here's some perspective for you: Fenrox is a paid troll (or just freelancing to protect his own investments). He works for the Wall Street firm Ziff Brothers Investments. They are a venture capital firm worth billions who donated over $100,000 to the Obama campaign (and that's just the LEGITIMATE donations) and are working overtime to protect their investment and prop up the best presidency their money could buy. That includes, apparently, spewing his undemocratic nonsensensical crap on the gay blogs. He has no credibility. Zip. If any of you buy his bullshit that dissent is wrong, well you ought to just pack it up and move to Iran. And PLEASE take him with you.

    Posted by: gaylib | Dec 13, 2010 2:25:19 PM


  4. Fenrox, Obama's lack of leadership is blocking success. Sen. Levin is perfectly entitled to make that point to pressure the administration. That's how it works in DC.

    Please learn something about how government works before posting your long-winded, incoherent ramblings.

    Posted by: JusticeontheRocks | Dec 13, 2010 2:27:15 PM


  5. @fenrox -- "We need to stop reacting to problems and start attacking people that block success." I believe that's what Sen Levin just did. Though he's telling most of us nothing new.

    Though I agree with your assessment that there are more stupid people in politics today (shockingly so...as if it's now the new norm to be stupid, ill-informed to the point of bigotry as long as you claim you are doing it all for flag and family and keep saying over and over, really loud,) I don't believe when someone of Sen Levin's stature criticizes the President they are playing into the hands of the right. These guys know the game far better than you do, and if embarrassing the President or threatening him is the only way to get movement, then it's going to be done.

    Four weeks ago, the President was telling everyone and anyone who would listen he was not giving Bush tax breaks to the very wealthy. The Republicans basically said they would hold everything else hostage until they got the tax breaks. And what did Obama do last week? Maybe he thinks he think compromise is a good thing or something, that he'll look like someone who can work with both sides, that it will help him get re-elected. I'm not sure why he's doing it. Personally, I think 15 years ago looking like someone who was willing to compromise would help you get re-elected. Now I think we are in such a polarized world all it looks like is Obama is weak...and that is EXACTLY how they've been portraying him on Fox News. Not that he compromised, not that he's trying to get things done for the American people, but that he is weak and he caved. And they are gleefully touting that vision. So don't think not standing your ground is going to win you friends from the other side. If there is anything about the Republicans that is always true is if you give them a little, they smell blood. It's in the Karl Rove handbook.

    I'm not sure why Obama isn't doing more on DADT considering all the lip-service he's paid about repealing it on his watch. He's going to end up doing it without the congress -- if he doesn't he will lose a vast percentage of the gay vote. They won't run over to the Republicans but a percentage -- a NEEDED percentage -- will work against him or give him the finger and stay home. It often hurts more when your friends betray you than when those you know are your enemies come after you. One is expected, the other is a blindside. And this isn't a game of Survivor, this is human rights on the line.

    Levin knows that if he gets on television and says what he says, there are a percentage of people who will get on the phone, write letters, write in their blogs, write/call/contact the President and express their opinion. If he were to remain silent, what do you think the message to the White House is? That no one cares. But we do care. Silence is the enemy.

    Posted by: BartB | Dec 13, 2010 2:35:55 PM


  6. First, THANK YOU, GayLib, for exposing Fenrox!

    Second: for those who might, innocently, share such thoughts, remember that it was nearly A YEAR AND A HALF AGO, in June of 2009, that Sen. Levin, who, in 1993, fought the perpetuation of the half-century+ old ban in the form of DADT, said that:

    “[Ending the ban] requires presidential leadership. This cannot be addressed successfully without that kind of leadership.”

    Yet, it wasn't until November of THIS year that Obama finally got around to even talking to Levin about it.

    In February of this year, "The Advocate" wrote:

    Levin "has most certainly taken on the issue in spite of the administration's equivocation-or, as one insider put it, 'he's got religion on this'"

    In May of this year, "Talking Points Memo":

    “The final push [for ‘repeal’] came from the Hill, where key members of Congress who support ‘repeal’, like Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), the powerful chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, made it clear that they were moving forward with 'repeal' legislation with or without the White House's blessing."

    From "The Huffington Post" in June:

    “Pelosi said the House WEAKENED ITS REPEAL LANGUAGE TO MOLLIFY THE WHITE HOUSE. Military leaders REFUSED TO ACCEPT LANGUAGE THAT WOULD BAR DISCRIMINATION, so the clause was dropped.”

    FOR PERSPECTIVE of the significance of all that, let's review what Obama said in November of 2007:

    1. "As president, I will work with Congress and place the weight of my administration behind enactment of the Military Readiness Enhancement Act [MREA], which will make nondiscrimination the official policy of the U.S. military," …and then sat on his ass except to back Gates' demand that the MREA be gutted.

    2. "I will task the Defense Department and the senior command structure in every branch of the armed forces with developing an action plan for the implementation of a full repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell," ….and then backed Gates' scheme to, instead, come up with a study that would push the vote to this "sudden death" period in the Lame Duck session of Congress.

    3. "That work should have started long ago. It will start when I take office,"...but...see "sat on ass" above.

    4. "America is ready to get rid of the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy. All that is required is leadership,"…and then refused to provide it.

    In addition to Levin, Senate Majority Leader Reid virtually begged Obama LAST year to start providing that leadership.

    "I therefore request that you bring to Congress your recommendations on DADT. Your leadership is greatly … needed at this time." – letter from Reid, September 2009.

    But when Dan Choi, several other gay vets, members of GetEQUAL, and I visited Reid's office November 15th THIS YEAR, he STILL hadn't heard from Obama.

    In addition, Obama has also asserted that DADT is Constitutional when the Supremes have never ruled on it.

    Obama has refused to use his legal powers under federal law 10 USC 12305 to end gay discharges in the name of national security pending repeal even as he's said they, "weaken national security," and despite calls from Reid, Levin, Pelosi, and multiple other members of Congress to do just that.

    Obama fought to kill three legal challenges to DADT, succeeding in killing one, and is now fighting to have the two rulings against the ban overturned.

    Obama Inc., is being sued by the ACLU for perpetuating the Bush policy of giving gays discharged only 50% of the pay they have coming to them.

    And, today, another suit was filed, this time in the name of three more gays discharged under DADT.

    So, yeah, I think Sen. Reid has mountains of justification for his statement.

    Posted by: michael@leonardmatlovich.com | Dec 13, 2010 3:19:54 PM


  7. When you defend a pile of shit, you end up stinking. The Democratic Party is a pile of shit. Always has been, always will be. No matter what us fags imagine it to be. No matter what we hope it to be. You can pray all you like, you will never turn a turd into a burrito. To the first poster, your position is EXACTLY the cover that Obama and the Democrats need to justify their right wing pro-corporate agenda. So long as idiots like YOU make excuses for the Democrats, they never have to be held accountable and they never change. The fact is they are every bit as war-hungry as the Republicans. The fact is they are every bit the corporate whores as the Republicans. The only difference is their rhetoric. I don't have time to waste on mentally ill people who have the chutzpah to defend a monster who dropped bombs on children 4 days into his presidency, but can't be bothered to provide relief for the millions of families now facing foreclosure, including LGBT families.

    Queers draw a line in the sand: you are either with the world or you are with the Democrats/Republicans.

    Psycho-Babbling Obama
    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
    “Rather than face the fact that Obama is not a friend of the people, leftish commentators insist on conducting a psychological analysis of the president.”

    For two years we watched Barack Obama undercut the left wing of his party at every turn, with a disdain so palpable his minions could not resist insulting leftists in the most juvenile terms. For two years we watched the First Black President facilitate the greatest transfer of wealth in human history – $12 to $14 trillion – to Wall Street, and we watched as he put the U.S. war machine back on the offensive in the world. For two years we heard Obama say over and over again that he had no intention of taking targeted action to help Black and brown communities that had been targeted for destruction by banks. After two years, one would think that folks on the Left would have gotten the idea that Obama is pro-Pentagon, pro-Wall Street, and doesn’t have a transformative bone in his body regarding either race or class. But, for many, the message, however obvious, has not sunk in. Rather than face the fact that Obama is not a friend of the people, leftish commentators insist on conducting a psychological analysis of the president. They seem to be trying to find some quirk in Obama’s personality that can by corrected in time for the Armageddon showdown with the Republicans.
    Take Paul Krugman, of the New York Times, for example. People on the Left quote him a lot, which I find strange, since Krugman can talk about the political meltdown of 2008 for 45 minutes and never say the word “corporation” – as if corporations had nothing to do with the meltdown. But anyway, the liberal Krugman insists that Obama’s problem is, he tried to transcend partisan divisions [4], not understanding that sometimes one has to fight. That’s a recurring theme with Obama apologists, that Obama won’t fight. But Obama showed plenty of fight during the health care debate. He fought the left wing of his own party every step of the way, exiling single-payer supporters to the margins while he kissed Republican boodie and empowered Blue Dogs and DLCers. He didn’t just fight progressives, he stomped their butts into the dirt.
    “They seem to be trying to find some quirk in Obama’s personality that can by corrected in time for the Armageddon showdown with the Republicans.”
    Dr. Ron Daniels, of the Institute for the Black World, thinks the problem is Obama’s “failure to effectively communicate [5]” his “vision, programs and policies.” I think Obama has communicated quite effectively, that he wanted expanded theaters of war, trillions for Wall Street, and nothing special whatsoever for Black or brown America – those places that he says don’t exist. It isn’t that Obama has trouble conveying his vision, it’s that his actual vision is unacceptable to progressives. Of all people, Barack Obama doesn’t need communications lessons.
    William Greider, probably the left-most of our three subjects, says Obama “needs to learn hardball [6]” so he can fight the Republicans that are “trying to bury him.” This, however, would require a 180 degree vision change on Obama's part, since his actual “vision” has always been to join with Republicans at some point much further to the right than the rest of us would ever want to go.
    The psychological problem is not Obama's. It's the problem of much of the Left, who imagined an Obama that never existed. That's why it was so easy for Obama and his corporate handlers to psyche-out the Left. If you think Obama is salvageable, then you're the one with the psychological problem.
    For Black Agenda Radio, I'm Glen Ford. On the web, go to www.BlackAgendaReport.com [7].
    BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

    Posted by: Lonnie | Dec 13, 2010 5:11:18 PM


  8. and what has Senator Carl Levin done?

    Posted by: johnosahon | Dec 13, 2010 8:33:23 PM


  9. @ Johnosahon. If you GENUINELY cared about the subject rather than just defending Obama you would have read others' comments before posting your own—where you would have found my DOCUMENTATION of what Sen. Levin has done while your unrequited boyfriend has been playing piss boy for Pentagon bigots.

    Posted by: michael@leonardmatlovich.com | Dec 13, 2010 9:04:28 PM


  10. One snippy comment and you attack some gay guy for being catty? None of you get laid huh?

    Posted by: Jason | Dec 14, 2010 8:08:51 AM


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