Posted by Brad @ 8:21 pm on January 28th 2010

The Repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

It’s been promised so much that I barely notice it anymore, but apparently this time Obama is for real, with a big caveat—if Congress can pass it.

Ambinder:

Before President Obama announced last night that he would work with Congress and the Pentagon to end the military’s ban on service by gays and lesbians, the White House consulted Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to sign off on the language he planned to use, administration officials said. They did. “The Pentagon is with us,” the official said. And Geoff Morell, Gates’s spokesman, e-mails me to say that “The Department leadership is actively working on an implementation plan and will have more to say about it next week.” So — Obama’s pledge to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was more than words — he’s instructed the military to get it done as soon as Congress repeals the law. A Senate hearing is set for February 2, featuring testimony from Mullens and Gates. An outside hearing is set for February 11. Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) doesn’t know if he has the votes to cross the 60-person threshold in the Senate, but the expected endorsement by Mullen will make it difficult for opponents to argue that the military brass isn’t ready.

To say the least. If the head of the Joint Chiefs and the (very popular with Republicans) Secretary of Defense are enthusiastically behind it, I’m sure that the GOP can drum up one of those “signed by 50 generals” letters, but the argument becomes a lot more difficult, especially for the fence-sitters and moderates. If you’re a Republican Senator, being forced to choose between bigotry and uncomplicated military idolotry might be one of your least favorite places to be.

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