The linked blogger decries that Obama is not taking action to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the failed policy introduced during the Clinton Administration. As much as I, like many believe this policy should be lifted, I’m not so sure that it is a bad thing to place it on the back burner at this time.

If we look back at the genesis of DADT, it grew from Clinton’s campaign promise to create an equal playing field for gays in the military. On paper, it seems simple, and foreign armies, where ays serve along side straights demonstrate that it works and works without problem.  But implementation isn’t on paper. It happens within the almost twilight zone of reality, where this change appears to symbolize (rightly or wrongly is worth debate) the very nature of strength, and masculinity. This within a country still completely unable to provide even the basic protections of hosung and employment for GLBT people in more than 1/2 the states of our fair (haha) land.

DADT suggests a major cultural shift that requires great courage and strength of not just one leader, or one branch of the government, but of a umber of leaders, and individuals. Some would argue that things were better for gays in the military BEFORE DADT! That the policy meant to improve things, actually made them worse. If the next chapter in the DADT journey is not done right, it could make things worse, even more, for our country is today, considering this alongside the issues of marriage equality, and multiple anti-discrimination and hate-crimes legislations across the country.

We can afford no battle loss. Not one, and yet, there are always some battle lost and some won. We need to move forward carefully, strategically, aware of how each move in this culture war towards greater acceptance impacts the whole.

Obama has not even been in office 100 days. He came to a position where the economy was the worst it has ever been since the great depression; a world torn apart where sentiments towards the US were at an all time low; and our national agenda as broken as it can be where Wall Street and the Military complex are the only ones getting richer while the rest of the country sinks deeper into poverty. The easy answer is to blame it all on the last eight years of a moronic president, but that wouldn’t be accurate. A number of the factors that allowed the last president to squander things so, were actually begun during the Clinton Administration! Clinton’s failure early on, and DADT is a part of that, led to the groundswell of conservativism that took over congress, and paved the way for the decline of the US.

Let’s give Obama some time and let him try to sort of the mess without falling into the same traps as Clinton.

Obama Puts Don’t Ask Don’t Tell in the Closet | jaysays.com |.

4 Comments

  1. Interesting debate, but I still have to disagree. There is no issue more important than our government recognizing LGBT equality. We can pressure corporations with boycotts but until our own government says, “We won’t eliminate you anymore” corporations will be less inclined to support LGBT people.

    • We totally agree that “no issue more important than our government recognizing LGBT equality. ” We just differ on how the President’s timetable (or lack there of) for ending DADT impacts that goal. The President’s popularity is slipping. He can not end DADT on his own, but needs the military and the congress on his side. He doesn’t have enough support to pull it off yet. DADT was worse than what came before. And it got that way because Clinton screwed up. We don’t want more of the same- more of things getting worse for GLBTQs.
      That said, the most important thing for all of us to be doing is discussing this, and creating voice for change.

  2. I’m so sick of people making excuses of President Obama’s heterosexist behavior. It reminds me of how people rationalized Bill Clinton’s bigotry to the point that they ignored the fact that the fraudulently named DADT was designed to increase the numbers of military witchhunts and discharges.

    Democrats didn’t lose congress because of angry conservatives. Bill Clinton went out of his way to alienate and demoralize core Democratic constituencies like queers and organized labor. Low Democratic interest and turnout brought the GOP to power in 1994.

    DADT must be repealed and all US troops must be out of Iraq before I will vote for or give money to any Democrat. I’m sick of Democrats treating me like dirt.

    • That Obama has shifted the timetable on ending DADT, doesn’t seem heterosexist to me. DADT was an utter failure, but it was the best that Clinton could get after he screwed it up so bad by pushing it too fast without the needed support. It was an attempt to make lemonaid from a lemon because he botched it. That is all I’m saying is I don’t want Obama to botch it- I’d rather he do it, by anytime table, that actually makes progress, not greater failure.

      I think Republicans took power as they did because the American People lost trust in a president that was not able to deliver for the average american, and so the right was able to capitalize. We see this happening again, as Obama favors the Banks and doesn’t help homeowners and the auto workers.

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