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Axelrod: 'Don't ask' appeal was 'custom'

By Matt DeLong and Ed O'Keefe

By Matt DeLong and Ed O'Keefe

During a live video chat from the White House, senior adviser David Axelrod was asked why the Obama administration opted to appeal a federal judge's injunction to stop the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy while the president maintains that he wants to end the ban.

"It is the custom of the U.S. government to appeal laws of Congress that were challenged in lower courts," Axelrod replied. "It should be by no means read as an abandonment of a commitment, and we intend to keep it."

Meanwhile, senior Obama administration officials are scheduled to meet Tuesday with prominent liberal and gay rights groups about legislative efforts to repeal the policy banning gays from serving openly in the military. Among the groups set to participate in the meeting are:

Center for American Progress
Servicemembers United
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
Human Rights Campaign
Log Cabin Republicans
Stonewall Democrats

Cross-posted on 44.

By Matt DeLong and Ed O'Keefe  | October 26, 2010; 2:25 PM ET
Categories:  Administration, Military  
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Next: Obama joins gay rights groups to discuss 'don't ask, don't tell'


President Obama made a campaign promise to repeal DADT. He didn't promise that he would ask Congress to repeal it, he promised that he would repeal it. Actions speak louder than words. Do the right thing. Stop the bullying and the discrimination of a small portion of our soldiers and repeal DADT now!

Posted by: vaoceangal | October 26, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

DADT exists to protect the privacy rights of heterosexuals. It is illegal to force a person to be naked at work in front of anyone who could become sexually or romatically attracted to him or her. That's why there is sex-segregation of males and females in sleeping, bathing, and dressing areas to begin with. Decades ago women had to sue to get female locker rooms added at manufacturing workplaces.

Remove DADT and you either have to bully and ridicule every heterosexual out of asserting his own or her own rights, or you have to provide private sleeping, bathing, and dressing areas for each soldier.

Radicals will fail to bully everyone into silence (although they are making a heroic effort)... so the days of billeting soldiers on the cheap are ending.

If the judge had courage she would decree it so. Halliburton can build it. Congress can add it to its deficit.

Posted by: blasmaic | October 26, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

You know, President Obama is not the only person who has taken an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution. Every member of the Justice Department has done the same. The people who serve in the Justice Department know that one of their primary responsibilities is to safeguard the integrity of federal law, that is to defend federal law whenever it comes under attack in the courts. This has been true for all Justice Department employees from the very day they hired their first attorneys back in 1791 (or thereabouts).

Presidents, and their agendas, come and go. But the responsibility of the Justice Department endures, year upon year, to ensure that the lawful proceedings of the Legislative Branch, the U.S. Congress, (which is the center of gravity in our system of government) when codified into the law of the land through a presidential signature, are upheld.

While the Justice Department is an executive branch agency, under the direction of the president, its primary duty is to safeguard the integrity of federal law. Referring to this as a “custom” is rather disingenuous I must say. It is not so much a “custom” as it is an ongoing duty and responsibility that must be shouldered, day in, and day out, by the employees of that department.

Posted by: GoldenEagles | October 26, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

There is no frickin' way that Axelrod or Obama would say an appeal was "custom" if it would delay the rights of people of color for even one more day, so don't drop that garbage term into this discussion. The appeal equals hypocrisy, period. There is no more wiggle room on DADT or on gay marriage rights. And my votes will be based on these issues from now on. Thanks for a big fat nothing.

Posted by: LK2008 | October 26, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

LK2008 says, "There is no frickin' way that Axelrod or Obama would say an appeal was "custom" if it would delay the rights of people of color for even one more day ..."

It is wrong to compare the legitimate fight against racial discrimination, to the homosexual assault upon the monuments of American morality. The fight against racial discrimination increased the stature of a pre-existing monument of morality. And yes, it stands high today, and rightfully so. On the other hand, the homosexual movement only tears down existing monuments to morality.

One is different from the other, as night is different from day.

In this regard, the creatures of the night seek to hide behind the shining sun disc, with the intent of deceiving people into the false belief that their cause shines with the same light. But, it is a total fraud, as is everything about the homosexual movement.

Just look at the word “gay”. Who is not clearly aware of this obvious fact, that there is nothing less “gay” on the entire face of the earth, than the members of the homosexual movement. The word is a mask, and a fraudulent one at that.

They should not be so foolish as to fall for their own propaganda in this regard.

Posted by: GoldenEagles | October 27, 2010 1:21 AM | Report abuse

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