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Posted at 3:35 PM ET, 12/ 6/2010

If not now, when?

By Greg Sargent

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has now reiterated his call for Congress to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell right way, before the courts do it instead:

"The Congress has two weeks to act on the legislation and I'm not particularly optimistic that they will get this done," he said at an event aboard aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. "I would hope that they would."

Gates, who testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday about the issue, reiterated his concern that courts will overturn the policy before lawmakers nix the existing law, triggering a messy and disorganized implementation.

"My greatest fear is that we have to be told that this law will be overturned by a court and we will be forced to implement it without any time for information or training, or any of the other efforts that need to be undertaken to prepare us for such a change," he said.

So here's the question. We've just seen the release of a massive, painstaking, thoroughly professional report from the Pentagon finding clear support for repeal among our service members. The Defense Secretary continues to insist in a high-profile and very compelling way that Congress must repeal the policy right now for the good of our military.

Can anyone imagine a more politically opportune time to repeal DADT presenting itself in the near future?

All the more reason to schedule the time necessary to do it now.

By Greg Sargent  | December 6, 2010; 3:35 PM ET
Categories:  Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Whether DADT repeal passes is largely up to Reid and Obama
Next: Happy Hour Roundup

Comments

The DADT policy is an embarrasment for our enlightened country and repeal is a worthy cause to fight for. But relative to the economy, two wars abroad and passing required spending bills I think Congress should concentrate on what is MOST important to the country. The Republicans WILL NOT allow DADT repeal to pass. We need to pass the bills that keep the country running. At this time DADT repeal is a waste of precious time.

Posted by: mwamp | December 6, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

@Greg: Yes! Yes! Yes! (Do you have a call in to Reid asking about the scheduling?) Thank you for resiting the urge to (solely) blame the GOP. The time is now.

It does NOT appear to be true that "the Republicans WILL NOT allow DADT repeal to pass." There are 60 votes for cloture provided resolution of the tax rates and time for sufficient debate and amendments.

Posted by: sbj3 | December 6, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

"We've just seen the release of a massive, painstaking, thoroughly professional report from the Pentagon finding clear support for repeal among our service members"
-----------------------------------------
The WHOLE truth is that combat soldiers DON'T want it repealed and neither do the same "Chief's" Ergo, the people who are fighting and dying, don't. The Repubs will use that more relevant argument to block.

Posted by: illogicbuster | December 6, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

"Governing is more than a series of transactions. This is a competition of ideas on how we make the country better"


_______________________

Exactly, the liberal agenda has lost

Why do the democrats insist on making the political debate in this country look like the DEAD AGENDA SOCIETY???


The election was last month, you guys lost, accept it.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 6, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Harping on the gay report when everyone involved knows it was a special-interest generated set of deceptions and lies.


Over half the report supports NOT repealing Don't Ask.


The whole thing is more spin than reality. The solidiers do NOT want the COMPROMISE DON'T ASK TO BE REPEALED.


Don't Ask IS the compromise.


The liberals, after committing to compromise in 2008, are now PROVING that they can't even be trusted to keep to a Compromise which has been long established and is working. Dont Ask IS THE COMPROMISE. The liberals are going back on their word. Again.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 6, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

"they can't even be trusted to keep to a Compromise which has been long established and is working."

It only works for bigots. No one else. Asking someone to lie about who they are brings dishonor to both the liar and person knowingly accepting the lie...

"The WHOLE truth is that combat soldiers DON'T want it repealed"

This is false as proven by the report. My own experience is that this is truly a non-issue for the troops. (I live near a military base. These guys and their families are my neighbors.) They want to know if you can be trusted to do your job and help bring them back alive. If Beyond that most don't care what you do in your own time.

"Over half the report supports NOT repealing Don't Ask."

Somehow I doubt you read the report. If this were true, don't you think McCain would be trumpeting the report? He's not and you're full of it. As usual you are pushing hateful propaganda.

Posted by: Alex3 | December 6, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Alex3

I saw a panel discussion in which the black person stated clearly that his community was getting increasingly upset with the liberals and the gays because they have been co-opting the language of the civil rights movement.

The gays have not been enslaved - and Jim Crow was much worse than anything the gays went through.


However, the gays are perfectly content with equating "breeders" with "racists."


The entire debate has gone off the deep end.

If someone doesn't agree with you, they don't agree with you. It is not a time for name-calling, or to try to attach the word "bigot" to the situation. In fact, it is at this point that the gays shut down conversation.

It is about time that the gays start to answer for what has happened in the priesthood and the boy scouts.


The gays have problems in their community - and there are gay-related crimes against children. The gays seldom talk about that.

Instead, the gay community tried to get their "gay agenda" taught to little kids in school. Many times, the community is not even told these changes are being made.

___________________


The liberals lost the election. This is not the time to try to press through the liberal agenda.


The liberals DIDN'T even win the 2008 election.

The way one side wins an election is this: you present your agenda to the people and they vote for it. Obama presented a CENTRIST agenda - one committed to compromise. The American People voted FOR CENTRISM, NOT FOR THE LIBERAL AGENDA IN 2008

If you don't understand that, you have no business commenting on poltics

In case you haven't gotten the message YET, the American People are sick of this crap from the liberals.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 6, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

OT:

~Taxes at 60 Year Low~

Felix Salmon provides some context to the tax debate on Capitol Hill, reminding that federal taxes are actually the lowest in 60 years, "which gives you a pretty good idea of why America's long-term debt ratios are a big problem. If the taxes reverted to somewhere near their historical mean, the problem would be solved at a stroke."

"Income taxes, in particular, both personal and corporate, are low and falling... Employment taxes, by contrast -- the regressive bit of the fiscal structure -- are bearing a large and increasing share of the brunt. Any time that somebody starts complaining about how the poor don't pay income tax, point them to this chart. Income taxes are just one part of the pie, and everybody with a job pays employment taxes."

http://politicalwire.com/archives/2010/12/06/taxes_at_60_year_low.html

Once more:

"If the taxes reverted to somewhere near their historical mean, the problem would be solved at a stroke."

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 6, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

A Pew Research Center poll from about a week ago showed 58% of American adults favoring repeal of DADT, with only 27% supporting retention of DADT.

So if Congress isn't willing to do what the Secretary of Defense of Chairmain of the Joint Chiefs of Staff recommend, is Congress at least willing to do what the American people want? I hope so.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | December 6, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

WHY do the democrats want to RAISE taxes $700 Billion in the middle of an Economic Crisis???


What are they thinking???


AND holding votes to do just that - when they know the votes won't pass - that is the most MONDALE-ESQUE move I have ever seen.


No politician wants to raise taxes, they will run from those votes, even when they have to.

The democrats have pushed through votes which they don't have to make. It is complete insanity - Mondale-insanity.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 6, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

bearclaw1 at 5:06 PM


When was the last time the democrats did something the American People wanted ?


It wasn't during the health care vote

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 6, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

LOL!

"However, the gays are perfectly content with equating "breeders" with "racists.""

They are? Man, you really don't know what you are talking about. Please give it up.

"A Pew Research Center poll from about a week ago showed 58% of American adults favoring repeal of DADT, with only 27% supporting retention of DADT."

Yup.

"WHY do the democrats want to RAISE taxes $700 Billion in the middle of an Economic Crisis???"

Why do Republicans want to raise the Deficit by $4 trillion, with no plans to pay for it, during an economic crisis? The argument can be played right back at ya...

Posted by: Alex3 | December 6, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

OT:

~Christie Hires Law Firm to Fight Feds Over ARC Reimbursement~

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has hired a law firm to challenge a $271 million tab the federal government says the state owes for the canceled ARC rail tunnel. Christie says he's approved the selection of the high-powered Washington, D.C. firm of Patton Boggs.

[...]

Drewniak said the firm would be charging $485 an hour.

http://www.wnyc.org/articles/wnyc-news/2010/dec/02/gov-christie-hire-patton-boggs-fight-feds-over271-m-arc-reimbursement/

$485/hr!

Hahaha!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 6, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

"Can anyone imagine a more politically opportune time to repeal DADT presenting itself in the near future?"

Heck no. But as the liberals and the left attack each other over whether Obama is feckless or not, or whether the Democratic fecklessness in general is more of a Congressional problem than a White House problem, the opportunity will be lost.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 6, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

$485/hr!

Hahaha!

Posted by: Ethan2010
+++++++++

Patton Boggs must have agreed to discount their usual hourly rates, which would be well above $485/hour.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | December 6, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Wait a minute...

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/11/28/104258_a104431/cartoons-for-the-week-of-28-november.html

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 6, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Sen. George Voinovich:

"The American people should know that a lot of the reduction of their taxes is borrowed money from China," he said. "You've got to pay for it. You've got to pay for it. You've got to pay for it."

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2010/12/retiring-sen-george-voinovich.html

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 6, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully, this is a dead, "chicken crap" issue that should have not been an issue in the first place. With the nation teetering on the brink of ruin, the best the hapless Obamacrats could do is try to homosexualize our armed forces. How pathetic is that??

Of course, now the leftist radicals will seek to attack our military with activist, judicial homophiles and homosexuals who will use their dictatorial powers to thwart the will of the people, again. I hope the Supreme Court can stand up to the leftist onslaught.

Whatever happens, this ridiculous farce will help seal the fate of the remaining Obamacrats, in Congress, and set Obama up for defeat in 2012 and Rush Limbaugh will get his big wish. Obama, the failure.

America wants real action on real issues. They won't settle for "chicken crap".

Posted by: battleground51 | December 6, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

On September 17, 2001, Senators John McCain and Barbara Boxer presented a folded American flag to Paul Holm, in memory of Holm's partner, Mark Bingham.

Mark Bingham, 31, was a 6' 4", 225 lb. former member of Cal's national championship rugby teams. He charged the hijacked cockpit of UAL Flight 93, and died in the crash at Shanksville, PA.

Perhaps Sen. McCain should think back to that day, and remember Mark Bingham's courage.

I doubt when the passengers charged the cockpit if anyone was wondering or even cared whether Mark Bingham was gay.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | December 6, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

" . . . thwart the will of the people, again."

Posted by: battleground51
++++++++

You are not entitled to your own facts. More than twice as many Americans support repeal of DADT as support retaining DADT.

You've lost that battle, battleground51. The Times They Are A Changing.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | December 6, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

"chicken crap" ... "homosexualize our armed forces"

That's the best you can do?

Hilarious.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 6, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

All, Happy Hour Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/12/happy_hour_roundup_141.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | December 6, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

"homosexualize our armed forces"
Hilarious.

Yeah and I can't imagine why some people still think Republican voters are stupid.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 6, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

If not when, why?

Posted by: SpendNomore | December 6, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

The homosexualization of America's military forces is a laughing matter to nattering leftists who hate the military, I realize that. It is disheartening to all American patriots but it is a fact.

Repeal of DADT is dying on the gnarly vine.

I hope it dries up and blows away.

Posted by: battleground51 | December 6, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

battleground,

Oh, something is certainly dying, drying up and blowing away. I think it is called "homophobia."

People with skills our nation needs want to serve in our armed forces. What a scandal.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | December 6, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

Wow, there are almost as many haters on here as on Yahoo comments. I would've expected better of the Washington Post. Of course, this is the land of the right-wing freaks, & the home of the haters! After all, what other Western country would've been conservative enough (not to mention stupid enough) to actually enact national prohibition of alcoholic beverages (1920-1933)? American ignorance & backwardness has NO parallel in the West! No wonder we still have such an odious law like "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"!!!

Posted by: NMguy1 | December 7, 2010 12:43 AM | Report abuse

NMguy, I would argue that the 18th Amendment was the handiwork pf LIBERALS. We conservatives repealed that one AND had the foresight to enact the 22nd Amendment.

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 7, 2010 1:13 AM | Report abuse

Of course they'll do it now and quickly! After all, having gotten all their tax concessions (and more), aren't the moderate GOP senators clamoring for a chance to finally repeal DADT!?!?!?

chirp chirp chirp

Posted by: rmnelson | December 7, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

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