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What will President Obama say on don't ask don't tell?

David Axelrod
White House senior adviser David Axelrod (Photo-AP/M. Spencer Green)

White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod broke the news on CNN a little while ago: President Obama will call on Congress to repeal the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military.

Word that Obama would address the wrong-headed "don't ask don't tell" policy leaked earlier this week. But the question is how different will his remarks tonight be from his forceful words at the gay pride celebration at the White House last June:

And finally, I want to say a word about "don't ask, don't tell." As I said before -- I'll say it again -- I believe "don't ask, don't tell" doesn't contribute to our national security. (Applause.) In fact, I believe preventing patriotic Americans from serving their country weakens our national security. (Applause.)

Or at the Human Rights Campaign dinner last October:

We are moving ahead on Don't Ask Don't Tell. (Applause.) We should not be punishing patriotic Americans who have stepped forward to serve this country. We should be celebrating their willingness to show such courage and selflessness on behalf of their fellow citizens, especially when we're fighting two wars. (Applause.)
We cannot afford to cut from our ranks people with the critical skills we need to fight any more than we can afford -- for our military's integrity -- to force those willing to do so into careers encumbered and compromised by having to live a lie. So I'm working with the Pentagon, its leadership, and the members of the House and Senate on ending this policy. Legislation has been introduced in the House to make this happen. I will end Don't Ask, Don't Tell. That's my commitment to you. (Applause.)

People lobby for months to get their pet project or issue mentioned in the State of the Union address. It's the clearest sign of support from the White House. That Obama will renew his call for Congress to end of don't ask don't tell before the nation is a remarkable moment gays and lesbians should savor.

By Jonathan Capehart  | January 27, 2010; 7:23 PM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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If he bothers to do something about it, it might represent an effective way to get some of the left back after the debacle of health insurance reform.

If he talks but doesn't do anything, it'll just be more of the same...

Posted by: privacy3 | January 27, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Capehart states that this is "a remarkable moment gays and lesbians should savor."
No joy here, no happiness. This is nothing remarkable. It was an unjust, illogical, and morally obnoxious political compromise when it was instituted, and has remained so throughout Obama's first year in office. Its demise only feels as good as a beating that comes to an end does.
The only thing remarkable, and this will be the moral measure of the man, will be if he calls for reinstatement and restitution for the 13,000 soldiers who were unjustly dismissed under this law.

Posted by: tomhenning | January 27, 2010 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Barry the chickenhawk Obama who never spent a day in his life wearing a military uniform, screws up the military. Barry the incompetent boob Obama. Way to go Barry destroy morale while you got close to 500 U.S. servicemen killed during your first dismal year in office.

Miserable failure Obama.

Posted by: screwjob2 | January 27, 2010 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Screwjob: did "little Dick" (5 deferments) Cheney get your vote or did you have other priorities for who to vote for? I guess you voted for John Kerry then, right?... didn't think so, you hypocrite

Posted by: davethewave | January 27, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

Obama's screwed over just about every other department in the federal government, guess its' DOD's turn. Too bad he's never served in any capacity, but then that wouldn't have stopped him. Ignorance is not important in his socialist pursuit.

When the new congress gets in, they'll just have one more correction/reversal to complete.

Posted by: GordonShumway | January 27, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

So true, screwjob2! Just like the stupid policy of letting blacks serve - the effect on white troop moral plummeted! After all - its all about making the serviceman feel good, and not about getting the job done!*

*Yes, I am a 20-year Chief in the Navy - who watched a 4.0 sailor kicked out for a stupid, immaterial issue that had absolutely nothing to do with how good they did their job, or worked together with their division mates.

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