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Don't holler, don't yell -- only at the president

President Obama flew out to California to help the sagging reelection effort of Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and came face-to-face with frustration over efforts to repeal the ban on gay men and lesbians serving openly in the military. He was interrupted a couple of times during his rah-rah for Boxer, in fact. Now, here's my frustration: These same protesters don't bother to interrupt fundraisers and other events for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) or Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). With Obama out, loud and proud in his support for repeal of "don't ask don't tell," those congressional leaders are the ones who hold the key to it actually happening. And they are content to let Obama take all the heat.

Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.), an Iraq War vet, is leading the repeal effort in the House and is doing quite well. At last count, he had 191 co-sponsors and more than a dozen "yes" commitments, putting him within striking distance of outright passage. The Senate? A tougher battle awaits. Last month, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) introduced a repeal bill with 11 co-sponsors. All Democrats.

Hammering away at Obama on this issue is understandable. During the campaign, he promised to do away with the law that hurts the nation's military effectiveness. (I mean, how effective can the U.S. be in its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and in the war on terror if it's booting desperately needed Arab linguists simply because of who they are?) But I must remind my gay brothers and sisters that Obama is not king. Don't ask don't tell is an act of Congress. And it will take Congress to permanently do away with it. Gay men and lesbians are right to hold Obama's feet to the fire on this. But by continuing to ignore Pelosi and Reid, not only are they giving them a pass the leaders don't deserve, they are also slowing down a resolution to an honorable cause.

By Jonathan Capehart  | April 20, 2010; 7:46 AM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Mr. Capehart,

I have a problem with the statement: "These same protesters don't bother to interrupt fundraisers and other events for Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) or Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.)."

GetEqual's first big protest that I heard about was a sit-in staged at the congressional audiences of Nancy Pelosi. Obama was nowhere in sight. As far as I can tell this is the second big protest by them, so I'm not sure what you're talking about.

Furthermore in my case, the protest that I organized last summer was against the DNC, not Obama. So, to believe that only Obama is being targeted by protestors is just plain false.

Posted by: DCCharles | April 20, 2010 9:25 AM | Report abuse

Jonathon, yelling at Pelosi and Reid doesn't make the nightly news or guarantee a segment every 30 minutes on cable news.

Posted by: danw1 | April 20, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Stop being naive and ignorantly lecturing people who are trying to push the bill forward.

The Murphy standalone bill is going nowhere. It is DOA if it even gets to the Senate. The only route to passage is by adding repeal to the DADT authorization bill. If you don't know that, you shouldn't be pontificating.

The Commander in Chief is telling congressional Democrats NOT to attach repeal to the DADT authorization bill. They won't act until their Commander in Chief gives them to go ahead.

So wallow in Obama-excusing administration talking points, Jonathan, but I expected better from you.

Posted by: uh_huhh | April 20, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Three out of four Americans now agree with Comic Book Guy’s appraisal of Barack Obama: “Worst president ever….”

Posted by: Jerzy | April 20, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

I hate to tell you guys this but since Obama is Commander in Chief he could end the ban by simply writing and Executive Directive. He is just pandering to the crowd....His answer to the protesters: "I sent that check last Tuesday, yeah last Tuesday. The check is in the mail."

He doesn't even need Congress to change the "policy". He is the ultimate ruler of the you guys need to yell at him more and louder because he is playing you like a fiddle.

Posted by: staterighter | April 20, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

to Mr. Capehart,

the reason that the protestors don't yell at Pelosi & Reid is that they are bright enough to KNOW that Harry Reid is in his last 6 months in office & Princess Pelosi will NOT be Speaker of the House in January.

the DIMocRATS are DONE as "the majority party" on election day in November, as they will lose BOTH houses of congress by a bigger margin than they did in 1994.

whatever BHO wants after January makes NO difference whatever, as the GOP landslide that is headed to DC will make him IRRELEVANT when the new congress is seated, until he leaves office in January 2013.

what is funny to thinking people is that the LEFTIST/corrupt DIMocRAT lunatics did it to themselves, by jamming "healthcare reform" down the throats of the VAST MAJORITY of Americans, when 2/3 of voters said NO. = we will NOT forget what they did, ever & will "take our pound of flesh" at the polls.

yours, TN46

Posted by: texasnative46 | April 20, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

The reason that Obama has been taking heat (while the congressional Dems get a pass) is that Obama talks a good game, but he has done absolutely *nothing* for gays since taking office. In fact, his Justice Department has actively worked against gay rights by filing a brief in support of DOMA, and Holder has aggressively thrown up roadblocks for repealing DADT. I don't support any of the three clowns, but don't try to draw an equivalence to Pelosi's and Reid's voting records (which show active support of gay rights issues) and Obama's empty rhetoric.

Posted by: Horologium | April 20, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Wow. When folks on the right protest the Obama administration's whopping expansion in federal spending and the national debt, they are guilty of something like sedition (re your appearance last night on the Ed Show). But when these gay-rights protester go so far as to interrupt the president, they are just guilty of protesting to the wrong person. Weird.

Posted by: dakotadoug83 | April 20, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Texas Native,

While you have good points, the people Capehart is complaining about have actually gotten arrested protesting Pelosi. The whole premise of this article is flawed.

Posted by: DCCharles | April 20, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Mr Capehart, If you are waiting for Rep Patrick Murphy (D)PA, to push this bill through, you had better hope that he does it pretty soon. Rep. Patrick Murphy through his office both local and in Washington, dis-respected the constitutents whom he is supposed to represent. During the Democrat push to shove the health care bill down the throats of the American People, Rep Murphy's offices were called by constitutents who wanted to express their views against the health care bill, only to be hung up on while they were talking. Being that Rep Patrick Murphy's office dis-respected his constitutents who opposed the health care bill, there is now a concerted effort to get behind the candidate who is running this November, to defeat Rep Patrick Murphy (D)PA, at the polls.

Oh, and by the way, why should the gays expect that Pres Obama would keep his word, anyway?

This November the American People will speak out "LEGALLY", and LOUD and CLEAR.



Posted by: barrysal | April 20, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse



can you NAME names? - absent actual PERSONS, who were arrested, i cannot do much with your comment.

inasmuch as Princess Pelosi is a arrogant little HATE-FILLED moron, i don't doubt for a second that she's also a HYPOCRITE!
(she PAID some protestors to harrass GWB- fact.)

yours, TN46

Posted by: texasnative46 | April 20, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Here's an article that describes the sit-in at Pelosi's office:

I can't with certainty say this is their first protest, but I know for sure this is the first I heard of the group.

And again to Capehart regarding protesting Obama, right now is a key time with Obama's involvement with getting DADT repealed. In the next couple weeks, they are putting together the Defense Authorization Budget together, and he could ask to have a DADT repeal put in. So, no, he's not repealing, but if he took this action, it would really get the ball rolling.

Posted by: DCCharles | April 21, 2010 7:41 AM | Report abuse

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